Write actively

Write actively, and make sure to engage with your readers.

  • Write in active voice (as if you’re having a conversation with a good academic friend)

    • Example 1
      • Wrong: “The data has been analyzed and the following results found”
      • Correct: “We analyze the data, and find that […]”
    • Example 2
      • Wrong: “three constructs have been combined”
      • Correct: “we combine three constructs”
  • Use the collective “we” (or “I”)

    • Don’t be shy! Either use “I” or the collective “we”
    • This will help you to tell a better story, and also avoid writing in passive voice.
  • Avoid writing in “constructs”, but give meaning to everything you say

    • Wrong: “The overall click through rate for users in the “promotion” condition is […]”
    • Correct: “Promotion focused users had higher click through rates than […]”
  • Use the correct tense

    • the default tense in academic writing is the present simple (“In this study, we show that […]").
    • you can deviate from that rule and use the past tense if some action has been completed in the past (“To collect the data, we used the Spotify Web API […]")
    • last, the literature review typically is written in the present perfect tense (“Some studies have found a large impact of X on Y”).
    • Use this guide for a complete overview