Style or Vile

By Nicholas Klacsanzky

Here is a breakdown of how to create an appropriate style for academic and creative writing alike:

Being Concise

  • Cut what doesn’t matter.
  • Can you say it in a more direct, simplified way?
  • Delete any repeating information or words.
  • Are you adding too many action words?
  • Do away with cliches.

Being Specific

  • Add details to avoid being vague.
  • Clarity of details is needed, because you do not want to confuse readers.
  • The more specific you are, the more value you add to your content.
  • Be careful not to make your writing too specific: be aware of the pace of your writing.

Being Varied

  • Do not start sentences or paragraphs in the same way.
  • Use varying sentence structures.
  • Find new ways to present material that will be appealing to readers.
  • Do you always write short or long sentences? Use a mixture of short and long sentences.

Being Original

  • Write like you talk, but without the mistakes and in most cases, slang.
  • Don’t write like a person using the thesaurus to check to see if one can make words more complicated.
  • Check if your writing is enjoyable and personable. Readers do not want to feel like they are reading the writing of a robot.

Being Passionate

  • Dry writing makes for a bored reader.
  • You don’t have to add exclamation marks, but you can show your excitement for your chosen subject within your writing by your tone.
  • Go deep into your subject and present what is interesting about it. Readers will find enjoyment in your interest.


A is a bad example, and B is a good example.

Being Concise Examples

A: All things considered, Connecticut’s woodlands are in better shape now than ever before.
B: Connecticut’s woodlands are in better shape now than ever before.

A: Smith College, which was founded in 1871, is the premier all-women’s college in the United States.
B: Founded in 1871, Smith College is the premier all-women’s college in the United States.

Being Specific Examples

A: In the country, people are prosecuted daily.
B: In the United States, black Americans are prosecuted unfairly for crimes on a regular basis.

A: I had a great day, because I shopped.
B: Today, I bought purple denim jeans from Gap, and they fit my waist well. It’s great to finally find pants that feel snug around my waist.

Being Varied Examples

A: Nick was a good kid. He often walked to home from school. He never turned in his homework late. He was on honor roll.
B: Nick was a good kid: he walked to home from school to get exercise and never turned in his homework late. Not only that, but he was on honor roll.

A: So, genetic mutation is inconsequential compared to God’s will. So, we must rely on our faith.
B: Genetic mutation is inconsequential compared to God’s will—we must rely on our faith.

Being Original Examples

A: By a long shot, he didn’t come up with the right money.
B: He was unable to provide enough money.

A: You shall gather the members to court, and stroll through the thistles.
B: (Come on, we don’t live in the Victorian Era).

Being Passionate Examples

A: The correlating circumstance that brought Anderson to be convicted was his robbery of the state bank.
B: The event that brought Anderson to justice was his poorly-planned robbery of a state bank.

A: I enjoy tennis—more than other sports. There is strategy and accuracy.
B: Tennis is the greatest sport there is, in my opinion. Deep strategy and super accuracy make it an enthralling sport to watch.


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