You have been raised on the thesaurus, taught always to seek out the uncommon phrases, the unexpected twists of rhyme. There is no lack of inspiration within your vocabulary – it is composed instead of clever adjectives, the subtle differences of words. And you choose always to use those in your academic writing. History is not to be tamed to parchment dry recitations. It’s instead to be drenched in your own shades of brilliance; with particular offerings of your favorite expressions. They provide character, drama. They will therefore be appreciated; and they are… for the first dozen times.
The utilization of familiar phrases is common within the many genres of writing – including academia. Among the technical meanings and statistical offerings, students seek to flavor pages with personality. This is understandable.
It is also, however, problematic.
When unique expressions are used frequently throughout a paper (even a lengthy one), they begin to lose their importance. They instead distract the reader, reminding always that they have been offered before. Their power diminishes with each occurence and they change into tediums. None admire them – they are instead deemed frustrations.
And it is vital then for all students to censor themselves. While certain words cannot be refused (the precision of years, names and specific events), descriptive phrases must be examined carefully. Their purpose is to encourage the reader, providing validation to a point. If they are applied to all minor details, however, that validation becomes impossible. There is no distinction between the necessary and the meager. They instead blur together and cause a paper to fail.
Strong editing is therefore needed for all academic writing. Understand what phrases you tend to favor and highlight them as they are used. This will quickly verify their frequency and if they must then be replaced. Be deliberate with your decisions and spare your pages repetition.