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University of Newcastle Library guides

Common feedback comments and what they mean: University writing conventions

This guide lists some common feedback comments and explains what they mean.

University writing conventions

Some common writing conventions are-

  • Do not  include contractions

    A contracted word has been shortened by the omission of a letter.

    • Don’t is the contracted word for ‘do not’.

    • I’d is the contracted word for ‘I would’.

  • Do not use everyday language (words like: got, get; lot of; a bit of, etc.). It is important to use formal language for academic writing. 
  • Avoid overuse of brackets; do not use exclamation marks; avoid direct questions; and do not use ‘etc’.
  • Write in third person (except if you are writing a reflective piece). That means use they, then, their, it but not I, me, us, we or our
  • Avoid emotive, sexist or racist language.
  • Use connecting words and phrases to make your writing explicit and easy to read.
  • Avoid bias and making ‘sweeping generalisations’.
  • All numbers ten and below are written in word form.
  • Standard font size at UON is 12 Times New Roman or Arial