What is the most important thing to remember in academic writing?

The most important thing to remember is that simple and clear language will make you sound smarter and more competent than complex language.

Of course it is important to be formal in style and to use the correct technical terms when you are writing a research paper. However, there is a misapprehension that complex writing with obscure words will make you sound smarter.

Often, the ideas in research papers are already complex and difficult to understand, so it is better to use plain language that effort is not wasted understanding the language and can instead be spent on understanding the ideas themselves.

Consider the sentence

Because the system has to perform classification of fish species while operating in real time, it is necessary to enable operation in real time by using a simple model.

This is very long and confusing. However, it can be shortened to

Because the system must classify fish species in real time, a simple model is best.

The second one says the same thing as the first, but with fewer words and less effort on the reader’s part.

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