Why Should You Avoid Using “As We All Know” In Your Formal Writing?
Formal writing requires precision, clarity, and a professional tone. While it may be tempting to use phrases like “as we all know” to make assumptions or establish common ground, it is generally advised to avoid such phrases in formal writing. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this advice and provide you with five interesting facts about why you should steer clear of using “as we all know” in your formal writing.
1. Assumptions can be risky: When you use the phrase “as we all know,” you assume that your readers possess the same knowledge as you. However, this assumption may not be accurate. Your readers may not be familiar with the topic or may have a different level of expertise. By avoiding this phrase, you encourage clarity and ensure that your writing caters to a broader audience.
2. Different perspectives: Not everyone shares the same knowledge or experiences. By using the phrase “as we all know,” you risk excluding or alienating readers who may not be familiar with the assumed information. It is essential to provide a comprehensive explanation or background information when introducing a topic to ensure inclusivity.
3. Objective writing: Academic or formal writing often demands an objective approach. The phrase “as we all know” implies a subjective assumption or opinion, which can compromise the objectivity of your piece. To maintain a professional tone, it is best to present information without assuming prior knowledge on the part of the reader.
4. Precision and accuracy: Formal writing requires precision and accuracy in conveying information. The phrase “as we all know” lacks specificity and can be seen as a lazy way to introduce a topic. Instead, focus on providing well-researched facts, logical explanations, and supporting evidence to make your writing more effective and credible.
5. Enhances critical thinking: By avoiding the use of phrases like “as we all know,” you encourage readers to think critically and engage with the information you present. This approach stimulates intellectual curiosity and fosters a deeper understanding of the subject matter. It also allows readers to form their own opinions based on the evidence and arguments you provide.
1. Can I use “as we all know” in informal writing or conversation?
It is more acceptable to use phrases like “as we all know” in informal writing or conversation. However, it is still advisable to use caution and consider the context and the level of familiarity your audience may have with the topic.
2. Are there any alternatives to using “as we all know” in formal writing?
Yes, there are several alternatives that can help you introduce a topic without assuming prior knowledge. For example, you can use phrases like “it is widely recognized that,” “research has shown that,” or “according to experts.”
3. Can I use “as is well known” instead of “as we all know”?
While “as is well known” may sound more formal, it still has a similar effect to “as we all know.” It is best to avoid both phrases and focus on providing concrete information instead.
4. What if the information is commonly known?
Even if the information is commonly known, it is still important to avoid assumptions and provide a clear explanation or background information. This ensures that all readers, regardless of their prior knowledge, can understand your writing.
5. Isn’t it more efficient to assume prior knowledge to save time and space?
While assuming prior knowledge may save time and space, it can also lead to misunderstandings and exclusion. Taking the time to provide context and explanations ensures clarity and inclusivity, making your writing more effective overall.
6. How can I make my writing more inclusive without using “as we all know”?
To make your writing more inclusive, focus on providing comprehensive explanations, defining key terms, and offering background information. This approach ensures that readers with varying levels of familiarity can engage with your writing.
7. Are there any situations where using “as we all know” is acceptable?
In some cases, when addressing a specific audience with a shared background or knowledge, using “as we all know” may be acceptable. However, it is still advisable to provide context and explanations to avoid excluding any potential readers.
8. Can using “as we all know” be seen as arrogant?
Using phrases like “as we all know” can be perceived as arrogant because it assumes that everyone shares the same knowledge or experiences. To maintain a professional and humble tone, it is best to avoid such assumptions.
9. What is the main difference between formal and informal writing?
Formal writing is characterized by a professional tone, adherence to grammar and style conventions, and a focus on precision and clarity. Informal writing, on the other hand, is more conversational, relaxed, and allows for a greater level of personal expression.
10. Should I always avoid making assumptions in formal writing?
While it is generally advisable to avoid making assumptions in formal writing, there may be situations where assumptions can be made with caution. However, it is always best to provide context and explanations to ensure clarity and inclusivity.
11. How can I improve the clarity of my writing without using “as we all know”?
To improve the clarity of your writing, focus on providing well-researched facts, logical explanations, and supporting evidence. Additionally, consider using clear and concise language, organizing your ideas effectively, and seeking feedback from others.
12. Can using “as we all know” weaken my argument?
Using “as we all know” can weaken your argument by assuming that everyone shares the same knowledge or perspective. To strengthen your argument, provide specific evidence, logical reasoning, and acknowledge potential counterarguments.
13. Is it acceptable to assume prior knowledge in specialized fields?
In specialized fields, assuming prior knowledge within the field may be more acceptable. However, it is still important to consider the target audience and provide explanations or definitions for terms that may not be universally understood.
14. How can I strike a balance between assuming knowledge and providing explanations?
To strike a balance, consider the level of familiarity your target audience may have with the topic. If in doubt, it is always safer to provide explanations and background information to ensure inclusivity and understanding.