CPWA Forbidden Words List

  • It (its and it’s are two different words)
  • Second person pronouns (you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves)
  • Thing or things – in any form (something, nothing, anything)
  • Contractions – eliminate all of them from your formal academic writing
  • Good
  • Bad
  • Nice
  • Stuff
  • Very
  • Would, could, should – use conditional tense only when your meaning is conditional
  • Would of, could of, should of (the correct form is would have, could have, should have)
  • E-E words (unnecessary adverbs) - totally, basically, certainly, barely, essentially, firstly, secondly, thirdly
  • Double prepositions - all prepositions are followed by a noun (object of preposition)
  • Pay off (pay is correct)
  • Due to the fact
  • The reason is
  • The reason is because
  • The reason why is because
  • And also – these have the same meaning
  • Each and every – use one but not both
  • Clichés – all of them
  • Got
  • A lot
  • Considered to be (eliminate to be)
  • Suppose to, use to (the correct usage is supposed to and used to)
  • Try and (try to is correct)
  • Plus (unless there is a math problem involved)
  • Kind of or sort of – delete from your formal writing vocabulary
  • There is and There are as sentence openers
  • Choose action verbs instead of “to be” verbs whenever possible
  • In conclusion
  • Etc. (make another example)
  • Always remember to be concise – do not use multiple words to make a point when fewer words are more effective.

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