FAE guidelines

Guidelines for writing FAE (formal academic English):

Don’t give personal information.

Don’t use first person (I, we). Use the impersonal passive.

Don’t use casual vocabulary, be specific, and define your terms.

Don’t use casual phrasing.

Don’t use emotional or unscientific or undefined terms.

Don’t use ambiguous or vague phrasing.

Avoid two-word verbs (look into); use latinate verbs (examine)

Don’t use overly short sentences.

Don’t use strings of short sentences.

Use standard phrases as much as possible (FAE is not literature)

Don’t repeat concepts in a sentence (avoid redundance).

Consistently use the same term for a concept (this is different from literary writing)

Define your terms.


Don’t use first person (I, we). Occasionally use the impersonal passive voice.

Don’t ask questions.

Avoid possessives, e.g. France’s


Don’t generalize unless your data supports it.

Avoid exaggeration or overclaiming (claim only what your data/references can support).

Don’t speculate except in the Conclusion section.


Be sure that each sentence follows from some element in the previous sentence.

Be sure that each sentence has a hook to make the reader look to the next sentence.

Combine sentences to show logical connection.

Use logical connectors to clarify the relationships between bits of information (sentences/clauses).
Always consider the Topic Position/Stress Position guideline (it’s almost a rule).


Nominalize for conciseness and to avoid ambiguity.
[Example of nominalization: an algorithm generated by AI => an AI-generated algorithm]