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The literature review should be treated as a stand-alone document. It is a review of what already exists, and so it should not make reference to what you intend to do as part of your project. It is a formal document, and the style of language reflect that. You should avoid informal vocabulary and phrases as well as constructions such as contractions (can't, don't, etc.).

You should aim to use sentences that are clear and easy to understand. Be sure to read through your work regularly from the point of view of the Reader. If the sense of the sentence does not come across clearly, you should revise it. Usually, that means simplifying the syntax, possibly breaking longer sentences up and using the active voice where possible. Do not be tempted to try to impress by using obscure words.

You are expected to use language accurately. If there are appropriate technical terms, you should use them, and you should make sure that the Reader also understands them. Do not be tempted to use words that you are not 100% confident about. If you confuse similar words or use a word in the wrong context, it may provoke the Reader into making unwarranted judgements about the work in general.

Academic writing should strive to be objective. You are not trying to persuade the Reader on a matter of opinion; you are presenting evidence and drawing conclusions. You should therefore avoid emotive language and a journalistic style. Metaphorical vocabulary such as blindingly obvious or security nightmare are perfectly fine in the context of a magazine article, but should be avoided in academic documents.

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