Nominalisation

Nominalisation is an important feature of academic writing. It is a function that not only helps you to create variety in your writing, but also prevents you from repeating the same verb/word over and over again. It is a useful skill to have in academic writing because it conveys an objective, impersonal tone. It can also make the text more concise by packing a great deal of information into a few words. As a consequence of using nominalisation, your writing will be more abstract and more formal.

Nominalisation is a noun phrase generated from another word class, usually a verb. (Other word classes include adjectives and nouns) In other words, the process of nominalisation turns verbs (actions or events) into nouns (things, concepts or people).

For example:

 

  • Student numbers are increasing rapidly from year to year and the University is becoming concerned that they may need to build more accommodation in order to house everyone.

 

  • The rapid increase in student numbers is causing concern at the University. More accommodation may have to be built in order to house everyone.

 

Sentence 2 contains a nominalised expression