United States vs United Kingdom: Differences in Academic Writing

The word “United” in both the names, i.e. “United Kingdom” and “United States”, won’t wipe out the differences between them. There have been tons of differences between the culture, events, government sector, and even the education sector of both countries. Most of all, the difference in language. There might be one thing common in both countries, which is the problems students face in writing dissertations and other academic writing projects. The need for dissertation writing help needed by the students is expected. But do you know that the writing style of both countries has a lot of differences? Similarly, will these differences make further differences every time you sit to work on academic writing projects?

A PRO TIP!: Never compare your academic writing project to that of your friend living in the United States while living 4,242mi away in the United kingdom. 

The small mistakes can make a lot of difference to the academic writing projects because these projects affect our academic grades. (Zarei, G. R., Pourghasemian, H., & Jalali, H. (2017).  This is because when the professor or mentor assigns the dissertation writing project; so he would expect properly managed and well-written content to give you higher markings. (TDH. 2019) Every time we make a mistake or show efficiency, we will witness a change in our academic grades. So how about going with the option of being efficient instead of making errors? Here is a complete guide that will help you get rid of the common errors you are likely to make by getting confused between British English and American English.

Differences in Academic Writing

Since the Americans got independence from the Britishers, they went through every possible thing to create their distinct identity, and the same they did with the language. They kept the same language, “English”, but they made a few changes that would mean a lot in every official and professional document of the United States and the United Kingdom now. Let’s quickly see some significant differences that should be considered when working on academic projects. Also, the guidelines should be considered on the same level when lending help for any philosophy dissertation in the US or research proposal help UK-based.


According to the UK and US language standards, here are some significant changes in the spelling.

  • UK: The Uk language standards usually prefer using the “-ise” or “-yse”. For example, “advertise” and “analyse”
  • US: The Uk language standards prefer using “-ize” and “-yze”. For example, “Advertize” and “analyze”
  • UK: Ending the words with –re. For example, “Centre” or “Metre.”
  • US: Ending the words with -er. For example, “Center” or “Meter.”
  • UK: The Britishers prefer using our in words like “colour”, “honour”, Splendour.”
  • US: The Americans prefer cutting this “our” into just the “or”. Like “color” “honor” “splendor”
  • UK: For the modification of words, the Britishers usually keep “-e”. Like when “judge” changes to “judgement” and “live” changes to “liveable”.
  • US: for the modification of words, the Americans usually drop out “-e”. Like “judge” changes to “Judgment” and “live” changes to “livable”. 
  • UK: the language usually uses “-ll” in the past tenses like “cancel” will change into “cancelled.”
  • US: the American language prefers using “-l” in the past; tenses like “cancel” would change into “canceled.”


Like the spelling differences, there are some differences in the punctuations of both languages. Again, though, if we go deep into the spelling differences, there will be a long list of the changes that appear to be in the US language and UK language. But when we talk about punctuations, then there are not many differences. The significant difference in the punctuation of both languages is the quotations.

  • US: in the US writing style, whenever you want to highlight a word or emphasize a word, the word would be kept in double quotation marks. For instance (she said, “I will not go to school tomorrow”), the double quotation marks are being used here.
  • UK: In the UK, writing styles, things are pretty different than in the US. You will be using a single quotation mark whenever you want to emphasize a word, unlike in the US. For example ( john says, ‘I will kick the ball whenever I see it) the single quotation marks will always be used when following the Uk writing style.
  • US: in the US writing style, when you feel like using any other punctuation, you will use all the punctuations inside the double quotation marks. For instance, (“The best is yet to come,” Sarah said) or ( Sarah said, “the best is yet to come.”). whereas, when the writer’s sentence is more emphasized than the speaker’s quotation, only then the punctuations will be placed outside the quotation marks such as (did Sarah say,” the best is yet to come”?) or (Sarah exclaimed, “the best is yet to come”!)
  • UK: In the Uk writing style, the punctuations will be placed outside the quotations mark. This rule is not applied when the punctuation is a part of the original quotation. For example (‘the best is yet to come, she said) or ( she said, ‘the best is yet to come.’) Moreover, ( Did she say, ‘the best is yet to come? or (She asked,’ the best is yet to come?’)

Verb Conjugation

Similar to punctuations and spellings, verb conjugation also has some differences between the UK and Us language rules. The significant differences are in the usage of subject-verb collective nouns and past verb tense forms.

  • US: The collective nouns in the US language treat the collective nouns as singular. Like, “The team is going to bring the medal this time”, the collective verb “team” is treated as singular.
  • UK: the collective nouns in the UK language system are treated oppositely to the US language system. The collection noun will be treated as a plural in the Uk language system, like, “the team is going to bring back the medal this time” here, the word “team” is treated as plural.


The story doesn’t end here, but there are many more elements of the language system that are pretty different in both language systems. For example, British English is a bit formal, whereas American English is a casual language. However, you are not supposed to select any based on your interest or desires. Still, when you are a student in America, you need to use the American English language and apply its rules. When you are in the UK, you need to apply the rules of the British English language.

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