Academic jargon is reputed to be arcane and hard to grasp (and yes, boring as well!). This is the case because like any jargon ‘academic speak’ is highly technical. It requires a specific writing style, slight different sentence structures, and so often vague and impersonal voice. I am not sure why it has to be like this but that is what it is and you need to learn its mechanics in order to make it in the scholarly world of academia.
It took me so much practice and a number of peer-reviewed publications to develop a decent knowledge of how it works. If you ask me about the most useful tip to help you develop academic writing style I would share with you what Stephen King said in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.
If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot. There is no way around these two things that I am aware of, no shortcut…If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time to write. Simple as that”(pp. 145-147)
I have already shared a wide variety of resources geared especially towards helping graduate students and student research enhance their academic writing including research methodology textbooks and academic writing guides. In this post I am adding two more resources:
1- Thesis Whisperer Verb Cheat Sheet
Thesis Whisperer Verb Cheat Sheet is compiled by Dr. Inger Mewburn from thesiswhisperer.com
. I lover inger’s work and I havebeen following her blog for several years now. I learned a great deal from her nuggest of wisdom. Mewburn generously shares the things she learned from her eventful academic life such as tips for coping with the academic stress, how to improve your academic writing style, how to write academic journal articles, and many more.
If anyone of you planning to do a PhD I highly recommend reading her book Tame your PhD. You will learn discover a treasure trove of helpful tips to help you successfully navigate your doctoral journey.
The verb cheat sheet is another great resource from Mewburn. In it she features a number of verbs to use when reporting or expressing different states. Here is what she said about this verb cheat sheet :
Verbs are judgmental. The verb you use to describe someone else’s work indicates your feeling about the quality of the work. For instance, “Mewburn (2010) argues…” is kinder than “Mewburn (2010) asserts…” (a scholar who asserts is not really a scholar at all). Choose your feeling, and then pick a verb from the list that fits your sentence. Or just scan the list for best fit. This is the list I made to put on my own wall – you may disagree with my categories. Feel free to change it to suit your style.Click on this link to access, download and print the original cheat sheet.
2- 70 Useful Sentences for Academic Writings
This is a wonderful compilation of some useful academic sentences to help you in your academic writing assignments. This hard work has been done by Luiz and shared on his website. I highly recommend Luiz’s list for any student researcher
Here is what Luiz said about this list :
Back in the late 90s, in the process of reading for my MA dissertation, I put together a collection of hundreds of sentence stems that I felt could help me with my academic writing later on. And they did. Immensely. After the course was over, I stacked my sentences away, but kept wondering if I could ever put them to good use and perhaps help other DELTA / Trinity / MA / PhD students who know exactly what they want to say, but might have trouble finding the best way to say it.Check out the entire list from this Link.
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