Writing Strategies Chapter3


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Writing Strategies Chapter3

  1. 1. Writing Up You University Assignments and Research Projects ROBERT BRUNET SOLÉ Department of Chemical Engineering, URV, Tarragona Sustainable Computer Aided Process Engineering GroupRobert Brunet Page 1 of 10
  2. 2. 3. What do I need to know about writing style? 3.1. Writing clearly and concisely 3.2. Level of formality (register) 3.3. Reading other research projectsRobert Brunet Page 2 of 10
  3. 3. Authors of academic papers should avoid: • an informal style; • unnecessary wordiness; • writing a poorly organized paper.Robert Brunet Page 3 of 10
  4. 4. 3.1. Writing clearly and concisely• Past: complex sentences and sophisticated vocabulary were an indication that thewriter was erudite and well educated.• Present: simpler, more straightforward vocabulary and writing which allows thereader easier access to ideas is preferred.3.1.1. Parallel structure• Parallel structure refers to sentence elements that are similar (parallel) ingrammatical form and therefore create a kind of blance or symmetry. •Parallel strucutre should be used when dealing with more than one item in a list. • The grammatical form chosen for the first item in a sentence should be used for subsequent items in the same sentence. In other words, it serves as a kind of model.• Her frequent absences (noun) and poor motivation (noun) caused her to fail.Robert Brunet Page 4 of 10
  5. 5. 3.1. Writing clearly and concisely3.1.2. Sentence combining• There are a number of ways in which sentences can be combined. Used well thesecan introduce variety into your writing:•Coordiantion (and, or, but, yet, so, for)•The job of coordinating conjunctions is to coordinate clauses or sentences and assuch they can be considered the most basic method of sentence combining.• Young people are often influenced by peer pressure, but this, in itself, is not sufficient to explainwhy some youngsters commit extremely violent crimes.• Conjunctive adverbs (moreover, however, therefore, etc.)• A more sophisticated way of joining two sentences –one often used in more formalwriting.• The environment is now high on the Government‘s agenda; therefore, plans for wind farms arelikely to be received sympathetically.• Subordinate conjunctions (altough, because, if, unless, when, whereas, etc.)• Complex sentences are formed by using at least one dependent clause, precedes orfollows an independent clause.Robert Brunet Page 5 of 10
  6. 6. 3.2. Level of formality (register)• Academic writing requires a more formal style that can be seen in:3.2.1. The type of vocabulary used.• In academic writing there are certain words that may often be preferable to their morecasual counterparts. Saw  observed Shows  illustrates, indicates So  therefore, consequently But  however, nevertheless, although people  subjects big  large, considerable, substantial long  extensive, extended seems  appears important  significantRobert Brunet Page 6 of 10
  7. 7. 3.2. Level of formality (register)3.2.2. The avoidance of first person singular (‘I‘)• In general it is preferable to avoid using ‘I‘. When in doubtt, play safe and do whattradition dicatates. I  The author/ This writer I found that...  It was found that... I was surprised to observe that...  The observation that ... Was surprising I found the results interesting because...  The results were interesting in that... I decided to use...  The decision was made to use... I think/ believe that...  It might be argued that// It would seem reasonable to argue that... I take this to mean  This suggests/ indicates that...// This can be taken to mean thatRobert Brunet Page 7 of 10
  8. 8. 3.2. Level of formality (register)3.2.3. Absence of slang and other more casual forms3.2.4. Absence of contracted forms• It is best to avoid using contracted forms in academic writing instead use completeforms (e.g. „“it is“ not “it‘s“ “does not“ not “they‘re“)Robert Brunet Page 8 of 10
  9. 9. 3.3. Reading other research projects • Finally, try to look at dissertations and theses that have been written by other people. • This will help you develop a sense of what is and is not good style, and of what is and is not appropriate and acceptable. • Remember, much of what welearn about good style we learn from reading. The principles explained in thisbook will help you develop good style, in part by enabling you to recognizeit when you see it applied in the course of your reading. • This process will sensitize you to the requirements of academic writing in general and research report writing in particular, and ultimately empower you to improve your own writing.Robert Brunet Page 9 of 10
  10. 10. Thanks for your attention! ROBERT BRUNET SOLÉ Department of Chemical Engineering, URV, Tarragona Sustainable Computer Aided Process Engineering GroupRobert Brunet Page 10 of 10