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Which is the most objective?

2. In general, avoid words like "I", "me", "myself".

A reader will normally assume that any idea not referenced is your own. It is therefore unnecessary to make this explicit.

Don't write:" In my opinion, this a very interesting study."

Write: "This is a very interesting study."

Avoid "you" to refer to the reader or people in general.

Don't write: "You can easily forget how different life was 50 years ago."

Write: "It is easy to forget how difficult life was 50 years ago."


3. Examples

Clearly this was far less true of France than ...

This is where the disagreements and controversies begin ...

The data indicates that ...

This is not a view shared by everyone; Jones, for example, claims that ...

. . .very few people would claim ...

It is worthwhile at this stage to consider ...

Of course, more concrete evidence is needed before ...

Several possibilities emerge ...

A common solution is ...



Academic writing is explicit about the relationships in the text.

Academic writing is explicit in several ways.

1. It is explicit in its signposting of the organisation of the ideas in the text (Biber, Johansson, Leech, Conrad & Finegan, 1999, pp. 880-882). As a writer of academic English, it is your responsibility to make it clear to your reader how various parts of the text are related. These connections can be made explicit by the use of different signalling words.

For example, if you want to tell your reader that your line of argument is going to change, make it clear.

The Bristol 167 was to be Britain's great new advance on American types such as the Lockheed Constellation and Douglas DC-6, which did not have the range to fly the Atlantic non-stop. It was also to be the largest aircraft ever built in Britain. However, even by the end of the war, the design had run into serious difficulties.


If you think that one sentence gives reasons for something in another sentence, make it explicit.

While an earlier generation of writers had noted this feature of the period, it was not until the recent work of Cairncross that the significance of this outflow was realized. Partly this was because the current account deficit appears much smaller in current (1980s) data than it was thought to be by contemporaries.


If you think two ideas are almost the same, say so.

Marx referred throughout his work to other systems than the capitalist system, especially those which he knew from the history of Europe to have preceded capitalism; systems such as feudalism, where the relation of production was characterized by the personal relation of the feudal lord and his serf and a relation of subordination which came from the lord's control of the land. Similarly, Marx was interested in slavery and in the classical Indian and Chinese social systems, or in those systems where the ties of local community are all important.


If you intend your sentence to give extra information, make it clear.

He is born into a family, he marries into a family, and he becomes the husband and father of his own family. In addition, he has a definite place of origin and more relatives than he knows what to do with, and he receives a rudimentary education at the Canadian Mission School.


If you are giving examples, do it explicitly.

This has sometimes led to disputes between religious and secular clergy, between orders and bishops. For example, in the Northern context, the previous bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Philbin, refused for most of his period of leadership in Belfast to have Jesuits visiting or residing in his diocese.


2. It is explicit in its acknowledgment of the sources of the ideas in the text.

If you know the source of the ideas you are presenting, acknowledge it.

Do THIS in academic writing

McGreil (1977: 363-408) has shown that though Dubliners find the English more acceptable than the Northern Irish, Dubliners still seek a solution to the Northern problem within an all-Ireland state.


Although Dubliners find the English more acceptable than the Northern Irish, Dubliners still seek a solution to the Northern problem within an all-Ireland state.


Researchers have shown that though Dubliners find the English more acceptable than the Northern Irish, Dubliners still seek a solution to the Northern problem within an all-Ireland state.



Academic writing uses vocabulary accurately. Most subjects have words with narrow specific meanings. Linguistics distinguishes clearly between "phonetics" and "phonemics"; general English does not.



It is often believed that academic writing, particularly scientific writing, is factual, simply to convey facts and information. However it is now recognised that an important feature of academic writing is the concept of cautious language, often called "hedging" or "vague language". In other words, it is necessary to make decisions about your stance on a particular subject, or the strength of the claims you are making. Different subjects prefer to do this in different ways.

Language used in hedging:

1. Introductory verbs: e.g. seem, tend, look like, appear to be, think, believe, doubt, be sure, indicate, suggest
2. Certain lexical verbs e.g. believe, assume, suggest
3. Certain modal verbs: e.g. will, must, would, may, might, could
4. Adverbs of frequency e.g. often, sometimes, usually
4. Modal adverbs e.g. certainly, definitely, clearly, probably, possibly, perhaps, conceivably,
5. Modal adjectives e.g. certain, definite, clear, probable, possible
6. Modal nouns e.g. assumption, possibility, probability
7. That clauses e.g. It could be the case that . e.g. It might be suggested that . e.g. There is every hope that .
8. To-clause + adjective e.g. It may be possible to obtain . e.g. It is important to develop . e.g. It is useful to study .


In academic writing you must be responsible for, and must be able to provide evidence and justification for, any claims you make. You are also responsible for demonstrating an understanding of any source texts you use.


Task 5: The following text is written in an informal style. Rewrite it as a more formal text by making changes to the grammar and vocabulary.


Writing a literature review The literature review means you have to look critically at all the research that is relevant to your research. Some people think that the review is just a summary but I don’t agree. A summary is necessary, but you also need to judge the work, show how it holds together, and show how it relates to your work. What I mean is, you just can’t describe a whole paper, you have to select which parts of the research you are going to talk about, show how it fits with other people’s research, and how it fits with your work.

3) The writing process: Visualising your text [1]

To write texts that are academic, begin by thinking about three key elements: audience, purpose and material. Ask yourself: Who is the text for? Why is the text needed? What resources – what data, evidence, reference material, and so on – have I got that I can use?


Date: 2016-04-22; view: 91

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