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Academic writing style

Academic writing is not the same as Spoken English: it is more concise, but at the same time more detailed and supported by cited evidence.

Activity:  Read the following paragraph. Is it a good example of academic style?

“A politics presuming the ontological indifference of all minority social identities as defining oppressed or dominated groups, a politics in which differences are sublimated in the constitution of a minority identity (the identity politics which is increasingly being questioned within feminism itself) can recover the differences between social identities only on the basis of common and therefore commensurable experiences of marginalization, which experiences in turn yield a political practice that consists largely of affirming the identities specific to those experiences.”

The style is formal, objective and impersonal, so it looks like academic writing. It has a voice of authority, but do you understand it? Academic writing should be formal but also readable.

In this module you’ll find two workshops :

We also discuss some styling tools that are important in academic writing:

These discipline based activities analyse text for cohesion and coherence:

1. Medical Sciences & Aerospace Engineering

Identify the interplay between the topic and the sub-topic; mark linking words.

2. Communication design

Follow the key idea through the text, identifying reference words and linking words.

3. Environmental science

Notice the many ways in which the researcher refers to POPs.

4. Social science

Identify the words that drive Hunt’s argument towards her thesis statement.

















Steven Pinker: The Sense of Style

Steven Pinker: <em>The Sense of Style</em>. The APS-David Myers Lecture on the Science and Craft of Teaching Psychology. Delivered at the 27th Annual APS Convention, New York City, May 2015. <a href=”http://youtube.com/watch?v=pn87EqoBb14″>http://youtube.com/watch?v=pn87EqoBb14</a>

Watch: Steven Pinker: The Sense of Style

Watch: Steven Pinker: The Sense of Style
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