Tag Archives: academic writing

Academic writing – no one best way

Academic writing – no one best way

My approach to writing about and teaching academic writing is underpinned by some key principles. One of them is this – no one best way. Or I can alternatively express this as one size does not fit all. Let me explain. Not all of the writing that is done in the academy is the same. Different […] … learn more→

Mind your technical language and write more clearly

Mind your technical language and write more clearly

Lately I’ve been doing some more reading around my thesis subject in preparation for writing up. I’ve been making notes from textbooks, casting my eyes over topic reviews and poring over original research papers. As I covered a subject related to my thesis, but unfamiliar to me, I suddenly realised how often I was stopping to look up the meaning […] … learn more→

Academics need to embrace new ways of writing and sharing research

Academics need to embrace new ways of writing and sharing research

Universities are a “thousand-year-old industry on the cusp of profound change”. That’s according to a study that explored Australia’s higher education landscape four years ago. One warning from the report rings true far beyond Australia and all the way around the world: Over the next ten-15 years, the current public university model … will prove […] … learn more→

Here’s why academics should write for the public

Here’s why academics should write for the public

There’s been much discussion about the needless complexity of academic writing. In a widely read article in The Chronicle of Higher Education last year, Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at Harvard and author of several acclaimed books including The Sense of Style, analyzed why academic writing is “turgid, soggy, wooden, bloated, clumsy, obscure, unpleasant to […] … learn more→

Clear, concise writing: It’s the law (seriously)

Clear, concise writing: It’s the law (seriously)

Earlier this fall a headline in The Atlantic caught my eye. “The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing,” it said. Promising enough on its own, but there was also a subhead: “A new movement strives for simplicity.” It was like Christmas had come early. I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that the crusade to simplify […] … learn more→

On “other” academic writing

Academic writing is not all introduction, literature, methods, results, discussion. While this is the dominant mode of writing across the social sciences, and in other disciplines too, it is not all that there is. IMRAD, and the variations on it, is certainly the academic writing structure and style that is most recognised and rewarded, but […] … learn more→

Taste the #acwri difference – recount, summary, argument

There are three major genres of academic writing that we use most of the time. It’s good to understand the differences between them and where they are used, and how. Recount A recount is a text which talks about what happened, and what we/I/others did. Two types of recounts occur regularly in scholarly texts: (1) […] … learn more→

The pluses and minuses of #acwri self-diagnosis

I don’t write much about my dogs. I have two. They’re fairly elderly now and becoming plagued by ailments that are not really life threatening, but do need attention. It all began when the older of the two got terribly lethargic. Suddenly, it seemed, she could hardly drag herself out for a walk. One week […] … learn more→

Confessions of a young, prolific academic

Equating protracted study with quality is exactly what causes graduate students to take so long earning a Ph.D. Read enough columns about the crisis in the humanities, the publish-or-perish dilemma, or the faculty job market, and you’re likely to think that we academic writers spend our days and nights imprisoned in dimly lit cubicles, praying […] … learn more→