English for Writing Research Papers

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Cornell University; College Writing. The Writing Center. Common Flaws in Students' Rsearch Proposals. English Education Department.

Academic English: Writing Specialization

Yogyakarta State University; Style. College Writing. Hunter College; Sword, Helen. Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College. Improving Academic Writing. To improve your academic writing skills, you should focus your efforts on three key areas: 1. Clear Writing. The act of thinking about precedes the process of writing about. Good writers spend sufficient time distilling information and reviewing major points from the literature they have reviewed before creating their work.

Writing detailed outlines can help you clearly organize your thoughts. Effective academic writing begins with solid planning, so manage your time carefully. Excellent Grammar. Needless to say, English grammar can be difficult and complex; even the best scholars take many years before they have a command of the major points of good grammar.

Take the time to learn the major and minor points of good grammar. Spend time practicing writing and seek detailed feedback from professors. Take advantage of the Writing Center on campus if you need help. Proper punctuation and good proofreading skills can significantly improve academic writing [see sub-tab for proofreading you paper ]. Refer to these three basic resources to help your grammar and writing skills:.

Consistent Stylistic Approach. Each of these style manuals provide rules on how to write out numbers, references, citations, footnotes, and lists. Consistent adherence to a style of writing helps with the narrative flow of your paper and improves its readability. Note that some disciplines require a particular style [e. Evaluating Quality of Writing.


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A useful approach for evaluating the quality of your academic writing is to consider the following issues from the perspective of the reader. While proofreading your final draft, critically assess the following elements in your writing.

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Cornell University; Candlin, Christopher. University of North Carolina; Style. The Writing Center is a service supported by the university that provides one-on-one consultations and small-group workshops to help students of all abilities improve their critical thinking and writing skills. If you are having problems writing your research papers, take advantage of this service! The Center is located in Taper Hall, room Considering the Passive Voice in Academic Writing.

In the English language, we are able to construct sentences in the following way: 1. This choice in focus is achieved with the use of either the active or the passive voice. When you want your readers to focus on the "doer" of an action, you can make the "doer"' the subject of the sentence and use the active form of the verb.

When you want readers to focus on the person, place, or thing affected by the action, or the action itself, you can make the effect or the action the subject of the sentence by using the passive form of the verb. Often in academic writing, scholars don't want to focus on who is doing an action, but on who is receiving or experiencing the consequences of that action.

The passive voice is useful in academic writing because it allows writers to highlight the most important participants or events within sentences by placing them at the beginning of the sentence. Use the passive voice when:. Form the passive voice by:. NOTE: Consult with your professor about using the passive voice before submitting your research paper. Some strongly discourage its use! Active and Passive Voice. Purdue University; Diefenbach, Paul. Future of Digital Media Syllabus.

Drexel University; Passive Voice. University of North Carolina. Contact us. Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Academic Writing Style This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and their specific areas of expertise.

Importance of Good Academic Writing The accepted form of academic writing in the social sciences can vary considerable depending on the methodological framework and the intended audience. However, most college-level research papers require careful attention to the following stylistic elements: I.


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  • Strategies for Understanding Academic Writing and Its Jargon The very definition of jargon is language specific to a particular sub-group of people. Problems with Opaque Writing It's not unheard of for scholars to utilize needlessly complex syntax or overly expansive vocabulary that is impenetrable or not well-defined. When writing, avoid problems associated with opaque writing by keeping in mind the following: 1.

    Additional Problems to Avoid In addition to understanding the use of specialized language, there are other aspects of academic writing in the social sciences that you should be aware of. These problems include: Personal nouns. Excessive use of personal nouns [e. These words can be interpreted as being used only to avoid presenting empirical evidence about the research problem.

    Importance of Good Academic Writing

    Limit the use of personal nouns to descriptions of things you actually did [e. Avoid directives that demand the reader to "do this" or "do that. Informal, conversational tone using slang and idioms. Academic writing relies on excellent grammar and precise word structure. Your narrative should not include regional dialects or slang terms because they can be open to interpretation; be direct and concise using standard English.

    Focus on being concise, straightforward, and developing a narrative that does not have confusing language. Vague expressions e. Being concise in your writing also includes avoiding vague references to persons, places, or things. While proofreading your paper, be sure to look for and edit any vague or imprecise statements that lack context or specificity. Numbered lists and bulleted items. The use of bulleted items or lists should be used only if the narrative dictates a need for clarity.

    For example, it is fine to state, "The four main problems with hedge funds are:" and then list them as 1, 2, 3, 4. However, in academic writing, this must then be followed by detailed explanation and analysis of each item. Given this, the question you should ask yourself while proofreading is: why begin with a list in the first place rather than just starting with systematic analysis of each item arranged in separate paragraphs?

    Also, be careful using numbers because they can imply a ranked order of priority or importance. If none exists, use bullets and avoid checkmarks or other symbols. Descriptive writing. Describing a research problem is an important means of contextualizing a study. In fact, some description or background information may be needed because you can not assume the reader knows everything about the topic. However, the content of your paper should focus on methodology, the analysis and interpretation of findings, and their implications as they apply to the research problem rather than background information and descriptions of tangential issues.

    Unit 2: Writing Scientific Papers

    Personal experience. Drawing upon personal experience [e. Use personal experience only as an example, though, because academic writing relies on evidence-based research. To do otherwise is simply story-telling. Structure and Writing Style I. Improving Academic Writing To improve your academic writing skills, you should focus your efforts on three key areas: 1. Evaluating Quality of Writing A useful approach for evaluating the quality of your academic writing is to consider the following issues from the perspective of the reader. It is shaped around one clear research problem, and it explains what that problem is from the outset.

    Your paper tells the reader why the problem is important and why people should know about it. You have accurately and thoroughly informed the reader what has already been published about this problem or others related to it and noted important gaps in the research. This unit will help you write better scientific papers in English.


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