February 20 , 2014
The academic language employed in scholarly journals and scientific manuals is radically different from the casual variety you come across everyday in blog posts and newspaper articles. This difference is manifested in different stylistic and lexical aspects. This is probably why many sophomores taking their beginning research methodology course find it hard to compose in such a variety and most often it takes them a lot of practice and reading to acquire the new style.
|Image credit: wikihow.com|
I have had many problems with it myself and I can still remember the painstaking trouble I went through to do my first literature review. And while learning to write in a solid academic style that gives vigor to your writing does require excessive readings of works written in academic language, there are, however, some practical tips that make this task way easier.
Today I am sharing with you two resources I have been using since my graduate studies to help me with my literature reviews and other scholarly assignments where extensive stretches of academic prose is needed:
1- Verb Cheat Sheet.
This cheat sheet is compiled by Dr Inger Mewburn from from the thesis whisperer. Since I found out her blog a couple of years ago and I never missed any new article she posts. I have benefited a great deal from her professional experience in the world of academia and have also learned through her about several academic books that I am using in my postgraduate studies.
Here is what she said about this verb cheat sheet :
Verbs are judgmental. The verb you use to describe someone else’s work indicates your feeling about the quality of the work. For instance, “Mewburn (2010) argues…” is kinder than “Mewburn (2010) asserts…” (a scholar who asserts is not really a scholar at all). Choose your feeling, and then pick a verb from the list that fits your sentence. Or just scan the list for best fit. This is the list I made to put on my own wall – you may disagree with my categories. Feel free to change it to suit your style.Click on this link to access, download and print the original cheat sheet.
2- 70 Useful Sentences for Academic Writings:
This is a wonderful compilation of some useful academic sentences to help you in your academic writing assignments. This hard work has been done by Luiz and shared on his website. I highly recommend Luiz list for any student researcher and it is no exaggeration when I say that it is really a godsent gift to have such a list by your desk when working on academic prose.
Here is what Luiz said about this list :
Back in the late 90s, in the process of reading for my MA dissertation, I put together a collection of hundreds of sentence stems that I felt could help me with my academic writing later on. And they did. Immensely. After the course was over, I stacked my sentences away, but kept wondering if I could ever put them to good use and perhaps help other DELTA / Trinity / MA / PhD students who know exactly what they want to say, but might have trouble finding the best way to say it.Check out the entire list from this Link.