Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Academic Writing

The three important elements of successful academic writing are punctuation, paragraphing and style. This post deals with the last two elements.
      PARAGRAPHING
      Body Paragraph - The three important elements of successful paragraphs are shown below:
        1. Unity - All sentences should focus on one main idea of the paragraph. Start the paragraph with the topic sentence. The topic sentence should contain the topic and the controlling idea. Ask the question words to come up with the controlling idea. If the paragraph is too long, then it is good to have a concluding sentence.
        2. Coherence - All sentences should be clearly related to each other. Repeat key words. Use synonyms. Use pronouns. Use  transition words 
        3. Development - All sentences should develop the one main idea. Use details and explanation. Use examples and evidence. Use references
          TEE Rule - Topic Sentence, Explanation, Examples/Evidence
            Introductory Paragraph - State the topic of assignment and comment on its importance. State the main argument. How you intend to answer the question?
              Concluding Paragraph - Summarize the main points. State the main conclusion. Has the question been answered?
                STYLE
                The following tips are helpful to maintain a good style of writing.
                1. Cut the clutter - Remove clunky words/phrases such as ``important'', ``as it is well know that'', ``it should be emphasized that''. Remove hedge words such as  ``very'',``appreciable''. Remove unnecessary jargons and acronyms. Remove repetitive words/phrases. Eliminate negatives. Omit needless prepositions - ``that''. Use adverbs sparingly - ``really'', ``basically'', ``generally''. Shorten long words and phrases - ``due to the fact that'' to ``because''
                2. Use the active voice
                3. Write with verbs - Use strong verbs. Don't turn verbs into nouns. Don't bury the main verb
                OUTLINE
                1. Motivation - Define the problem. Why is the problem relevant? Define the keywords. Give an example. What are the challenges? What are the applications
                2. Overview
                3. Evaluation - What are the observations made?
                4. Conclusion
                5. Extension