Scholarly Articles: Only for the Sophisticated?

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Obscure scholarly writing by university professors was and is an important problem. Academics hide behind the idea that unintelligible sentences indicate a clever mind. In everyday life, when we cannot understand what someone has said, this is the usual exchange: Listener:                        I cannot understand what you are saying. Speaker: […]

Your Research Paper’s Microstructure

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Here are seven linguistics tips regarding the microstructure of your research paper. Follow these basics and turn each paragraph into a logical and coherent text that will invite readers to explore your paper.   Make your paragraphs microstructure coherent and sequential by: Adding a clear topic sentence to each paragraph. […]

Chinese Quotations in English Research Papers

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I’m sometimes asked about citing Chinese sources in English research journals. So here are some tips in case you’re writing a paper in English and wish to include quotations translated from Chinese (or any character-based language) according to APA guidelines. Let’s assume you’ve translated a passage from a Chinese journal. […]

The Unbearable Modernity of Academic Writing

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Today’s academic writing has to instruct and entertain at the same time. Too much focus is on content, too little on the target audience. Publish or perish has become the current rallying cry for young academics. 1994. I was a graduate student in Linguistics. I happily migrated between my lecture […]

How to Turn your Thesis into a Book

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Any publisher you approach will most probably refuse to read your PhD manuscript in its original form. Unless your academic supervisor already allowed you to craft your thesis as a book script. Publishers want to see something closely resembling a book manuscript. So you need to change your thesis into […]

Citing Sources and Listing References

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For some, citing and referencing can be the most painstaking part of a paper. In particular if you first worked on your literature review prior to your findings section. Remember what your professors told you? A correct and full list of sources, both in your text and in your reference […]

Research Abstracts Can Be Cool!

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A research abstract is important. It’s often the only section of an article an uncommitted reader might look at. An abstract is not merely a pro forma section that you ‘have to’ start your paper with. So make your abstract anything but “abstract” – make it look cool. My co-authors […]