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Honing Your Academic Writing Skills

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Abstract

This chapter on academic writing serves as a reference for a number of topics discussed throughout the textbook. Instructors can decide to teach this topic before talking about the literature review. This chapter is subdivided into the following topics: structuring writing, finding your voice, tips for non-native English speakers, and tips for productive academic writing. The first topic, on structuring writing, deals with the main questions you need to ask yourself before starting. The next topic, on finding your voice in writing, deals with writing styles, scholarly identity, and how different writing styles relate to different types of articles. Since the majority of scientific publications nowadays are in English, and many PhD candidates are non-native English speakers, we focus on the typical pitfalls for non-native speakers. We also discuss how, as a non-native speaker, you can work on improving your English, and how you can find your writing voice and scholarly identity in a language that is not your own. Finally, this chapter contains a series of tips for productive academic writing. Best practices are shared, and anecdotes from researchers worldwide illustrate how they manage to fit academic writing into their busy schedules.

Keywords

  • Academic writing
  • Productive writing
  • Authority
  • Academic voice
  • Productivity
  • Writing

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Fig. 7.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    I invite you to try this method out, but it may not work for you, just like writing in MS Word does not work for everybody and many academics sing the praises of Scrivener.

  2. 2.

    I don’t think we should be publishing for the sole reason of getting citations and improving our metrics.

  3. 3.

    Even with a baby in the mix.

  4. 4.

    Which of course won’t happen, because you’ve learned in this book to plan so that you can always finish your drafts on time.

  5. 5.

    This section is a toolbox – use these tools on an as-needed basis.

  6. 6.

    One of my workplaces does not have a second screen. There, I often print out the article I am developing into a literature review section or of which I am analyzing the data.

  7. 7.

    And don’t we all love stats in the shape of pretty visuals?

Further Reading and References

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Lantsoght, E.O.L. (2018). Honing Your Academic Writing Skills. In: The A-Z of the PhD Trajectory. Springer Texts in Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77425-1_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77425-1_7

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