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unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,890|5697|USA

You can't tell me that engineers won't cloak documents in technobabble at times.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+452|2645
I am really nitpicky about making my papers 'readable'. I mean by avoiding repetition, avoiding using "in sum/in conclusion", never use "in this report". I also hate it when group partners use language that is too casual and conversational in the stuff they give me to edit so I guess that is something I avoid too since I notice it in others.

But in a report I am doing now on some boring topic I might just end each section with "in sum", "considering the evidence", "in total" "in conclusion" etc.

Can I do that? I mean this paper's requires it to be broken into sub headers 1. topic 2. overview 3. research 4. use in class 5. summary. I feel you can get away with ending subsections like that since this isn't like undergrad papers on history topics which aren't supposed to be broken down into sub headers but instead are meant to be read like short chapters or articles.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,890|5697|USA

Good question for uziq, at least he didn't quit for real. This is his time to shine since he chased all the homework bots off the forum.

We were discouraged from putting things in dithering terms and to not overdress our work in technical writing as well.
SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+452|2645

unnamednewbie13 wrote:

Good question for uziq, at least he didn't quit for real. This is his time to shine since he chased all the homework bots off the forum.

We were discouraged from putting things in dithering terms and to not overdress our work in technical writing as well.
Uzique is the homework highlander. There can be only one.
uziq
Member
+395|2377
there is nothing wrong with sign-posting phrases in academic or expository writing. it acts as a reader's aid and demonstrates clear, logical argument and structure. especially in scientific or technical writing, phrases such as 'in conclusion' or 'in sum', which might make one cringe and come across as cliché or exercise book-like, are actually incredibly useful. researchers who are scanning through 30 or 40 papers for a piece of work don't want highly original writing and brilliant turns of rhetoric. it's fatiguing. just keep it simple and sign-post away when your argument/paper actually does progress (or digress).

when sign-posting and other para-textual stuff becomes a problem is when it's thrown in, pell mell, in a circumlocutory manner, merely to 'sound' academic, and doesn't actually serve the argument at all. that goes for archaic writing like 'heretofore', 'herewith', etc, too. in the right usage, it makes sense; but all too often it's thrown in merely to add an air of elevated thought to a rapidly deflating argument.

i think there's a sweet spot between creative writing and technical writing, in the right place. homework or university assignments can have a little bit of flair because it's a bit of a dance with your teacher/advisor, trying to show off what you know: brilliant argument or fancy phraseology can show that you're totally at home with the subject. but for actual academic research, the model is more one of dry objectivity and transparency. by that point you're a professional writing for professionals, not a student trying to score marks.

Last edited by uziq (2021-04-18 20:11:32)

Larssen
Member
+62|813
I understand your point, but the articles/chapters I can still remember and reference immediately were not the ones written in a (too) formulaic manner. There's a sweet spot between creative storytelling and conveying information without compromising on structure and flow. I reckon that this is an especially important quality in works written in the humanities. Nobody wants to read dry and dull articles about topics in history or philosophy. It's incredibly difficult to pull off and I'm unsure if I ever have, but were I a teacher I think I would always motivate students to try it.
uziq
Member
+395|2377
he's writing a paper not a book monograph. authors who write their own books obviously have much more latitude to develop a personal style. papers submitted for work or as part of journals do not require a highly individualistic style or virtuoso performance. they will be bundled with 20 or 50 or 100 other papers. (not saying it can't happen, but it tends to be for top-tier writers-academics.)

'papers' or journal articles are where new academic theses are presented or new data shared. they are one step on from conference papers. a published book is a whole other project and has a different set of expectations. an entire book written in a flat, impersonal tone would have obvious problems. i would copy-edit out too much repetitious material in the 'in this chapter, i will ...', 'in sum ...' vein in a book-length manuscript.

also, not to state the obvious, but when you read 'chapters' in a postgraduate seminar you are reading a pretty canonical selection from the forefront of a field, be it classic thinkers or contemporary authorities on a subject. we are talking about homework. this isn't 'dead poets society' and you are not going to inspire a 15 year old to start writing like karl kraus or herbert marcuse.

Last edited by uziq (2021-04-19 00:44:05)

SuperJail Warden
Gone Forever
+452|2645
How do you feel about citation styles? I realized I have been using only APA for years. Haven't done a MLA paper in 5 years.

Do you have a preference? If you were a college professor and someone used the wrong citation style would you be angry? How angry? I haven't done graduate work in history but I remember tenured professors telling us "just use whatever system you want as long as you cite it."
uziq
Member
+395|2377
consistency is key. i can do just about any citation style or style guide (how to cite things is only just the beginning of an accepted academic style).

in my work i’ll pivot between any number of style guides. a scholarly society in the united states might have different preferences to a U.K.-based university press, etc.

as we are essentially talking about homework and school exercises here, it comes down to what i said above: it’s a performance between pupil and teacher rather than professional ‘work’. you need to demonstrate you’re capable of adopting a citation style rather than there being an actual practical reason for doing so. just choose one and make it consistent.
unnamednewbie13
Moderator
+1,890|5697|USA

Still waiting on your guys' cuck story collab.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,730|5031|eXtreme to the maX
Found a way to use 'embiggen' in my latest technical document, having squeezed 'cromulent' into the last one.

Skipping through other Simpsons made up words I'm struggling to find a candidate.
#FreeBritney

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