Qiong Luo's advice on writing academic papers
This short note is mainly written for my graduate students, most of whom come from the mainland China originally.
- One rule: Write in your own words. Academic paper writing is your own creation and reflects your professional achievement. Any form of plagiarism (e.g., copying other people's work, either text or graphics, without explicit reference and quotation) is absolutely unacceptable.
- Two handbooks:
- Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential tasks and skills, Second Edition
John Swales and Christine Feak (2004).
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Note: This book is targeted at non-native English speakers.
- The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, and Roger Angell (2000). Longman.
Note: There is a web version of the book.
- Three suggestions:
- Write from an outline. What are the major points of your paper? What are the sections and subsections of your paper? What are the major points of each paragraph?
- Smoothen the flow. It is perfectly fine to start from the point form, but a readable paper must flow smoothly from point to point. Transition words and sentences are one way to connect pieces; the essential connection between pieces is still in the content.
- Keep writing. Practice is the best way to improve writing.