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best book / web source on academic writing

(7 Posts)
lilliemacbeth26 Thu 25-Jun-15 12:03:20

i am a postgrad student and my writing is ok but definitely could be improved. Are there any great academic /essay / project writing books or resources out there which could help push my writing a bit?


DarkEvilMoon Thu 25-Jun-15 12:09:19

Yes, I was recommended one specific to my area when I was at uni. Still have it and can hunt it out, I remember encountering ones for different areas when I was ordering. But it was more specific to undergrad level so you will probably have to hunt about a bit.

JeanneDeMontbaston Thu 25-Jun-15 19:10:06

William Germano's 'Thesis to Book' is very good - though designed for what it says on the tin, it's really helpful about structuring a thesis.

Also Pat Thompson's blog:

Helen Sword's 'Stylish Academic Writing' is quite good too.

But do be warned, you need to take them with a pinch of salt if they're quite far from your discipline (and Germano is writing mostly for the US) - I occasionally come across tips in style guides (not these ones so far as I noticed!) that I know perfectly well are contraindicated for my discipline.

Isabelle24 Sun 28-Jun-15 13:52:57

strongly recommend:

Manchester's academic phrasebank 'is a general resource for academic writers. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation.'

Very helpful, in particular for kickstarting a paragraph or section.

JeanneDeMontbaston Sun 28-Jun-15 13:57:33

Just a caveat about isabelle's link - it's very subject-specific!

lilliemacbeth26 Sun 28-Jun-15 15:52:59

great, many thanks, for the tips. I'll look them up and see if they will be suitable. The free Manchester resource sounds promising. Jeanne in what way is this subject specific? I haven't had the chance to look at it properly yet.
thanks to all.

JeanneDeMontbaston Sun 28-Jun-15 16:06:49

Many of the recommendations would be considered bad writing in my subject (English Lit), especially things like 'It is believed that ...' or things like 'The purpose of this chapter is ...'/ 'This chapter is divided into four main sections...'.

These are appropriate (I'm guessing based on the other info?) for sciences/social sciences, but I don't think they're great for all of the humanities.

It's really hard to give writing advice without looking at the specific subject, because there are so many conventions that are specific.

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