Academic Writing

Academic Writing 

Introduction

The idea comes from CC Lee’s class, in which he enlightens me to write in a logical way. The practice works for everybody. Even you have been a senior professor, or you are just a phd students who learnt little about the tradition of research. I was inspired to share my understanding of how to construct the structure of the paper, and how to polish it to get published.

My understanding of study could be described as a sandglass metaphor. Metaphor serves as the structure of comparison. Just like the sandglass, academic study start with a broad topic which is always a specific and significant puzzlement. Gradually, scholars should narrow down the research topic to draw your study on a general but significant theoretical issue, and to investigate it with a new perspective. Eventually, you can handle the research question which has important theoretical implications. While, this part of logic is corresponding to the introduction part and literature part.

When you have finished your finding part, you should head towards the discussion part. Despite of justifying the expected and unexpected result of your findings, the most important part of discussion is to generalize your findings by talking with prior relevant findings, propositions and established theories. Following this line of logic, the conclusion is only a natural part of this conversation.

I have discussed about how to generalize your conclusion in the metaphor of sandglass. To to specific, the most important in this process is your logic underlying your argument. Good logic and arguments flow through the sandglass like the moving sand. In order to get the social reality, your measure must be solid, your sampling must be reasonable, and your logic must hold for different situations. e.g., the book of Suicide.

Suicide (FrenchLe Suicide) was one of the groundbreaking books in the field of sociology. Written by French sociologistÉmile Durkheim and published in 1897 it was a case study (some argue that it is not a case study, and that this is what makes it unique among other scholarly work on the same subject) of suicide, a publication unique for its time which provided an example of what the sociological monograph should look like.

The logic underlying suicide is social integration which holds for other situations of deviant behavior, thus you can generalize your findings.

Resources

Academic Phrasebank

The sentences used in Academic Writing.

Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for International Students

Comprehensive advicematerials and exercises on the four skills. Produced by Andy Gillett, Department of Modern Languages, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield.

Advice on Academic Writing

The University of Toronto. General and specific advice about all aspects of academic writing.

Resources for Writers

This site provides references and practice activities for a comprehensive list of categories concerned with writing. There is a lot of material here for you to look at. This link of English for Academic Purposes to the Honk Kong Polytechnic University takes you firstly to a list of functions associated with ‘Essay Writing’. These include Explanation of FunctionsDescribing TrendsCause and Effect, and more. Follow this exercises link if you want to do some practice work on many of these.

Try Referencing Resources on the Internet for information and exercises on in-text references and bibliographical references. If you want to prepare a presentation, try the Presentation Planner. By following a series of steps, it guides you through the process of preparing a presentation.

Writing Machine

An interactive application from the University of Hong Kong. It includes tasks for you to do at every stage of the writing process.

Readings

Books

*Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008). 3rd ed.

*Becker, Howard, Writing for Social Scientists. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).

*Mills, C. Wright, The Sociological Imagination. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959).

*Rosenberg, Morris, The Logic of Survey Analysis. (New York: Basic, 1968).

*嚴耕望,《治史經驗談》(台北: 商務, 1981) ,《怎样学历史》(辽宁教育出版社,2006)

Merton, Robert K. , Social Theory and Social Structure (New York: Free Press, 1966).

Journal  Articles

Slides

Writing for SSCI Journals by Jonathan Zhu

The flow of logic

Perhaps the most important basis of …/Perhaps more importantly, ..

introduce a theoretical extension to the model by incorporating …

To these ends, ..

According to/In accordance with/Consistent with

In the light of …                            # In the light of these changes, we must revise our plan.

As such, /In this sense, …         #e.g., As such, evolution did not come out of zero. 照这么说来, 进化就不是无中生有.

As noted above, …/As already noted, …

In parallel with…

In contrast to previous studies, …

While…/Whereas…/In contrast, …

Specifically, A…; B, on the other hand, …

As someone (2046) explains, …

…, although research has not produced evidence for why this may be the case.

The present study shed light on the role of …

This is not surprising as…

If this is the case, then…

Other mechanisms, such as…, has been proposed by someone (2046), but they await empirical evidence for their role in creating…

something has been recently questioned as an adequate explanation for ….

Although…, there is little direct evidence for the effects of …, and the mechanisms underlying… remain largely unexamined.

…, and is more consistent with recent calls for considering …

The next step is to examine the effects of …

To fully understand phenomena such as the…

We suspect that…

Another concern related to ….

… relative to…

With the aid of…

In all, …/Put together, …/Taken together, …/Considered together, ../To summarize, …/Synthesized, this research indicates that…

In conclusion, …

By contrast/

…lend support to the idea that…

…lessens conceptual confusions…

…by virtue of …                  # He had won the game by virtue of his strength of will.