“There is no such thing as good writing, only good rewriting.” ~ Louis Brandeis

Remember this about form and style. When your writing has numerous errors, the reader will not be able to focus on the content very easily. This will contribute to the manuscript being rejected.

Here are some of the most frequent “goofs” I have noticed with many of my clients:

  1. Personal pronouns (I, me, my, you, your) are generally not used in academic writing.
  2. When the words “research,” “literature,” or “study” are used, immediately give a citation.
    Example: Current research (Jones, 1997; Smith, 1992) shows that…
  3. Verb tense. The tense of chapter 3, Method, of the Proposal should be “future” tense.
    The tense in the Final Draft of chapters 3, 4, and 5 should be “past” tense.
  4. Avoid ending a sentence with a citation and starting the next sentence with another citation. This can easily confuse the reader because it is not easy to see that one citation belongs with the first sentence and the next citation goes with the second sentence.
  5. Never use a table or graph instead of text. Use tables and graphs only to demonstrate a point or give additional details to the text.
  6. Use action words to introduce quotations and paraphrases from authors, such as:
    _________________introduces the idea of…
    _________________notes that…
    ____________’s idea of … is explained as…
    From _________________’s idea of …is explained as…
    _______________ makes the point…
    _______________ suggests that…
    _______________ believes that…
    _______________ researched…
    _______________ reported that…
    _______________ shows that…
    For ___________, there seems to be…
    The dominant idea in ___________ is that
    ______________ predicted…
    ______________ summarizes this point very well when he claims…
    ______________ illustrates this perspective…
    ______________ contributes to…
    ______________ considered…
    ______________ examined…
    ______________ referred to…
    ______________ said “__________________.”
    ______________ wrote “________________.”
    ______________ stated “__________________.”
  7. When referring to one study over a number of paragraphs, you only need to mention the citation once per paragraph.
  8. When you are citing a study with three, four or five authors, cite all authors the first time it is referenced. In subsequent citations use only the last name of the first author followed by et al.

For more information about this or other dissertation-related topics, contact  William Wargo, Ph.D. at wgwargo@academicinfocenter.com or (951) 301-5557.

 

 

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