Expectations of academic style Academic conventions Attention to academic style tends to be associated with the editing rather than the first draft writing stage, but it is never too early to develop a finely tuned awareness of what is required. Writers need to develop the necessary skills for communicating within stylistic conventions even when writing early drafts. Ensuring that ideas are accessible to the reader, that sentences are clear and concise and that longer sections of text are coherent need to be counterbalanced by the fact that the writing that you produce has to look and sound academic, whatever that might mean in your particular disciplinary area or areas. The first step will be for you to revisit the kind of stylistic conventions that are likely to be familiar to doctoral level writers. These include referencing techniques and formats, the amount of direct quotation that is deemed acceptable and bibliographical conventions. Such issues will not be considered in this book, because of the difficulty of providing any form of meaningful non-disciplinary guidelines. A useful overview of referencing systems, formats, techniques and reference software is, however, provided by Grix & Watkins (2010). There remains one convention that does need to be considered outside a disciplinary context, that of ‘hedging’ claims and arguments.
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- Developing Academic Style
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