Some statements are facts and can be plainly stated: Some diseases are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment. Many statements are not facts but claims, and need to be written with some caution: It is generally believed that doctors prescribe too many antibiotic drugs. Writing Tip Academic writing often involves making claims and presenting arguments. When doing this, make it clear if you are generalising, rather than suggesting that something is true in all cases and at all times. Read this sentence from a report on a new medical treatment and consider its meaning and the tone in which this is conveyed. It is accepted that the new treatment should be made available to the public as soon as possible. Here is the same sentence with a less assertive tone. The writer generalises in order to show an awareness that some people may have a different view. It is generally accepted that the new treatment should be made available to the public as soon as possible. Ways of generalising 1 Using phrases connected with the word ‘general’ The treatment proved generally effective, with many patients showing significant improvement. In general (terms), the treatment was effective, though not all patients showed significant improvement.
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