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ENG501M (January 12,2013) What makes technical writing technical? The treatment of the subject or the topic 1.

What is academic writing? 2. What are some examples of academic papers? 3. Why do you write academic papers? Audience-most probably an instructor Purpose- to show what the author knows about the subject (reader is a specialist in the field) -to inform (the public) Writing strategy-writer must show familiarity, expertise and intelligence in dealing with the topic and its development and organization Development/Structure-Data are presented, leading to the thesis or main point of the author. Logical build-up to the thesis -Thesis is supported not only by data but by citing experts. -Documentation is important Organization-Academic writing is highly conventional (established practice) -Predictable pattern of organization (IMRD+R) CONTENT-Technical, scientific data -Results of research (experiment, survey and other scholarly methods of gathering data) -Factual and precise data -Academic writing is subject focused ACADEMIC WRITING STYLE Vocabulary -Preference for the technical term (jargon) over laymans term -Vocabulary shift (words used are different from those used in speech and in other forms of writing) [be formal and boring] -Preference of single-word verbs -Preference for more FORMAL expressions -choose carefully your words -avoid contractions -avoid expressions of levity or lack of seriousness (Ex. A peep into the world of worms) Objectivity -Preferring 3rd person to the 1st person (I) to create an impersonal style [This convention is slowly changing] -Avoiding biased language and emotionally-charged words -Avoid parenthetical comments

-Impersonal style to suggest objectivity -agentless passive -functional use of we -use of past tense in the reports of experiments Formal Grammar and Style -Limiting run on expressions such as and so forth, etc. -Preferring the passive voice (the subject of the sentence is the receiver) -Placing adverbs before the verb (The blood is slowly withdrawn.) Avoid direct address to reader -Avoid the use of direct questions. Instead, express the direct question indirectly -(ex: What can be done to lower costs? We now need to consider what can be done to lower costs) -Avoid using imperative tone (begins with a verb) Solution: Re-expression DENOTATIVE vs CONNOTATIVE LANGUAGE -Preference for denotative language over connotative language -Use of figures of speech that might make meaning unclear is discouraged Accurate and Correct Language -Preference for details that give an accurate picture of the phenomenon or situation give specific measurements, numbers, dates, etc -Use grammatically correct language Symbols used in evaluating papers -VOC (vocabulary) Use a better, more appropriate word -SC (Sentence construction) Rephrase to correct the error in grammar or parallelism and/or logic -WF (Wrong word form) Correct the form of the word -A (Agreement) Subject-Verb Agreement Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement -SP (Spelling) Correct error in spelling -T (Tense) Correct error in tense -Conj (Conjunction) Use correct conjunction