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8

In response to your specific question, I would say that ghostwriting is NOT illegal. However, I would say that it IS unethical, unfair, cheating, and a violation of academic policies. We had a discussion on this topic on the meta site a short while back after someone had asked about how to lower his writing standards to make it seem more like he was a ...


8

I don't have any special knowledge of journalism, but I have a fair amount of experience with academic writing as well as giving advice to my grad students. Here's my take, all at the paper level: You're right about the possibility of sensationalism. I tell some of my students to imagine someone reading their work twenty years from now. Too much enthusiasm ...


8

I am an english student, so if you are teaching, you already far outmatch me in ability, however, these are my thoughts. Sometimes, although is sounds a little bit insane, it is possible to create someone in your mind to critically analyse your work. Try this. Imagine a sarcastic, witty imp, sitting on your favourite shoulder. He knows nothing but the ...


8

Since we don't have the sample text that was analyzed, it's hard to answer this question in any specific sense. But I'd guess that this overuse of prepositions is actually the overuse of prepositional phrases. You can't eliminate prepositions, since English depends on them so heavily, but you can minimize them. Background Let's back up here: What's a ...


7

I can think of an exercise which might help - although I'm not sure how efficient it would be - if the students would be able to solve it. Chose a set of sources for them and give them a task that forces cross-referencing, comparing and binding them. For example, give the students a task of examining and proving or disproving a claim in source A (which you ...


6

Use Latin when it makes sense to use Latin, not because you want to impress, which could turn your piece into an illegible mess. Perhaps there's a specific scientific or legal phrase in Latin that you need to use because that's the accepted standard among the scientific community. I would strongly suggest researching in your particular area to see how others ...


6

I think the answer for this is going to depend on your audience. "I" and "We" are both first person, and the use of first person is usually considered more casual, and not suited for formal writing in many academic fields. But I think this rule is relaxing, and your instructor may or may not want you to follow it. I'd check. Assuming you're allowed to ...


6

It's going to be difficult to give an absolute answer to any legal question since laws and their interpretation vary widely by jurisdiction. Also, IANAL. But, in general terms - are you looking for a way to see it as illegal to sell the papers? I can see buying (and using) the essays being seen as fraud, as well as being against academic honesty policies, ...


6

I gave you an upvote for your question: I wish more on SO would ask it. Good SO questions and answers are hard work. I try to improve my questions by finding and studying good questions. I think that good questions have been edited and worked over to share some attributes: They are succinct: not too wordy or overlong. They are free of lazy jargon and ...


6

Contractions are, by their very nature, informal, as they tend to be more frequently used for speech than writing. However, you don't necessarily always have to avoid them: although the APA Style Guide recommends avoiding them for academic writing, other style guides, e.g. Chicago Manual of Style, recommend using them, for when "used thoughtfully, ...


5

I commend you for wanting to improve your writing. :) You can look at how other people have edited your questions and compare the changes. For example, in your question above: I'm a member of some SE sites, like SO and CSTheory. You need "and" between two items in a list. You need to end a sentence with a period. In those sites I'm an active member. ...


5

It sounds like you have a very understanding prof - I'd take advantage of that! Maybe you could write a children's book about it - how could you simplify the experiment to a level that a child (teenager?) could perform at home, using household objects? You could have a side-panel that explains how it was done in the lab, if that's needed for academic ...


5

I am not certain if it is what you are looking for, but you can get the xml or unixref formatted citations from DOI on the CrossRef website. Also Connotea is freeware that will produce similar citation formats. If you specifically interested in LaTeX (i.e. BibTeX) formatting, you may be interested in these answers on the TeX site. And on the CrossRef ...


5

Way back in 10th grade, when we were learning how to do research papers on the back of a coal shovel, our teacher had us take all our notes on 3x5 cards. We had to submit them as part of the grade — she actually went around with a bag and we had to toss in our rubber-banded stack of cards. Edit to clarify: Each card had one note or thought on it: ...


5

When is it acceptable to refer to an undefined group of people in academic writing? I'd say only when such group has been defined previously in the text. Academic writing is about specificity. Think of dictionary definitions. What makes a definition valid? That it can only be applied to that particular thing you are referring to (you wouldn't define a rat ...


4

Chicago Style states that bibliographic list entries should be of the format: Author last name, Author first name. Title. Location of press: Press name, Year Published See here for more: http://www.isr.bucknell.edu/img/assets/6535/chicago.pdf A quick scan through my bookshelf, and I can't find a single bibliography that puts the title first before the ...


4

You may want to look into academic journals in your subject areas, although the authors in academic journals are often professors or graduate students. Professors at your university should be able to tell you if you can qualify, what journals are available, what would be a good fit, and how the submission process works. At many universities students are ...


4

The fifth of George Orwells Five Rules is: Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Use of Latin (or French or German or any 'foreign phrase') can appear an affectation unless there is a strong justification.


4

The answer is going to depend on context, and the consistency of your usage. The "I" in your example quote clearly refers to you, the author, and does not include the reader. Replacing "I" with "we" does indicate you are referring to both you and the reader. However, you have to be cautious, because the context could change. For example, you could reach ...


4

I don't think that there is a general rule about dropping articles from the title, esp. in academic research papers, however, according to the book, How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, a title of a paper is its label, and should therefore be succinct in its description. [Specifically,] the meaning and order of the words in the title are of ...


4

One key to academic writing is to think about grammar. Unless you are a completely fluent speaker who has spent much time thinking about grammar in the past so that it is effortless to get it correct, you will make grammatical errors unless you think about it. This will distract and confuse your readers. Other aspects of presenting a question--for ...


4

Take a look at creative nonfiction. This approach relies on facts like a journalist, but uses the literary techniques of a novelist. Lee Gutkind has promoted this genre extensively through Creative Nonfiction magazine and several books. You may be able to find some of them in your library. There's a book by Philip Gerard, also titled Creative Nonfiction, ...


4

I had a friend who was a substitute elementary teacher who had a similar problem. Granted, he was working with a fourth-grader, but essentially, he sat down with her and line by line they created the paragraph together. He suggested something, she suggested something, etc. At the end, she kept insisting, "I don't do A-plus work." He pointed at the paper ...


4

Since the student is fearful of judgement, which I interpret as meaning "getting a poor grade," and has also told you that putting down thoughts perfectly is an obstacle, it seems that the student's conception of how writing works is malformed. Your student will benefit from learning that no writing is perfect on the first round. I would suggest that you ...


4

Usually you include what is important and innovative about your paper. If there is a method more than half of your domain uses, and you use it too, there is no point writing about that in the title. If there are three competing methods, you may choose to include it in the title or not. If you use a method maybe 5% of your coleagues use, say, because it ...


4

A title tells the reader not only the general subject area, but also focus of your paper, the aspect of the subject that you will primarily emphasize. Each of the following titles (your two plus one I added for contrast) suggests the same general subject area: Harvest costs for private forest landowners in the Pacific Northwest USA. But each suggests a ...


4

Such "metadiscourse" can help guide the reader through a complex line of reasoning. "Use these phrases liberally" seems like coarse advice, perhaps useful until students can distinguish for themselves whether the text requires such orientation, or until they can write the text so that it orients the reader without the burden of phrases like these.


4

Here is a mishmash of ideas... A common way to open is to state your conclusion as concisely and directly as you can. You don't always need exciting. Consider intriguing or surprising. Maybe controversial. What do you want the reader to feel right from the start? It isn't always excitement, but it's always some feeling. Curiosity. Outrage. Wonder. Humor. ...


4

I don't see that "more and more Germans" is much better than "more and more people." Both are vague. How much more? 1% more? 90% more? And compared to when? yesterday? last century? In the introductions of journal articles, you will often see statements like "recently, there has been interest in blahblahblah" but such vague statements are backed up ...


4

For an understanding of some of the terms used in the answer (which is essentially quoting of sections from CMS), consider looking at this. For a quick answer: The Chicago Manual of Style (borrowed from here) has the following to say about pagination: Using arabic numerals, number the pages in the upper right corner. Do not number the title page but ...



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