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Academic Writing: style

Many writers undertaking a research degree feel daunted by the idea of writing in an "academic style". This section will help you to become familiar with the language of thesis writing.

Some aspects of academic writing differ from one educational culture to another. It can be helpful to know where English writing fits into the range of styles of argumentation.

In your thesis, you will be making claims and counterclaims - advancing your own arguments and taking account of other points of view. In a way, you will be engaging in a conversation with your readers, anticipating their reactions and responding to them.

There are various ways you can help your readers make sense of what you're trying to say in your thesis. One of the most basic is to give them signposting to help them find their way around your text: where they are now, where they have been, where they are going and what to expect when they get there. You also need to let them know how you are connecting ideas -don't expect them to make the connections for themselves.

Academic writers do not make claims their evidence does not support. They frame their claims in cautious language that leaves open the possibility for exceptions. However, as you progress through your research, you become an expert who can write with authority in the field of your thesis topic.

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