Monday, August 26, 2013

Academic editor offers tips on better writing

Academic writing can seem daunting, but following these eight simple tips from an academic editor can improve your chances of being published in peer-reviewed journals:
1) After quoting another author, don’t move on to your next point. Explain in your words what the author said and why it’s important to your argument.
2) Join a conversation and move it forward rather than simply dismissing previous work.
3) Be specific. Don’t just say scholars argue — instead restate what scholars said exactly.
4) Be careful with your words — precision is your friend. Don’t write something unless you’re willing to defend it for the next 20 years.
5) Assume readers are indifferent to your case — make your argument matter to them.
6) Avoid normative claims and assumptions. If you’re using the word clearly, then you may be speaking about opinion, not fact. Don’t assume others share your train of thought.
7) Never miss a chance to make an argument. Academic reading is intermittent — keep reminding the reader where you are and where you’re going. Always connect the pieces.
8) When in doubt, fall back on the old writing maxim: Tell them what you’re going to tell then, tell them, then tell them what you told them.


Dr. Matt J. Duffy teaches journalism, media ethics and international communication law at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA. He enjoys teaching the art of good journalism, a noble profession and powerful tool for social change. Duffy's research focuses on journalism and media laws in the Middle East. Wolters Kluwer will publish the second edition of Duffy's "Media Laws in the United Arab Emirates" in 2016. He has published more than a dozen academic articles and writes occasionally for niche publications. He received a Ph.D. in Public Communication from Georgia State University in the United States where he studied the use of unnamed sources in journalism. Since 2012, Duffy has served on the board of the Arab-United States Association for Communication Educators, an organization that aims to improve journalism in the Middle East. He currently serves as an assistant professor Kennesaw State University in Georgia, USA. Duffy also owns an academic editing company.

1 comment:

  1. These tips from academic editor are really wonderful and practical as well and if someone is working for any English proofreading or English editing service then such tips are really valuable for him and definitely improve his/her editing skills.

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