4 Key Features of Academic Writing # 2– Use Objective Language 學術寫作四大要訣之二:客觀

撰寫學術論文必須遵守某些特定風格和技巧的規範,雖然這些規範不至於讓創作學者寫得縛手縛腳,但某些經濟的寫作方式和表達法的限制向來被視為奉行不悖的圭臬。本專欄為撰寫學術論文的四大要訣,每項要訣都會刊登在TPS 粉絲頁,最後集結於 TPS 學術電子報。
Academic writers must conform to certain expectations about writing style and techniques. The rules are not so tight as to place a creative scholar in a straitjacket. However, certain economies of writing and constraints on expression are generally considered de rigueur. Following are four of the principal guidelines for writers of academic papers. Each part in the series will be presented on the TPS Fan page before being compiled.

2nd Writing Guideline – Use Objective Language

The opposite of objective language is subjective language. The first places emphasis on the topic of a paper. The second steals some of the emphasis and places it on the writer. An example of subjective writing is the following: “I closed the cage door and accidentally bumped the water dish, spilling the metered water.” The incident is expressed better without a writer reference: “The closing door bumped the water dish, spilling some water and spoiling the record.” Nothing is lost in the second telling. The water was spilled and the reader knows exactly who spilled it.

So one reason to use objective language is to remove the writer from a reader’s train of thought. A reader can see on a title page the name of the person who authored a paper, and that’s sufficient credit. Objective language moves the narrative to a generally higher plain, where facts and clinical reportage reign. It is a level of discourse ruled by ordered thoughts and dispassionate explanation. Personal pronouns, opinions and other personal references spoil such prose and deflect the focus. Readers simply do not want to be interrupted by jarring allusions to self.

Therefore, impersonal pronouns like “this” and “that” and “it” steadily carry a reader to a conclusion. Overall project references are impersonal as well—“the research,” for example, instead of “my research.” This writing style produces clean content that leads a reader unerringly from introduction to conclusion. This does not suggest that identifying characteristics of a writer be totally absent from a paper. But be careful. The word choices an author makes must, above all else, reflect the persona of a serious researcher whose sole intent is to nail his thesis to the wall.


Posted at 2014-04-21 22:06:23

0 Response to 4 Key Features of Academic Writing # 2– Use Objective Language 學術寫作四大要訣之二:客觀