This is not academic writing 學術文章不是這麼寫的
Not all articles written on academic topics are written in proper academic English. In this "This is not academic writing" column we examine short excerpts from academic texts to illustrate common writing errors and explain how to correct them.

Unacceptable 不被認可的文章

“The behavior analyst looks at love as if it were a field crop—corn, perhaps. He walks into the field and selects a nice ear, plucks it, and inspects the whole, developed ear for any flaws before stripping away the husk. Exposing the silk beneath, he removes it and then digs out and tastes each delicious, tender kernel, savoring each. Satisfied that he knows the universal field crop as well as he ever will know it, he trashes the despoiled ear and writes his observations as if he has discovered something. The truth is, neither corn nor love is thus so easily understood.”

In a paper on clinical research into the emotional condition called love, this introductory paragraph uses simile and metaphor. The writer suggests the scientist rather ham-handedly goes through the exercise without learning much. It is an interesting way to define the nebulous challenge of quantifying psychological observations. This attempt would have been more effective had the writer more completely merged the physical and sensory allusions, as below. A writer cannot be timid if he hopes to bring a reader into his metaphorical world.

Acceptable 認可的文章

“The behavior analyst examines love as if it were a commodity—corn, perhaps. He walks into the field and selects a fulsome example, plucks it, and inspects the sheathed, immature ear for any observable irregularities before rather brutally shucking it. Exposing the delicate silk, he removes it strand by strand and tastes the exposed and milky kernels, savoring each as a succulent morsel. Satisfied that he knows the delicate creation as well as he ever might, he tosses aside the despoiled creation and solemnly writes his observations as if he has made a discovery.”

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