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

“Social scientists have come up with conflict theories to explain how social order and disorder are related to drug use. The theories aren’t amazingly original. The scientists blame stress, tension and just plain being without—conditions commonly found in bad communities, or in poor and downtrodden regions. Sick to death of it all or afraid of dying, residents of such areas push what sometimes are called their ‘life chances.”

The previous paragraph contains language that is not appropriate in an academic setting: (1) It communicates imprecisely and informally; (2) Its conversational phrases are objectionable—phrases such as “come up with” and “sick to death.” That is lounge talk; (3) “Aren’t” is an inadvisable contraction; (4) Vague adjectives such as “bad” and “poor” and “downtrodden” weaken sentences by muddying meaning; (5) One sentence—“The theories aren’t amazingly original”—is an unsubstantiated aside from the author; (6) Finally, the term “life chances” is not attributed to anyone even though it is quoted. This is a subpar effort. The correct version of the paper’s excerpt appears below.
這段文章之中,從學術文章的角度來看,出現許多不適宜的寫法: (1) 句中傳達的句意不精確且寫法不正式;(2) 口語化詞句,如 “come up with” 及“sick to death”,如此會話的口吻,無法為此篇文章產生任何正面評價;(3) 正式文章中不宜使用如“Aren’t”這樣的縮寫;(4) 模糊、抽象的形容詞,如 “bad”,“poor” 和 “downtrodden”,無法為句意增色,只是讓句意的表達更加混亂無章;(5) 此句“The theories aren’t amazingly original”,作者在文中並未提具事實根據;(6) 最後出現的詞組“life chances”,這個詞組並不是屬於任何人的,即便它是註有引號的"引言"。這篇文章的品質並不理想。此段文章編輯潤飾後內容,刊登如下。

Acceptable 認可的文章

“Social scientists have constructed conflict theories to explain how social order and disorder influence the rates of drug use. The pertinent theories are keyed to stress, tension and deprivation—conditions commonly found in dysfunctional communities, or in impoverished and politically repressed regions. Encumbered with despair or desperate to survive, residents of such areas tragically try to realize their ‘life chances,’ the phrase that German sociologist Max Weber used to describe a person’s individual opportunities.”

Posted at 2012-04-06 10:59:15

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