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 thinking of a truly dedicated motorcyclist varies all over the place, with riders reflecting the riding environments surrounding them. Urban bikers, with machines most commonly in the 125-250-cc range, mostly believe their motorcycles are work vehicles and that’s all. They openly brag about a machine’s nimbleness when cars and truck press in on all sides and also brag about a motorcycle’s penny-pinching fuel consumption. On the other hand, motorcyclists with cross-country motorcycles powered by much larger engines—1,200 cubic centimeters and larger—often develop more deeply philosophical feelings for bikes. Completion of a motorcycle ride of a thousand miles can inspire in them Zen-like moods.”

This writer takes a fast subject and bogs it down in words. Too many words. Imprecise words. The second word, “thinking,” doesn’t even fully express the subject of the writing, which is a motorcyclist’s “psychology,” the thinking and behavior of a person. The writer’s worst offense is wordiness—“all over the place” instead of “widely,” “most” in front of “commonly,” “and that’s all” for no reason at all. “When cars and trucks press in on all sides” is a wholly unneeded phrase. The length of the piece can be sharply reduced through better word choices and elimination of unnecessary words. Do you see other examples of this problem?
本文描寫一項風馳電掣的主題,但用詞冗贅不精,使文氣凝滯而難以動彈。首先,第二個詞「thinking」並未充分表達寫作主題,也就是摩托車騎士的想法、行為等「psychology」(心理)。其次,這段文章最大的毛病就是太囉嗦,「all over the place」應該改為「widely」,「commonly」前不需要加「most」,「and that’s all」根本沒必要,「when cars and trucks press in on all sides」也完全多餘。若選詞更精當,並刪去不必要的辭彙,就可以大幅精簡這段冗長的文章。你是否還看到其他冗贅的用字?

Acceptable 認可的文章

“The psychology of a dedicated motorcyclist varies widely, with riders reflecting their riding environments. Urban bikers, with machines commonly in the 125-250-cc range, mostly treat a motorcycle like a utilitarian vehicle. They openly value a machine’s traffic nimbleness and its frugal fuel consumption. Motorcyclists with cross-country cruisers powered by larger engines—1,200 cubic centimeters and above—often develop more philosophical attachments to their bikes. Completion of a ride of a thousand miles can inspire Zen-like meditation.”


Posted at 2012-10-12 10:47:56

0 Response to This is not academic writing 學術文章不是這麼寫的