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

“Col. Aureliano Buendia is the Number 1 military guy in One Hundred Years of Solitude. That’s not all, by any stretch. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez also makes his character a neat artist, who makes pretty fish out of gold. But, to show the character is an emotional wimp, Marquez has Auerliano stop keeping the golden fish after he makes them. Instead, Auerliano melts down perfectly good fish and uses the gold for new fish. Why does he do this? I believe this is supposed to show Auerliano is a one-dimensional man, living in the here and now.”

The previous paragraph communicates clearly, but conversationally. It violates several recommended principles of academic writing. “Number 1 military guy” is a colloquial expression, as are “emotional wimp” and “perfectly good” and “here and now,” among others. Avoid such informal locution. “Neat” to describe “artist” and “pretty” to describe “fish” is hackneyed. Two sentences—beginning with “That’s not…” and “Why does…”—are unnecessary transitional sentences that only add to the word count. Finally, “I believe this is supposed to show…” is a first-person formulation that is an opinion instead of an impersonal statement. The original version of the paper appears below.
這段文章看似清楚易懂,但如此會話的表達方式,已違反許多學術英文的撰寫大忌。“Number 1 military guy” 是口語的說法,其它像 “emotional wimp”,“perfectly good” 以及 “here and now”等等也是。再次叮嚀勿使用非正式的慣用語,像是以“Neat”來形容“artist”,或是用“pretty”形容 “fish”,都是不合宜的。使用“That’s not…”以及“Why does…”這兩句開頭作為句首其實相當累贅,為求增加字數而以。最後的“I believe this is supposed to show…”純粹是表達個人意見,並非客觀公正的陳述。此段文章編輯潤飾後內容,刊登如下。

Acceptable 認可的文章

“Col. Aureliano Buendia is the dominant military figure in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez also renders this character as a great artist, who counts among his creations beautiful fish crafted of gold. To convey the character’s shallow emotional make-up, Marquez has Auerliano stop stockpiling the golden fish. Instead, Auerliano melts down each new batch of fish and uses the gold for a subsequent batch. He thus becomes a one-dimensional man, living only in the present.”

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