Professor Pedantic 教授的考究學問
The professor awaits your query on academic writing, though in all honesty, he doesn’t have a lot of time for you. He is a tenured full professor and working on yet another magnificent academic tome. Even so, he has graciously consented to entertain your question. Submit it and prepare to be edified.

QUESTION: My instructor told me before I began my latest paper that this time I should try to avoid a weak conclusion, which he says is a habit of mine. I guess I don’t understand how to write a good conclusion. Can you help?

I don’t know if I can help. Writing habits are tough to change. A writer becomes comfortable assembling words in a familiar way. When a different sentence structure is attempted, it produces discomfort. Because no one is comfortable being uncomfortable, an uneasy writer typically tries to regain writing comfort by returning to a habitual style. So, to change your habit of writing inconclusively, you will have to be OK with change. To overcome writing weak conclusions, you will have to learn to write strong ones.

First, I suspect your problem is mostly about organizing and thinking, not writing. We’ll get to the words in a moment. A paper’s conclusion should reiterate, but not mindlessly list, the paper’s central points. It should distill the paper into its essence. The goal is to have a reader put down your paper with that essence of it in his frontal lobe and well on its way to becoming a long-term memory. A simple reiteration won’t do this. An essential summary will. So you see, writing skill is valuable in a paper clear to the end.

One more tip: Let your conclusion partially be a bridge to future research or discovery. Position yourself as the bearer of new information without presuming to have the last word on the subject. Modesty is a virtue. As to the actual writing, don’t mince words. Boldly state the fruits of your research—as if you believe them! Be declarative, not mousy, in affirming the truth of the paper and the weight of its evidence. If you trust your work, be confident about where it took you. If you hedge, you will arouse skepticism.
寫作結論還有個技巧,即結論有一部分要能推展到後續研究或發現,文章應該傳遞新資訊,但不要妄自為該主題的研究下定論。謙虛是種美德,但實際寫作時,不要 拐彎抹角,果敢地說明研究成果,就像你衷心相信這些成果很重要。不要畏畏縮縮,大方肯定自己的研究發現與重要佐證。如果你相信自己的努力,說明努力的成果 時要有自信,閃爍其詞會讓人懷疑。

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