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

“Labeling as a sociological theory is described by two principles; the first principle is that deviant behaviour is defined as deviant by those who witness and label it as such. The second principle is that the very act of labeling behavior “deviant” aggravates the perceived behavior by making the labeled person act out the behavior; generally speaking, then, the labeling theory says that society is responsible for deviant behavior, and for the societal problems that result from individuals acting outside of what is considered normal.”

Poor punctuation and word choices stand out here. In suggesting a theory is “described by two principles,” the writer misuses the idea of description. Principles don’t describe; they comprise. They are building blocks. Better to say the theory is “built upon” or “comprised of.” A semicolon joins the first and second sentences though the third sentence is just as closely related. A period was the better choice. The second sentence is padded; removing “principle,” “as deviant” and “as such” does not weaken it. The writer later declares a labeler is “making” a person react negatively. “Make” is an abused concept. While a person might be “influenced” or “persuaded” to react a certain way by the label, the person is not forced to do so. What other problems do you see?
這段文章在使用標點符號和選擇詞彙上應多斟酌。作者誤用了說明 (description) 的意思,稱理論「由兩個原理描述」(described by two principles),原理不會 「描述」(describe) 理論,但可以構成 (comprise) 理論的基石。第一句與第二句以分號相連,但第三句和這兩句其實密切相關,所以應該將分號換成句號。第二個句子太冗贅,刪去 “principle”、“as deviant” 與 “as such” 也無妨。接下來,作者說貼標籤會使 (making) 人有負面反應,make 一字用錯了,人在被貼標籤時,或許會受影響或被說服而表現出某種行為,但它不會逼迫你去做。你是否還發現其他問題?

Acceptable 認可的文章

“Labeling as a theory of sociology is built upon two principles. The first is that deviant behaviour is defined by those who witness and label it. The second is that the very act of labeling behavior “deviant” aggravates the behavior by creating a hostile environment for the labeled person. Thus, the theory holds that society creates and affirms deviant behavior, and is responsible for any resultant societal problems associated with individuals whose behavior falls outside a prescribed norm.”

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