30 Introduction: Effective Academic Writing

To provide elements of good writing more specific to the social sciences, we drew on writing advice from major genres within the social sciences and connected them to the basics of good research writing. Our aim was to compare, combine, and summarize key aspects of qualitative, quantitative, and theoretical analysis for an account of academic writing which is not insulated within the guidelines of a specific genre nor general to the point of obtuseness. Despite attention to specificity, the advice is still bound to be more general, so please refer to the works cited if a more authoritative discussion of writing conventions in your genre is desired.

We assumed, in writing this chapter, that you were familiar with the writing basics: such as outlining, introducing a thesis, applying points to that thesis, and summarizing your argument. Because we have already, throughout this manual, provided writing tips and direction on key sections of most academic works (Title & Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion and Conclusion) and will do so again with specific advice in subsequent chapters, we provided only limited discussion of research writing basics. Instead, we organized the chapter into three sections: first, begin with the basic components of all academic writing. Second, we provide a comparative review of writing advice in different social sciences fields, and finally, we finish with general maxims for effective writing. If more is desired on research writing basics, we suggest looking at this video by UBC learn or this fine overview by Leeds University.


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Practicing and Presenting Social Research Copyright © 2022 by Oral Robinson and Alexander Wilson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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