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Stylish Academic Writing - Helen Sword

Stylish Academic Writing

Hardcover Published: 2nd April 2012
ISBN: 9780674064485
Number Of Pages: 240

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Elegant data and ideas deserve elegant expression, argues Helen Sword in this lively guide to academic writing. For scholars frustrated with disciplinary conventions, and for specialists who want to write for a larger audience but are unsure where to begin, here are imaginative, practical, witty pointers that show how to make articles and books a pleasure to read-and to write.

Dispelling the myth that you cannot get published without writing wordy, impersonal prose, Sword shows how much journal editors and readers welcome work that avoids excessive jargon and abstraction. Sword's analysis of more than a thousand peer-reviewed articles across a wide range of fields documents a startling gap between how academics typically describe good writing and the turgid prose they regularly produce.

Stylish Academic Writing showcases a range of scholars from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences who write with vividness and panache. Individual chapters take up specific elements of style, such as titles and headings, chapter openings, and structure, and close with examples of transferable techniques that any writer can master.

Industry Reviews

Helen Sword's brilliant little volume is in many respects the ideal companion to Stephen J. Pyne's equally brilliant Voice and Vision: A Guide to Writing History and Other Serious Non-Fiction (Harvard) and equally deserving of a wider audience than its target group, which in this case comprises those academics who either write or have to put up with "impersonal, stodgy, jargon-laden, abstract prose." As Sword writes: "Elegant data and ideas deserve elegant expression." Featuring oodles of ideas and tips backed up by lashings of original research and bursting to the seams with case studies exemplifying the good, the bad and the ugly of academic writing ("via a symbolic interactionist lens" is one such monster), this is a must for writers in any discipline. -- William Yeoman West Australian 20120619 [Sword's] counsel is wise, efficiently written, and infectiously winsome. She advises academic writers to use anecdotes and carefully chosen metaphors, and to write opening sentences that encourage readers to keep reading. She has drawn from a massive array of academic articles (more than a thousand) and given particular attention to authors known for writing readable material...Helen Sword's book contains much wisdom...Stylish Academic Writing contains superb counsel for academics who want to write with greater clarity and skill. -- Barton Swaim Weekly Standard 20120903 [A] practical and useful book. -- Colin Steele Australian Book Review 20121001

Style and Substance
Rules of Engagementp. 3
On Being Disciplinedp. 12
A Guide to the Style Guidesp. 23
The Elements of Stylishness
Voice and Echop. 35
Smart Sentencingp. 48
Tempting Titlesp. 63
Hooks and Sinkersp. 76
The Story Netp. 87
Show and Tellp. 99
Jargonitisp. 112
Structural Designsp. 122
Points of Referencep. 135
The Big Picturep. 147
The Creative Touchp. 159
Afterword: Becoming a Stylish Writerp. 173
Appendixp. 177
Notesp. 183
Bibliographyp. 199
Acknowledgmentsp. 213
Indexp. 217
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780674064485
ISBN-10: 0674064488
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 2nd April 2012
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 14.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.4

Earn 83 Qantas Points
on this Book