Academic Writing and Publishing

Do you struggle with submission notes and grapple with guidelines for authors This lively and readable guide will be invaluable for postgraduates, lecturers and researchers new to academic writing and publishing. James Hartley calls upon his wealth of knowledge accrued over many years to help seasoned writers too, with practical suggestions based on up-to-date research. Academic Writing and Publishing guides the reader through the process of writing and publishing. Packed with examples and...

Different Ways Of Collaborating

Sharples (1999) describes three main ways of proceeding with multiple authorship parallel, sequential and reciprocal. Parallel working is the classic 'division of labour', where a job is divided up among the workers into sub-tasks. Different people do different jobs. Sequential working is like a production line. The first person hands on the part-completed topic for the next one to continue. Reciprocal working is the way a football or basketball team operates. All the partners work together,...

Keeping Information

One of the many problems of being an academic is keeping track of information that might be useful in the future. Basically, this means setting up an effective storage and retrieval system. Initially, this may not seem important. Young researchers are likely to be working in a single field, and they will have most of the relevant papers at their finger-tips, but, as you get older, it gets more complex, both starting new areas of research and keeping up with old ones. So what is needed is some...

Level Writing and thinking

The research on how writers actually think about their texts as they produce them is typified by observational and retrospective accounts. In observational studies, it is usual to use 'protocol analysis' as a technique, where writers are asked to comment on what they are doing and thinking about as they are writing (e.g. see Cotton and Gresty, 2006). Retrospective accounts are given in response to questions after the writing session is over. Sometimes, writing sessions are videotaped to aid...

Tables and figures

An original abstract in structured form The same abstract in unstructured form An original abstract for a review paper The same abstract in structured form A schematic illustration of the prose version of the Method used by Slatcher and Pennebaker The authors' response to an editorial request Extracts from Routledge's book proposal form Plotting the same data with different vertical axes Pie charts are difficult to label and read Two-dimensional displays are easier to read than three- An...

Publishing Online

In the following chapter I discuss delays in the publication process. Factors such as these can affect the choice of journal. It may well be two years or more before a submitted article finally appears in print in some journals. In these days of rapid communication, such delays are unwarrantable. So publishing your paper (or a provisional version of it) on your web site might be a sensible option. Indeed, placing your article in an open-access national repository might be a better procedure. At...

A library at your fingertips

EBooks are electronic versions of printed books. You can store them on your PC laptop or browse them online. They have advantages for anyone needing rapid access to a wide variety of published, copyright information. eBooks can help your research by enabling you to bookmark chapters, annotate text and use instant searches to find specific words or phrases. Several eBook files would fit on even a small laptop or PDA. NEW Save money by eSubscribing cheap, online access to any eBook for as long as...

Abbreviations for American states used in citing references

(Source Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5 th edn) (pp. 217 18) (2001). Washington American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.) The following cities are used in citing places of publication without their states because they are well known in their own right Amsterdam London Paris Tokyo Baltimore Los Angeles Philadelphia Vienna

Abstracts

The abstract, although it heads the article, is often written last, together with the title. This is partly because writers know what they have achieved, and partly because it is not easy to write an abstract. Abstracts have to summarise what has been done, sometimes in as few as 150 words. It is easier to write an abstract if you remember that all abstracts have a basic structure. Indeed, the phrase 'structured abstracts' says it all. This kind of abstract, common in medical research journals...

Acknowledgements

Many colleagues have helped directly and indirectly with the publication of this text, and I am indebted to them all. Much of the material has been reworked from previous journal articles. I am grateful to Baywood Publications (Chapters 2.1 and 4.7), Sage Publications (Chapter 2.4), the British Psychological Society (Chapters 2.12 and 4.4), Elsevier (Chapter 3.7) and Tyrell Burgess Associates (Chapter 4.5) for permission to re-present these ideas. I am also indebted to Richard Slatcher and...

An Example

While writing this section of Academic Writing and Publishing, I coincidentally received a copy of a paper by Slatcher and Pennebaker (2006). This paper was about the effects of one of the partners of a dating couple writing either neutral or strongly emotional letters to the other one about their relationship. The paper concluded that the participants who wrote the emotional letters were significantly more likely to be dating their romantic partners three months later than were the writers of...

Authors

Providing the name of a single author is no problem. Providing the name of a pair of authors might require resolution in terms of who comes first. The problem gets more difficult as the number of authors increases. The American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual (2001) gives clear advice on allocating credit for authorship. It states (pp. 395 6) that The sequence of names of the authors to an article must reflect the relative scientific or professional contribution of the...

Book chapters

The refereeing process here is quite different from that used for refereeing papers. Chapters that have been submitted for publication in an edited collection are likely to be longer and written by an authority in the field. The task of the referee here is typically to identify the good points in the chapter and perhaps the weaker ones, and to indicate how things might be improved. Comments may be asked for on the length of the chapter and the coverage of the literature review Is it up to date...

Choosing The Reviewers

Different editors have different procedures for choosing book reviewers. Some, for example, maintain panels of authors deemed appropriate for the task, whereas others work more with their personal knowledge of authors in their field, perhaps guided by recommendations from colleagues. Today, there are several journals where the editors do not personally select individual authors to review a particular book. Here, lists of books received for review are distributed by email attachments to a panel...

Citing Page Numbers For Quotations In The Text

There is some debate in the literature about the necessity for citing in the text the page numbers of a quotation, table or figure from another article when giving a reference to it. Generally speaking, this is done more frequently in papers in the arts than it is in the sciences, and studies have shown that many science journals are lax in this respect (e.g. Donovan, 2006 Henige, 2006). Clearly the level of detail required for an in-text reference is a matter of debate, but the actual page...

Clarity In Scientific Writing

In my view, following this sort of advice obscures rather than clarifies the text. Indeed, Smyth has rather softened his views with the passage of time (see Smyth, 2004). For me, the views expressed by Fowler and Fowler in 1906, which head this chapter, seem more appropriate. Consider, for example, the following piece by Watson and Crick, announcing their discovery of the structure of DNA, written in 1953. Note how this text contravenes almost all of Smyth's strictures cited above We wish to...

Cloze tests

The cloze test was originally developed in 1953 to measure people's understanding of text. Here, samples from a passage are presented to readers with, say, every sixth word missing. The readers are then required to fill in the missing words. Technically speaking, if every sixth word is deleted, then six versions should be prepared, with the gaps each starting from a different point. However, it is more common_prepare one version and perhaps_ to focus the gaps on_words. Whatever the procedure,...

Comments To The Authors

As noted earlier, referees are not always consistent in what they recommend. Different referees have different opinions, and there has been much research on the reliability and validity of peer review systems (e.g. see Godlee and Strength of supporting data evidence ___ _ Originality of ideas and approach ___ _ Completeness of discussion ___ _ Intelligibility to non-specialists ___ _ Accept_ Accept with minor revisions_ Re-submit after major revision_ Reject_ Please add any comments for the...

Concluding Comments

Table 2.1.2 shows, for example, the original titles proposed by nine final-year psychology students for their projects, followed by what I believe to be more informative ones. Most of the changes expand and clarify the originals. Readers may judge for themselves whether or not they think the revised versions will better attract and inform the readers. Table 2.1.2 Titles used by students for their projects (in the left-hand column) and revised versions (on the...

Constructing tables

The clarity of tables can be improved by paying attention to their size, complexity and organisation, as well as to the captions and the prose descriptions of the tables that appear in the appropriate parts of the text. Table 3.5.1 The percentage of articles containing tables and graphs in four different journals in 2005 Table 3.5.1 The percentage of articles containing tables and graphs in four different journals in 2005 containing containing containing Large tables and figures are...

Contents

1.1 The nature of academic writing 3 2.12 Responding to referees 67 3.8 Letters to the editor 123 3.9 Annotated bibliographies 127 Other aspects of academic writing 129 4.1 Finding, keeping and disseminating information 131 4.2 Choosing where to publish 137 4.3 Delays in the publishing process 143 4.5 Sex differences in academic writing 161 4.6 Procrastination and writer's block 165 4.7 Collaborative writing 169 4.8 Productive writers 175 A.1 Guidelines for academic writing 183 A.2 Guidelines...

Delays In Editing The Text

When publishers receive the author's text, it is usually submitted for copy-editing. The role of the copy-editor is to check the manuscript to ensure that it follows the correct style for setting the references (in the text and in the list) includes all the references cited in the text in the reference list (and that there are no omissions or additions), and vice versa is consistent in its punctuation for lists (such as this one) contains no typographical or spelling errors reads well in terms...

Delays in the publishing process

The publishers of academic journals and textbooks are notorious for what seem to the authors to be lengthy delays in the publishing process, and then announcing that the proofs will be ready in a day or two and please to have them back, corrected, within 48 hours. If authors want to ensure rapid publication, they have to consider that certain kinds of publication are much slower than others. For example, as noted in Chapter 3.1, encyclopaedias, handbooks (with edited chapters), edited texts and...

Different Kinds Of Books

I list here some different kinds of book with my - probably biased - estimates of how time-consuming and difficult it is to write them. 1 The popular science book (e.g. texts such as those by Oliver Sacks, Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould) These books are extremely easy to read, but they are probably much more difficult to write than it might seem. There might be much more polishing of the text than meets the eye. However it is done, it is beyond most of us. 2 The edited collection of previously...

Disseminating The Results Of Doctoral Research

New technology encourages the dissemination of doctoral research. However, theses are not normally written in a style that is appropriate for dissemination in conferences, journals or textbooks. As Luey (1990) points out, 'Textbooks differ in the level of difficulty, in format, and in the degree of illustrations . . .' (p. 121) as well as in their audiences. The same is true of articles. Many of the chapters in this text-book are based upon previously published articles. Some of these were...

Electronic Theses

It is now conventional for Ph.D. writers to use word processing facilities to write their texts. In addition, it is getting more common to produce an electronic version of the thesis. Apparently, more than 50,000 doctoral theses and 100,000 master's theses are produced annually in this way in the USA (Moxley, 2003). Some universities are progressing in this direction in the UK, although there is much debate over the necessary regulations. Currently, there is discussion about providing an...

Finding keeping and disseminating information

The World Wide Web has revolutionised how academics find information. In writing this book I have not had to venture far from my office. The information that I have used to write each chapter has mainly come from books on my shelves, papers stored in my filing cabinets, previous papers on the topic that I have written, and papers located in databases and electronic journals on the Web. In searching these latter resources, I have roamed well beyond my own discipline. Only occasionally have I had...

Further Reading

Research presentation in a democratic society A voice from the audience. Educational Researcher, 25(6) 25 30. Farkas, D. (2006). Toward a better understanding of PowerPoint deck design. Information Design Journal, 14(2), 162 71. Fischer, B. A. & Zigmond, M. J. (2006). Attending professional meetings successfully. Retrieved 1 September 2006 from Hall, G. M. (Ed.) (2007). How to present at meetings (2nd edn). BMJ Books, Oxford Blackwell Publishing. Kinchin, I. M....

Guidelines for academic writing

Revised list from Hartley, J. (1997). Writing the thesis. In N. Graves & V. Varma (Eds.), Working for a doctorate (pp. 97-100), London Routledge. 1 Keep in mind your readers they may not be experts Imagine that you are writing for a fellow colleague - or for one of your students - who is familiar with the conventions of your discipline, but who does not know your area. Readers need to be able to grasp what you did and what you found, and to follow your arguments easily. 2 Use the first...

Guidelines for revising text

Revised list from Hartley, J. (1997). Writing the thesis. In N. Graves & V. Varma (Eds.), Working for a doctorate (p. 103). London Routledge. 1 Read through the text asking yourself 2 Read through the text again, but this time ask yourself What changes do I need to make to help the reader How can I make the text easier to follow 3 To make these changes you may need to make big or global changes (e.g. rewrite sections) or to make small or minor text changes (e.g. change the original text...

Impact And Other Factors

Researchers are encouraged these days to submit their articles to journals with high 'impact factors'. Such journals, it is claimed, are of better quality than those with low impact factors, and this will stand them in better stead in any evaluation of their research (however this is done). The impact factor of a journal is found by dividing the number of citations in one year to articles in the previous two years in that particular journal by the number of articles published by that journal in...

Letters to the editor

Sometimes it strikes you, when reading a recently published paper, that the authors have failed to include some important variable, made a statistical error or omitted a key research finding. One way of responding to this is to write a letter to the editor, or a short note for publication. Letters to the editor typically follow the following format or 'moves' (Magnet and Carnet, 2006). They remind the reader of the contents of the paper to be commented on raise the explicit criticism give...

Level Keyboarding the text

Research at this level of detail is not particularly relevant to this text. However, it is of interest in one respect. In the old days, people produced and kept early drafts of their work. It was possible, therefore, to see how through the changes, deletions and revisions a writer's thoughts changed and developed as the text was produced. Today, with word processing, it is extremely difficult to keep track of changes of this kind. It is now so easy to change a word or phrase without affecting...

Measuring The Difficulty Of Academic Text

There are many different ways of measuring the difficulty of academic text. Three different kinds of measure (which can be used in combination) are 'expert-based', 'reader-based' and 'text-based', respectively (Schriver, 1989). Expert-based methods are ones that use experts to make assessments of the effectiveness of a piece of text. Referees, for example, are typically asked to judge the quality of an article submitted for publication in a scientific journal, and they frequently make comments...

New Technology And Productivity

Barjak (2006a 2006b) has examined the influence of new technology on productivity. In his 2006a paper, Barjak outlined two ways in which new technology can impact on scientific academic writing. He notes that 1 In general, more information is available over computer networks, and the search for, and retrieval of, information is faster. 2 Access to remote instruments and data sets is easier and faster. 1 Learning to use new technology can slow people down. 2 There is a problem with information...

Postscript Problems For Nonnative Speakers Of English

The IMRAD format is helpful for non-native speakers and writers, in the sense that anything that has a structure is easier to deal with than anything that has not. Unfortunately, it is more difficult for non-native speakers of English to read and to write in the appropriate style than it is for native speakers. Regrettably, methods of automatic translation have not yet progressed sufficiently for us to be able to turn scientific articles written in different languages into formal scientific...

Problems Of Measurement

In most of the studies of productive authors listed above, productivity was measured by the number of publications, rather than their quality. For example, in Hartley and Branthwaite's (1989) study carried out before impact factors and research assessment exercises the participants' total productivity scores were arrived at by asking them how many items they had published in various categories over three years. These numbers were then multiplied by various weightings e.g. books were given five...

Procrastination and writers block

As noted in Chapter 1.1, the texts that we read do not display individual differences in the approaches of their authors. Nor do they show how different writers feel about writing. Texts may be written with gusto and joy, or with painstaking agony, but this is not apparent from their surface features. Madigan et al. (1996) show this in their study. Here, the essays of psychology students were grouped into three categories (with about thirty essays in each). These were written by students with...

Productive writers

Some write a good deal more. What motivates these writers How do they do it Do we want to do it too There have been several studies of productive writers - but only a few recent ones that discuss writers enmeshed in new technology. The somewhat earlier studies fall into two main, but sometimes overlapping, categories 1 studies of the faculty in a particular department or institution to see what organisational factors are associated with high productivity and...

Proofs

The day will come when the proofs of an article that you submitted some months ago arrive unexpectedly in the post or on your screen. The proofs will be accompanied by a note 1 indicating that they need to be corrected and returned to the publishers within a day or two and 2 making dire threats about the costs of making major changes. Proofs allow the author to check the accuracy of the typesetting, especially if the text has been altered to fit the printer's house style, and possibly to make...

Prose descriptions of tables

Tables, and their contents, have to be explained to readers in the text. This can partly be done in the caption, but there is usually more to it than this. Salovey (2000) presents contrasting examples (see Table 3.5.7). He argues that the first one is 'statistics-based' and the second one 'reader-based'. In the first passage, we have no idea what was found until the end. In the second one, the findings come first. Table 3.5.6 The effects of inappropriate internal spacing in a table readers...

Reading Versus Speaking

It is important to note that the conference paper is designed to be spoken and listened to it is not a written paper. There may be a written version for the conference delegates who want one, and for other enquirers, but in the conference itself the focus is on speaking and displaying information. In this connection, Gould (1995, p. 39) remarks that humanists inevitably read their papers from a manuscript, whereas scientists speak extemporaneously from written notes. He also says that...

Reasons For Citing References

According to Robillard (2006), students are taught that 'the primary function of citing references is to avoid plagiarism by giving credit where credit is due'. However, when it comes to publishing academic papers, the reasons for citing references increase. Robillard suggests that references tell the readers where they can find the material being discussed provide evidence for the writers' claims draw the readers' attention to little-known or unknown work indicate to the reader the scholarship...

References

Results that get results. Telling a good story. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Guide to publishing in psychology journals (pp. 121-32). Cambridge Cambridge University Press. Slatcher, R. B. & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). How do I love thee Let me count the words. Psychological Science, 17(8), 660-4. Swales, J. M. & Feak, C. B. (2004). Academic writing for graduate students (2nd edn). Ann Arbor, MI University of Michigan Press. Thompson, D. K. (1993). Arguing for experimental...

Research and grant proposals

The refereeing process here is more like refereeing papers, but it is a good deal more demanding. A great deal is at stake when one recommends acceptance or rejection of a research proposal costing several thousands of pounds. Referees in this context have to be authorities in the field, and they should possibly decline to do the task if they think they are not. Gade et al. (2006) indicate that the reviewer's report has to be thorough, clear, specific, constructive and timely. Referees are...

Responding to referees

As noted in the postscript to Chapter 1.1, refereeing can be a lottery. Referees' comments and recommendations can vary. Consider three more referees' advice and comments to an editor about an article that I had submitted for publication Referee 1 Accept. It would be quite helpful to non-specialists to provide grade reading equivalents to the Flesch scores to give perspective. Referee 2 Accept with revision. This paper addresses an interesting and important topic . . . Despite this . . . the...

Short Notes

Another genre for responding to previous research is the 'short note'. Such notes may be less disparaging than the letter to the editor and possibly a lot longer. The same stages outlined above for letters may again be present in the note, but normally with more detail. Such notes are likely to be refereed, and often there are replies from the original authors. Short notes can also be used to make a particular point in general, rather than target a specific person. Short notes are accepted as...

Some Problems

There are a number of problems in reviewing the literature that apply to all of the above strategies. First of all, there is what is sometimes called the 'file-drawer' problem. This relates to the fact that it is easier to publish studies that have statistically significant findings than it is to publish ones that do not, and so the latter get filed away. Torgerson (2006) calls this 'the Achilles heel' of systematic reviews, but it applies to all attempts to review the literature in any field....

Strategies For The Beginning Thesis Writer

The following tips (updated from Hartley, 1997) may be helpful when starting to write a thesis Try to be well organised. Plan well ahead. Try to keep to the plan. Examine two or three theses in your discipline area. This will show you what is required and how best to present it. Consider how appendices can be used to include material that gets in the way of the flow of the argument. Write from the beginning. Do not leave 'writing up' until the end you will forget what you did, and why you did...

Students Writing In Higher Education

A number of studies have looked to see whether or not male students write differently from female students in English university examinations. Here, there are two particular genres course-work essays done over time, and essay-examination scripts done under pressure of time. The findings for either genre are not particularly convincing. Studies in both situations have found that women do better than men in some situations, and men do better than women in others, but in both genres there seem to...

Tables and graphs

Tables and graphs are important features in academic articles and conference papers and indeed elsewhere. Table 3.5.1 shows the percentage of articles containing tables and graphs in a variety of journals in 2005. Generally speaking there are fewer of these features in journals in the arts and more in journals in the sciences, with the social sciences in between. These data suggest that there is not much to choose between the proportions of authors using tables in the sciences and in the social...

Tables And Graphs In Conference Presentations

Many of the features of tables and graphs discussed above are also relevant to their presentation in conferences. However, in conference presentations, it is best to present data drastically simplified - complexities can be covered in the talk. For conference presentations, tables and figures need to be an adequate size and to use few, possibly only two, contrasting colours (e.g. dark text on a pale background, or the reverse of this for darkened rooms). Full explanatory captions or titles on...

The Language Of Science And Academia

If we examine the text of scientific articles it is clear that there is a generally accepted way of writing them. Scientific text is precise, impersonal and objective. It typically uses the third person, the passive tense, complex terminology, and various footnoting and referencing systems. Such matters are important when it comes to learning how to write scientific articles. Consider, for example, the following advice Good scientific writing is characterised by objectivity. This means that a...

The Written Text

Although the conference paper is delivered orally, it is useful to have a summary version available as a hand-out during the talk. Handouts help listeners follow the presentation and grasp its overall structure. It may be helpful to reproduce copies of any of the key PowerPoint slides, but it is unwise just to present them all in reduced size. The handout needs to be readable, and much is lost if the spoken accompaniment to the slides is omitted. The hand-out should also contain the title of...

Using Appropriate Styles And References

In most situations authors have no say in what reference system will be used, and they prepare their texts in accordance with publishers' demands. They do, however, have different aims and can use different referencing styles to match these, as shown in Table 2.10.1. Historical analysis shows that referencing styles are not fixed and predetermined, and that incoming editors can and do make changes. The British Journal of Psychology, for example, started in 1910 with a footnote system and...

What Do Writers Gain By Refereeing

Commentators suggest that writers gain three things by refereeing 1 they feel accepted as part of the scholarly community 2 they have to take a stand and decide what is and what is not acceptable in publications in their discipline and 3 they see the level of quality demanded of other authors and learn to apply it to their own work. Refereeing a paper conscientiously is time-consuming but worthwhile. It may take several hours to do it properly. Many authors acknowledge the contribution of...

Writing A Thesis

Writing a thesis is like writing an academic article, only worse. The thesis is much longer. Unfortunately, students normally write their thesis before they start on articles, and they only write one. Thus, thesis writers typically have less practice and are less skilled at academic writing than are the more experienced authors of papers. Furthermore, many Ph.D. students writing their theses in English are non-native speakers of the language. A thesis is much like a graduate student It has a...

Writing As A Genre

Table 4.5.1 shows some data found for men and women writing in different genres, ranging from academic text to what is often called 'women's fiction'. If you read down the table, for both of the measures 'sentence length' and 'reading ease', you will see that the texts typically get easier the further you go down the columns. If you read across the columns, you will find that there is only one significant difference out of eighteen between the average scores achieved by men and women....

Writing Book Reviews Editorial Instructions

Because book reviews are not normally refereed, editors need to make clear what they require. Thus, there are usually instructions on these matters for Table 3.7.1 The hidden meanings of phrases in book reviews Not much in this but one or two chapters worth thinking about 'A useful book for the library' Not very exciting 'The discussion is somewhat abstruse' I could not understand much of this 'For the most part this is a thorough, lucid and well-argued book but a few weaknesses can be noted....

Grammatical Constructions In Titles

Soler (2007) examined 570 titles used in articles in the biological and social sciences. Some 480 of these were from research papers, and 90 from reviews. Soler distinguished between full-sentence constructions, for example 'Learning induces a CDC2-related protein kinase' nominal group constructions, for example 'Acute liver failure caused by diffuse hepatic melanoma infiltration' compound constructions (i.e. divided into two parts, mainly by a colon), for example 'Romanian nominalizations case...

How To Select Key Words

Gbur and Trumbo (1995) published a list of ways of producing effective key words and phrases. Table 2.4.3 provides an abbreviated version. It is possible that, with future developments, all of these problems will actually disappear. As one colleague has put it, 'Inverted-full-text-Boolean indexing and online searching (with similarity algorithms and citation- Table 2.4.2 Different methods for supplying key words Authors supply them with no restrictions on the numbers allowed. Authors supply up...

General Procedures

In order to publish a book, it is useful to think first about an appropriate publisher. Some publishers will have books on similar topics in their 'list', and others won't. It might be best to look to the first kind, for they will know the market better. Then it is a good idea to check these publishers out on the Web. Each will have a homepage with details about submissions and possibly the names of their commissioning editors for the different categories of texts that they publish. A letter to...

Strategies For Presenting Results In Reviews

There are at least six ways of presenting summaries of the results of research reviews, which can be placed along a continuum of statistical precision. 1 The narrative review This is the kind of review that is typically used in this book. Writers research around a particular topic and then write a review of the field, giving their own 'take' on it, selecting evidence from whatever seems appropriate to them. This type of review is most common in text-books and popular journals. I once provided a...

Delays In Journal Publishing

Publication lags differ in different journals. Most journals now publish with each article the dates of the original submission, the revised submission and when the article was accepted for publication which can be a year or more before it appears in print. Researchers can get a good idea of publication delays by inspecting this information in recent issues of the journals that they intend to submit to. Generally speaking, it takes longer to publish articles in high-quality journals (often well...

James Hartley

Taylor& Francis Croup LONDON AND NEW YORK 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OXI4 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2008. To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to www.eBookstore.tandf.co.uk. All rights reserved. No part of this book...

Structured Abstracts

Structured abstracts are typically written using five sub-headings 'background', 'aim', 'method', 'results' and 'conclusions'. Sometimes the wording of these sub-headings varies a little 'objectives' for 'aim', for example, but the meaning is much the same. Structured abstracts were introduced into medical research journals in the 1980s. Since then they have been widely used in medicine and other areas of research (Nakayama et al, 2005). In 2004, I published a narrative review of their...

Delays In Book Publishing

When the contract has been signed, authors can get on with completing their text, but a number of things can hold them up. One of these, in particular, is having to obtain permission to reproduce tables, figures and quotations from previously published materials even if they are your own originals . . . Some people counsel authors to start doing this almost as soon as they think they will need to copy something when they set out writing their text. However, because permissions have to be given...

Move Occupying the niche

The introduction concludes in paragraph 5 with the following key phrases 'In the present study we sought to investigate the social effects of expressive writing . . .', 'Three predictions were tested. First . . .'. Slatcher and Pennebaker thus follow Swales and Feak's analysis almost line by line. It is also worth noting, in passing, that the literature review in this paper is quite short, and there are only nine references. Day and Gastel 2006 comment that, 'Introductions should supply...

The Flesch Reading Ease score

The Flesch score is now one of many easily obtained computer-based measures of text readability. The scores run from 0 to 100, and the higher the score, the easier the text. The original measure was created in 1943 by Rudolph Flesch to measure the readability of magazine articles Klare, 1963 . Basically, what current measures of the score do is to count the length of the words and the length of the sentences in a passage and compute these into a reading ease RE score Flesch, 1948 . The...

Different kinds of thesis

Paltridge 2002 described, with examples, four types of thesis, based upon an analysis of fifteen master's and fifteen Australian Ph.D. theses. These types were 1 Traditional simple Here, typically, there were six sections introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion and conclusions the IMRAD structure writ large. 2 Traditional complex Here there were more sections, for example introduction background to the study and literature review background theory and methods...

Sex differences in academic writing

In Chapter 1.1 I discussed some differences between the writing processes of individual academics. In that chapter, I did not report, nor indeed have I found, any data on sex differences in this respect. This is surprising given that there has always been an interest in differences between the sexes in terms of verbal ability. It is commonly held that women are more verbal than men. Consequently, there is considerable discussion about whether or not men and women write and speak in different...

Unsolicited book reviews

Some editors accept unsolicited reviews, provided that they meet the required standards. As one editor put it I strongly encourage unsolicited reviews. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication Others are more cautious, for example This journal does not publish unsolicited reviews. However, if you would like to be added to our database of potential reviewers, please fill in our potential reviewers data-sheet. The Hispanic American Historical Review Unsolicited book reviews are not...

Posters

Imrad Scientific Poster

Poster papers were initially introduced to ensure that people could still have their work presented at conferences when there was insufficient space for it on the main programme. Curiously enough, I have been unable to find any assessments of their effectiveness in this respect. Most papers on posters concern their design. Figure 3.6.1 shows a typical arrangement for a poster at a scientific conference. Conference organisers usually specify how large such posters can be. A conventional size is...

Pie charts bar charts and linegraphs

It is usual in discussions such as this to distinguish between pie charts, bar charts and line graphs. Pie charts are much rarer in academic articles than are bar charts and line graphs, and probably should be avoided in this context. Pie charts are difficult to label and to read if they contain several segments see Figure 3.5.2 . Further, multicoloured segments do not copy well in black and white. 1950 55 60 65 70 1950 55 60 65 70 Figure 3.5.1 Plotting the same data with different vertical...