Balance

Because there are multiple interpretations for so much that happens in the natural and social worlds—multiple versions of right and wrong, good and bad, correct and incorrect—it becomes useful for writers to represent these possibilities in their discourse through assertions that give fair (honest, nonemotional) treatment even to positions with which the writer disagrees. Important here are balance phrases ("On one hand/on the other hand.. . .") and the recognition of multiple causes ("in the first place/in the second place,""in addition"). When you use these phrases in your spoken and written language, they suggest that you know the rules of the academic community.

Unfortunately, the foregoing generalizations are just that, generalizations that we don't have time to explore fully. In fact, the only thorough elaboration takes place semester by semester as you are progressively initiated into membership in the world of college or university studies. But no discussion of writing formal academic papers is useful unless you understand generally the nature and context of your academic audience. Every suggestion in this book is predicated on your understanding of this community and its ground rules and expectations. Once understood and agreed to, the many seemingly arbitrary assignments you will receive may begin to make better sense to you, and, in turn, your handling of them as a writer will make better sense to your teachers.

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