Improving Your Writing Skills to Create a Good Doctoral Dissertation
Writing a dissertation is a long and drawn out process. There’s so much work that needs to go into it, and it takes a good chunk of time to complete it. Sometimes, you’re going to feel like you can’t finish it, or that your work isn’t good enough. Well, don’t worry too much. Follow these handy tips to keep your writing sharp.
- Don’t Waffle
- Be Concise
- Cite Often
- No Adverbs
- Review, Review, Review
Say what you need to say. No more, no less. Don’t add in extra words to fill your word count. Don’t waffle. Just say it, and move on.
Try not to get yourself confused. If you’re confused, your writing will be confusing and your readers will find themselves flummoxed. Make sure you know what you’re trying to say before you put it to paper. Don’t get carried away writing it down when you have the thought. Flesh it out. Double check everything and then, only then, start your writing.
Some writing isn’t in and of itself bad, but if you don’t reference your work it’s pretty useless to you and it might even land you in some hot water if they think you’re plagiarizing. So cite often and make sure you’re not accidently getting yourself in trouble. On top of that, a good citation proves you’re not just making this stuff up. If you can cite someone who agrees with you it shows both that you’re on the right track and you’re not alone.
We well-placed adverb can work wonders. In case you’re wondering, an adverb is anything that ends in –ly. They describe a very. So, for instance: he walked quickly. Here, the word ‘quickly’ is an adverb. And it’s fine, but a much stronger verb would be: he jogged, he ran, and he sprinted. Often, an adverb can be replaced with a stronger verb, which more directly tackles what you’re trying to say. Of course, not all adverbs are bad, but too many clutters up the page, so prune them out.
Review, Review, Review
Good writing is merely better editing. Don’t rely on your first draft to pull you through. Don’t even rely on your second, or third. Put your drafts through the works until you can’t even recognize it and you’re sick of looking at it.
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