How To Improve Your Academic or Scientific Writing Skills
The mass production of English text for online venues and in self-publishing projects of all kinds has wrought significant changes in both reading and writing. Most authors of this material would claim that their writing is excellent if not entirely error free; unfortunately, this is all too rarely the case. In fact, many writers, though not all of them to be sure, have adopted a rather relaxed attitude about getting every detail right, especially when they are writing online and often, some would argue, due to the need for rapid production of text. This mentality leads to the prioritisation of quantity over quality, and even readers who know language and its rules well tend to be far more tolerant of errors in typing, grammar, spelling and punctuation than would have been the case in the past. In the academic and scientific prose written by advanced researchers, however, errors and other problems that reduce clarity and precision should always be avoided.
It is therefore essential for scholarly authors to work at being accomplished writers if they are to produce top-notch articles and books that will be published by the best journals and presses. Writing well-constructed English sentences that communicate sophisticated ideas and complicated results clearly, accurately and precisely is far from an easy task, which means that writing up your research can sometimes take as long as conducting it, particularly if you include proofreading, editing, revising, polishing and then doing them all again and maybe again in the writing process, as any accomplished and experienced author does. If you struggle with writing in English, perhaps because it is not your native language, the challenges may prove significant indeed, but they must be surmounted if you are to do your research justice and reap the rewards of your work.
One obvious technique if you are struggling to construct English sentences is to keep those sentences as short and straightforward as possible. This approach will mean that the decisions about grammar and syntax will prove simpler in many cases and that readers will usually be presented with complex information in a readily accessible and digestible format, but these will not always be the results. Certain kinds of information simply cannot be communicated adequately unless longer sentences that clearly explain complex ideas in relation to each other are used. With the current focus on short sentences in all forms of writing, however, it could be said that there is a very real danger of the long and complex sentence being lost from English prose. Already the ability to read and write such sentences is falling to the wayside, yet without such sentences serious scholars will find themselves hard pressed to express some of their analyses and conclusions in English, a situation which no academic or scientist, I suspect, would want. Furthermore, varying sentence length in a paragraph and an entire document is as important as varying sentence structure if you want your prose to flow smoothly and hold the interest of readers.
For the reasons I have suggested above and many others, it is imperative for scholars to work at writing truly good prose when they disseminate and publish their research, but it may help to keep in mind that you are not alone – many other authors are struggling along with you and help is always available. You may want to ask your colleagues and mentors, preferably ones who have published their own academic or scientific writing, to read your work and offer feedback on your use of language as well as your content. Some of them will certainly be able to offer constructive criticism, but even more reliable when it comes to problems with language is the help of a professional proofreader or editor who is a native speaker of English and a specialist in your field. Such an individual will understand the conventions of scholarly English in your discipline and bring to your work the expertise and objectivity that will help you polish your prose to the high scholarly standard you desire.
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At Proof-Reading-Service.com we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions proofreaders and achieve publication.
Our scientific proofreading services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript proofreading services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical proofreading services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.
If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.