Researchers across a number of disciplines are being encouraged to improve their writing skills in order to participate fully in their respective fields and to comply with their department’s publication metrics. The Academic Writing Center at NUST MISiS is prepared to help our students reach their academic and professional goals. In our weekly newsletter, we will be presenting a series of topics designed to address students’ concerns about the elements and characteristics of academic writing.
Reading to Write
When Academic Writing students ask me how they can improve their writing skills, one piece of advice I have at the ready is: read a lot. A lot. This is perhaps the one activity that will benefit students of academic writing the most. Reading the works of researchers they admire, and in journals in which they wish to publish, will allow students to familiarize themselves with the rhythms and nuances of academic writing.
Research-based writing is about more than recording the process by which a researcher carries out a study; academic writing is also about recognizing that one’s research is adding to an already ongoing conversation. This is precisely why I point students to their institutions’ research databases or sites like ScienceDirect.com and Scimago Journal and Country Rank. From novice to the more seasoned ones, researchers should familiarize themselves with the scholarship being produced by fellow academics in their fields. By becoming familiar with this abundant material, academic writers will be able to identify research gaps, recognize language and structure conventions of research-based writing, and become knowledgeable about the submission process of journals.
by Leticia Medina