Let's talk about writing, more specifically economical writing.
Let's talk about economical writing.
Deidre McCloskey's little book on #EconomicalWriting is fantastic!!!
See my top takeaways from the book below
2. Find outline or arrangement of ideas that fits your argument.
Write notes in paragraph form (1 idea per paragraph, it doesn't have to be longer than 1 sentence). Print them out and cut up paragraphs. Rearrange on floor or table until the arrangement seems right.
4. At the end of each writing session (whether you're interrupted or not) write down where you're at and where you're going. Write it in bullet form or sentences. The exercise will save you so much time when you start another writing session.
5. NEVER start a text with "this paper/thesis/chapter."
Start with what you're going to say in a simple and concise way.
I have actually noticed how books do this.
My thesis currently starts like this:
6. Don't write a roadmap paragraph at the end of your introduction. Section/chapter 1 will do this, then section/chapter 2 will do that.
I didn't understand, however, how else to make the path clear to the reader from the get go. If anyone has any advice, I am all ears!
7. "what spoils academic writing is lack of confidence" (41)
I realised my lack of confidence early on in my PhD, which made/makes me use pompous words to make me sound more scientific. I have yet to find a solution to becoming more confident. Experience does help, though.
9. Paragraph and sentence structure needs to be clear.
"It doesn't matter what your first sentence is. It doesn't matter what the second is. But the third damn well better follow from the first and second" (51)
10 contd. For example:
"A sentence with too much in all three of its parts can ruin a paragraph:"
"["A sentence with too much in all three parts"] connected to a simple verb ["can ruin"] and simple object ["a paragraph"]" (54)
12. Avoid elegant variation - i.e. overly using a thesaurus (like Joey in friends youtube.com/watch?v=9s0LqZ… - gets me everytime)
Say development if you mean development.
Ask yourself if you've used words to mean one thing.
16. Put important remarks at the end of sentences, things that come second in emphasis at the beginning and things that don't really matter in the middle.
Don't just put ideas at the end of sentences. Start a new one.
17. Replace all "is" with active verbs.
When editing circle all "ises" to see how many you have.
Removing "is" requires the sentence to have a subject, there is no escaping it. That is a good thing. Most sentences should have a subject.
18. Words to avoid: via, the process of, intra/inter, and/or, hypothesise, respectively, this, at least minimal, process of, thus, overall, basic factor, the existence of, former/latter, plus, aforementioned, fortunately, interestingly, words with -ly at the end
18 contd. Via can be replaced with by.
Examine and discuss is better than analyse (analyse actually means cut to pieces in Latin).
The use of "due to" means the sentence is badly constructed. Rephrase.
19. Use concrete words.
e.g. rather than technology mention the actual technology such as a sewing machine.
Singular words are better than plurals.
Don't codify your language.
Simplify - be plain. Use everyday language.
22. Circle "this"/"these" in your text. Then get rid of them. You don't want readers looking back to figure out what it is referring to. You want your readers to follow the forward flow of your argument.
A plain "the" will do or repeat the word represented by "this"
24. Remember that "good writing is difficult" (89) but "fluency can be achieved by grit" (20). Sitting down to write is difficult but as McCloskey says in her humoristic way: "Sneak up on it and surprise it with the ancient recipe for success in intellectual pursuits:"...