Style - Style (Adapted from

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Style (Adapted from ) What do we mean by style? When you read your writing it may seem perfectly clear, but other people may not be getting your point. Part of the problem with style is that it’s subjective. Different readers have different ideas about what constitutes good writing style—so do different instructors and different academic departments. For example, passive voice is generally more acceptable in science fields than in the humanities. Some of what readers identify as writing problems are not technically grammatically incorrect. A sentence can be wordy and still pass all the rules in the grammar handbooks. Say What You Mean First, remember that your goal in academic writing is not to sound intelligent, but to get your intelligent point across. You may be reading complicated textbooks and articles, and even when they don't make sense to you, they all sound smart. So when you have to write a paper, you may try to imitate this type of writing. But sometimes when you imitate the style, you miss the most important goal--communicating and being understood. Your instructor isn’t psychic, and if she can’t understand what you are saying, she’s going to have trouble giving you credit for it. Remember that the most important goal in every paper is to get your point across as straightforwardly as possible. Say It in the Appropriate Tone Beware too of the opposite problem: writing exactly like you speak to your friends over lunch at Lenoir. We’ve written this pamphlet in a chatty, friendly style, so that you’ll read it and think "this isn’t such a painful way to learn about style." Ours may not be the appropriate style for an academic paper. Some instructors may think it’s okay to say "the Renaissance was a drag" or "the cool thing about the Balkans is…" but most won’t. When in doubt, be conservative—and don’t think that because a discipline is "arty" or "out there" that they want you to write like that. This caution doesn’t mean you should write all your sentences in a choppy, obvious, "see Jane run" style. It just means that you should make sure that your instructor isn’t distracted from what you are trying to say by how you are saying it. How to Improve First we’ll explain some common, style-related writing problems., then we’ll show you some handy tips for finding them, and finally we’ll work on correcting them in your revision process. (That’s right: at first you may have to include a revision devoted entirely to style in your writing process, at least until you get used to recognizing and correcting these issues as you write.) Wordiness This term is used to cover a couple of style problems that involve using more words than
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Style - Style (Adapted from

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