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paper_hints - Hints for Writing Papers Stylistic hints 1....

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Hints for Writing Papers Stylistic hints 1. Avoid contractions in formal writing. In informal writing, they’re OK. 2. In formal writing, never use the second person as a substitute for impersonal or general references. Thus you should not write: “living in a democracy makes you less likely to be arrested for political reasons”. You might write instead: “Democratic governments are less likely to arrest their citizens for political reasons.” 3. Do not use an impersonal pronoun (e.g., “it”) when its referent is unclear or nowhere in sight. The “it” should refer clearly to a specific noun used in the preceding clause, not to a general concept contained in the previous clause, nor to a specific noun two or more clauses away. Similarly, avoid using “this” and “that” as subjects or direct objects. Thus, you would not write: “Dahl and other scholars have advanced the argument that democratization depends little on international influence. But this ignores important exceptions, such as Greece, Argentina, Taiwan, and the Eastern Europe.” Instead, write: “Dahl and other scholars have advanced the argument that democratization depends little on international influence. But this argument ignores important exceptions, such as Greece, Argentina, Taiwan, and the Eastern Europe.” 4. If you use the first person (“I” or “we”), stick with it throughout; do not switch back and forth between impersonal presentation of your argument and the first person
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course ARCH 4.401 taught by Professor Utemetabauer during the Fall '06 term at MIT.

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paper_hints - Hints for Writing Papers Stylistic hints 1....

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