Research Writing

Hi Everyone,

To improve our writing, I remember one of my professors told me that a good writer spent most of his/her time in reading. Now, come to think about it, it is particularly true in academic and research writing. By reading other good writings, we can learn the sentence structure, choice of word, argument development, and overall presentation and organization. On the other hand, in order for a researcher to write a good paper, he/she must read so many books and articles to gather information and ideas.

What do you guys think about this strategy?

Thank you.





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2 responses to “Research Writing

  1. frieda187

    Hi Liz,
    I am glad you mentioned this point. I have heard (and read this in writing books/manuals) before, I really agree that a great writer is also very well read. I am thinking back to my first year as an undergraduate and how my writing assignments were constructed compared to the assignments I wrote later in my program.As time went on and I was exposed to more schloary writing through course readings and independent research so I started to notice that my writing improved greatly. Right now I am reading a great deal of Young Adult fiction because someday I hope to write my own YA novel.

  2. tracymatos

    Hi Liz,
    A lot of my professors gave me similar advice and I completely agree that it is true for academic and research writing, especially for those who are not exceptionally skillful in writing research papers. To work towards the quality and professional level of writing that many scholars in the information discipline demonstrate, it would be helpful to critically look at their writing. I think it is important to note that we should not passively read or skim all of the articles that we have read in our courses, because we might sometimes overlook important details of the paper. Those details could be the ones that you mentioned of what we can learn by reading good writings, such as sentence structure, argument development, and so on. I think we should be aware of the structure of the paper, and not just the content, which may be difficult to do when not taking the time to read scholarly papers.

    Also, Frieda’s comment made me think of something interesting to point out. Frieda, you mentioned that you read YA novels, which could help you later on when writing your own YA novel. It made me think how quality writing extends beyond what scholars or researchers have written, and one essentially does not need to become a scholar or a researcher to produce quality work. I think that through time, effort and practice, and writing for whatever purpose but is of great interest and concern to the writers, they will gain the skills to write exceptionally well. They will also be able to provide examples of good, quality writing for others to look up to and admire.

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