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More precise and academic synonyms

As an English Literature degree student, it is slightly bizarre feeling the need to ask this question, but I thought it would be good to search for the perspective of another person.

That said I am writing some essays, and I realised that there are some phrases and words that I repeat, as such as 'therefore', and 'this illustrates', and I wondered if there were any other more academic synonyms for these words and phrases that you could suggest? I am trying to make my writing more sophisticated.
Make your writing sophisticated by developing sophisticated academic arguments, not using flowery prose.
Reply 2
This spurred me to look at my PhD thesis to see how many times I used 'therefore'. Only 20 times in 90,000 words!
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
Make your writing sophisticated by developing sophisticated academic arguments, not using flowery prose.

That is what I'm thinking; finding more precise ways of saying things will allow me to create more precise arguments. Aside from the knowledge itself, obviously.
Reply 4
Original post by gjd800
This spurred me to look at my PhD thesis to see how many times I used 'therefore'. Only 20 times in 90,000 words!

That's interesting! Impressive. I feel you will understand that I feel like I'm unnecessarily repeating myself, regardless of these words being used to connect ideas and arguments.
Reply 5
Original post by LiteraryGeek
That's interesting! Impressive. I feel you will understand that I feel like I'm unnecessarily repeating myself, regardless of these words being used to connect ideas and arguments.

There is also something to be said for brevity when writing for assessment. It's ok to be inelegant and even dull in terms of word choices provided that you get the point across succinctly - few words do better than 'therefore', 'thus', 'consequently' for that.
Reply 6
As an aside, a quick way to write more elegantly is to read more journal papers and instead of their content, pay attention to their sentential construction and style.
Original post by LiteraryGeek
That is what I'm thinking; finding more precise ways of saying things will allow me to create more precise arguments. Aside from the knowledge itself, obviously.

No, my point was you need to focus on the knowledge itself to start with. It's entirely possible to make sophisticated academic arguments using plain English plus technical terms from your field. Develop the knowledge and ability to construct the sophisticated arguments first - prose style will develop in the process of that naturally (as you read more and get used to the style of your field). The reverse is not necessarily true though and the latter certainly will not substitute for the former either.
(edited 5 months ago)
Reply 8
Original post by artful_lounger

No, my point was you need to focus on the knowledge itself to start with. It's entirely possible to make sophisticated academic arguments using plain English plus technical terms from your field. Develop the knowledge and ability to construct the sophisticated arguments first - prose style will develop in the process of that naturally (as you read more and get used to the style of your field). The reverse is not necessarily true though and the latter certainly will not substitute for the former either.


Oh okay, so you're saying that as well as developing my writing, I need to focus on the development of my knowledge and how those converge? That makes complete sense! If I focus on the knowledge, then my writing should develop from there, to be honest; the more that I know what I'm talking about, the more I have to say, and the more concisely I can say it.
Reply 9
Original post by gjd800

There is also something to be said for brevity when writing for assessment. It's ok to be inelegant and even dull in terms of word choices provided that you get the point across succinctly - few words do better than 'therefore', 'thus', 'consequently' for that.


That is a very good point, actually! A lot of the cutting down of my word counts in my assignments has come from brevity, and cutting down superfluous language; using words only when they are absolutely necessary.
Reply 10
Original post by gjd800
As an aside, a quick way to write more elegantly is to read more journal papers and instead of their content, pay attention to their sentential construction and style.


I will give that a go, and see where it takes me!
Original post by LiteraryGeek
Oh okay, so you're saying that as well as developing my writing, I need to focus on the development of my knowledge and how those converge? That makes complete sense! If I focus on the knowledge, then my writing should develop from there, to be honest; the more that I know what I'm talking about, the more I have to say, and the more concisely I can say it.


Basically as you build your knowledge by reading papers and monographs and such, you will start to get more and more of a feel for how people in your field write academically, and you'll start picking up those conventional phrases and so on that are typical :smile: However you'll also be building up the essential knowledge you need to make good academic arguments in the first place!

You'll also start to get a feel for what some less "nice" academic writing looks like by doing so and realise that in comparison a lot of your essays probably aren't that bad in comparison (and realise that just because they published a paper with horrible writing style doesn't mean that the underlying argument or ideas are bad - although obviously if the poor stylistics get in the way of understanding that is a problem). This seems more prevalent in some areas (linguistics...) than others though :tongue:

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