Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Books for Business Academic Writing

Business academic writing has a specific set of types of writing like projects, reports, business plans, etc.  but that’s not all that makes it stand out from the usual academic writing. The style of business papers can be less formal than the one in academic papers and the text can be written from any point of view (while academic writing mostly prefers the third person). Writing business projects or reports, an assignee can add his/her personal opinion. Academic writing, on the contrary, relies mostly on facts. In addition, the length of sentences in business writing tends to be shorter than in academic papers. These are the main differences but, obviously, not all. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect these specifics if you are a freelance academic writer. You must dig up all the details of business writing and to accomplish it successfully I advise you to go through these books that’ll be of great help in mastering your business writing!
  •      Academic Writing for International Students of Business by Stephen Bailey

A perfect guide for your development in this direction! It deals with academic writing in the context of business studying specifics and tackles all the aspects of the writing process including the important elements, necessary vocabulary and models. You can buy it on Amazon or partly check it out on Google Books. 
  • Writing Guidelines for Business Students by Lisa Emerson

A full-scale textbook on business writing that deals with essays, reports, research proposals, note-taking or briefings. You can find there tips on how to organize the paper structure and referencing which is really important and seems to be the most difficult part.  Get this book and start to upgrade your business writing!
  • HBR Guide to Better Business Writing (HBR Guide Series) by Bryan A. Garner

This is a book written by a writing expert in business communication. It is not targeted at business academic writing or the types of papers business students usually write at universities. However, it contains interesting advice on general concept of business writing and will help you understand the mood and atmosphere in this field.

If you think that you don’t need these books, don't judge me if I tell you that you are wrong. Even if you know a thing or two about business plans or reports, it never hurts to enrich your knowledge. I hope these great manuals will definitely help you to improve your writing and you’ll ace in it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Do You Treat Your Books Well?

As I’ve told before and won’t miss the opportunity to mention this again, I am a reading geek. You also know that I have a clear book weight, a waterproof book cover bath bag and a handmade reading nook to support the fact that I’m a true reading geek. I will not go on rambling about how books are important, why I love them because people who understand me definitely get everything without words. This post is not for this. I am writing now because I need your help and soon you’ll know why.

To tell the truth I can’t pass any bookstore without stopping by and eventually buying another thrilling story that goes up in the line of my to-read list. By the way, my last purchase was “Warlock” by Wilbur Smith. It is really good. Can’t tear myself way from it.

But that’s not the point. Over the past 5 years I have gathered a massive collection of books and it is great because I have always dreamt of my personal library. However, I have faced another problem: I don’t really have space to keep them. Me, two girls, my husband and two pets: you know what I mean when I say that it’s really difficult to squeeze some free space. So, as a result all my books are scattered around the house: in drawers, on coffee tables, bedside tables, window sills or even on the floor. And when I realized the fact that I’m committing a book crime and eventually I won’t be able to call myself a book lover, I decided to change my attitude and find a perfect place for them. I decided to make a perfect book case. 

I’ve already have chosen a place in the living room without direct sunlight and not close to the heater. I think that’ll help to keep them safe from damaging.
But my biggest concern is the design of the bookcase. I can’t really figure out whether it has to be a book case or just compact book shelves. Of course, I’ve searched the Internet and found a lot of beautiful variants as you can see here. But what I really need is a good advice.

So, my dear friends, do you treat your book well? Where do you store them? What do you think is better: a bookcase or book shelves?
I will be really grateful for your response cause I need help to go on being a true reading geek and only you can help me!

P.S. Actually can’t afford it but it’s my dream!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. Think Critically

Everybody says that critical thinking is an essential part of academic writing. But not all of you know what critical thinking is and how it helps to make your papers become better. So, let’s dig deeper here to eventually get to the point. Critical thinking is the ability to thoroughly analyze the information, evaluate it and draw conclusions. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it truly isn’t that difficult to doubt theories and hypotheses, check the facts and form the judgements from the given material. It’s not that you discover new lands. However, your conclusions must be sound and consistent and not like “If the global banks climb down, then African grey bird species will migrate to the North”.

Now, let’s see what critical thinking does to your academic writing and how it instantly upgrade your papers.

Advantages of critical thinking:

  •         Distinct Difference between Opinions, Hypotheses and Facts

You will not only be able to distinguish between solid truth and unconfirmed theories. Your papers will be full of proficient information and the reader will know that he/she doesn’t have to doubt your writing.

  •         Deeply Analyzed Material

Due to this fact your paper will consist of statements and arguments that will not need further revision and discussion.

  •          Various Approaches

Critical thinking presupposes examining an issue from different angles. That’s why when you write a paper on a certain topic you check if there are different approaches to analyzing it. This way you’ll have the full picture.

  •          Your Own Opinion on the Issue

When you try to draw conclusions from the given facts you form you own attitude towards the issue. Consequently, your world outlook widens and you can use these arguments/conclusions in other papers.

  •          Skill to Prove the Point

While supporting some evidence with arguments you learn how to prove the point. It means that when you state the point, people will listen to you and consider your opinion and that is a very useful skill.

As you can see, critical thinking provides great upgrades to your academic papers. So, next time you need a consistent and proficient writing, don’t hesitate to use critical thinking while researching and analyzing information.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Too Long … Wait! Too Short (the Fate of Academic Writing Sentences)

Every time you start writing your academic paper, the first things you think about are a structure, proper language style and grammar. Then, you consider different arguments, refer to authoritative sources and bla bla bla. But you never stop on the sentence length in your writing because you take it for granted. When the thought is covered, only after that you put the full point. The same thing was with me until I realized that sometimes I lose the thread of my point myself, not to mention the reader.

So, let’s face it. Sentence length is a common problem for academic writers. Why? Because too short sentences make you look incompetent and too long – presumptuous. That’s why I’ve decided to develop a formula for a standard academic sentence.

Let’s have a look at the sentence:

‘The methods of qualitative and quantitative research possess different focus points as the former aims at a detailed and more explanatory description of the research topic while the latter concentrates its tools on counting and categorizing features or gathering essential figures to prove the point in research but they are both widely applied in studies due to their complementarity.’

It’s clear that the sentence is about methods of research but the main point is not really detectable. It is said that 20-25 words is an average length of a sentence for academic writing. So, let’s try to divide and shorten it.

‘Qualitative and quantitative research methods differ due to their focus points. Hence, the former aims at a detailed and more explanatory description of the topic while the latter concentrates on counting and categorizing features and  gathering essential figures. However, taking into account their complementarity, together, both methods make an integral part of any consistent research.’

As you can see, I’ve divided it into three sentences, each carrying one separate point, cut some words from too long clauses and added where it was necessary. And it became much easier to distinguish the main idea and message of this extract.

So, my formula for the average sentence is:

1 clause   +   1 clause = standard academic sentence
(7-10 words)       (7-10 words)


1 clause   +   1 clause   +   1 clause = standard academic sentence
(5-7 words)         (5-7 words)        (5-7 words)

That’s the formula I use BUT you should bear in mind that it’s not perfect and shouldn’t be used all the time because your writing must be balanced with long and short sentences to appear natural. Moreover, different kinds of academic writing may have different requirements. For example, sentences in natural science texts turn out to be shorter than the ones from social science and humanities.

And the last thing that must be kept in mind is sticking to the point. Believe me, I know the urge to use more and more words to describe some approach or explain the difference. But be careful with that; don’t try to squeeze in unnecessary details that won’t do more than trash your sentences. The shorter, the better.

All in all, things that you must take into account while writing academic papers are sentence length (the formula), sphere of academic writing and sticking to the point. That’s basically it.

Hope it helps you in your writing endeavours!