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Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article

ISBN: 9780226041322 | 0226041328
Edition: 2nd
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Pub. Date: 12/15/2007

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Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressuresmost lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with themoften lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer's block. Sociologist Howard S. Becker has writtentheclassic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago,Writing for Social Scientistshas become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Becker's message is clear: in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat. It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its "publish or perish" atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a "the way in which" when a simple "how" will doall these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impedimentsor at the very least, putting them aside for a few hourswe can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the "literature." In this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated,Writing for Social Scientistswill provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.


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