Even at this early stage in learning the ways of academic writing, I’ve come to find that there’s a lot of variation in style, depending on who you talk to. It seems there are several ways in which people approach their writing.
I have one friend who likes to write in a very formulaic way, which is in keeping with a more traditional academic writing style. In contrast, I have another friend who writes in a much more conversational way, almost business-like, with longer sentences, plenty of commas, and elaborate descriptions throughout. Sometimes all of these within a single sentence.
I definitely lean more towards the conversational style of writing. After many years of writing news articles, op-eds, guides, explainers, and reviews for a variety of online publications, that style has always been more natural for me.
These are two very different styles, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, but for someone coming in fresh, looking for the right way to write, it’s a little confusing knowing which way is the right way. I think the answer is a combination.
Both styles are equally important, and my aim is to reach a nice middle ground between the two when writing for my PhD.
Let’s face it, an academic journal or thesis can be a pretty dry read. I don’t think this needs to be the case, and I hope to avoid falling into that trap wherever possible. I want people to be taken on a journey through my writing, not feel like they’re reading a set of instructions… and very long instructions at that.
Whether I can pull this off remains to be seen, but I going to have a good crack at it! 🙃 If anyone has any tips and tricks please ping me a message or pop a link in the comments.