Imaginative Writing vs.Technical Writing
Imaginative writing is that which expresses the writer’s thoughts and feelings in a creative, unique, and poetic way . Examples of imaginative writing are poetry, fiction such as short stories and novels, creative nonfiction like travel writing, nature writing, sports writing, autobiography, memoir, interviews, comics, play scripts, and hypertexts. While imaginative writing may be for a variety of purposes, its main purpose is to entertain and educate . Its content is imaginative, metaphoric, and symbolic. Its language is informal, artistic, and figurative. The vocabulary used is evocative and is usually written for a general audience. The tone, which refers to the mood, attitude, feelings, or emotion of the writer toward the subject or topic, is subjective.
Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms, The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees. I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth, The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them, They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need for my care. ’Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.
Technical writing is a form of writing technical communication or documentation in science and technology or applied science that helps people understand a product or service. The main purpose of technical writing is to inform and to trigger the person into action such as purchasing a product or service. Its purpose may also be to instruct or to persuade, but never to entertain. The content is factual and straightforward . It is expressed in formal, standard, or academic language. The write-up uses a specialized vocabulary and follows a set of rules and conventions. It is also organized in a sequential or systematic pattern. Often, it is detail-oriented and requires advanced knowledge in the specific field. The tone of technical writing output is objective and its audience is specific uses language to evoke either an emotional or intellectual response from the audience or reader. Examples of technical writing are end-user documentation like user manuals that accompany cellular phones, personal computers, or laptops; traditional technical writing such as legal analysis, summary of experiments for journal publications, or articles for trade publication; and technological marketing communications such as sales pitch about a new computer hardware or software to a new client. It includes training manuals, operations guides, and promotional brochures.
Casimiro Development Corp. vs. Mateo, G.R. No. 175485
After the death of the respondent’s maternal grandfather, the co-heirs of the land in Pulang Lupa effected the transfer of the full and exclusive ownership to Felicidad Lara-Mateo, the mother of the respondent.
Thereafter, after an agreement of the Mateo siblings, ownership was transferred to Laura Mateo though a Deed of Sale. Laura applied for land registration for which an OCT was thereafter issued.
The property was used as collateral to secure a succession of loans, a TCT of which was eventually issued in the name of China Bank. Appellant Casimiro Development Corp. thereafter purchased the property from China Bank.
Thereafter, CDC brought action for unlawful detainer in the MeTC against the Mateo siblings and those who continue to occupy the land. Mateo, however, claimed MeTC did not have jurisdiction as the land was classified as agricultural and for he has been in continuous possession of the land.
The MeTC ruled in favor of CDC, RTC against, CA and SC in favor CDC.
In another case, the respondent brought an action for quieting of title for which the RTC favored CDC, CA against (not a buyer in good faith).
Is the concerned Certificate of Title in the name of Laura indefeasible and imprescriptible?
Yes. The property has already been placed under the Torrens system of land registration before CDC became the registered owner by purchase from China Bank; OCT has already been issued to attest to the fact that the person named in the certificate is the owner of the property therein described, subject to liens and encumbrances as thereon noted or what the law warrants or reserves. Neither the respondent nor his siblings opposed the transactions causing various transfers, and even acknowledged the registration of the land under the name of Laura.
CDC was an innocent purchaser for value. Considering that China Bank’s TCT was clean title, that is, it was free from any lien or encumbrance, CDC had the right to rely, when it purchased the property, solely upon the face of the certificate of title in the name of China Bank.
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Academic Vs. Creative Writing: What You Need to Know Before You Teach
In college and during your teacher training, you probably spent a lot of time discussing how to teach writing to students. Even if you didn’t discuss writing pedagogy, you know the basics of academic writing from having gone through academia yourself. You might feel unprepared, then, when you need students to do creative writing. How do you approach–and teach–academic vs. creative writing?
( Teaching Creative Writing for the first time? You may want to start with this post. )
Teaching the Differences Between Writing Goals
Many of the differences between the two types of writing center on the goal, audience, and purpose of the writing. It’s important to understand these so that you can better communicate them to your students.
You don’t want students fabricating rich stories for their essays, and you also don’t want them to panic when asked to use their imaginations. Teaching both academic and creative writing is essential, then, for students to be able to respond to the variety of tasks life will throw their way.
While you might intuitively understand the difference, your students probably have not developed this awareness yet. Use this breakdown of the differences between academic and creative writing to help them know when to use each.
Academic Vs. Creative Writing Difference #1: Style
It’s important for students to have at least a basic understanding of style before walking them through the differences between academic and creative writing.
Academic writing uses a much more formal style of writing. Academic settings, like universities and schools, use it almost exclusively. For this reason, your students are probably already familiar with the basic expectations of academic writing.
Academic writing uses an objective, unbiased tone and focuses on presenting research and evidence to support an argument or claim. Academic writing is typically based on factual information and aims to inform and educate the reader about a particular topic.
Creative writing, however, is more expressive and imaginative and aims to entertain its reader. It can take many forms, including fiction, poetry, and personal essays.
Creative writing uses emotive language. Creative writing is less concerned with presenting factual information and more focused on exploring themes and ideas through the use of storytelling and descriptive language.
Teaching students about style can help them see the differences between academic and creative writing for themselves. It will also help them maintain the correct style for the writing task at hand.
( Want a fun activity to start a discussion about style? Try this lesson on Literary Voice! )
Academic Vs. Creative Writing Difference #2: Intended Audience
Academic writing is typically aimed at a more specialized and educated audience. For students, the intended audience for most of their academic writing will be teachers, professors, and fellow students. If they pursue academics, they may one day write for peer-reviewed journals or share scholarly articles.
Because academic writing audiences tend to already be knowledgeable, the writing may be more technical and difficult for a general audience to understand.
Creative writing, meanwhile, is often aimed at a wider, more general audience. Your students should be able to list all kinds of examples of creative writing from children’s books to fiction novels to even the old classics they read in class.
Creative writing may be more accessible and engaging to a wider range of readers. (Although this isn’t necessarily true–just look at how our students struggle with Shakespeare today.) Creative writing uses more poetic and figurative language .
It’s important to discuss intended audiences with your students regardless of what kind of writing they’re doing. Their audiences should inform their choices of language, form, and style in all of their writing.
Academic Vs. Creative Writing Difference #3: Purpose and Goal
Academic writing is typically focused on presenting research and evidence to support a specific argument or claim. This means that academic writing may be more structured and follow a specific format.
Your students are probably very familiar with the good old five-paragraph essay. They may even have learned C-E-R or some other highly structured format for presenting claims, evidence, and logical reasoning .
Creative writing on the other hand is more focused on exploring ideas and emotions through storytelling and descriptive language. The intent of a poem can sometimes be as simple as to convey strings of beautifully sounding words.
While academic writing often feels formulaic, creative writing is more open-ended and creative in its approach. (This may actually frustrate some of your students!)
How many ways have you seen authors discuss love? There are poems, plays, stories, and more. Even if you just look at “love poems,” you can see there are countless ways to structure creative writing.
To demonstrate just how open-ended creative writing can be to students, it might be helpful to show them a variety of mentor texts. For example, you can compare E. E. Cummings’s abstract style with Shakespeare’s highly-structured sonnets.
These Poem of the Week activities are a great way to incorporate a variety of mentor texts and bring different opportunities into your classroom for poetry discussion.
If you’re teaching a Creative Writing class for the first time, it’s important to go into it with a firm understanding of how it varies from academic writing. This will help you to begin thinking about what lessons and skills you’ll need to focus on in your class.
Even more important, however, is making sure your students understand these differences for themselves. After all, once they leave school, no one is going to tell them whether to write a formal, five-paragraph essay or a villanelle to summarize their notes for the big meeting.
Students need to understand the characteristics of both–and learn when to use each–if they’re going to find success (and possibly fulfillment) in writing in their futures.
Need to teach a whole Creative Writing class and don’t know where to start? Make it easy on yourself with my done-for-you Creative Writing 9-Week Class !
Technical vs. Academic, Creative, Business, and Literary Writing: What Is the Difference?
Technical writing is all about the content that focuses on providing detailed and clear information on the product or service. It contains a factual and straightforward message. Technical writers convert complex technical information into useful and easy-to-understand language. You should know that there are different types of technical writing , for example, online tutorials , instruction manuals, API documentation, and so on.
The main idea of all types of technical writing is to help the end-user understand any technical aspect of the product or service.
In addition to technical writing, there are many types of other writings, such as creative, business, and literary writing. All of them have distinctive features. Let’s compare these writings to technical writing and see what they have in common and what makes them different.
Technical Writing vs. Academic Writing
Some people might think these two types of writing are similar. The truth is that these are two completely different categories. It may seem that academic writing should be more complicated since it is focused on some specific and narrow discipline. Indeed, this type of writing may describe very complex concepts and provide specialized knowledge.
Technical writing is intended to describe technical information. It may vary depending on the specifics of a particular industry.
Academic writing is aimed to present a certain point of view on a particular subject. Academic papers show results of research and demonstrate someone’s knowledge. In turn, technical writing explains something to readers and informs them. Technical papers often explain how to use a particular product or service. Technical documents can also describe procedures used by the manufacturer to perform certain tasks. What technical and academic writing have in common is that both types may contain jargon.
Academic and technical writing target different audiences. Academic papers are usually intended for fellow scholars. However, there are also academic pieces of writing intended for a broad audience. Technical writing is intended for people who use a product or service.
Technical Writing vs. Creative Writing
Creative writing is a piece of writing for entertainment and education. It focuses on imaginative and symbolic content, and creative papers are published to entertain, provoke, inspire the user. Technical writing, on the other hand, is not done to amuse its reader. It is used to inform someone. Some technical articles are sometimes made to trigger the reader to take action.
There is no such specific reader who prefers creative papers. Anyone can read the creative paper if they want to, and it gives readers a theme, message, moral, or lesson which is helpful in their real lives or provides temporary entertainment to the reader.
Creative writing has many genres and subgenres. If you want to write creatively, you should have talent. Of course, talent alone is not enough - practice is everything here.
It doesn’t mean that creativity can’t be used in technical writing. Technical articles contain so many facts and data that they can bore and overwhelm readers. This is where creativity in technical writing might come in handy. A tech writer should be creative to encourage their readers to continue reading the document.
Technical Writing vs. Business Writing
Business writing is just about any kind of writing people do at work, if we are not talking about journalism or creative writing. Business writing includes reports, emails, proposals, white papers, minutes, business cases, letters, copywriting, bids, and tenders.
However, many reports, bids, and proposals contain technical data and specifications. So business writers may find themselves editing technical content, and technical writers may be called upon to write persuasive documents for a non-technical audience.
The main objective for both these writings is to inform, be useful, build something or operate the equipment.
The language needs to be clear, concise, and accurate. Wordiness, repetition, and unfamiliar words that the audience may not understand do not belong in either business or technical writing.
Of course, you can use technical jargon in documents where the audience has the same technical background. But too much jargon tends to be a huge problem. So, if in doubt, avoid jargon or explain it.
Some business documents need to be persuasive, whereas technical documents tend to be neutral and objective.
However, there are differences in the content, language, and style of technical and business writing. More on technical writing in business is in our article What Value Technical Writers Bring to Business?
Technical Writing vs. Literary Writing
The main difference between technical writing and literary writing is that literary language is used in literary work while technical writing is used in writing for a particular field. Literary writing is used in fiction. Examples of literary writing include poems, novels, short stories, dramas, etc. The language used in literary writing is creative, imaginative and uses literary techniques like hyperbole, personification, similes, metaphors, etc.
Technical writing is the style of writing that is mostly observed in non-fiction. The language used in technical writing is direct, factual, and straightforward.
Literary writing appeals to emotions. Technical writing appeals to the mind.
Technical writing is aimed at people who have knowledge about a particular subject area. Literary writing is written for general readers.
Every writing style is important in its own way. They are used by writers depending on the subject matter, purpose, language, and target audience. Below is the table that summarizes what you found out about the types of writing mentioned in this article:
It doesn’t matter what you write: essays, business materials, fiction, letters, or just notes in your journal, your writing will be at its best if you stay focused on your purpose and target audience.
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Academic writing refers to a style of expression that researchers use to define the intellectual boundaries of their disciplines and specific areas of expertise. Characteristics of academic writing include a formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective (usually), a clear focus on the research problem under investigation, and precise word choice. Like specialist languages adopted in other professions, such as, law or medicine, academic writing is designed to convey agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts within a community of scholarly experts and practitioners.
Academic Writing. Writing Center. Colorado Technical College; Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide . New York: Routledge, 2008; Ezza, El-Sadig Y. and Touria Drid. T eaching Academic Writing as a Discipline-Specific Skill in Higher Education . Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2020.
Importance of Good Academic Writing
The accepted form of academic writing in the social sciences can vary considerable depending on the methodological framework and the intended audience. However, most college-level research papers require careful attention to the following stylistic elements:
I. The Big Picture Unlike creative or journalistic writing, the overall structure of academic writing is formal and logical. It must be cohesive and possess a logically organized flow of ideas; this means that the various parts are connected to form a unified whole. There should be narrative links between sentences and paragraphs so that the reader is able to follow your argument. The introduction should include a description of how the rest of the paper is organized and all sources are properly cited throughout the paper.
II. Tone The overall tone refers to the attitude conveyed in a piece of writing. Throughout your paper, it is important that you present the arguments of others fairly and with an appropriate narrative tone. When presenting a position or argument that you disagree with, describe this argument accurately and without loaded or biased language. In academic writing, the author is expected to investigate the research problem from an authoritative point of view. You should, therefore, state the strengths of your arguments confidently, using language that is neutral, not confrontational or dismissive.
III. Diction Diction refers to the choice of words you use. Awareness of the words you use is important because words that have almost the same denotation [dictionary definition] can have very different connotations [implied meanings]. This is particularly true in academic writing because words and terminology can evolve a nuanced meaning that describes a particular idea, concept, or phenomenon derived from the epistemological culture of that discipline [e.g., the concept of rational choice in political science]. Therefore, use concrete words [not general] that convey a specific meaning. If this cannot be done without confusing the reader, then you need to explain what you mean within the context of how that word or phrase is used within a discipline.
IV. Language The investigation of research problems in the social sciences is often complex and multi- dimensional . Therefore, it is important that you use unambiguous language. Well-structured paragraphs and clear topic sentences enable a reader to follow your line of thinking without difficulty. Your language should be concise, formal, and express precisely what you want it to mean. Do not use vague expressions that are not specific or precise enough for the reader to derive exact meaning ["they," "we," "people," "the organization," etc.], abbreviations like 'i.e.' ["in other words"], 'e.g.' ["for example"], or 'a.k.a.' ["also known as"], and the use of unspecific determinate words ["super," "very," "incredible," "huge," etc.].
V. Punctuation Scholars rely on precise words and language to establish the narrative tone of their work and, therefore, punctuation marks are used very deliberately. For example, exclamation points are rarely used to express a heightened tone because it can come across as unsophisticated or over-excited. Dashes should be limited to the insertion of an explanatory comment in a sentence, while hyphens should be limited to connecting prefixes to words [e.g., multi-disciplinary] or when forming compound phrases [e.g., commander-in-chief]. Finally, understand that semi-colons represent a pause that is longer than a comma, but shorter than a period in a sentence. In general, there are four grammatical uses of semi-colons: when a second clause expands or explains the first clause; to describe a sequence of actions or different aspects of the same topic; placed before clauses which begin with "nevertheless", "therefore", "even so," and "for instance”; and, to mark off a series of phrases or clauses which contain commas. If you are not confident about when to use semi-colons [and most of the time, they are not required for proper punctuation], rewrite using shorter sentences or revise the paragraph.
VI. Academic Conventions Citing sources in the body of your paper and providing a list of references as either footnotes or endnotes is a key feature of academic writing. It is essential to always acknowledge the source of any ideas, research findings, data, paraphrased, or quoted text that you have used in your paper as a defense against allegations of plagiarism. Even more important, the scholarly convention of citing sources allow readers to identify the resources you used in writing your paper so they can independently verify and assess the quality of findings and conclusions based on your review of the literature. Examples of other academic conventions to follow include the appropriate use of headings and subheadings, properly spelling out acronyms when first used in the text, avoiding slang or colloquial language, avoiding emotive language or unsupported declarative statements, avoiding contractions [e.g., isn't], and using first person and second person pronouns only when necessary.
VII. Evidence-Based Reasoning Assignments often ask you to express your own point of view about the research problem. However, what is valued in academic writing is that statements are based on evidence-based reasoning. This refers to possessing a clear understanding of the pertinent body of knowledge and academic debates that exist within, and often external to, your discipline concerning the topic. You need to support your arguments with evidence from scholarly [i.e., academic or peer-reviewed] sources. It should be an objective stance presented as a logical argument; the quality of the evidence you cite will determine the strength of your argument. The objective is to convince the reader of the validity of your thoughts through a well-documented, coherent, and logically structured piece of writing. This is particularly important when proposing solutions to problems or delineating recommended courses of action.
VIII. Thesis-Driven Academic writing is “thesis-driven,” meaning that the starting point is a particular perspective, idea, or position applied to the chosen topic of investigation, such as, establishing, proving, or disproving solutions to the questions applied to investigating the research problem. Note that a problem statement without the research questions does not qualify as academic writing because simply identifying the research problem does not establish for the reader how you will contribute to solving the problem, what aspects you believe are most critical, or suggest a method for gathering information or data to better understand the problem.
IX. Complexity and Higher-Order Thinking Academic writing addresses complex issues that require higher-order thinking skills applied to understanding the research problem [e.g., critical, reflective, logical, and creative thinking as opposed to, for example, descriptive or prescriptive thinking]. Higher-order thinking skills include cognitive processes that are used to comprehend, solve problems, and express concepts or that describe abstract ideas that cannot be easily acted out, pointed to, or shown with images. Think of your writing this way: One of the most important attributes of a good teacher is the ability to explain complexity in a way that is understandable and relatable to the topic being presented during class. This is also one of the main functions of academic writing--examining and explaining the significance of complex ideas as clearly as possible. As a writer, you must adopt the role of a good teacher by summarizing complex information into a well-organized synthesis of ideas, concepts, and recommendations that contribute to a better understanding of the research problem.
Academic Writing. Writing Center. Colorado Technical College; Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing: A Practical Guide . New York: Routledge, 2008; Murray, Rowena and Sarah Moore. The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach . New York: Open University Press, 2006; Johnson, Roy. Improve Your Writing Skills . Manchester, UK: Clifton Press, 1995; Nygaard, Lynn P. Writing for Scholars: A Practical Guide to Making Sense and Being Heard . Second edition. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2015; Silvia, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing . Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2007; Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice. Writing Center, Wheaton College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.
Understanding Academic Writing and Its Jargon
The very definition of research jargon is language specific to a particular community of practitioner-researchers . Therefore, in modern university life, jargon represents the specific language and meaning assigned to words and phrases specific to a discipline or area of study. For example, the idea of being rational may hold the same general meaning in both political science and psychology, but its application to understanding and explaining phenomena within the research domain of a each discipline may have subtle differences based upon how scholars in that discipline apply the concept to the theories and practice of their work.
Given this, it is important that specialist terminology [i.e., jargon] must be used accurately and applied under the appropriate conditions . Subject-specific dictionaries are the best places to confirm the meaning of terms within the context of a specific discipline. These can be found by either searching in the USC Libraries catalog by entering the disciplinary and the word dictionary [e.g., sociology and dictionary] or using a database such as Credo Reference [a curated collection of subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, guides from highly regarded publishers] . It is appropriate for you to use specialist language within your field of study, but you should avoid using such language when writing for non-academic or general audiences.
Problems with Opaque Writing
A common criticism of scholars is that they can utilize needlessly complex syntax or overly expansive vocabulary that is impenetrable or not well-defined. When writing, avoid problems associated with opaque writing by keeping in mind the following:
1. Excessive use of specialized terminology . Yes, it is appropriate for you to use specialist language and a formal style of expression in academic writing, but it does not mean using "big words" just for the sake of doing so. Overuse of complex or obscure words or writing complicated sentence constructions gives readers the impression that your paper is more about style than substance; it leads the reader to question if you really know what you are talking about. Focus on creating clear, concise, and elegant prose that minimizes reliance on specialized terminology.
2. Inappropriate use of specialized terminology . Because you are dealing with concepts, research, and data within your discipline, you need to use the technical language appropriate to that area of study. However, nothing will undermine the validity of your study quicker than the inappropriate application of a term or concept. Avoid using terms whose meaning you are unsure of--do not just guess or assume! Consult the meaning of terms in specialized, discipline-specific dictionaries by searching the USC Libraries catalog or the Credo Reference database [see above].
Additional Problems to Avoid
In addition to understanding the use of specialized language, there are other aspects of academic writing in the social sciences that you should be aware of. These problems include:
- Personal nouns . Excessive use of personal nouns [e.g., I, me, you, us] may lead the reader to believe the study was overly subjective. These words can be interpreted as being used only to avoid presenting empirical evidence about the research problem. Limit the use of personal nouns to descriptions of things you actually did [e.g., "I interviewed ten teachers about classroom management techniques..."]. Note that personal nouns are generally found in the discussion section of a paper because this is where you as the author/researcher interpret and describe your work.
- Directives . Avoid directives that demand the reader to "do this" or "do that." Directives should be framed as evidence-based recommendations or goals leading to specific outcomes. Note that an exception to this can be found in various forms of action research that involve evidence-based advocacy for social justice or transformative change. Within this area of the social sciences, authors may offer directives for action in a declarative tone of urgency.
- Informal, conversational tone using slang and idioms . Academic writing relies on excellent grammar and precise word structure. Your narrative should not include regional dialects or slang terms because they can be open to interpretation. Your writing should be direct and concise using standard English.
- Wordiness. Focus on being concise, straightforward, and developing a narrative that does not have confusing language . By doing so, you help eliminate the possibility of the reader misinterpreting the design and purpose of your study.
- Vague expressions (e.g., "they," "we," "people," "the company," "that area," etc.). Being concise in your writing also includes avoiding vague references to persons, places, or things. While proofreading your paper, be sure to look for and edit any vague or imprecise statements that lack context or specificity.
- Numbered lists and bulleted items . The use of bulleted items or lists should be used only if the narrative dictates a need for clarity. For example, it is fine to state, "The four main problems with hedge funds are:" and then list them as 1, 2, 3, 4. However, in academic writing, this must then be followed by detailed explanation and analysis of each item. Given this, the question you should ask yourself while proofreading is: why begin with a list in the first place rather than just starting with systematic analysis of each item arranged in separate paragraphs? Also, be careful using numbers because they can imply a ranked order of priority or importance. If none exists, use bullets and avoid checkmarks or other symbols.
- Descriptive writing . Describing a research problem is an important means of contextualizing a study. In fact, some description or background information may be needed because you can not assume the reader knows the key aspects of the topic. However, the content of your paper should focus on methodology, the analysis and interpretation of findings, and their implications as they apply to the research problem rather than background information and descriptions of tangential issues.
- Personal experience. Drawing upon personal experience [e.g., traveling abroad; caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease] can be an effective way of introducing the research problem or engaging your readers in understanding its significance. Use personal experience only as an example, though, because academic writing relies on evidence-based research. To do otherwise is simply story-telling.
NOTE: Rules concerning excellent grammar and precise word structure do not apply when quoting someone. A quote should be inserted in the text of your paper exactly as it was stated. If the quote is especially vague or hard to understand, consider paraphrasing it or using a different quote to convey the same meaning. Consider inserting the term "sic" in brackets after the quoted text to indicate that the quotation has been transcribed exactly as found in the original source, but the source had grammar, spelling, or other errors. The adverb sic informs the reader that the errors are not yours.
Academic Writing. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Academic Writing Style. First-Year Seminar Handbook. Mercer University; Bem, Daryl J. Writing the Empirical Journal Article. Cornell University; College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Murray, Rowena and Sarah Moore. The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach . New York: Open University Press, 2006; Johnson, Eileen S. “Action Research.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education . Edited by George W. Noblit and Joseph R. Neikirk. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2020); Oppenheimer, Daniel M. "Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly." Applied Cognitive Psychology 20 (2006): 139-156; Ezza, El-Sadig Y. and Touria Drid. T eaching Academic Writing as a Discipline-Specific Skill in Higher Education . Hershey, PA: IGI Global, 2020; Pernawan, Ari. Common Flaws in Students' Research Proposals. English Education Department. Yogyakarta State University; Style. College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Invention: Five Qualities of Good Writing. The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012; What Is an Academic Paper? Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.
Structure and Writing Style
I. Improving Academic Writing
To improve your academic writing skills, you should focus your efforts on three key areas: 1. Clear Writing . The act of thinking about precedes the process of writing about. Good writers spend sufficient time distilling information and reviewing major points from the literature they have reviewed before creating their work. Writing detailed outlines can help you clearly organize your thoughts. Effective academic writing begins with solid planning, so manage your time carefully. 2. Excellent Grammar . Needless to say, English grammar can be difficult and complex; even the best scholars take many years before they have a command of the major points of good grammar. Take the time to learn the major and minor points of good grammar. Spend time practicing writing and seek detailed feedback from professors. Take advantage of the Writing Center on campus if you need help. Proper punctuation and good proofreading skills can significantly improve academic writing [see sub-tab for proofreading you paper ].
Refer to these three basic resources to help your grammar and writing skills:
- A good writing reference book, such as, Strunk and White’s book, The Elements of Style or the St. Martin's Handbook ;
- A college-level dictionary, such as, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary ;
- The latest edition of Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form .
3. Consistent Stylistic Approach . Whether your professor expresses a preference to use MLA, APA or the Chicago Manual of Style or not, choose one style manual and stick to it. Each of these style manuals provide rules on how to write out numbers, references, citations, footnotes, and lists. Consistent adherence to a style of writing helps with the narrative flow of your paper and improves its readability. Note that some disciplines require a particular style [e.g., education uses APA] so as you write more papers within your major, your familiarity with it will improve.
II. Evaluating Quality of Writing
A useful approach for evaluating the quality of your academic writing is to consider the following issues from the perspective of the reader. While proofreading your final draft, critically assess the following elements in your writing.
- It is shaped around one clear research problem, and it explains what that problem is from the outset.
- Your paper tells the reader why the problem is important and why people should know about it.
- You have accurately and thoroughly informed the reader what has already been published about this problem or others related to it and noted important gaps in the research.
- You have provided evidence to support your argument that the reader finds convincing.
- The paper includes a description of how and why particular evidence was collected and analyzed, and why specific theoretical arguments or concepts were used.
- The paper is made up of paragraphs, each containing only one controlling idea.
- You indicate how each section of the paper addresses the research problem.
- You have considered counter-arguments or counter-examples where they are relevant.
- Arguments, evidence, and their significance have been presented in the conclusion.
- Limitations of your research have been explained as evidence of the potential need for further study.
- The narrative flows in a clear, accurate, and well-organized way.
Boscoloa, Pietro, Barbara Arféb, and Mara Quarisaa. “Improving the Quality of Students' Academic Writing: An Intervention Study.” Studies in Higher Education 32 (August 2007): 419-438; Academic Writing. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Academic Writing Style. First-Year Seminar Handbook. Mercer University; Bem, Daryl J. Writing the Empirical Journal Article. Cornell University; Candlin, Christopher. Academic Writing Step-By-Step: A Research-based Approach . Bristol, CT: Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2016; College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Style . College Writing. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina; Invention: Five Qualities of Good Writing. The Reading/Writing Center. Hunter College; Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012; What Is an Academic Paper? Institute for Writing Rhetoric. Dartmouth College.
Considering the Passive Voice in Academic Writing
In the English language, we are able to construct sentences in the following way: 1. "The policies of Congress caused the economic crisis." 2. "The economic crisis was caused by the policies of Congress."
The decision about which sentence to use is governed by whether you want to focus on “Congress” and what they did, or on “the economic crisis” and what caused it. This choice in focus is achieved with the use of either the active or the passive voice. When you want your readers to focus on the "doer" of an action, you can make the "doer"' the subject of the sentence and use the active form of the verb. When you want readers to focus on the person, place, or thing affected by the action, or the action itself, you can make the effect or the action the subject of the sentence by using the passive form of the verb.
Often in academic writing, scholars don't want to focus on who is doing an action, but on who is receiving or experiencing the consequences of that action. The passive voice is useful in academic writing because it allows writers to highlight the most important participants or events within sentences by placing them at the beginning of the sentence.
Use the passive voice when:
- You want to focus on the person, place, or thing affected by the action, or the action itself;
- It is not important who or what did the action;
- You want to be impersonal or more formal.
Form the passive voice by:
- Turning the object of the active sentence into the subject of the passive sentence.
- Changing the verb to a passive form by adding the appropriate form of the verb "to be" and the past participle of the main verb.
NOTE: Consult with your professor about using the passive voice before submitting your research paper. Some strongly discourage its use!
Active and Passive Voice. The Writing Lab and The OWL. Purdue University; Diefenbach, Paul. Future of Digital Media Syllabus. Drexel University; Passive Voice. The Writing Center. University of North Carolina.
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Difference between Technical Writing and Creative Writing
1. Technical Writing : Technical writing is a piece of writing which focuses on factual and straight forward content and technical papers are published to inform and instruct and educate the user about some specific topic. There exists specific readers who prefers technical papers. It gives readers information about some technical topics or it gives directions on how to do something.
2. Creative Writing : Creative writing is a piece of writing which focuses on imaginative and symbolic content and creative papers are published to entertain, provoke, inspire the user. There is no such specific readers who prefers creative papers. Anyone if wants can read creative paper and it gives readers a theme, message, moral or lesson which is helpful in their real lives or gives a temporary entertainment to the reader.
Difference between Technical Writing and Creative Writing :
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Imaginative vs. Imaginary – What’s the Difference?
Home » Imaginative vs. Imaginary – What’s the Difference?
Imaginary and imaginative are two English adjectives that are similar enough that some writers get them confused. They both stem from the root word imagine , which is a verb that means to envision things that may not be the case . They mean different things though, and the careful writer will know the correct situations in which to use each of these words.
If you were a film critic, and you meant to call a groundbreaking film imaginative, but, instead, you use imaginary , you would quickly lose credibility and leave yourself open to ridicule. Likewise, many children are imaginative , but almost none of them are imaginary .
What is the Difference Between Imaginative and Imaginary?
In this article, I will compare imaginative vs. imaginary. I will show you the words in context by using each in at least one example sentence. Plus, I will tell you an easy way to remember whether something is imaginative or imaginary .
When to Use Imaginative
Thus, to be imaginative is to use one’s imagination.
I have included a few example sentences here,
- The author’s new novel puts an imaginative spin on detective noir by changing the setting to the Jazz Age.
- “He will grow up to be an imaginative artist someday!” said the child’s art teacher.
- Sandra made an imaginative film about extraterrestrials becoming embroiled in a high-stakes tween drama.
- The Kronos Quartet is at it again, committing acts of imaginative generosity in support of creativity. – The Washington Post
When to Use Imaginary
As a result, to be imaginary is to be a product of the imagination.
Here are a few examples,
- Stella accused her classmate Erin of stealing her imaginary boyfriend away from her.
- Peabody was shocked when her entire class seemed to come down with the same imaginary disease.
- Kellen amused her friends by playing an imaginary guitar through an imaginary amp.
- Nearby, in five flash-animation videos on small flat-screens, animals both real and imaginary — deer, fish, unicorn — likewise cavort through similarly gestural fields. – LA Times
Trick to Remember the Difference
These words are similar, but they mean different things. Critics may disagree whether a film is imaginative , but none who have seen it would call it imaginary . To be imaginary is to not exist in the real world.
Since imaginary things don’t exist, you can remember that the word imaginary rhymes with fairy , a creature that does not exist. This way you will always be able to remember the meaning of this confusing word.
Is it imaginary or imaginative? Imaginary and imaginative are adjectives.
- Imaginary describes something that does not exist.
- Imaginative is a synonym for creative and fanciful .
Imaginative people use their imaginations; imaginary people are products of the imaginations of others.
Fairies are imaginary beings. By rhyming fairy with imaginary , you will always be able to remember the meaning of the word imaginary .
These words are confusing, but now that you’ve taken the time to learn about them, you will never mix them up again. Be sure to check this site next time you discover another set of confusing words .
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Imaginative vs. imaginary, this grammar.com article is about imaginative vs. imaginary — enjoy your reading.
Imaginative” and “imaginary” are two words that look and sound very familiar – and this is the main reason why they are often confused and used with the wrong meaning. Some people think that they are only spelled differently and their meaning is actually the same, and this is the source of so many errors in various phrases and public communications. If you only need confirmation, whether they do or do not mean the same, well, they don’t. “Imaginative” is referring to something different than “imaginary” and they cannot be considered synonyms. But, if you need more than just a statement, if you need some help with making the difference between “imaginative” and “imaginary” and learning why and how these are spelled differently, we can help you understand the meaning of each word and how it is correctly used in each context. Keep reading the explanations and examples we provided in this article to make this simple for you! Imaginative vs. Imaginary Both “imaginative” and “imaginary” are adjective and they are both sourced in the noun “imagination”. But, even though both words are related to “imagination”, their meanings are not the same. More exactly, “imaginative” is used to describe something new, something original and smart, something that hasn’t been seen or heard of before. Whereas “imaginary” is the most frequently used adjective, referring to something created by imagination, something irreal. Usually, “imaginative” is used with the same meaning as “imaginary”, but only the second one refers to something created by the mind and irreal, whereas “imaginative” refers to something creative but real and smart. Take a look on the examples below for a better understanding of these concepts. When do we use “imaginative”? “Imaginative” is defined as an adjective describing something clever, original and new. This word can easily be used as a synonym for “innovative”, because this is exactly what the word describes. This spelling can also refer to a quality of a person, someone who has a great, rich imagination and is good at thinking of something new and coming up with original and smart ideas. Example 1 : Their imaginative solution proved very efficient when it was tested! – “imaginative” refers to something new and original, but very smart. Example 2 : He is such an imaginative writer! – “imaginative” refers to someone who is good at thinking of new and unique ideas. When do we use “imaginary”? “Imaginary”, on the other hand, refers to something irreal. This is also an adjective, but it is used to describe something created by the mind, something that does not exist in reality but only in imagination. Example : I had so many imaginary friends when I was a child! – “imaginary” refers to something unreal, something created by the mind and which only exists in the imagination of someone. Conclusion It is important not to confuse “imaginative” and “imaginary”, because these two similar spellings do not refer to the same thing and can change the meaning of a phrase if not used correctly. The short and essential thing to remember here is that “imaginative” and “imaginary” are two words spelled similarly but with different meanings that shouldn’t be confounded. A simple trick to remember the correct meaning of each word is that “imaginative”, just like “innovative”, ends in “-ive”, and both words have similar meanings, referring to something new and smart, an original and clever idea; “imaginary” does not end with the same suffix, and this can be a great clue that this spelling refers to the other meaning, to something irreal, created by imagination.
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