Writing Readable Research: A Guide for Students of Social Science

Like the sound of the proverbial tree falling in a forest with no human audience, research that is not ultimately published is 'unheard' and forever lost. Moreover, published research that is not reported well may not stand a chance in today's competitive academic world. Those whose first language is not English bear a double burden in trying to make themselves heard and understood. Writing Readable Research tries to help users create texts that are easy to read, interesting, and dynamic, yet conform to current standards of English, to criteria of the fields of social science, and to conventions of society in general. This book gives attention to all the layers of scientific writing, from nitty-gritty problems in grammar and punctuation to sensitive interpersonal issues such as criticism of other authors and advancing one's own claims. It can be used as part of a course or independently by students. Since the intended users of this textbook are novice writers, whether graduate students or new faculty members, the practical issues are spelled out. On the other hand, since these writers are also sophisticated scientists, the book addresses their need to understand the theoretical rationale and historical background for some of the guidelines. Although Writing Readable Research concentrates on journal articles, it also provides valuable advice on the preparation of talks and posters for conferences, abstracts, and professional letters. Most of all, it is enhanced with a little humor, lots of authentic examples from published texts, and some challenging tasks for students to complete, presented in an easy-to-read layout.