Tag Archives: academic writing

The Most Annoying Writing Mistakes

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ComWriter functionality leaves old ‘word processors’ behind

ComWriter is the only writing platform to provide the breadth of functionality actually needed to write to academic standards (see diagram).

ComWriter functionality outstrips the competitors

ComWriter functionality outstrips the competitors

While Microsoft suggests they support the education market, all they do is provide discounted licenses to an old product. Even their new cloud-based subscriptions (MS365) are a cutdown (and clumsy) version of their tired product. Microsoft’s real target is large corporates.

Likewise Google also suggests it supports the education market. But, realistically Google Docs is not different to MS Word, except that it is a stripped down version that is cloud-based and free. Google’s primary target is small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and individuals they can advertise to.

Neither of these suppliers/products actually delivers the functionality required by students and academics to meet academic standards. All the word processors that we have investigated, all seem to work much the same as MS Word. So there has been no real innovation in writing products since the inception of referencing software about 10 years ago!

We think it’s time to change that scenario. And, our mapping of ComWriter’s functionality against these two giant word processors, suggest we have hit the mark.

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Academic writing

Academic writing is good writing practice, but it is often misunderstood. The process is not sequential, but organic, and generally involves:

  • searching for relevant literature; today via library databases
  • designing research projects, especially, identifying the methodological approach; e.g., observation, capturing data, interviewing, examining specimens
  • conducting research activities
  • collaborating with peers (students, academics, industry peers) and supervisors
  • examining research findings
  • organising literature, methodology, and research findings to present a discussion of the research (in a thesis or paper)
  • as a student: submitting work for examination
  • as a research student: publishing work at conferences or in the press (e.g., journal articles), and submitting the thesis for examination
  • as an academic: publishing work at conferences or in the press (e.g., journal articles)

Academic writing is difficult, and made more so because of the disparate, fragmented tools and old technology supporting the writing pipeline. The technology that supports the academic writing process is disparate, fragmented, and is, generally speaking, left to the independent researcher to organize. Thus, a significant amount of a researchers time is spent organising data and findings rather than actually researching and presenting their findings.ComWriter is the only writing platform designed for academic work. It will send the archaic concept of ‘word processor‘ straight to the trash where it belongs. ComWriter includes: an on-line library, fully-featured referencing capabilities, a personal resources database, modern writing tools, collaboration in the cloudtask management, smart lists and pre-defined style guides. Writing to academic standards has never been so efficient and easy. Students, academics and business people will finally be able to work smarter with ComWriter. We have more than 25 Universities on three continents already signed up for beta testing.

Website: www.comwriter.com

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Using Initials in essay writing

  • Change the name of something by using their initials; for example, United Nations becomes U.N.
  • Use full stops to indicate that it is an abbreviation.
  • Use the long form the first time you write (with the short form in brackets), then the short form (initials) can be used thereafter. Example: Peter Jones presented at the United Nations (U.N.) assembly in New York (N.Y.). Peter’s comments to the U.N. were received with enthusiasm.
  • When initials become a new word (or something that is well known), you don’t need to add the full stops; for example: Peter Jones presented at the United Nations (UN) assembly in New York (NY). Peter’s comments to the UN were received with enthusiasm.

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The Pyramid Principle

The Pyramid Principle is an excellent method for developing a logical structure for your writing, whether it is a short essay, a book or an entire dissertation.

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Abbreviations used in academic references

And others (et al.)

  • The latin is et alli, abbreviated to et al.
  • Et al. is used to indicate a list of authors in a reference; for example, Glassop, et al. 
  • Generally, always list all authors the first time, after that you can use the first author and et al.
  • Always consult your official reference style guide to check the requirements
The same place (ibid.)
  • The latin is ibidem, abbreviated to ibid.
  • When repeating a citation consecutively, you can put ibid. to indicate that the reference is exactly same as the previous one
  • For example, (ibid.)
  • If ibid. is used in a footnote, use a capital I: Ibid.
In the place cited (loc. cit.)
  • The latin is loco citato, abbreviated to loc. cit.
  • An alternative meaning is: in the same location
  • When repeating a citation, you can put loc. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) and the same citation location (i.e., page number or paragraph) as the previous one
  • For example, “Smith (loc. cit.), also claims that…”
In the work cited (op. cit.)
  • The latin is opere citato, abbreviated to op. cit.
  • When repeating a citation, you can  put op. cit. to indicate that the reference is the same resource (author/s and date) as the previous one (but the citation location, i.e., page or paragraph number, is different)
  • For example (op. cit., p.3)
Tip:

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Common abbreviations (e.g., i.e., etc.)

For example (e.g.)

  • The latin term is exempli gratia
  • Write the long form, for example, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (e.g.,) when in brackets.
  • Note that there are full stops to indicate the abbreviation
  • Note that there is a comma after the phrase in both the sentence and the brackets to indicate a pause
That is (i.e.)
  • The latin term is id est
  • Write the long form, that is, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (i.e.,) when in brackets
  • Note that there are full stops to indicate the abbreviation
  • Note that there is a comma after the phrase in both the sentence and the brackets to indicate a pause
Etcetera (etc.)
  • The latin meaning is and the rest
  • Write the long form, etcetera, in a sentence and the abbreviated form (etc.) when in brackets
  • Note that there is a full stop to indicate the abbreviation
  • Tip: rarely use etcetera within a paragraph as it indicates that you have provided a sample only; so it probably should be in brackets.

 

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ComWriter Update – March, 2013

An update on the development of ComWriter Beta, our forums, and other news.

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April 1, 2013 · 11:56 AM

Using a colon, semi-colon or comma in essay writing

 Colon (:)

  • Place a colon (:) before you add a list things: bread, butter, milk

Semi-colon (;)

  • A semi-colon (;) is like a comma, but joins two part sentences together or appends a phrase to a sentence; for example, when you provide examples

Comma (,)

  • Place a comma (,) where you would pause when reading text aloud, or to separate items in a list.
  • If the list is provided in bullet form, then you don’t need to use a comma at the end

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Sneak peak at ComWriter dashboard

Sneak peak at ComWriter dashboard

This is what the dashboard will look like for ComWriter: start new writing projects, monitor existing projects, collaborate with others. Beta due out in May, 2013

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March 27, 2013 · 11:18 PM