Book Summary- Pains & Gains Of Academic Writing-
The book “Pains and Gains of Academic Writing” collects, systematizes, and presents the experience of half a century of foreign research in the field of academic writing. Today, this experience is being implemented in hundreds of English-language publications, from textbooks for yesterday’s school children and foreign applicants entering foreign universities to collections of recommendations for authors preparing to publish an article in an international scientific journal.
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Pay attention that it is addressed primarily to students, but the circle of its readers (more precisely, users) can be much wider. This is due not so much to the fact that academic writing is a new educational discipline, but that its principles underlie international scientific communication. And since international scientific communication is inextricably linked with the publication of texts, these principles determine the requirements for both university essays and articles in foreign peer-reviewed scientific journals.
General Characteristics Of The Book-
The book pursues complex and ambiguous goals.
First of all, it represents the key principles of the international academic writing system and helps to implement them in practice through analysis and synthesis. Here it is important to cast aside the usual, sometimes deeply rooted ideas about how a scientific text should look, get rid of narrowly disciplinary, and sometimes just false academic traditions, and look at the new discipline with an open mind, from the point of view of logic and common sense.
The easiest way to do this will be for those who have not yet get used to these ideas and traditions – students. They have not yet learned how to write scientific texts and do not yet know that it can be interesting and not boring at all. This is why the book mostly refers to students. In addition to students, this book is addressed to teachers of various disciplines who seek to overcome false pseudo-academic traditions.
What Is In The Basis Of The Book?
The book is based on three methodological principles.
01: First Principle-
First of all, this is the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities along an ascending expanding spiral. This principle is at the heart of the language teaching method for professional development. This approach allows applying the acquired knowledge and skills throughout the work with the book.
02: Second Principle-
Another principle is the student-centered approach, so the book is organized in the format of direct communication with the student. Assignments are woven into a thread of reasoning, which, in turn, is based on error analysis and living examples. The examples that serve as research material and the materials that formed the basis of the assignments range from fragments of popular publications to serious international scientific research. In addition, the book includes real works of students, which allows the student-reader to see the disadvantages and advantages of the works of their peers. The main thing is to understand that the texts of both students and specialists are equally academic writing, only of varying degrees of maturity.
03: Third Principle-
And finally, the third important methodological principle is the principle of using group discussions as an intermediate discourse between the private and the public, i.e. between writing to yourself and a text addressed to an unknown reader. Almost all tasks of the book are focused on this principle since an open discussion and the ability to convey one’s position to others is an indispensable feature of truly scientific communication.
In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the uniqueness of the collected material is determined by the Fact that the systematized knowledge and skills of academic writing represent the common foundation for all researchers on which they build their personal knowledge, develop scientific experience within the discipline, implement their research and, ultimately, present all this in the form of a scientific text for discussion by colleagues.
The information is presented in the most concise, schematic form, which facilitates its assimilation and memorization. The book is universal: fragments of texts from different fields of knowledge are used as illustrative material. It can be studied even by all those who are interested in making science open and accessible to millions of people around the world. These are the heads of scientific institutions, scientists and researchers, politicians, and editors of scientific publications.
Academic writing is a multifaceted complex of skills, which today is recognized all over the world as the most important in relation to all other skills that are necessary for successful study at a university. This set of skills includes not only linguistic but above all meta-linguistic competencies, such as logic, analysis, critical thinking, objectivity, and respect for other ideas and other people’s texts. Students and young professionals often do not have such skills, but really require them. The ability to write scientific texts develops and improves throughout life. The ability to convey own message to an unfamiliar reader in the form of a clear and convincing report summary comes only with practice, and each new paper is the result of complex work. That is why the book analyzed in this review is called “Pains and Gains of Academic Writing”.
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