Academic English Editing

Editing and consulting on student and scholarly papers and manuscripts in English

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Maxims for writing well on literature and the arts

Writing well on literature and the arts -Look very closely at the language/image.  “God is in the details.” -Make it precise.  Make precise the thought in your expression of it in words.  (Thought and expression are essentially the same). Writing… Continue Reading →

“Should my discussion be ‘theoretical’ or not?”

Theory will always be abstract and use abstract concepts. What is important is only that they be clearly and precisely defined, and that their usefulness in explaining phenomena in some domain is exhibited or can be. The interdependence of theory… Continue Reading →

First things firstly? When numbering the points you will make.

There is a widespread view, not unanimous, that “first, secondly, thirdly” is preferable to “firstly,” and to “first, second, third,” when enumerating independent clauses that can stand alone as sentences, which makes them grammatically like verbs and not nouns, because… Continue Reading →

What kind of college or university should I go to?

In the United States, there are many colleges and universities and they are of different kinds. It is worth knowing about this before considering which schools to apply to. First, there is the research university, which is often large and… Continue Reading →

A very short canon of philosophers who are great writers

A very short canon of philosophers who are great writers, and may help teach how to make good arguments: (I have divided this list into “analytical” and “Continental” philosophers (for a detailed discussion of the differences between the two traditions, see… Continue Reading →

On jargon: when should you avoid it, and how to use it properly

On jargon: when should you avoid it, and how to use it properly Jargon is words that name concepts that are in wide use in a given field of scholarly or professional discourse.  Their value is that they name a kind… Continue Reading →

Why you should not have your friend edit your paper

Why you should not have your friend edit your paper Amateurs inevitably confuse editing with proofreading.  Proofreading is a relatively small and less important aspect of editing. Proofreading is mechanical, and only concerns spelling, grammar, and other rule-governed aspects of… Continue Reading →

Why you should never write your own letter of recommendation (and how we can still help with them)

Why you should never write your own letter of recommendation The reason you should not write your own recommendation is that you cannot write one that is good enough. A good recommendation is from someone who can (and is willing… Continue Reading →

What plagiarism (academic cheating) is (in the English-speaking world), and how to avoid doing it by mistake

Avoiding Plagiarism: What Every Student Writer Must Know We provide a legitimate service: we edit papers, we won’t write them for you.  At a substantive level, we can make suggestions, and often do, and as broadly-educated specialists in university writing… Continue Reading →

Selected books on aspects of good scholarly writing: An annotated list

Books on Writing General Guides to Writing If you can only afford one book, we recommend The Craft of Research.  If you can afford two books, get this and The New Oxford Guide to Writing.  See capsule descriptions below. Both are inexpensive… Continue Reading →

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