My advisor told me yesterday my academic writing was annoying. In a quest to
be a better writer, I am mostly documenting this as a set of notes for me.
- Don’t try too hard. I am a mega culprit of this, and often use words that,
while they sound cool, offer little meaning to the sentence.
- Never overstate. Science is about just presenting what you’ve done.
- Verb choice is really important.
- Stop using passive voice. I use lots of passive voice in my first drafts of
things, and it just leads to bad writing. Utilize the “by zombies” trick when you
are in doubt. (http://auwritingcenter.blogspot.com/2012/10/identify-passive-voice-with-zombies.html)
- Avoid statements that don’t add anything. In the context of a paper about social media being used to
identify disinformation campsigns, a sentence like “Social media is the new frontier for disinformation campaigns”
is a terrible sentence. It doesn’t add anything to the writing.