An Academic Writing Group

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Whether you feel great anxiety at the thought of Academic Writing or whether you don’t particularly dislike it, I think it’s fair to agree that writing is a challenging process for everyone. And there is no shame in admitting that writing is difficult. In fact, novelist and playwright Joseph Heller once said, “Every writer I know has trouble writing”.

There are different degrees and reasons for this challenge, but most of us are likely to identify with at least one of these, at some point in our careers. We come from different educational institutions, cultural backgrounds and academic disciplines, all of which impact the degree of experience we have had with academic writing. At the start of our PhD careers, many of us find ourselves in a new country where we must read and write about complex concepts and ideas in a second (or third) language. Not only do we have to master the terminology of our field but we also have to learn the secrets of building a strong academic text — how to organize it so that it is clear and coherent, how to engage the reader and convey the importance of our work, and how not to slip into colloquial writing if we are not writing in our mother tongue.

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