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Style in Research Writing

i.e. how to make your writing awesome

Argument Styles
HIGH STYLE arguments are very formal and seriousthink presidential speeches, or as EaA says, an argument wearing its best tuxedo (418). MIDDLE STYLE is the style of most argumentsmiddle style arguments are sturdy and well composed but also accessible. This is how your research paper should be written.
(For reals though, dont mess around with fonts too much stick to simple seriffed classics (Times, Georgia, Cambria, Garamond, etc.) for your college writing unless otherwise directed. And NEVER EVER use Papyrus for anything unless its a joke or a new age spa.

LOW STYLE arguments are informal/casual.

STYLE SECRETS
Make sure your words match your tonefor the arguments you make in your research paper that means you should adopt a professional but accessible tone dont use slang terms or technical jargon that readers may not recognize, but dont talk down to them either. Connotation: Your word choices can betray your bias, so make sure to write objectively when you need to and save the more powerful words for your argument. Specificity: Be specific in your word choices as well as the support and examples you use. The more specific you are the better your reader will understand your argument.

Presidential Debate Word Choice

STYLE SECRETS 2
Sentence variety: Readers are more apt to keep reading when you vary your sentence structure. Basically all this means is that you should vary the lengths of your sentences.

Varying the structure of your sentences helps give your argument rhythmwhich propels the reader onward.
Well look at some examples next for the importance of varying the actual structure of sentences. For some more info, check out p. 422 of EaA chapter 13.

Varied beginnings
These sentences use different kinds of beginnings to keep the reader interested.

Same beginnings
This is the same passage as before but the sentences all start the same way. By no means is it unreadable, but the other passage was more dynamic and interesting and clear--even though both deliver the same information. In this passage all sentences begin with the subject first and transitions are omitted. For an extended look at sentence structure consult Writing Today ch. 16.

Punctuation!
Punctuation is what really builds rhythm in an argument. Since this is an academic research paper you want to consider the use of what you might think of as more formal punctuation: semicolons, colons, dashes.

Semicolons
Using semicolons correctly in your writing is kind of like using a secret codeit proves you know what youre doing. But even better, they help you to combine sentences in a different wayso that you dont always have to break sentences up or use conjunctions which can get repetitive. For more: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon

SPECIAL EFFECTS AKA FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE Figurative language/figures of speech aid understanding by drawing parallels between a known and an unknown, and it helps make your writing more interesting and memorable.

EaA classifies figurative language in two categories: Tropes and Schemes.

Figurative Language
TROPES
Tropes represent a change in the ordinary meaning of words/phrases.
Metaphor, simile, analogy, hyperbole, understatement, rhetorical questions, and irony are tropes of language.

SCHEMES
Schemes represent a special arrangement of words to create an effect.
Parallelism, antithesis, inverted word order, anaphora, and reversed structures are schemes of language.

Schemes
Tropes are all pretty well-known to you. There are a few schemes we should address though: Antithesis is the use of parallel (similar or the same) structures to mark difference. (p. 437)

Inverted word order simply means that a sentence is out of its usual subject-verb-object order, drawing attention to itself.
Anaphora is repetition to achieve a desired effect usually good for driving a point home. (p. 438) Reversed structures: best to look at examples (p. 439)

Keeping Your Voice In Your Research Paper


Find your thesis and let it direct you.
Avoid too many block quotes.

Avoid using someone elses quotation in your thesis.


Use signal phrase when you quote to identify which thoughts are yours and which are not. Question the critics/experts, and respond to them. Dont fool yourself with too much paraphrasing.

You can use I when you are discussing your own opinion.