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Home > Writing for social scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article.

Becker, Howard S (2003) Writing for social scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article. Chicago: University of Chicago Press .

Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures—most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them—often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer’s block.

Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Becker’s message is clear: in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat.

It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its “publish or perish” atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a “the way in which” when a simple “how” will do—all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impediments—or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hours—we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the “literature.”


Item Type
Book
Date
2003
Call No
RK4
Pages
xi, 18
Publisher
University of Chicago Press
Place of Publication
Chicago
ISBN
0 226 04108 5
Keywords
research, social sciences (field)
Notes
includes index.
EndNote
Accession Number
HRB 2016 (Available)

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