I recently wrote a guest post for the fab PhD2Published on the subject of the comfort zones of academic writing:
It’s sad but true: even if the central chapters of a PhD thesis – the home of the research itself – are strong, things like the literature review, the introduction, the historical background and the conclusion are often written to a noticeably lower standard. When I’m proofreading, these framing chapters are often where I spend most of my time.
It’s disconcerting to read a piece of work written in two clearly different gears, but I’ve seen it often enough for it to look like a trend. Why should it happen? Cases vary but I think I’ve come up with a few general observations – you may have some different ideas from your own experience.
It's a curious phenomenon but one that I think a lot of academic writers come up against. The good thing is that you don't have to be a brilliant writer to work your way around this - it's simply a question of application and approach. What's more, when you've solved the problem your work will appeal to a much wider readership (and hence publishers too!).
Continue reading the post here to see my ideas on how to help yourself.
I have a couple more posts lined up for P2P - look out for one on the subject of style vs style.