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Adhering to the tenets of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style or some other basic book of proper English grammar is a requirement of good doctoral writing.Too often I read journal articles written by intelligent people that violate these basics, particularly when it comes to writing in the active voice.
A chemical added to a liquid causes it to solidify, thus proving the validity of a chemical formula. As a doctoral student, you learn that proof is a much more tentative thing.To write at the doctoral level, you must meet high standards of communication.Both the content of your writing (i.e., your ideas per se) and the formatting of your document (i.e., how you present your ideas) are equally important in doctoral writing.The areas that you must pay special attention to when you write are: Note that the focus in this chapter is on the general characteristics of doctoral writing.In later sections, we will examine the specific content requirements of some important deliverables in your doctoral program, such as major papers and the dissertation.For example, some people believe that the best leaders are take charge types who give orders and expect people to follow them.Others believe that the best leaders are charismatic ones who appeal to their followers’ emotions and higher level needs and who give them wide latitude in figuring out how to get the job done. The correct answer is that it depends on the circumstances.First and foremost, your doctoral writing must reflect the higher-order thinking skills of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.Book report style, descriptive writing that demonstrates lower-order thinking skills, such as knowledge, comprehension, and application, is not acceptable.Also, provide headings (i.e., trail markers) to keep your readers from getting lost.When it comes to grammar, there is no substitute for the fundamentals.