GL2010:day 02 cont part 3

One brilliant active session by Prof. Carmel McNaught on Writing and Publishing Academic Papers for Conferences and Journals.


Things which I learned from the session:-

-A good article regardless for a journal or theses, you should have these elements: COHERENCE, CLARITY, COMPLETENESS (Carmel, 2010)

-To be a good writer, discipline yourself to write everyday (of course, you can have breaks during the weekend)

-peer review is essential. let your friends / peers read cause they can see what you might not be able to see in your own article

-FIVE HOOKS for a good academic paper (regardless journal, theses or proceedings):



[C] FIRST SENTENCES – Get to the POINT. What is the paper’s contribution? NUTSHELL needs to be in the first paragraph


[E] LAST SENTENCES – referring to the conclusion: wraps the paper up and SHOW WHERE it going next. DO NOT REPEAT the abstract here.

-LITERATURE – in past tense

-METHODOLOGY – in past tense

-A COHERENT STRUCTURE: INTRO=Tell them what are you going to say, MAIN BODY=Say it, CONCLUSION=Tell them what you said and where are you going

-CLARITY: Need to have ONE KEY IDEA, do not ignore EDITING


– COMPLETENESS: FOUR ASPECTS TO TAKE NOTE (taken from the slides presented during Prof. Carmel Session)






All right: here are 39 tips of How to write More, Better

(You can find the list on the net, not sure who came up with the list. This is one of those list that get forwarded in email)

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

3. Employ the vernacular.

4. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

5. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

6. Remember to never split an infinitive.

7. Contractions aren’t necessary.

8. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

9. One should never generalize.

10. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

11. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

12. Don’t be redundant; don’t use more words than necessary; it’s highly superfluous.

13. Be more or less specific.

14. Understatement is always best.

15. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

16. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

17. The passive voice is to be avoided.

18. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

19. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

20. Who needs rhetorical questions?

21. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

22. Don’t never use a double negation.

23. capitalize every sentence and remember always end it with point

24. Do not put statements in the negative form.

25. Verbs have to agree with their subjects.

26. Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

27. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

28. A writer must not shift your point of view.

29. And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. (Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)

30. Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

31. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to the irantecedents.

32. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.

33. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

34. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.

35. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

36. Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.

37. Always pick on the correct idiom.

38. The adverb always follows the verb.

39. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They’re old hat; seek viable alternatives.

One more The Island of Research to wrap things up.

(Again google to search for the image cause the one which I have is hard copy, distributed during the session.)

Where am I?

Where are you?

-Image taken from


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