“The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.”
If this is slightly confusing for you, please don’t worry. It’s the winner in the not so good academic writing contest! Although formality is an important factor in academic writing, the contest highlights passages where clarity and coherence is lacking. Dr Mihai Balanescu covered some common violations of good writing rules in a recent session I attended. Although the points which I have highlighted appear to be common sense, it is always good to remind ourselves:
- Linguistic density is not a proof of quality.
- Unity, coherence and fluency are important.
- One paragraph should contain one main idea.
- Thesis statement should not be too broad and exceed the scope of the thesis.
- Thesis statement should not be too wordy or detailed.
- Informal and colloquial language in academic writing is not good.
- Clear and simple language is not the same as simplistic writing.
- Passive voice is preferable in academic writing.
- Academic writing is tentative writing which avoids unsubstantiated statements.
Do you have any other common mistakes in mind?