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Academic features:(题材特点)

Academic style is formal(正式),

1. Use full forms, avoid contractions.

不能用缩写   don't,  can't, 等 必须要写成  do not, cannot

2. Use concrete words and expressions, avoid vague or imprecise terms,

不能用 模糊的词bit, thing, stuff, etc.

3. Use standard, formal and un- labeled words and expressions, avoid those labeled informal, non- standard, colloquial, slang, taboo, dialect, old- fashioned, rare, etc., in the dictionaries.

不能用口语词 I do not have any idea... instead of I don' t have a clue... ; please go away instead of flake off, etc.

4. Use single- word verbs, avoid phrasal verbs.(能用一个动词就不用短语

For example, use investigate instead of look into, determine/ decide instead of make up one' s mind, visit instead of go to see, etc.

Academic style is objective,


1. Avoid the first person pronoun I and the second person pronoun you wherever possible. (尽量避免使用第一 二人称)

If the first person pronoun cannot be avoided, use we instead of I, or use the third person reference, such as the writer, the author, etc.

(实在没办法避免使用第一人称,则使用We 或者使用第三人称)

2. Use impersonal constructions to express opinions. (使用非人称来表达观点)

举例For example, use it can be seen that... instead of you can see; it is commonly believed that... instead of I believe; it is said... instead of I hear... Other examples of impersonal constructions include: it is argued, it is found through research, Research has found, Studies have revealed, it is estimated, it is contended, etc.

3. Use facts, examples and statistics to support ideas and concepts. (使用例子和数据来支持观点)

Remember that ideas and concepts without supporting evidence can prove nothing.

Academic style is concise, (精简)

Conciseness means that a writer should express the intended meaning clearly, without using any unnecessary words and sentences.  Conciseness can be achieved in the following ways.

1. Find the most direct way to express the idea. Use as few words and sentences as possible. (用最直接的、用词最少的方式)

2. Avoid repetition of ideas. (避免重复Iideas)

3. Concentrate on the topic.(不要偏题或跑题)

Anything that does not contribute to amplify the central idea, no matter how well written, should be deleted.

Academic style is varied, (多样化)

The framework part consists of structural and grammatical forms such as the tenses, the moods, and the voices. Also, the classes of words such as pronouns, prepositions, and articles fall into this part. These words and structures build up the framework of a piece of writing in which the meaning can be expressed. Therefore, the repetition of these words and structures is not a major issue. However, words that express meaning, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, as well as some sentence patterns that help express the meaning, such as the emphatic pattern, should not be repeated too often.

1. Use a variety of words, or substitute with synonyms or different forms.(用同义词、不同形式,如名词、动词)

Avoid repetition as much as possible.

2. If there is a special word that must be repeated, find ways to refer to it without repeating,(如果有关键词必须要重复,则用 eg the point already mentioned, this, etc.

3. Use a variety of sentence structures.(用不同的句子结构,注:可以看句子结构)

Avoid overuse of one favourite structure or linking word, eg however, it is this that...

Academic style is cautious and tentative.(不要显得武断)


1. English is the most important language in every country now.

2. Everyone knows that intelligence tests are unreliable.

3. Computers are the most important pieces of equipment in any office.

4. Shanghai has maintained its position as the world' s biggest international port.


For example: It is generally true that... ; It would appear that... ; There is evidence to suggest that... ; The author tends to believe that... ; on the whole; normally, etc.


Guidelines for writing a definition 如何写定义

A definition is basically composed of three parts.

1. The term or concept to be defined— the target of the definition;

2. The general category the target belongs to;

3. The distinguishing feature or features that characterize the target.

A good definition meets four criteria.

1. The definition provides the correct general category of the target, being neither too large nor too small.

2. The definition provides the correct distinguishing feature or features that accurately describe the unique characteristics of the target.

3. The definition does not use an example in the place of distinguishing features.

4. The definition is not circular, that is, it does not define the word with another form of the same word. Please examine the following three examples of short definitions.

Example 2  A hybrid is the offspring produced by crossing two animals or plants of different varieties.

Target: hybrid

General category: offspring

Distinguishing feature( s): produced by crossing two animals or plants of different varieties

Example 3 The whale is a large marine mammal of the order of Cetacea which has a fishlike body, forelimbs modified into flippers, and a horizontally flattened head.

Target: whale

General category: large marine mammal of the order of Cetacea

Distinguishing feature( s): a fishlike body, forelimbs modified into flippers, and a horizontally flattened head


1. A telescope is an instrument for making stars appear nearer than they are.

2. Television is a source of information.


Direct Quotations(直接引用)


1. Direct quotation

Direct quotation is reserved mostly for key words, important ideas, and pithy comments from authorities or famous writers. (直接引用用于重要、简洁)

2. Paraphrasing

Paraphrase is reserved for explaining and simplifying very long arguments. (改写用于解释或者简化长的论据)

3. Summarizing

Summarizing is useful for a brief and concise reference to previous research findings, arguments, and examples.(总结用于总结研究成果、案例)


. As X said ... As X reported ... As X stated ... As X mentioned ... As X maintained ... As X insisted ... As X declared ... As X wrote ... X said ... X further stated ... X later insisted ... X continued ... X firmly believes ...

Thesis Statement(论文观点与段落主旨句)

thesis statement 是文章的灵魂, Top sentence 则是每段的中心句/主旨句,是用来支持thesis statement的位置

thesis statement  一般放在第一段,也就是介绍,的最后一句话

Top sentence  则放在段落的第一句


Comparison and contrast are usually performed in one of two different ways. (比较和对比的两种方法)

● Block or vertical comparison and contrast.(垂直比较:整体比较)

If we compare and contrast Subject A with Subject B using this method, we list all the points concerning Subject A in one section, and then all the points concerning Subject B in another section. (先描述A,再描述B)

● Itemised or horizontal comparison and contrast.(水平比较:逐一比较)

In this method, we discuss similar aspects of both Subject A and Subject B side by side, examining them item by item to explain the similarities and/ or differences.(每一个方面,先描述A,再描述B,然后,下一个方面)




Compared with direct quotation, paraphrasing is more flexible.

This flexibility exists in at least three different ways:  (改写三种方式)

1. Flexibility in elaborating the original idea if necessary for better and clearer understanding;(改写为更加容易简洁、通俗易懂)

2. Flexibility in emphasising different aspects of the original material to suit a particular purpose; (在一定语境下解读)

3. Flexibility in modifying the tone and style of the original source for a better fit into the context of the writing.(改变体式来适应写作)


1 。In an article / a study by X, ... As X points out, ... X states ... X has expressed a similar view. A study by X indicates that ... X has drawn attention to the fact that ...  X claims that ... X found / discovered that ... Research by X suggests that ... X argues that ...

2.  用不同句型、词来改写


"Attitudes are selectively acquired and integrated through learning and experience" (John D. Faust).

In this sentence, three words (selectively, acquired, integrated) are character words and should be changed in a paraphrase. The following are two possible versions.

a) John D. Faust expresses the view that through learning and experience, feelings and attitudes are carefully chosen and absorbed.

b) As John D. Faust points out, individuals change their attitudes because of things they learn and the things they experience.

冯幼民. 21世纪英语专业系列教材•英语专业写作教程系列•高级英文写作教程:论文写作(第2版) (Kindle 位置 1918-1922). 北京大学出版社. Kindle 版本.


Guidelines for introductions (如何开头)

A good and carefully planned introduction should fulfil the following tasks. (包含以下作用)

1. Introduce the topic, (介绍话题)

2. Provide a general background to the topic,(介绍话题的背景)

3. Express the central idea in a topic sentence or thesis statement, (表述文章总论点)

4. Indicate the overall development of the piece of writing, (让读者可以知道文章接下来讲什么)

5. Interest the reader. An introduction may take a number of forms. (采用一定形式来引起读者兴趣)

The five most important forms are: narration, description, preparation, inquisition, and correction.


A narrative introduction tells an interesting story that is related to the central idea; (1讲述开头:围绕中心思想讲一个有趣的故事)

a descriptive introduction describes an object or event that is concerned with the central idea;(2描述开头:围绕中心思想讲述一个事件)

a preparatory introduction provides viewpoints, relevant information or history that are connected with the central topic;


an inquisitive introduction asks questions that will lead to the central idea;


and a corrective introduction mentions some commonly accepted belief and states that the belief might be wrong under certain circumstances.   (5纠错开头:质疑一种广为接受的观点在特定条件下失效)



Guidelines for conclusions (如何结尾)

The conclusion is the last chance the writer has to communicate with the reader, to impress the reader or to provide more food for thought. Therefore, the conclusion also requires good planning. A well- written conclusion should fulfil one or more of the following tasks.

  1. Summarize the main points;(总结重点)

2. Reiterate the thesis statement;(再次阐述论文观点)

3. Suggest a solution; (提出解决办法)

4. Provide some humorous comments or an unexpected twist to stimulate thinking.(给一些幽默或者出奇的评论引发读者思考)

Any given conclusion must fulfil one of these four tasks, or combine two or three tasks.(任何一个结尾必须要满足至少以上一个或多个要求)



To start, we will review the various stages of writing an academic paper. As we continue from one unit to the next, detailed suggestions will be furnished towards the final completion of the paper. We hope that all students will follow the steps attentively to produce a mature term paper. Stage 1   Preliminaries

Choose a general topic direction

Start preliminary research

Write a rough proposal

Stage 2   The Topic  

      Select a more specific topic direction

            Determine the specific areas where research is necessary

       Determine the availability of reference materials

Stage 3   Materials

        Gather materials (books, journals, research papers, websites) on the topic

        Create a working bibliography

Stage 4   The Overall Plan

        Arrange and analyse the materials

        Organize ideas to form an outline

        Attempt a thesis statement

STAGE 5   The First Draft

        Write the first draft with the outline and thesis statement as guidelines

        Adjust the outline and the thesis statement to suit shifts in idea development

        Ensure complete and balanced development of ideas Stage 6   Revision, Editing, Reference

        Revise the content, organisation, and logic

        Adjust the tone and style

        Examine diction, grammar, spelling, and punctuation

        Provide clear references to sources

Stage 7   Finalise and Submit

       Read the draft aloud for final revision

        Examine the organisation and logic again

        Design a title page

        Write a table of contents, an abstract, acknowledgements, and a bibliography

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