Academic writing for graduate students ksu

HEDGING/AVOIDING COMMITMENT

In order to put some distance between what you’re writing and yourself as writer, to be cautious rather than assertive, you should:

avoid overuse of first person pronouns (I, we, my, our)
use impersonal subjects instead (It is believed that ..., it can be argued that ...)
use passive verbs to avoid stating the ‘doer’ (Tests have been conducted)
use verbs (often with it as subject) such as imagine, suggest, claim, suppose
use ‘attitudinal signals’ such as apparently, arguably, ideally, strangely, unexpectedly.
   These words allow you to hint at your attitude to something without using personal language.
use verbs such as would, could, may, might which ‘soften’ what you’re saying.
use qualifying adverbs such as some, several, a minority of, a few, many to avoid making overgeneralisations.

Academic writing for graduate students ksu

academic writing for graduate students ksu

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