Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Great book for #academic vocabulary learning the jargon #phd

My PhD journey is well on its way and nearing the end of year one (started in February 2013). One of my reoccurring challenges is using distinct academic vocabulary that gives stamina and rigor to my reports and papers. In all honesty as a Dutch speaking person I learned English by looking at Children BBC, documentaries and ... American action movies. Not surprisingly my PhD notes sometimes reflect these linguistic prior experiences. I write phrases like "I reshuffled my data until it triggered my curiosity and opened my eyes with a blast! In order to get the right answers, more action is necessary.", where my supervisors relentlessly tell me I could (read should) be using more scientifically accepted jargon. So giving it  try here and transforming the above sentence into: "While closely examining the data, new evidence emerged. However, additional research is necessary in order to examine these findings before a conclusion can be reached." ... well not sure if this is getting at the ultimate academic phrasing, but it simply sounds more like what one would expect in an academic paper (or so I am told, it would be nice to write a paper using action hero lingo though).
It takes me hours to find the right words and phrases to carefully describe what I want to say in such a way that the verbs and nouns used add to the 'seriousness' of the paper. So I work at it. The only problem is, that I need to find a way to internalize this vocabulary in order to save time while writing my papers. Reading is one option, but just today I found an online book called "Academic vocabulary in Use" from Cambridge press, providing 50 units of vocabulary reference and practice. Nice, an exercise book was just what I was looking for. It is freely available if you press the link, but I have the distinct feeling that the book is normally for sale. So be quick if you want to have a look at the free copy as provided by the link.