Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressuresâ€”most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with themâ€”often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writerâ€™s block.Sociologist Howard S. Becker has written the classic book on how to conquer these pressures and simply write. First published nearly twenty years ago, Writing for Social Scientists has become a lifesaver for writers in all fields, from beginning students to published authors. Beckerâ€™s message is clear: in order to learn how to write, take a deep breath and then begin writing. Revise. Repeat.It is not always an easy process, as Becker wryly relates. Decades of teaching, researching, and writing have given him plenty of material, and Becker neatly exposes the foibles of academia and its â€śpublish or perishâ€ť atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a â€śthe way in whichâ€ť when a simple â€śhowâ€ť will doâ€”all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impedimentsâ€”or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hoursâ€”we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the â€śliterature.â€ťIn this new edition, Becker takes account of major changes in the computer tools available to writers today, and also substantially expands his analysis of how academic institutions create problems for them. As competition in academia grows increasingly heated, Writing for Social Scientists will provide solace to a new generation of frazzled, would-be writers.
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