Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article

( 3 )

Overview

Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures—most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them—often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer’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,...

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Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article: Second Edition

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Overview

Students and researchers all write under pressure, and those pressures—most lamentably, the desire to impress your audience rather than to communicate with them—often lead to pretentious prose, academic posturing, and, not infrequently, writer’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. Becker’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 “publish or perish” atmosphere. Wordiness, the passive voice, inserting a “the way in which” when a simple “how” will do—all these mechanisms are a part of the social structure of academic writing. By shrugging off such impediments—or at the very least, putting them aside for a few hours—we can reform our work habits and start writing lucidly without worrying about grades, peer approval, or the “literature.”

In 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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Product Details

Meet the Author

Howard S. Becker lives and works in San Francisco. He is the author of several books, including Outsiders, Tricks of the Trade, and Telling About Society
 
 
 
 

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition  
1986 Preface   
Freshman English for Graduate Students       
Persona and Authority         
One Right Way        
Editing by Ear          
Learning to Write as a Professional  
Risk, by Pamela Richards    
Getting It out the Door         
Terrorized by the Literature  
Writing with Computers       
A Final Word        
References      
Index   

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2001

    what is like living as scholar

    I want to mention a point on this book. You could peep into what is the life of scholar throughout reading this book. this book is not merely writing guide. there are many other books on writing. but the place where this book should be put is not there, I think. the author, he himself has some name in Sociology, show you what is the life of scholar by the topic of writing. he persuasively illustrate the fear to write of not only graduate students but also professional scholars. I recommend to read Randall Collins¡¯ ¡®The Sociology of Philosophies¡¯ it you want to peep into more details on the life of scholar. I think Collins¡¯s book is better, volumetric and systematic on that matter. But the merit of this book is that you can capture what is like living as scholar in more private sight.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2012

    All aspiring writers should own.

    I first read and applied the Becker book when I was working on my doctorate. It was invaluable. Now it was time to replace that lost copy with a new edition. Every writer should own. Clear, interesting, and very helpful.

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    Posted July 12, 2014

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    Posted January 27, 2010

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted January 16, 2010

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