Most international students come to the United
States very well prepared. The majority read and speak English quite well and have excellent grades and TOEFL scores.
But since writing
in English requires higher-level skills and writing experience, international students often
faced with writing assignments. Thus, it helps to know what American
Brief: The American Writing Style
Many Asian students have learned to
write in a spiral style where the
main point is alluded to throughout the paper but is not clearly stated until the end.
Other students have been taught to write in a highly descriptive, sometimes
often view these styles as too vague or too wordy to
contrast, American academic writing, for most subjects, is linear, succinct, and direct.
international students have called American writing "simple."
American students are taught to present the main idea or
research question on the first page, often in the first paragraph. They build upon the theme
or hypothesis throughout the
paper, supporting their ideas with facts, theory and
examples. Research papers should reflect students' critical and analytical thinking and conclude with a unique finding or fresh insights. The American style is not
necessarily the best writing approach, but it's what American
professors expect. Furthermore, this simple style is most easily
understood by American and international audiences, which is important when
publishing papers in international journals.
American professors also expect writing that reflects
students' creativity and knowledge, along with their ability to analyze facts
and theory. In addition,
Americans appreciate an authoritative, confident tone. For example, beginning a paper with,
"In this paper, I will attempt to identify the various underlying causes of poverty
in my country ..." could be rewritten as: "This
research examines the fundamental causes of poverty in Peru by focusing on the
historical and political forces that shape today's economy."
My Goal as an
My goal is to help students present their ideas
clearly and concisely, and to learn from the editing process. With nine years of
experience editing papers for international students attending Boston-area colleges, I understand the struggles students face
when writing in English. In correcting common
and streamlining sentences, I hope to help students enhance their writing
skills, which occurs over time with practice and patience.
Clear writing is critical to your academic success!
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