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Scholarly Voice: Precision, Clarity, and Academic Expression


According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA; 2010, p. 65), "Devices that are often found in creative writing—for example: setting up ambiguity, inserting the unexpected, omitting the expected, and suddenly shifting the topic, tense, or person—can confuse or disturb readers of scientific prose." Likewise, "the author who is frugal with words not only writes a more readable manuscript but also increases the chances that the manuscript will be accepted for publication....You can tighten long papers by eliminating redundancy, wordiness, jargon, evasiveness, overuse of the passive voice, circumlocution, and clumsy prose" (APA, 2010, p. 67).

Read the following subpages to master the skills needed to be a precise, clear, smooth, and economic writer.