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

Social scientists, whether earnest graduate students or tenured faculty members, clearly know the rules that govern good writing But for some reason they choose to ignore those guidelines and churn out turgid, pompous, and obscure prose Distinguished sociologist Howard S Becker, true to his calling, looks for an explanation for this bizarre behavior not in the psyches oSocial scientists, whether earnest graduate students or tenured faculty members, clearly know the rules that govern good writing But for some reason they choose to ignore those guidelines and churn out turgid, pompous, and obscure prose Distinguished sociologist Howard S Becker, true to his calling, looks for an explanation for this bizarre behavior not in the psyches of his colleagues but in the structure of his profession In this highly personal and inspirational volume he considers academic writing as a social activity.Both the means and the reasons for writing a thesis or article or book are socially structured by the organization of graduate study, the requirements for publication, and the conditions for promotion, and the pressures arising from these situations create the writing style so often lampooned and lamented Drawing on his thirty five years experience as a researcher, writer, and teacher, Becker exposes the foibles of the academic profession to the light of sociological analysis and gentle humor He also offers eminently useful suggestions for ways to make social scientists better and productive writers Among the topics discussed are how to overcome the paralyzing fears of chaos and ridicule that lead to writer s block how to rewrite and revise, again and again how to adopt a persona compatible with lucid prose how to deal with that academic bugaboo, the literature There is also a chapter by Pamela Richards on the personal and professional risks involved in scholarly writing.In recounting his own trials and errors Becker offers his readers not a model to be slavishly imitated but an example to inspire Throughout, his focus is on the elusive work habits that contribute to good writing, not the easily learned rules of grammar and punctuation Although his examples are drawn from sociological literature, his conclusions apply to all fields of social science, and indeed to all areas of scholarly endeavor The message is clear you don t have to write like a social scientist to be one.
Writing for Social Scientists How to Start and Finish Your Thesis Book or Article Social scientists whether earnest graduate students or tenured faculty members clearly know the rules that govern good writing But for some reason they choose to ignore those guidelines and churn ou

  • Title: Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article
  • Author: Howard S. Becker Pamela Richards
  • ISBN: 9780226041087
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article”

    1. Yazar sosyolog olduğundan verdiği örnekler de sosyoloji üzerinden, ancak kitapta bahsedilen sorunlar akademik yazımla uğraşan herkesin karşılaştığı türden. Yazar kitapta akademik yazım sürecinde karşılaşılan sorunların kişisel olmadığını, bunların asıl kaynağının toplumsal organizasyon olduğunu vurgulayarak sorunların üstesinden gelebilmek için çözüm önerilerinde bulunuyor. Bunlardan birkaçını denemeye başladım ve faydasını görüyorum, kitabı da so [...]

    2. Must-read for all research students, and anyone really trying to get the hang of writing clearly & by clearly I mean in terms of ideas but also the language used to express them. Unfortunately, we tend to obscure our ideas by the language we use.The book is not written in the dry style of do and don't! Becker is very aware of the emotional, social, psychological, and even physical aspects of the process of writing. Also, the book is written for social scientists but it is really relevant to [...]

    3. Time-travelling, that is my goal after reading this book. Or at least write a readable thesis. The most exciting moment is when you realize that you are adopting some of Becker´s advices. While reading the book I mostly nodded with agreement. For me the most important things for everyone to realize are:- writing is a part of academic system, institutions- something is rotten in this kingdom, but one should not give up- forget about your ego while writing, put the cause at the first place- start [...]

    4. Başarılı bir çalışma. Sosyal bilimcinin işi yalnızca araştırmak değil, araştırmasını anlaşılır bir biçime sokup, okura sunmak. Bunu yapmakta zorlananlar için iyi önerileri var. Pratik tavsiyeler yanında sosyal bilimcilerin neden anlaşılmaz yazma eğiliminde olduğunu çözümleyen bölümler de ilginç. Bilgisayar kullanımına ilişkin bölüm biraz eski kalmış.Tercümesi de fena değil ama, keşke editörlüğü biraz daha titiz olsaymış. Az da olsa bazı cümleler [...]

    5. Quando li Art's World pela primeira vez, uma das coisas que me chamou atenção foi como o texto era fluído e objetivo. Enquanto avançava na leitura, pensava: "como esse cara escreve bem". Essa impressão se justifica com esse livro de Howard Becker, agora dedicado à escrita. No mundo acadêmico escrever de modo pomposo e embolado é tido como sinal de erudição, muitas vezes, serve também para disfarçar o texto de quem não tem muita coisa a dizer. Ao longo do livro, Becker expõe, explic [...]

    6. Becker is an advocate for rewriting and editing as a means to produce good writing. What makes this book different from Peter Elbow's is its contextualization to the social sciences, hence addressing issues unique to sociology in writing and publishing. It reads like a friend talking to you, and was what drew me to the book. It is a good book for people from any discipline who fear academic writing and need help to see why it's not scary and why even fun (which I agree is fun).However, if you re [...]

    7. O autor discorre de forma honesta e instigante sobre as dificuldades da escrita acadêmica, sempre vendo uma razão sociológica por trás do que entendemos por dificuldades pessoais. Além de abrir o seu próprio processo de escrita. No fim de tudo ainda compartilha com o leitor do seu pessimismo quanto ao tipo de texto acadêmico que se produz hoje, com as metas de publicação cobradas pelas instituições.

    8. Anyone who has faced the challenges of having to write a paper for college knows exactly how troublesome this task can be. There’s this constant anxiety that keeps growing as the term for the paper gets closer and closer; there’s all the things we do to try to avoid having to face the actual writing; and there’s the fear of not being able to do the task at all, of not finding the right way to write the whole thing down. We get stuck and leave the bulk of the writing for the last minute. We [...]

    9. pra todas as pessoas que tem a escrita acadêmica como obrigação este livro é de leitura obrigatória. o título não é bem adequado porque ele só dá dicas sobre voz ativa/passiva, repetições, metáforas, entre outras coisas muito rapidamente. o que tem de mais precioso no livro é o convite para refletir sobre nossos hábitos de escrita, o medo que temos de mostrar nossos textos a outros colegas e as cobranças da academia pelo texto perfeito. o livro é bem motivador, tem depoimentos p [...]

    10. Kitabı çok sevdim. Keşke bu kalibredeki akademikler çalışma ve yazma pratikleriyle ilgili daha fazla şey karalasalar. Bu kitabın başarılı yapan şey yazarının Howard Becker olması herhalde. Howie :) neticede döneminin en üretken ve aldığı editörlük gibi görevlerle bunu daha fazla pratik edebilmiş, Chicago geleneğiyle yetişmiş, bunun neticesinde yazma eylemini sosyal teoriyle ve metodolojiyle birleştirebilecek biri ve kitabında bunu başarıyor. Keşke tartışmayı da [...]

    11. Fui correndo comprar por dica de uma amiga. E ele é tudo que eu esperava e um pouco mais. A verdade é que o título vende mal o livro, pois ele não é um livro sobre fórmulas prontas como faz parecer ser. O enfoque dele é na escrita acadêmica e seus vícios estilísticos que amedrontam e paralisam estudantes de todos os níveis. A escrita do livro é leve, e nos oferece um pouco de esperança e conforto(rs)para enfrentar nossos medos e ansiedades na hora da escrita acadêmica.

    12. While this book was written in 1986 and some of the chapters are slightly dated, I still found this book to be pretty useful. It's not a book about how to write the most elegant paragraph; Becker (and the various chapter authors) help you to get past the crap and get to work. Of particular use to me were the sections on "Risk" and "Getting it out the door."

    13. It's a nice out take on academic writing from a sociological point of view. (view spoiler)[The autor talks about all those things about writing that no many people will dare to talk about, and he seems to do it with plain honesty. According to him, one way to break the writing block it is to write a lot, later you will be able to edit all that junk he says, but in the moment the most important it's to write. He gives lots of useful advices not only on writing but also on editing. He thinks most [...]

    14. Uma leitura leve e inspiradora, mas como Howie diz: "a leitura deste livro não resolverá todos os seus problemas de redação. dificilmente resolverá algum. Nenhum livro, nenhum autor, nenhum especialista - ninguém pode resolver seus problemas. Os problemas são seus. Você é que tem de se livrar deles".Mas apesar de não ser uma forma mágica, é algo que pode te ajudar a se livrar dos seus problemas com a escrita. Muitas ideias e diretrizes simples que são sistematicamente negligenciadas [...]

    15. A pesar de contar con un título engañoso (el libro es más un conjunto de experiencias dispersas sobre la tarea de escribir un trabajo de investigación, que un plan detallado para concretar uno de principio a fin), las vivencias de Becker son bastante amenas como para leer el libro de un tirón.Rescato ciertos tips y consejos sobre la labor de escribir un trabajo de investigación.

    16. Sadece benim yaşadığımı düşündüğüm sancıların ne kadar evrensel olduğunu anlamama yol açtı. Yazmaya başlamaktan sıralamaya, kontrol ve düzeltmeye kadar tüm evreleri bir sınıfta anlatır gibi tane tane vermiş.

    17. Helpful in its realm. Not outstanding, but a good little support guide. Best thing I learned from it is the tip to simply let go and start writing whatever comes to your head. Also, a good guest chapter that sums up what it feels like to be in academia and the stress that can cause you to freeze.

    18. Lots to like about this guide to writing. I especially enjoyed his chapter on the way to use academic literature. His metaphor of building a table is brilliant - you can take bits and pieces of others' work when that's useful and use those bits and pieces to craft something new.

    19. I felt like the book is talking to me, empathizing with me for all the struggles I went through in completing my thesis draft and now improving it. A book so relevant even after decades of it being written, a must-read for everyone who wants to understand the writing process and get through it!

    20. I really liked this book which I read for one of my doctoral courses. Becker writes in a friendly and personal way and offers a lot of good advise about the writing process.

    21. The advice did not present practical tools for application rather general nuances on working through a lengthy research paper.

    22. before stepping into field of research in social studies i strongly recommend to read this helpful guide book, I have re-read it in 2018 as a part of my reading challenge.

    23. Se você chegou a este livro esperando que ele fosse uma espécie de "manual de redação", esqueça. Truques da Escrita, do renomado sociólogo Howard Becker é mais, eu diria, um livro de auto-ajuda. Ele vai deixar claro que problemas de escrita acadêmica não são só seus e meus, mas de todo mundo. Ou, pelo menos, de todo mundo que possui pouca experiência com isso. De dicas de escrita mesmo, ele só aponta algumas em um capítulo destinado a isso mesmo: vícios da escrita. De resto são d [...]

    24. I read Howard Becker's Art Worlds and a few of his articles in graduate school. He was one of the sociologists who wrote well, but I didn't honestly notice it so much at the time. Possibly I was too earnestly trying to master the theoretical arguments back then. In my experience, it is only after you slow down and get used to reading again for pleasure that you realize how poorly most scholars write, especially sociologists. That is why it is inspiring to pick up this book about how to write wel [...]

    25. Rompendo com muitas teorias que criam uma disciplina quase impossível de se conseguir para escrever trabalhos científicos em ciências sociais, Becker coloca a questão de escrever a partir de rascunhos e ir melhorando a redação com um processo de maturação que envolve operações de corte e reescrita constantes. Dessa forma, se obtém mais clareza nos textos, desmistificando a idéia que o cientista tem que escrever de forma rebuscada, quase para iniciados. Para Becker, só tem uma forma [...]

    26. Writing for Social Scientists by Howard Becker is much more than a guide to writing; it is a guide to becoming a prolific (and thus successful) academic. Whereas many books on writing focus on style and grammar, Becker takes a broader view, covering everything from the writing process ("writing is a form of thinking") to common pitfalls (the "One Right Way") to writing's place in research (think "working draft"). Becker illustrates his ideas with examples from his career as a professor of sociol [...]

    27. This book was trash. As an aspiring sociologist one semester away from a a bachelor's, and as an author and writer with an associate's in Creative Writing, I was extremely offended and upset by this book. Becker's suggestions for writing were as good as any basic suggestion that a freshman high school English teacher could give. His suggestions were too basic - maybe for someone who has never written before, the book would be helpful, but making suggestions for writers, especially academic write [...]

    28. It's a book on writing that's actually enjoyable. What more do you want? Howard Becker has an enjoyable voice and fantastic advice on avoiding dull, leaden prose. This is geared more to those writing in academia, especially in the social sciences - but most academic writers could take a page (or five or ten or a few chapters, or even the whole darn thing) from Becker's book. When it comes to getting it out the door, his advice is invaluable.Now, I should go back to editing my own manuscript, so [...]

    29. Amazing book with great life stories from a great academic. Definitely worth a read, it was funny and to the point, nicely written and easy to read. Unlike most how-to books that are out there, this book really give you concrete examples of how Pr. Becker taught his students through ages, and how writing is a skill that you can only develop over time (even when you are an established academic). It is probably one of the only books I have read to date that criticizes openly on how academics do no [...]

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