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Style in Research Writing

  • Are you looking for that sweet spot between style and clarity that will enhance your scholarly "voice"?
  • Do you want to explore the interface between form and argument?
  • Do you ever read your favourite academic author and think 'That's how I want to write'?
  • Do you want to expand your expressive range and effectiveness?

If so, you might find some of the answers in the course Style in Research Writing.


English 602

Style in research writing

MWP Post-doctoral fellows

Length of course

8 weeks, 12 hours:

First term:

16 October 

08 December 2023

8 weeks

12 hours



Course starts on 18 October 2023


9:30 - 11:00

Place & Instructors



Laurie Anderson 

Sharon McCulloch

Learning outcomes

The overall aim of this course is to expand your expressive range and enhance scholarly "voice" and effectiveness.

By the end of this course you will:

  • be able to make your stylistic voice sound clearly
  • understand how syntax and vocabulary affect style
  • understand how style affects the reader



 Topics will include (according to participants’ needs and interests):

  • information flow and how to modulate it by using conventional and ‘marked’ (emphatic) sentence structures
  • active vs. passive voice (reasons for using or not)
  • I/we as part of a scholar’s ‘rhetorical toolkit’
  • typical tense use in different parts of the research paper
  • other topic(s) indicated as relevant by participants in the pre-course task that will be sent to all participants 

Methods & Learning Activities

This course takes the participants' own research writing and that of established scholars in their fields as a starting point to explore the interface between form (grammar/syntax), style/rhetoric and argumentative structure.

Teachers' bios

Laurie Anderson, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Siena, and part-time Professor at the Max Weber Programme, and has published extensively on academic writing and publishing. She has also co-edited several volumes on academic communication.



Page last updated on 20 November 2023

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