SOCI2000: 7.0 Writing and Presenting Research

Slides for Week 7


Harrigan, How to write a short paper

Strunk & White, ‘Elementary principles of composition’ in Elements of Style. (available via Leganto on iLearn) (or just Google).

Orwell, Politics and the English Language.


Advice from start of lecture:

Find a model

Prioritise the logical argument

Topic sentences

Refer back to main argument

Use consistent terminology

Focus on the main story

Advice from ‘How to write short paper’


Paper is made up of paragraphs

Paragraphs are made up of sections

PEEL structure for body paragraph


Never use long word when a short one will do

Cut words

Write to communicate

Use parallel construction


Use examples

Write in the concrete

Keep them short, original, memorable

Advice from ‘Strunk and White’

Choose a suitable design and hold it

Use the active voice

Put statements in the positive form.

Use definite, specific, concrete language.

Keep related words together

Begin with a topic sentence.

Make the paragraph the unit of composition

Omit needless words

Express coordinate ideas in similar form.


Don’t use clichés

Avoid long words

Cut words when you can

Use active voice

Avoid jargon

Don’t say anything barbarous

Last updated on 24 April, 2020 by Dr Nicholas Harrigan (