Academic Writing Frustrations

I help people write academic papers including dissertations.  While it can be thrilling to see these types of masterpieces take shape, it can also be extremely frustrating.  The Internet has become the new sweetheart to online writers providing just enough information and support research for web based articles and other online writing.   But when it comes to writing academic articles or doing scientific based research, Internet sources are not your friend.  I try to get this across to students all the time, but we live in an internet world.  Young kids are trained to go online to find their resources instead of searching through books.  I’m not saying books are not used, they are uploaded to the web, that’s true.  But I’ve seen citations from and even other articles based sites.  Some of these I write for so I know they’re not academically accurate on everything but use other web sties are sources.

So what’s a teacher to do?  Just keep pushing the understanding of when to use what resources and how.   Now there’s always the “deep web” that many are not familiar with.  That’s the part of the web that the average web browser wouldn’t look for that houses information from various university libraries or scholarly journals.  that’s where I want my academic students to dwell.  Get into those journals tha tsound like gobbly goop to others.  Learn to read them and understand how real research is done. That’s your task.

Today,  a student called, being frustrated at a meeting where another person was using Google to locate sources for a dissertation; straight off the web.  How that could even happen I’m not sure but I urged her not to let herself get confused.  Just stick to knowing that real sources for academic writing come from journals and other academic sources.  I know, many out there will begin to ask  about articles and more.  Sure, that’s great.  Ask away. I’d love the discussions. But let me know what type of writing you’re doing so we can look at it honestly. Meanwhile, I’ll finish my rant and move on.  The main thing I know is that it comes from not understanding the differences in sourcing information which comes with time, patience, learning and practice.