Cut the Words - and Draw

The Monday started with the third class of Writing better academic English. My biggest gain was that I can also draw. The upper picture is a visualization of the spillover effect that my dissertation is about.

In the middle, you can see the home country (our point of view). We export a product that a trading partner uses in production. In that process, we can learn about their practices (organizational capital) for example. This is the export organizational capital spillover. We can also obtain a spillover effect from imported intermediate products. Importing a middle product is similar than exporting in terms of learning but we learn directly from their catalogs or the technology used in our ordered products (R&D spillover). However, patents protect the newest technology and thus the spillover cannot be strong for recent innovations.

In the class, we went through some wordiness and academic writing style. The conversation took different tracks: How to refer age objectively?; How about gender neutrality? We can replace man by man and women, he by using a substantive, plural (they) or eliminating it all together (modification to the verb).

Like in online classes, we got list of words with replacement suggestions.

is an example of -> exemplifies
come up with -> create
look into -> investigate
set up -> establish
a lot of -> many
get -> obtain
older scientist  -> experienced scientist


The Topic Sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph that explains the main idea in the paragraph. You should be able to get the main ideas by reading the topic sentences only. 

Unity. A paragraph is unified by focusing on a word mentioned in the topic sentence.

Coherence. Created by: repetition (ideas, keywords, synonyms). Establish a logical relationship.

Cohesion is created by using: Therefor, in brief, indeed, while.

Group Discussions

Our homework was to analyse some journal article. I chose the one that is the main reference of the research in process. The shortness makes it very interesting, I have found my self reading it many times and digging up the referred articles to understand the methods better. 

The biggest gain from the discussion was that I could visualize the main concept of the research. This is uncommon in my field but very common in business and medical fields. The visualization is presented in the top of this post. 

Thus, our group went to side tracks that were in the end beneficial to me. I protested that I cannot visualize a regression equation: for professionals in my field they are easy to read and I like to have them. But when I started to explain the spillover term once again, I saw that here a visualization could be a good decision.At least, the colors are nice, right? Would you prefer the picture explanation (in more detail than presented above) over text version?


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