Guide to writing academic essays in religious studies

HEDGING/AVOIDING COMMITMENT

In order to put some distance between what you’re writing and yourself as writer, to be cautious rather than assertive, you should:

avoid overuse of first person pronouns (I, we, my, our)
use impersonal subjects instead (It is believed that ..., it can be argued that ...)
use passive verbs to avoid stating the ‘doer’ (Tests have been conducted)
use verbs (often with it as subject) such as imagine, suggest, claim, suppose
use ‘attitudinal signals’ such as apparently, arguably, ideally, strangely, unexpectedly.
   These words allow you to hint at your attitude to something without using personal language.
use verbs such as would, could, may, might which ‘soften’ what you’re saying.
use qualifying adverbs such as some, several, a minority of, a few, many to avoid making overgeneralisations.

If the journal has published particularly famous papers (. papers that are notable enough to warrant their own Wikipedia article), like the 1964 PRL symmetry breaking papers (published in Physical Review Letters ), or " Two Dogmas of Empiricism " (published in The Philosophical Review ), mention those. You can also mention particular papers that have attracted significant coverage in independent sources . A small number of quotations, especially in local news media or blogs, is not unexpected for papers and so falls short of this mark.

Generally, it should follow the traditional CV format and have a clear structure. Unusual designs and use of colour aren’t appropriate here and can easily confuse the readers. Make sure you keep it simple and that you are consistent throughout to achieve a logical and readable layout. You can get this result by bolding or italicising your headings, and writing dates and similar information on the same page. In terms of format, prefer to use common fonts like Times New Roman or Arial at 10 to 12 points. Finally, try to keep your CV to no longer than two sides of A4 paper (or 4 pages). This should help employers scan your CV quickly.

Guide to writing academic essays in religious studies

guide to writing academic essays in religious studies

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