Saturday, March 28, 2020

New article every weekend?

Time is short, writing is hard, and papers are long.
-Write it Up, p. 3

Writing is hard, everyone agrees on this statement. But, what about statement "Everyone can write"? Most people will disagree with that statement. Yes, while all students in higher education (undergraduate and above) must submit their thesis to obtain their degree, not all of them being a writer after it. Writing is important in all aspects of life. It is a basic skill to survive in the modern era. Without it, someone will suffer to explain their idea, their thinking. Yes, writing is thinking (another thinking is speaking), As quoted by a page in a book below, writing is a way to communicate our thinking to others. The better we communicate our idea, our thinking, the easier it will be accepted by people.

Writing is thinking, from a book: The craft of research

Why Writing?

All things need to be measured. My job, as a researcher and a lecturer, is measured by the quality and quantity of my writing. To obtain (job) promotion, a specific point from my writing is required. Hence, I must write as many as possible, as well as I can. Getting a promotion means a better salary, a better quality of life. Everyone needs it, including I am.

Another measure (besides defined by my institution to judge/score my job) is the common metric given by the third party, e.g., Google Scholar and Scopus. Those common metrics are citations and h-index. I have my Google Scholar here, That is the page to justify my performance on writing from year to year. That is why I must write. In other words, that is one reason why I must keep writing.

Make it a habit

Some people might say that writing is a talent. It is given. That statement is also not correct at all. Everyone can have good writing skills if they learn step by step. This is what I want to achieve by stating "New article every weekend". By forcing myself to write every week, my writing skills will be improved, hopefully. 

My problem with writing

Although I got an English course since the 5th grade of elementary school,, up to now my writing school is insufficient. My current TOEIC score is 915, and still, it is insufficient to judge my writing skills. How can I know my writing skill is insufficient? The reviewer told me. The reviewer of Cambridge core and IEEE top conference told me the same thing: The language of writing could be improved. Most of my problems in English (academic) writing are Academic Tone, Grammar, and Hedging. 

For the first problem (academic tone), the solution is by reading more papers and journals. The academic tone is different from the conversational tone, e.g., you cannot use the word "get", "really", etc. in academic writing. For hedging (see image below, bottom part), I need to read and compare academic paper, book, and less formal writing paper (like magazines and this blog post). Grammar is the most difficult. Even though I took a four-month English course in Pare, Kediri (the most famous are to learn English in Indonesia), still my Grammar is not perfect. The current solution for this problem is currently two: (1) by re-study Grammar lesson more intensively and (2) by using simple grammar for writing, e.g., Present Tense and Past Tense.

Finally, I found a page in the book stated the three most important skills in linguistic, i.e., pragmatics, semantics, and syntax. Pragmatic related to solving a problem in a practical and sensible way rather than by having fixed ideas or theories. Semantics related to the (words) meaning. The syntax related to the structure of a sentence, e.g., part-of-speech of each word, subject-verb position, etc.

Linguistic skills needed by postgraduate students

So, I want to solve my problem with my writing by tackling this challenge: New article in this blog every weekend, hopefully.
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