Nominalisation in academic writing

Here are some examples: Does this mean spoken contexts e. What the style guides are usually getting at is the overuse of two processes: In a section in Plain Words called 'the lure of the abstract word' he comments that avoiding nominalisations 'is more important than any other single thing if you would convert a flabby style into a crisp one'.

Though the earnings differential between college and high school graduates varies over time, college graduates, on average, earn more than high school graduates.

Locating head nouns in noun phrases is an important first step in understanding the structure of nominalised sentences, and in using nominalisation in your writing. This is important because making a claim which is too strong can make your writing seem too simplistic, or even dishonest.

This is one of the benefits of learning this paraphrasing skill. Its crew is now preparing to dispatch aid to the Panay Island, in the far west of Cebu. Many wonder whether the high cost of tuition, the opportunity cost of choosing college over full-time employment, and the accumulation of thousands of dollars of debt is, in the long run, worth the investment.

General vocabulary can also include general words which have special meaning in academic contexts. You can see that in the second sentences; here I changed the noun to a verb. Used with permission from the BBC: It was hypothesised that elaiosomes are involved in the dispersal of seeds by ants.

Here is an extract from a biology report. In addition, it has been shown that most Australians continue to remain in the class into which they were born McGregor, This lists commonly used collocations in written academic texts e.

Making a noun from verbs and adjectives is often quite simple and the guides to word formation and teaching word formation have more in this area. Notice how the verbs and adjectives in the left side of the chart are changed to nouns and noun phrases in the right side.

This is a very productive source of abstract nouns and new ones are coinable. So although you still need to know your verbs, you should focus on learning nouns and on nominalisation — this is where you make a noun from a verb.

Here is an extract from a biology report. Adjectives ending -ible or -able are often converted to nouns in this way.

Grammar 45 - Nominalisation - Adjectives into Nouns 1

The antipathy to abstract words is a feature of 20th-century style pundits. And no-one can avoid using nominalisations. The introduction to this guide contained six examples of the common types of nominalisation in English. I found this interesting as this seems a fairly teachable way of both helping students build up vocabulary, improve their cohesion and use a bit more nominalization e.

Words ending in -ful or -less are often converted to nouns with this suffix. Nominalisation in EAP. The title of this guide suggests it is applicable to English for Academic Purposes and, indeed, it is.

However, nominalisation is not confined to EAP so this guide is linked from elsewhere, too. Many of the examples in the guide are taken from academic materials but the concepts are unchanged, whatever the text type. When you read academic or scholarly articles and wonder why your writing does not read the same as theirs, it is because of nominalisation.

It is a key part of the editing process and will make your reader really sit up and listen because you instantly gain credibility as an academic writer. Nominalisation is an integral feature of academic writing. It is a function that not only helps you to create variety in your writing, but also prevents you from repeating the same verb/word over and over again.

Nominalisation is a useful skill to have in academic writing because it conveys an objective, impersonal tone. WRIC12M3: Aspects of writing, Cluster 12, Marker 3: Creates well planned, extended texts that include more complex and detailed subject matter and language features such as nominalisation.

Academic writing uses more nouns than verbs and often uses the process of 'nominalisation' (sometimes called 'nounification') to change verbs to nouns. The University of Newcastle's Writing Development Centre has a very good section on 'nominalisation' and makes the process very clear.


Nominalization Cloze Return to main page. Using the words in the box, fill in all the gaps. Press "Check" to check your answers. analysis indication investment Participation restrictions 1. The government of the student intake.

Nominalisation in academic writing
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Using Academic Style and Tone: Nominalisation