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This post will look at why adding Anglo-Saxon academic style to your repetoire is important for successful participation in the European and international research environments. An upcoming post (The practical benefits of learning Anglo-Saxon style 2: obtaining grants) will provide a concrete example of how this works in practice in a grant-awarding body.

As mentioned by my colleague in his blog post Academic writing in English and Czech, one of the purposes of this blog is to explore the differences between Anglo-Saxon and Czech academic styles. Understanding these differences can help writers express their ideas more effectively in writing and also improve their chances of success in related academic tasks such as grant applications.

Shifting from Czech to Anglo-Saxon academic style or other academic styles means expressing ideas in a different way. The goal is to add another style to your repertoire, not to lose your original one, just as you learn a new language without losing your mother tongue. The deeper implication which is beyond the scope of this post is that writing in a different style changes one’s way of thinking. Given the current tendency towards an English-speaking academic monoculture, this can be seen as one of the dangers of loss of diversity in academic writing styles.

Writing in academic English is not simply a technical translating exercise. Google Translate provides a concrete example. While the results in Czech to English translations can often be quite good, anyone using this application quickly reaches the conclusion that technical translation is not enough. In addition to the English language itself Anglo-Saxon academic style also includes other elements such as structure, signpost language. and generic phrases.

Writing research papers in English and Anglo-Saxon academic style is important for participating in the European Research Area and international research environments, which are, for better or worse, increasingly based on English. It also has very practical applications for academics, researchers and students. The ability to write in the international English style facilitates such important tasks as getting published, obtaining research and project grants, and being selected for teaching or research stays abroad and scholarships.

I hope that the above-mentioned points shed some light on why it is worthwhile to add Anglo-Saxon academic style to your academic skills. In another post, I will give a concrete example from my personal experience in a grant-giving body.

I would welcome any comments you have, particularly regarding your own observations or experience.


Pamela Cotte

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