• University of Glasgow Featured PhD Programmes
  • Carlos III Health Institute Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Mannheim Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Bristol Featured PhD Programmes
  • London School of Economics and Political Science Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Leeds Featured PhD Programmes
  • University of Cambridge Featured PhD Programmes
University of Edinburgh Featured PhD Programmes
University of Bristol Featured PhD Programmes
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Featured PhD Programmes
Newcastle University Featured PhD Programmes
Cardiff University Featured PhD Programmes

PhD Discussion Forum

The following thread is brought to you by our sister Web site PostgraduateForum.com. If you wish to reply or post your own thread, you will be redirected to this site.

This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Writing up / Vivas


Message

a question for people who english is 1st or 2nd language


User: Hiini - 09 January 2016 02:23

To people who english is the first language,
Do you still have problem with ( or make mistake in) spelling and grammar in your writing although english is your first english?

To people who english is the 2nd language,
Do you use any softwares or tools to help you improve your writing?

i got lots of comments that complaining about my spelling and grammar. I have used some software like grammaly but many mistakes it doesn't pick up. Any advices PLEASE.

THANK YOU EVERYONE.

User: ApolloBullit - 09 January 2016 04:36

English is my first language, and I often have to write in a foreign language for my research so I can understand how you are feeling. The reality is that it's extremely difficult to achieve native level proficiency to the point of writing perfectly correct language for academic purposes. It's possible to get close, but there will nearly always be mistakes (in my opinion). And of course, even native speakers make mistakes!
My suggestion is to find an academic in a similar field who is a native English speaker, but is trying to learn/write in your native tongue. Then you can exchange papers for proof reading/corrections. Of course, you will have to check your institution's guidelines on proof reading as some do not allow this kind of exchange and you could end up in a lot of trouble if they don't allow it.
The important thing is to remain calm and work away at your language skills as far as you can.
As a side note, typing in CAPITAL LETTERS in English is considered by many to be shouting, and should be avoided at all costs :-)

User: Hiini - 09 January 2016 05:49

Quote From ApolloBullit:
English is my first language, and I often have to write in a foreign language for my research so I can understand how you are feeling. The reality is that it's extremely difficult to achieve native level proficiency to the point of writing perfectly correct language for academic purposes. It's possible to get close, but there will nearly always be mistakes (in my opinion). And of course, even native speakers make mistakes!
My suggestion is to find an academic in a similar field who is a native English speaker, but is trying to learn/write in your native tongue. Then you can exchange papers for proof reading/corrections. Of course, you will have to check your institution's guidelines on proof reading as some do not allow this kind of exchange and you could end up in a lot of trouble if they don't allow it.
The important thing is to remain calm and work away at your language skills as far as you can.
As a side note, typing in CAPITAL LETTERS in English is considered by many to be shouting, and should be avoided at all costs :-)

thank you ApolloBullit, it is very helpful advice. So what language are you using in writing?

User: pm133 - 09 January 2016 11:56

English is my first language and I have no problems when it comes to writing. Most native speakers however will still struggle to write academic text.
It must be a complete nightmare having to write in English when it is your second language.
I've noticed that one of the major giveaways that someone is not a native English speaker is their use of the words 'a' or 'the'. Learning the basic syntax of English is hard enough but learning how to use those two words can be baffling unless you've grown up with it. It's rare to find a native speaker who would struggle with them though.

User: emmaki - 09 January 2016 18:48

I am not a native speaker and I did my PhD in English.
I found that my writing improved by reading! I read a lot and not only related to my research. I think it helps to get a grip of the language. Of course I still make mistakes and I cannot use the language as a native speaker, but I have improved a lot

User: Hiini - 10 January 2016 03:13

Quote From emmaki:
I am not a native speaker and I did my PhD in English.
I found that my writing improved by reading! I read a lot and not only related to my research. I think it helps to get a grip of the language. Of course I still make mistakes and I cannot use the language as a native speaker, but I have improved a lot

the same. but it seems that we're never good enough and can never be perfect.=( how to be perfect in academic writing.

User: RinaL - 12 January 2016 06:02

Quote From Hiini:
Quote From emmaki:
I am not a native speaker and I did my PhD in English.
I found that my writing improved by reading! I read a lot and not only related to my research. I think it helps to get a grip of the language. Of course I still make mistakes and I cannot use the language as a native speaker, but I have improved a lot

the same. but it seems that we're never good enough and can never be perfect.=( how to be perfect in academic writing.

Read, read more .. and then go back and read even more. Btw, there is no such thing as perfect academic writing. Everybody, even the best native speakers, make mistakes. ;-)

I started my research career with "Writing Scientific English" (T. Skern) which helped me a lot to understand how the parts of a paper "behave". Since then, I have read a lot of papers, picked nice sentence and tried to incorporate them into my writing style. I am still not the fastest writer, but improved a lot over the last years.

If you want to improve your understanding of the English language in a more general approach I would recommend watching television. I watch them always with subtitles on - so its reading and watching at the same time ;-).

User: buru - 14 January 2016 06:49

Everybody makes mistakes in academic writing. Even my supervisor proposes language changes to my work which are wrong! If you want to improve your language quickly you need to immerse yourself in the language, switch all your devices to English, communicate with your friends in English, read the news in English, watch TV in English, and listen to English language songs. Also try to socialise with colleagues at university who do not speak your first language.

User: Hiini - 17 January 2016 23:59

Thank you everyone. =)



Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X