Nominalizations in academic writing

With zero-derivation[ edit ] Some verbs and adjectives in English can be used directly as nouns without the addition of a derivational suffix. One such type, which is rather pervasive, is the change in stress placement from the final syllable of the word to the first syllable see Initial-stress-derived noun. Other Indo-European languages[ edit ] Many Indo-European languages have separate inflectional morphology for nouns, verbs, and adjectives, but often this is no impediment to nominalization, as the root or stem of the adjective is readily stripped of its adjectival inflections and bedecked with nominal inflections—sometimes even with dedicated nominalizing suffixes.

Nominalizations in academic writing

Academic writing frequently uses nominalisations; that is, the noun forms of verbs. The process of nominalisation turns verbs actions or events into nouns things, concepts or people.

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The text is now no longer describing actions: We walked for charity. As you can see from the example above, when a verb is nominalised, it becomes a concept rather than an action.

As a consequence, the tone of your writing will sound more abstract and also more formal; for example: We raised money for the Leukemia Foundation. The charity walk raised money for the Leukemia Foundation. Some more examples of nominalisation are provided below: Crime was increasing rapidly and the police were becoming concerned.

The rapid increase in crime was causing concern among the police.

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Germany invaded Poland in This was the immediate cause of the Second World War breaking out. These examples are adapted from: Here is an extract from a biology report.

Nominalisation has been used frequently in this passage, creating a more academic, abstract tone. The nouns formed as a result of nominalisation of verb phrases are highlighted.

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Many Australian plant species produce seeds with fleshy appendages called elaiosomes. It was hypothesised that elaiosomes are involved in the dispersal of seeds by ants. To test this hypothesis, the removal of seeds with elaiosomes was compared to seeds from which the elaiosome had been removed and observations were made to confirm that the agents of seed removal were indeed ants.

It was found that the removal of seeds with elaiosomes was significantly greater than those without elaiosomes.

nominalizations in academic writing

Observations of the seed removal process confirmed that ants were the only agents of seed removal. The frequent use of nominalisation was one factor responsible for the difference in formality between the model texts.

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Such a significant skew in the distribution of wealth indicates that, at least in terms of economics, there is an established class system in Australia. McGregor argues that Australian society can be categorised into three levels:The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) 2nd Edition.

Analysis: Characteristics of Nominalization in Academic Writing In this section, we concentrate on the analysis of the rhetorical impacts of using nominalizations in an electronic engineering research article, published in Journal of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, , Vol.

2(1). Read these writing tips to learn how to avoid nominalizations, reduce wordiness and meet your word count requirements! Try Grammarian PRO2 Free Online Grammar Check: Academic Rules -- (linked to Grammarian PRO2 X grammar engine: Check grammar, spelling, and punctuation online.

References: The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, The Elements of Style, William Strunk--Note: Recheck your corrections.

100+ Strong Verbs That Will Make Your Research Writing Amazing For an essay giving background on the contest, click here.

For some reason, writers intent on writing in a “professional” or “academic” tone end up fixated on nouns. Instead of writing “I analyzed the data,” they write, “A data analysis was performed.”.

nominalizations in academic writing

Jerz > Writing > Grammar and Syntax > A "nominalized" sentence is one in which abstract nouns perform most of the work. Abstract nouns are things you can't touch or easily visualize (such as "analysis" or "solution"). These vague nouns contain within them a hidden verb ("analyze" or "sol.

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