Graduate students and faculty members of the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business (RVR-COB) received valuable tips on writing for scientific publications from Dr. Gerardo Largoza, Associate Professor of the Economics Department, in a two-session seminar-workshop titled “Writing an article for a scholarly journal.” The seminar workshop, which was co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (VD-RAGS) and the Center for Business Research and Development (CBRD), was held on July 31 and August 7 at the Ariston Estrada Seminar Room of De La Salle University.
Citing Joseph Williams’ “Style: Toward Clarity and Grace (1995), Largoza suggested the following steps in revising one’s work: (a) writing the original draft; (b) revise for clarity; (c) revise for cohesion; (c) revise for coherence; (d) revise for concision and grace; and (e) revise to meet data presentation conventions. During the workshop, however, he covered only clarity, cohesion, and coherence.
For sentence-level clarity, he said that there must be “identifiable characters that do things to move the narrative along.” For passage-level cohesion, he suggested categorizing information in sentences and locating as follows: old / easily digestible / uncontroversial information at the beginning, and new / challenging / provocative / significant information at the end.
For coherence, he emphasized the need for paragraphs to have a theme, which serves as its organizing principle (e.g. alphabetically, chronologically, simplest to most complex, top to bottom). A good writer, he said, “customizes her themes per paragraph, thinking carefully about the best way of organizing the material.”
Largoza also said that “scientific work is not just about producing any kind of evidence, it’s about producing the best evidence for a claim.” According to him editors of scholarly journals “prefer papers that say something new, rather than confirm what most people have long suspected.” He challenged the audience “to go beyond describing phenomena”. Instead, “we must make testable claims, we must specify them, and they must be reasonably novel,” he said.