Home Page

Section 2 Becoming a Researcher/Scholar / Chapter 7 Preparing for Writing

3. Voice


Academic voice refers to the personality of doctoral learners' writing. It should be professional, but also allow their unique style and voice to permeate the paper. The best authors each have a distinct voice.


 Doctoral learners should read their writing aloud to get a feel for how it sounds and whether it reflects their voice. Be careful in this arena, as there is a fine line between the expression of one's unique academic voice and the expression of one's opinions. Academic writing, including the dissertation, should not include personal opinions.


 Does the writing flow well? If it sounds stilted when reading aloud, it will sound stilted when someone is reading it silently. Sentences that are too long can create a stiff or unnatural voice. In addition, lengthy sentences can decrease a reader’s comprehension of the material, as their energy is now devoted to deconstructing the long sentence. Papers should have fluency, which refers to the readability of the paper. A paper with high fluency will contain well-constructed sentences that flow together and create a readable paper.