The Only Academic Book You’ll Ever Need: 600 sentence templates + 80 grammar and vocabulary tips, for both native and non-native speakers. Available on Amazon and Smashwords. Readable on your Kindle, tablet, phone or computer.
About The Only Academic Phrasebook You’ll Ever Need:
I first felt the need for a book like this back in 1998, when I started my MA at Lancaster University. I already spoke good English and had been in ELT for nearly a decade, but I still felt I lacked a wider repertoire of sentences like “A cursory glance at… reveals that…” or “… is beyond the scope of this paper.” Without that kind of language, I feared I would never truly belong to that kind of discourse community.
So, here’s what I did: At the end of each and every academic article or book I read, I made a list of useful phrases and sentence stems I could use in my own writing. This turned out to be a good move. When I wrote my dissertation, I was able to use at least 25-30% of the hundreds of sentences I’d compiled.
When I came back to Brazil, I forgot about this list for at least a decade, but fortunately I never deleted it. Cut to 2013. One day, I accidentally stumbled upon the original word document and wondered if perhaps anyone else might find my list useful. So I handpicked 70 sentences and turned them into a blog post, which, at the time, I quickly dismissed as “just a novelty no one will pay attention to.”
To my surprise, the post went viral and went on to become my most popular post to date, with an average of 300 daily visits three years after it was published. So, I was clearly on to something. One day, a crazy idea popped into my head:
What if that blog post became an e-book?
So, in January 2015, I started compiling a brand new list, which forced me to read hundreds of academic papers, beyond the field of Applied Linguistics. I read lab reports, medical experiments, doctoral theses on urban planning, literature reviews on quantum physics, you name it. By December 2015, I had amassed nearly a thousand sentence frames. But the book was still far from finished, of course.
The next step was to organize those sentences logically, check them for naturalness / frequency against corpus data, trim the list down to 500/600 items and write language tips that both native and non-native speakers might find useful. And that was the part that nearly drove me insane. I lost count of the number of times I considered scrapping the whole project, but a little voice inside my head urged me to keep going.
I don’t know what the future has in store for this book, but if it can help, say, at least 1,000 people the way my list helped me back in the 90s, it will have been worth it.