general

Writing Style – The Differences Between Academic and Casual Writing

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Everyone knows that you should write your term papers differently from your Facebook posts, and your journal submissions should be written differently than newspaper columns. What exactly are the differences between casual and academic writing? Between formal and informal writing?

The biggest difference

The single most important difference between casual writing and academic writing is style. That is, casual writing does not require you to adhere to any published style guide. Academic writing, or any formal writing for that matter, requires that you adhere to a style guide. Some schools and teachers will go so far as to specify which style guide to use.

What is a style guide?

A style guide is a manual, or document, that specifies a set of rules and standards, followed by writers to facilitate clear communication. The guide for EzineArticles.com is a web page that indicates how to write articles to be included in the EzineArticles directory, for instance. Each school and corporation can have its own, personalized style guide.

Main style guides do exist, however.

1. The Chicago Manual of Style was one of the first style guides published in the United States. Currently (as of 2010) in its 16th edition, this style guide first came out in 1906. People often refer to “the Chicago style,” but people also refer to it as CMS or CMOS.

2. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is in its sixth edition (as of 2010). This style guide was developed so professors and students could read papers more easily-and so comprehension was increased. APA Style calls for only two fonts in a paper, and the body of the paper must be written in Times New Roman 12 point. Underlining, bolding, and italics are permitted in some places.

3. The Elements of Style was written to help people write clearly. While the book has its critics, it is one of the shortest style guides.

4. The MLA Style Manual, 3rd edition, is the Modern Language Association’s style guide. First published in 1985, this manual is used by many universities, colleges, and students.

5. Microsoft wrote The Manual of Style for Technical Publication, and this document is used for internal and external Microsoft documentation.

Common style guide conventions vs. informal writing

Contractions

Generally, it is okay to use contractions (like it’s) in informal writing. Academic writing requires writing out both words.

Technical terms

If you are writing informally to a group of people in your same field, you might use technical terms frequently and never explain them. If you are writing to a group of people that have no relationship with your industry at all, you try to take the technical words out altogether. If you are writing academically, you must explain the term the first time you use it.

Active/Passive

This is not different between informal and academic writing. Most often, active sentences are better. Both the APA and the Chicago style guides concur with this.

Grammatical person

The grammatical person is the …

general

Cultural Differences In Communication Style – Why Arabs Are Not Effective Communicators In Estonia

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We all know that our success in life depends in a great deal how good communicators we are. New immigrants often believe that just learning vocabulary and grammar makes them effective communicators in Estonia and solves all the problems. However, in the long run they notice that they have misunderstandings and conflicts everywhere. By observing cultural differences in communication styles and practices of new immigrants in Estonia and other European countries, I have recorded several cultural differences that lead to conflicts and misunderstandings instead of success.

Recently we saw a case in media where a group of Arabs tried to change their drivers licenses in Estonia, however, caused a media event by threatening officials instead. The main reason for the conflict was that although Arabs spoke Estonian, they used totally different communication style than Estonians do. It was really interesting to see how the officials tried to explain the regulations according to their own direct communication style, however, as Arabs and Estonians have very different listening and speaking habits, Arabs did not get the message but perceived it as an unfriendly behavior and responded with threats. For Estonians, on the other hand, it is difficult to grasp that speaking volubly and with a rising tone might show sincerity in other cultures and thus they usually perceive it as an aggressive behavior.

There are enormous cultural differences in low and high context communication, in how to approach other people, how to say what is relevant, in body language, in direct and indirect communication styles as well as in values ​​and norms. Officials who analyzed the situation claimed that Arabs did not listen to them, that they spoke about irrelevant things, did not obey rules and threatened officials. Customer servants usually claim that Arabs don't understand the meaning of the word "no", they don't get that it really means that "something is not possible". They seem to think that they just have to explain longer and come back on the next day with bigger group and speak louder. According to my experience Arabs tend to use the same communication behavior over and over again in different situations in Estonia although they never reach their goals.

Arabic and Estonian cultures may be distinguished in terms of direct versus indirect communication styles. Estonian cultural preference is for clear and direct communication as evidenced by common expressions such as "Ära keeruta!" (Don't beat around the bush), "Räägi asjast! (Get to the point). As we see from these two examples Estonians use even less words to express these phrases than English speakers which means that they really prefer to get to the point as quickly as possible without wasting time as that is how they feel when someone talks too much about "irrelevant" things. In high-context communication, (such as Arabic) much of the "burden of meaning" appears to fall on the listener . In low context cultures (such as Estonian), the burden to accurately and thoroughly convey the meaning in one's spoken or written message appears …

women

Differences Between Men's and Women's Tennis

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Tennis is a highly popular sport around the world, and surprisingly the gender of the players isn't really a deal-breaker when it comes to the watchability of the sport. Both men and women enjoy levels of fame and financial success in the sport, and history has shown that through the years both men and women have equal chances of winning against each other, making for a fairly level playing field when it comes to a mixed- gender match.

Take, for example, one of the biggest battles of the sexes in recent history: Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs. This 1973 match was the second in a series of three matches featuring professional tennis's best female and male players of the time. This particular match saw the female beat the male competitor in a best-of-five match format. The debate over how and why King beat Riggs raged on after the match, yet no one can deny that the victory was King's.

However, tennis may be the last remaining high-profile sport that has different rules for men than women. The most prestigious of tennis tournaments including the top four majors, or grand slam tournaments, have women playing for the win in a best-of-three match scenario whereas the men play for their win in a best-of-five match scenario.

This difference in the number of matches a person must play in order to win not only results in a longer playing time for men therefore seeming like they are working harder for their win, but also requires the male counterparts to have more stamina and endurance in order to thrive in a longer athletic timespan.

It is also arguable that this discrepancy gives the advantage to weaker female players who have more of an opportunity to cause an upset over a higher-ranked rival due to the fact there is not as much time to correct a mistake or lapse in judgment when you only have three matches to earn the title. A best-of-five match rewards consistency in game play, as well as in adaptability in game play for those who can identify their opponents' "tells" and habits.

Historically, these tournaments paid the men's champion prize money at a higher rate than the women's champion as well, but this issue has been remedied recently.

Another difference between men's and women's tennis is in the game play. The fact that men are physically stronger means they can hit the ball harder, creating a faster speed, making it more difficult for their opponents to return the ball and creating a faster-paced game. Men also achieve more aces when serving than women, so women have more of a return, back and forth volleying game than men do.

One thing people may find surprising is that there is no gender difference in tennis racket options. Although rackets themselves have a variety of options, as a product they are gender-neutral. The options that are offered when choosing a racket include various weights, varying head sizes, grip size options and racket …