Great advice (if possibly translated clumsily)

I just have to quote the following authorial guidance from a Brazilian law review, which shall go unnamed because this is, after all, Google’s translation. But what great advice, idiomatic English or not:


1. Write to be read (a). Encourage your reader to not give up your text.

2. Words are there to say (and even do). If you do not properly formulated, in every sentence, what you want to say, then do not write.

3. Clarity of writing indicates clarity of thought. So, define what you want to say and tell the simplest way possible.

4. Avoid metaphors, long sentences, classicisms, unnecessary latinisms.

5. When you express your views, do not just make statements. Use arguments, arguments and evidence.

6. Do not be arrogant. Who disagrees with you is not necessarily stupid or insane. No one need be described as foolish: let your analysis show the “folly” of others.

7. Use the active voice, whenever you need. If your research is innovative, using the “I understand … we hold … I conclude … it seems necessary to complete”, etc.They are perfectly acceptable, and even necessary.

8. If in other areas such as biology, health, engineering, mathematics, and even some areas of applied social sciences, write 8 to 10 pages of text is almost a dogma of scientific writing, it does not occur in the legal framework. Long texts are not necessarily incompetence of scientific writing. But papers are not textbooks. So theoretical revisions very extensive, and merely informative, they are unnecessary. Concentrate on the important literature that discusses, refute and adopt.Quote jurisprudence than leading case , it’s usually a waste of time. Propose innovative interpretations without consistent logical construction, empirical and theoretical basis, it is dispensable.

9. Your text should be clear, technically accurate, engaging and elegant.

10. Break any of these rules, if necessary. But do not write barbarisms in scientific work.

Would that we could all remember esp. #6, but also the others.

Update: In case it’s not clear, I really admire what’s being said here, the clumsiness of machine translation quite aside.

Comments are closed.