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  1. #1
    purecopper is offline Newbie
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    Default how to revise this article in American style?

    Hello,

    This article is from a foreign student's blog. I feel that the article she wrote is not in American style. People can easily tell it when reading. If you can revise the article in American style, I will really appreciate for your help.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    As PhD students, we have to work with our supervisors for four or five years even longer. Our success in degree partly depends on the ability and support of our supervisors. We may make less effort if we have good supervisors. Here, I am talking about how to get along with your supervisor based on lessons learnt from my experiences.

    Know more about your supervisor. Before you enter into the school, you should try to learn more about your future supervisor, about his/her reputation, personality, and teaching and research abilities.

    Depend on yourself to do your research. You may have a knowledgeable and resourceful supervisor. He may have a substantial research proposal and work plan. Still, you need to ask yourself. Are you interested in the research topic? Are you confident with your research topic? You will have an easier way to go if you answer these questions Yes. Professors always have ambitious ideas. But you are conducting the research, not him/her. The research relates to your degree, your future, not his/her. You have to be clear with the research questions, methodologies of collecting the data, and the outcome that you are expecting. My experience is an example. My research topic was from me since my supervisor had no idea. During the course of my research, I received lots of misunderstanding and wrong directions. There were some reasons about it. One was that my English was not good enough to clearly deliver I was thinking and I was doing. The other was that my supervisors were not strong is this area. Anyway, I insisted on according to my feeling and finally I arrived. They totally agreed with my research questions and outcome when I figured them out. Ok. Here is another example. One of my friends received a topic suggested by her supervisor, although she did not like it much. She was a bit scared with her supervisor. But one day she found that she had no way to go. The research involved an area that she was not familiar with. Ironically, her supervisor also had no idea. There are lots of ways to go to a research, definitely, not only one way. But you need to make a way that you are interested in and you are confident with.

    Ask questions and take suggestions from professors. We, Chinese students, are used to be good students who take guidance from the boss and act exactly following the advice. Professors are always busy; and they often treat supervising as a job. They may not relate the research to the student’s survival and future. Also, professors are not knowledgeable as you imagine. They are proficient with only their areas. They often have their customized way to go to the research and advice the students following the same way. Not be scared with their English and knowledge. Ask any questions that you want to answer when you have opportunities to meet them. Not worry about your English. They can understand because they are professors. Just ask and push yourself and your supervisor think. Answers are often emerging from your discussion. Not just ask your supervisor. Ask all professors whom you are working with. They may not familiar with your areas. But they must know what a research should be. They must give your ideas and suggestions from different perspectives. You take them and deliberately combine them into your research. It would be better if these professors would like to read your papers or thesis. They can help you to come up with a very neat and nice writing. Not forget that professors are the best resources, better than library references.

    Respect your supervisor and protect yourself. As Chinese students, we know how to respect professors. This is our tradition. Be polite to your supervisor. Try to learn his culture, and treat him/her as your boss and your partner. Show you respect to him/her and your pleasure to work with him/her. It would be helpful to send him/her greetings on his/her festivals. You may become good friends or partners in a long time. But not all professors are nice. Some professors may look down on Chinese students. They may bully you that your English is not good, your research abilities are not strong, or you have no strong social connection in this new place. Not be scared with them. Be familiar with university policies and collect any evidences that they are across lines. No boss is clean in the earth. When they step upon your culture and benefits, tell them what your culture is and what your base line is. But not be over-irritated. A balanced relationship with your supervisor partly depends on yourself. Try to build a comfortable relationship with your supervisor at the first semester or year when you are working with him/her. Once an unbalanced relationship has been built, it is difficult to change. Anyway, when you found that you did have no way to work with him/her, quickly try to find another way. No hesitations.

    We all are excellent students if we can get the opportunities to go to a new country to study and learn. In a new country, we have to handle lots of problems. Some are from the study. Some are from our life. But we must can. We must can if we apply our wisdom and energy. Best wishes with all of us.
    Last edited by purecopper; 25-May-2009 at 04:16.

  2. #2
    purecopper is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: how to revise this article in American style?

    Let me starting revise the first paragraph.

    As being PhD students, we have to work with our supervisors for four or five years even longer. the academy success for degree essentially depends on the ability and the support of our supervisors. We may save some efforts if we have good supervisors working with. Here, I am going to talk about how to get along with your supervisor based on my experiences.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: how to revise this article in American style?

    Hello, purecopper. I am an American. I have to say your revisions of the first paragraph do not sound more American to me than the original. We would not say "as being" or "academy success for degree".

    Quote Originally Posted by purecopper View Post

    As PhD students, we have to work with our supervisors for four or five years, maybe even longer. Our success in achieving this degree partly depends on the ability and support of our supervisors. We may even make less effort ourselves if we have good supervisors. Here, I am going to talk about how to get along with your supervisor based on lessons learned from my own experiences.

    1. Know more about your supervisor. Before you (enroll, arrive on campus, get to the school, commit to a program? - depends on the intended meaning), you should try to learn more about your future supervisor, about his/her reputation, personality, teaching style, and research abilities.

    2. Depend on yourself to do your own research. (This isn't really an accurate topic sentence for this paragraph. Her advice here is not to do your own research, but to choose your own research topic and plan.) You may have a knowledgeable and resourceful supervisor. He may have a substantial research proposal and work plan. But you still need to ask yourself: Are you interested in the research topic? Is it something you feel confident pursuing? You will have an easier time (better experience?) if your answer to these questions is Yes. Professors always (often?) have ambitious ideas. But you will be the one conducting the research, not your professor. The research relates to your degree, your future, not his/hers. You have to be clear on the research questions, the methodologies of collecting the data, and the outcome that you are expecting. I'll share my experience as an example. My research topic came from me (was self-generated) since my supervisor had no ideas. During the course of my research, I received lots of misunderstanding and wrong directions. There were a few reasons for this. One was that my English was not good enough to clearly explain what I was thinking and what I was doing. Another was that this was not my supervisors' area of expertise. Anyway, I insisted on (going with my gut, following my instincts) until I finally (achieved the results I wanted, completed the project to my satisfaction). My supervisors totally agreed with my research questions and outcome once I had figured them out. Ok. Here is (Compare that with?) another example: One of my friends received a topic suggested by her supervisor, although she did not like it much. She was a bit scared of her supervisor, so she didn't want to argue. But one day she found that she had no way to goidea which way to go next. The research involved an area that she was not familiar with. Ironically, her supervisor also had no idea. There are definitely (obviously?) lots of different ways to go at a research project, definitely, not only one way not just one right way. But you need to make a plan that you are interested in and you are confident with.

    3. Ask questions and take suggestions from your/other professors. As Chinese students, we are used to being good students who take guidance from the boss and act exactly following the advice. Professors are always busy, and they often treat (regard?) supervising as a job. They may not relate the research to the student’s survival and future. Also, professors are not as knowledgeable as you might imagine. They are proficient with only(?) their own areas of study/research. (They are only really proficient in their own areas of study.) They often have their own particular style/method for going about the research and will advise the students to follow the same (method, style). International students should not be insecure with their English (ability) and (background) knowledge. Ask any questions that you want answered when you have the opportunity to do so. Do not worry about your English. They will understand because they are professors. Just ask, and push both yourself and your supervisor to think. Answers will often emerge from your discussions. Don't just asklimit these questions and discussions to your supervisor. Ask all the professors whom you are working with. They may not familiar with your areas, but they must know how to conduct a research project. They can give your ideas and suggestions from different perspectives. You can/should take them and deliberately combine them into your research. It is even (would implies that the are unwilling to) better if these professors would like to read your papers or thesis. They can help you to come up with a very neat and nice clarify your writing. Don't forget that professors are the best resources, better than library references.

    4. Respect your supervisor, but protect yourself. As Chinese students, we know how to respect professors. This is our tradition. Be polite to your supervisor. Try to learn his culture, and treat him/her as your boss and your partner. Show that you respect to him/her and that you enjoy working with him/her. It would (can, may?) be helpful to send him/her greetings on his/her festivals. You may become good friends or partners (after a while, for a long time to come). But not all professors are nice. Some professors may look down on Chinese students. They may bully you because your English is not good, your research abilities are not strong, or you have no strong social connection in this new place. Do not be scared (timid?) with them. Become familiar with (familiarize yourself with) university policies and collect any evidences that they are crossing the lines of appropriate behavior. No boss on earth is without defect. (I assume this is translation of a Chinese saying. There are other ways to say this: No one is without sin/blame. No one is completely blameless.) When they (stomp on, mock, ridicule) your culture and benefits (? the pairing of culture and benefits here doesn't make sense to me. Is it cultural benefits? Or should a different verb be used: mocking your culture and denying your benefits?), tell them what your culture is and what your base line (Again meaning is not quite clear. By "base line" do you mean "threshold of tolerance" or do you mean the student should clarify his legal rights?) is. But do not be over-irritated. A balanced relationship with your supervisor partly depends on yourself. Try to build a comfortable relationship with your supervisor during the first semester or year when you are working with him/her (We might also say to build the relationship you want "from day one"). Once an unbalanced relationship has been built, it is difficult to change. Anyway, if you find that your relationship is not working, quickly try to find another way (or "a way to change it"). No hesitations.

    We must be excellent students if we can get the opportunity to go to a new country to study and learn. In a new country, we have to handle lots of problems. Some are from the study. Some are from our life. But we must prevail, and we will prevail if we apply our wisdom and our energy. Best wishes with all of us.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: how to revise this article in American style?

    I like the "best wishes with all of us" but you could also (maybe more common) say "best wishes to all of you". This is actually not too bad. There are a few word choices and incomplete or unclear ideas. The worst grammar mistakes are the use of "not" as a verb in imperative sentences and preposition confusion. There is also some confusion with where to appropriately use should, would, must, can, will, or might. Some of those words are stronger than I would use in giving advice to students about what problems they will (certain) or might (possible) encounter... especially when generalizing for a group a people (professors) that they must interact with.

    Also remember that there are a variety of different styles, especially with writing blogs. The suggestions I make or the way that I would phrase something is different from what another American might say. The important thing is to be clear in your meaning and to use the appropriate grammar. I don't think your friend wants to be mistaken for an American in this blog, since at several points she explains that her perspective is that of a Chinese student abroad and that she is writing for other international (specifically Chinese) students who speak English as a second language.

  5. #5
    purecopper is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: how to revise this article in American style?

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsense View Post
    I like the "best wishes with all of us" but you could also (maybe more common) say "best wishes to all of you". This is actually not too bad. There are a few word choices and incomplete or unclear ideas. The worst grammar mistakes are the use of "not" as a verb in imperative sentences and preposition confusion. There is also some confusion with where to appropriately use should, would, must, can, will, or might. Some of those words are stronger than I would use in giving advice to students about what problems they will (certain) or might (possible) encounter... especially when generalizing for a group a people (professors) that they must interact with.

    Also remember that there are a variety of different styles, especially with writing blogs. The suggestions I make or the way that I would phrase something is different from what another American might say. The important thing is to be clear in your meaning and to use the appropriate grammar. I don't think your friend wants to be mistaken for an American in this blog, since at several points she explains that her perspective is that of a Chinese student abroad and that she is writing for other international (specifically Chinese) students who speak English as a second language.
    Thank you for the response.The article you revised presents more consistent, clear and meaningful thoughts than the original. I learn a lot in it.

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