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However, it is important to note that the ‘ideal’ of a standardised language or a ‘correct’ way of writing, in any context, is ‘an idea in the mind rather than a reality’ (Milroy & Milroy 1985, p.19). This ideal is influenced by many different factors, such as the relative power of different groups in society, with more educated people’s ways of ‘languaging’ (Becker 1998) often seen as ‘more correct’ than other, less educated styles. As Lippi- Green explains, tracing the evolution of a standardised English myth is about the history of ‘who has the right to talk and be listened to’ (Lippi-Green, p.25) and, conversely, who does not.


What’s your reporting style?


When you think about your own reporting (design/ writing) style, you have to decide how far you wish to follow, for example, ‘academic’ conventions. Note that perceptions about ways of languaging, including judgements about correctness, are always in a state of flux. For example, many people, including me, are happy to use ‘I’ and the active voice in an academic text, whereas this was not such common practice in the past. Although I was taught this was not correct for such contexts when I was at school and I passed this onto people when I first started teaching, my style is like this now partly because I wish to be open about who is ‘speaking’ in my work and partly because I have an understanding that texts are more ‘readable’ when they are written in the first person and using the active voice. You can learn about how to make texts more readable by downloading a free NIACE readability leaflet.


You may decide to speak, rather than write your report (perhaps as a recorded interview). If so, you will have the same considerations as when thinking about your written text style, including conventions about formality , how personal you make it, etc.


Referencing


A common convention when listing the researchers and writers that you have read and drawn on in your research is ‘Harvard Referencing’. To learn more about this, you can click on any of the following links:


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