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Introduction to Academic Writing

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Denada Maku

on 2 August 2014

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Transcript of Introduction to Academic Writing

Types of Writing
Lesson 1
- What is academic writing? (Purposes; Types and Styles of Academic writing; How does it work? )
Focus (Brainstorm)
Choosing a title
Lesson 2
- Types of writing
Structure of an Essay; a dissertation and a report
Introductions and Abstracts (differences and similarities)
Lesson 3
- Drafting
Styles of writing
Research questions
Lesson 4
- Reading for Information
Note taking
Lesson 5
- The writing Process
Academic Keywords
Using Facts and Arguments
Critical Analytical Thinking
Writer`s Block Tips
Cohesion and Coherence
Lesson 6
- References and Bibliography
Editing Checklist
Peer Reviewing (Accepting; Giving)
Lesson 7
- Writing Skills Assessment
Delivering Your work (Presentation Tips and Tricks)
Receiving Feedback

1- What is Academic Writing?
It is a writing given in an academic setting.

It is written to satisfy the academic (college or university) requirements.
Types of Academic Writing:
Books and book reports;
Translations; Essays;
Research paper or research article
Conference paper;
Academic journal;
Dissertation and Thesis (normally these two are written to obtain an advanced degree at a college or university);
Abstract (a short summary of a long document);
Explication (a work which explains part of a particular work).

Additional information: http://wac.colostate.edu/books/writingspaces1/irvin--what-is-academic-writing.pdf

Characteristics of Academic Writing
Academic writing is a product that involves a certain amount of work and as such it should be showing that work on every step of the process. Although such, it doesn`t have to be an attention claiming evidence rather than being shown by the quality of work starting from planning, outline, language used, approach and all-in-all in the professionalism of the writer in the whole process.

There is a certain amount of planning before you start writing the paper; so, it will be analytical and organized.
A proper outline is a must for academic writing. An outline will not only help you formulate your thoughts, but will sometimes make you aware of certain relationships between topics. It will help you determine the pertinent information to be included in your paper.
A formal tone is used. You do not use slang words, jargon, abbreviations, or many cliches.
The language in your paper needs to be clear and words need to be chosen for their precision. A thesaurus is a good tool to help you pick just the right words to explain the issues.
Point-of-view -
The point of view in the third person, as the focus of academic writing is to educate on the facts, not support an opinion.
Deductive reasoning is a big part of academic writing as your readers have to follow the path that brought you to your conclusion.
Deductive reasoning and an analytical approach are important in academic writing. Much planning and forethought are needed to have a well organized paper.

Always check to see if the school you are writing for has a preferred format and style.

SOURCE: http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/word-definitions/definition-of-academic-writing.html
2- How to choose a topic?
There are two situations in choosing a topic.
1- When the instructor assigns a topic to the students .
2- When the instructor hands an assignment sheet with the logistics of the paper but leaves the choice of the topic up to the student.
Research topics are often fluid, and dictated more by the student's ongoing research than by the original chosen topic.
Such fluidity is common in research, and should be embraced as one of its many characteristics.

Methods for choosing the topic
Make the topic a priority in your mind.
What is the purpose of this assignment?
Is my purpose to provide information without forming an argument, to construct an argument based on research, or analyze a poem and discuss its imagery?
Who is my audience?
Is my instructor my only audience? Who else might read this? Will it be posted online? What are my readers' needs and expectations?
What resources do I need to begin work?
Do I need to conduct literature (hermeneutic or historical) research, or do I need to review important literature on the topic and then conduct empirical research, such as a survey or an observation? How many sources are required?
Who - beyond my instructor - can I contact to help me if I have questions?
Do you have a writing lab or student service center that offers tutorials in writing?
Start searching right away
Make use of your resources:
Course materials (lectures, notes, textbook chapters etc.) .
Brainstorming: Take the general topic and create a concept map for it. From there you may find some aspect of the topic you would like to explore.
News: Yahoo News, CNN.com, local broadcast news all cover recent events and may pique your interest for further exploration of the story.
Internet: There are many reliable educational and current event resources available on the Web that are excellent sources of ideas for selecting research topics. Keep in mind that because of the open nature of the Web, many resources vary in quality.
You can try the textbook formula:

1. State your thesis.
2. Write an outline.
3. Write the first draft.
4. Revise and polish.


Ask yourself what your purpose is for writing about the subject.

There are many "correct" things to write about for any subject, but you need to narrow down your choices. For example, your topic might be "dorm food." At this point, you and your potential reader are asking the same question, "So what?" Why should you write about this, and why should anyone read it?

Do you want the reader to pity you because of the intolerable food you have to eat there?

Do you want to analyze large-scale institutional cooking?

Do you want to compare Purdue's dorm food to that served at Indiana University?

Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this purpose.

How, for example, would you achieve your purpose if you wanted to describe some movie as the best you've ever seen? Would you define for yourself a specific means of doing so? Would your comments on the movie go beyond merely telling the reader that you really liked it?

Start the ideas flowing

Brainstorm. Gather as many good and bad ideas, suggestions, examples, sentences, false starts, etc. as you can. Perhaps some friends can join in. Jot down everything that comes to mind, including material you are sure you will throw out. Be ready to keep adding to the list at odd moments as ideas continue to come to mind.

Talk to your audience, or pretend that you are being interviewed by someone — or by several people, if possible (to give yourself the opportunity of considering a subject from several different points of view). What questions would the other person ask? You might also try to teach the subject to a group or class.

See if you can find a fresh analogy that opens up a new set of ideas. Build your analogy by using the word like. For example, if you are writing about violence on television, is that violence like clowns fighting in a carnival act (that is, we know that no one is really getting hurt)?

Take a rest and let it all percolate.

Summarize your whole idea.

Tell it to someone in three or four sentences.

Diagram your major points somehow.

Make a tree, outline, or whatever helps you to see a schematic representation of what you have. You may discover the need for more material in some places. Write a first draft.

Then, if possible, put it away. Later, read it aloud or to yourself as if you were someone else. Watch especially for the need to clarify or add more information.

You may find yourself jumping back and forth among these various strategies.

You may find that one works better than another. You may find yourself trying several strategies at once. If so, then you are probably doing something right.

For more information: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/658/03/
Aiming to assist future students with the basic knowledge to writing pieces that will be academically accepted and valued.
Introduction to Academic Writing
Table of Contents
Structure of an Essay, Dissertation, Thesis
Introduction vs. Abstract
3- Styles of Writing
Choosing Information
The Writing Process
Critical Analytical Thinking
Writer`s Block
References and Bibliography
Editing Checklist
Writing Skills Assessment
Delivering your work (Presenting)
There several types of writing in academic writing. The most familiar and used types are :
Books and book reports;
Translations; Essays;
Research paper or research article
Conference paper;
Academic journal;
Dissertation and Thesis (normally these two are written to obtain an advanced degree at a college or university);
Abstract (a short summary of a long document);
Explication (a work which explains part of a particular work).
Types of Paragraphs:
used to tell a story or a sequence of events
• In narrative writing, a person, being a narrative, tells a story or event.
• Narrative writing has characters and dialogues in it.
• Narrative writing has definite and logical beginnings, intervals and endings.
• Narrative writing often has situations like disputes, conflicts, actions, motivational events, problems and their solutions.
used to describe a scene or an object.
• It is often poetic in nature
• It describes places, people, events, situations or locations in a highly-detailed manner.
• The author visualizes you what he sees, hears, tastes, smells and feels.
used to provide information, including facts, instructions, and definitions.
• Expository writing usually explains something in a process
• Expository writing is often equipped with facts and figures
• Expository writing is usually in a logical order and sequence
used to share opinions and convince others to agree or take action

• Persuasive writing is equipped with reasons, arguments and justifications
• In persuasive writing, the author takes a stand and asks you to believe his point of view.
• If often asks for a call or an action from the readers.

SOURCE: (Source: http://hunbbel-meer.hubpages.com/hub/Four-Types-of-Writing)
For more information: https://s3.amazonaws.com/newcharter-thumbnails/contents/4f2d7dd4a0b8290001002305/original/Types%20of%20Paragraphs.pdf?1328381396Additional Information: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/cls/english/introduction_to_academic_style.pdf
1. Clarify the task:
Make sure you know what you are looking for.
Examine the title and course notes very carefully.
Write one line to sum up the basic opinion or argument.
Brainstorm or make pattern notes to record what you know.
What do you need to read to find out?
2. Collect and Record information
Be selective
Write a set of questions to guide your research.
Check the word limit to know how much information you can use.
Keep a notebook/Journal to jot down your ideas.

Type of material:
Factual Information (Google, newspapers, books, debates, emerging situations)
Ideas, theories, opinions

Where to look for information?
Newspapers (trustworthy newspaper)
Books (Library, online, bookstore)
Peer Reviewed Journals
3. Organize and Plan
Organize your work as you go along.
Make a big chart to link ideas and details.
Make a rough outline plan early on - you can refine it as you go along
Keep a checklist of of what you are doing.

4. Reflect and Evaluate
When you have gathered the information think about where you have got to go.
What have you discovered?
Has your viewpoint changed?
Have you clarified your arguments?
Do you have enough evidence/examples?
What arguments or evidence oppose your point of view? Are they valid?
Is it clearer to you why this task was set?
5. Write an outline plan and first draft

Refine your plan. Work out the order to introduce your ideas using pattern notes or headings and points.
Work out how many words you can write on each point. What must you leave out?
Write first aft. Write quickly: It is only a draft. Computers may be easier for drafting.
Start with whatever seems easiest.
Keep going: don`t worry about style. +
To begin with, state things clearly and simply in short of sentences.
1. Title
2. Introduction
3. Main argument - Notes Q (red)
evidence for - notes Q p. 3-4
evidence against Q p. 5 (orange)
evaluation of evidence
4. -alternative theory: notes R (yellow)
example of application
evidence for
evidence against
why not convincing
5. Alternative theory 2: notes S (green)
evaluation of evidence
why not convincing
6. Underlying Issues . notes T (blue)
7. Conclusion
6. Work on your first draft
Develop your draft.
Rewrite you early draft.
Make sure your argument is clearer for your readers.
Check that you have included evidence and examples to support your point.
Write your references for bibliography.
7. Final drafts
Enjoy" fine tuning" your writing
Read it aloud to check that it is clearly written.
Keep redrafting until you are happy with the text.
Paragraphs are units of thought which
help to break a large body of text into smaller sections so that it is easier to read and to understand. In
a well-constructed essay each new point in the argument is presented and developed in a new
paragraph. Each paragraph of an essay should contain:

the first section of a paragraph; should
include the topic sentence and any other sentences at
the beginning of the paragraph that give background
information or provide a transition.

follows the introduction; discusses the
controlling idea, using facts, arguments, analysis,
examples, or other information.
• Conclusion:
the final section; summarizes the
connections between the information discussed in the
body of the paragraphs and the paragraph's
controlling idea.

Additional Information: http://www.hanyangowl.org/media/connectingideas/paragraphstructure.pdf

Property and authorship rights are a sensitive matter in academia. As a writer we aim to contribute something new in the field. This might a challenging a time-consuming task as the
When we write the main purpose is
Source: http://writingcenter.appstate.edu/sites/writingcenter.appstate.edu/files/MLA%20v%20APA%203-11.pdf
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