Planning the writing process
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

Planning the writing process

on

  • 1,091 views

How to start?

How to start?

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,091
Views on SlideShare
977
Embed Views
114

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
23
Comments
0

2 Embeds 114

http://blackboard.leidenuniv.nl 108
http://www.blackboard.leidenuniv.nl 6

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment
  • Welcome to this first lecture for Academic Writing, the second part of your Academic English course, the first being the Presentation component. My name is Philomena Dol, I am the coordinator and the head of the English section at the Academic Language Centre. I will deliver the four lectures included in this course. First a few practical points: next sheet
  • Students often see writing as a pproduct: they write one piece and consider tha tto be the final product. They may run a grammar and spelling check on a pc, but that is it. What students are usually familiar with is informal, spoken English. In the Netherlands, the distinction between formal and informal English is often not taught explicitly More on this later. Writing is still seen as a complex and difficult task for the simple reason that it requires a lot of thinking on the writer ’ s part. Ordering your thoughts, trying to put them into words, and conveying your meaning to the reader is not a task that comes naturally to most people. Also remember that of the 4 skills Writing is the skill that we learn last, and typically only in an educational context. Students often see writing as a product: they write one piece and consider that to be the final product. They may run a grammar and spelling check on a pc, but that is usually it. They need to learn, however, that this is only a draft, a document to be worked on, revised, and edited. They will need to learn to do this themselves as university tutors will not do this for them. What students are usually familiar with is informal, spoken English. In the Netherlands, the distinction between formal and informal English is often not taught explicitly at school. There are quite a few textbooks which are used in secondary schools which do not explain the difference even if they do offer both forms.
  • 1. The chapters in this book are organised according to this linear process 2. For many writers, however, writing is not always such a structured, logical process: new ideas may come up during the writing process and need to be incorporated at a llater stage. The “ Developing your Textt ” section at the end of each chapter takes this recursive model into account. The chapters in this book are organised according to this linear process, suggesting that you start at the beginning and work your way through, step by step, till you have the final product. While this is perfectly doable with a short piece of writing, for longer ones it does not always work. It suggests that what you get to read first was also written first, but especially with theses and dissertations, this is not likely to be the case. Introductions, for example, are often easier to write once you have written the main body of your text. For many writers, however, writing is not always such a structured, logical process: new ideas may come up during the writing process and need to be incorporated at a later stage. The “ Developing your Text ” section at the end of each chapter in the book takes this recursive model into account.
  • This depends on the kind of paper you are writing 3. This makes the paper circular in argument Whether you write a thesis statement, a problem statement, research question or hypothesis, depends on the kind of paper you are writing. Thesis statements are typically found in argumentative essays as they tend to be debatable statements. Problem statement are typically used in business reports; research questions and hypotheses in research papers. The main body presents information in a way that is logical to the reader. As a writer, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the reader. As a writer it is your job to make the life of the reader easy. Your reader must not be left with any questions, everything must be clear and easy to follow. It it is not, then as a writer you have not done a good job. The conclusion makes the paper circular in argument, as it addresses the point raised in the introduction. Care must be taken that it is not a mere repetition of anything that has been said before.
  • Audience is one of the first considerations when starting to write – anything., really. Your audience determines whether your writing needs to be informal, formal, or neutral. Your friend would be offended if you wrote something very formal to them, a future employer would throw a letter of application written in an informal way straight into the bin. A 2000-word expository essay is what the students will need to write during this course, so you may want to point out the Expository Essay Structure on p. 32 at this stage. NB. I think there is a mistake in task 10: it says “ exponential essay ” , but I am pretty certain it should be “ expository essay ”
  • Before showing the next slide: The reliabillity of a scientific article is of crucial importance, and therefore the integrity of the author. Elicit issues such as plagiarism, scientific fraud, manipulating data, citation kartels – all of which have been in the news in recent times. Ask students what they think constitutes plagiarism, etc. If you have students from non-Western cultures, ask them what the attitude is like in their society
  • Informal language is probably what is most familiar to students. In some textbooks by Dutch publishers they even teach the contracted forms only ! In pairs, ask students to write down what the formal version would be for every bullet point, and give examples. Do not discuss yet.
  • In pairs, ask students to write down what the formal version would be for every bullet point, and give examples. Then show the next two slides and compare with what they have.
  • You may have to give examples of relative clauses, embedded sentenes, and inversion. What is easy to explain is that the average length of a written sentence is 12 words. Anything shorter than 6 words is unlikely to occur. An educated reader has no trouble reading a sentence of up to 20 words, so the best rule of thumb is to write sentences between 12 and 20 words. If you attempt anything longer than that, your grammar would have to be exceptionally good !
  • Students do not always realise what the differences are. Students do not always realise what the differences are. Although I myself prefer British English, I do not mind students using American English, but I draw the line at a mix of the two. Point out that if they use “ Word ” on a pc, it will automatically change the spelling to American English unless you reset it to British English.
  • Plus anything else that you may know of.
  • During this course students will have to write a 2000-word expository essay. Within the constraints of one particular world area they are relatively free to choose a topic that interests them. Brainstorming can take many forms: a list, a spider diagram, a mind map, anything goes really. There is not one method that is best: students will need to find out what works best for them. They can do them alone, or bounce off ideas on another student. Scope: how much you actually need to explain in your expository essay will depend on how much you assume your reader already knows which in turn will depend on your topic: if something has been in the news regularly lately, they will already know quite about it. As you are writing for your fellow students and your instructor, you will have a well-educated audience.
  • On p. 64 you will find an overview of the 6 steps towards active reading. Students tend to think that they need to read everything, and whole articles. This is not always the case, though. Reading also needs to be selective as not everything will be relevant to their topic. Advice: Look at the title Look at the structure (headings) Read the topic sentences Read only those paragraphs that deal with your topic Take notes cf. p. 64
  • On p. 64 you will find an overview of the 6 steps towards active reading. Students tend to think that they need to read everything, and whole articles. This is not always the case, though. Reading also needs to be selective as not everything will be relevant to their topic. Advice: Look at the title Look at the structure (headings) Read the topic sentences Read only those paragraphs that deal with your topic Take notes
  • Sometimes it is so obvious to a university teacher that a student cannot possibly have written such a beautiful piece themelves, so try and google a sentence. – that ’s what students do ! Many universities have plagiarism detection programmes on a computer which highlight all the sentences and phrases that have been lifted from other sources, so the best strategy to use is the last one. They usually allow up to 10 %; between 10 and 20% is regarded as suspicious and students will be given a warning; more than 20% and students will be expelled straight away. Paraphrasing is a skill in itself. The first strategy (finding synonyms and antonyms, and changing the grammar) will usually work for a single sentence, but not for a whole paragraph or more. The resulting paragraph may not demonstrate your full understanding of the text, may be stylistically awkward, and could still be considered plagiarism by some. Also, technical terms and specialised vocabulary cannot be substituted by synonyms. Many universities have plagiarism detection programmes which highlight all the sentences and phrases that have been lifted from other sources, so the best strategy for students to use is the last one. They usually allow up to 10 %; between 10 and 20% is regarded as suspicious and students will be given a warning; more than 20% and students will be excluded straight away. Sometimes it is immediately obvious to a university teacher that a student cannot possibly have written such a beautiful piece themselves, so try and google a sentence. – that is what students do !
  • Introductions are very important for two reasons: They should make the reader want to read on, raise their curiosity Researchers often read them to make up their minds about whether within the scope of their own research it is worthwhile to read the whole article or not. In longer research papers, the introduction usually ends with a claim about needed research: the research gap.
  • Sometimes defining a term or a phrase that will be used throughout the essay is a good strategy. e.g. south-East Asia, that is, the area including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Laos, ………
  • Using question(s) to attract the attention of your readers is another useful strategy. In your essay you can then proceed to answer the question(s) you have posed in the introduction. e.g. what is so fascinating about religion in south-East Asia to warrant an expository essay?
  • This strategy involves starting with the idea, belief or opinion that is opposite of your own claim or thesis. You first present the opposite party's opinion, the turn about with a " but or however" , and present your own point of view. This strategy is especially useful in argumentation. Maby popel find South-East Asia difficult to write about because it encompasses so many cultures. However, this is precisely why I am attracted to it.
  • Using a short anecdote is another way to start your essay. If you have a relevant anecdote ready, using it in the introduction will make your essay more interesting and attract the attention of your reader. As a child I travelled around Bali and was struck by the numerous temples where monkeys lived and were wordshipped. Proceed to write about the symbolic force of these monkeys.
  • Using quotations in the introduction is another effective way to start your essay. If you have the right quotation that matches your thesis or summarizes what you want to say, it adds flavor to your essay.
  • Thesis statements should be carefully worded, and therefore need much thought. Initially, students could just use a working thesis statement which will probably be redefined later as they read more and start writing.
  • Debatable thesis statements often include the modal verb ‘ should ’ The tax system should be simplified. Children should be encouraged to cycle to school … It is not necessary to use signalling language such as “ This paper will explain ….. ” or “ The purpose of this paper is to ….. ” to explicitly announce the thesis statement in an essay of some 2000 words. In longer research papers, such as theses and dissertations, this is necessary.
  • This textbook focuses on general to specific texts. However, there are more ways to organise a research paper: Problem - solution Cause–effect
  • In this method, the first sentence is broad and general. It introduces your thesis, and each following sentence is narrower and more focused. Finally, it narrows down to your thesis.
  • Method: again funnel: each sentence becomes more specific. (1) Overview of story (2) Some themes in general (3) Sets up the thesis by choosing three themes Ask students where the thesis statement is. Then go to next slide
  • (4) Thesis sentence Problematic in this paragraph: Use of first person singular ‘ I ’; first sentence: ‘ great story ’ Ask students how they would proceed: in the essay (follow link) each theme gets a paragraph in the body. source: http://academicenglishcafe.com/ModelEssay5.aspx Ask wtudents where the thesis statement is. Then go to next slide
  • Funnel shaped: (1) Background statement about the general topic of the essay. (2) More specific (3) Outline statement to signal what will be covered in the essay. source: http://www.une.edu.au/tlc/aso/aso-online/academic-writing/sample-essay.php Ask students where the thesis statement is? Is this argumentative or expository? I think argumentative: shows the reader they have a valid argument.
  • Funnel shaped: (1) Background statement about the general topic of the essay. (2) thesis statement to focus on the specific argument to be dealt with in the essay. (3) Outline statement to signal what will be covered in the essay. source: http://www.une.edu.au/tlc/aso/aso-online/academic-writing/sample-essay.php

Planning the writing process Planning the writing process Presentation Transcript

  • Academic Writing Academic Language Centre, English Section
  • Audience: who do you write for? - Normally: scholars in your field - In this course: your peers and your tutor - The tutorials provide you with an audience for your writing so it is absolutely essential that you do the writing tasks before you come to class - You need to give feedback to other students’ writing, and be open to feedback from others Academic Language Centre
  • Academic Writing is a complex task: As a student you need to learn two processes simultaneously: 1.Writing is a process of drafting, writing, and revising 2.Academic writing requires the use of a formal register. Academic Language Centre
  • Two Models for Writing: 1. Writing as a linear process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, fine-tuning, editing and post-writing 2. Writing as a recursive process of exploring, structuring, polishing and publishing, incubating and unloading Academic Language Centre
  • Organisation of an academic paper: - Introduction, with a thesis statement, problem statement, research question or hypothesis - Main body, with arguments arranged in a logical order - Conclusion, which addresses the statement presented in the introduction Academic Language Centre
  • Purpose and audience in Academic Writing (1): - Expository essay: aims to explain a (new) body of knowledge to the reader, using facts and statistics in a logical order, with examples. - Argumentative essay: has a debatable topic, presents arguments for and against, takes a clear position. Academic Language Centre
  • Purpose and audience in Academic Writing (2): - Scientific article: describes the results of the writer’s own research, critically reviews someone else’s research, or develops new theories on the basis of other people’s research. - Its organisation is based on the IMRD model: Introduction, Methodology, Research and Discussion Academic Language Centre
  • Characteristics of informal writing - Short, simple sentences - Phrasal verbs (to carry out), colloquial and slang expressions - Simple linking words (and, or, so, but) - Informal punctuation: !, ?,  - Contractions used (it’s, doesn’t) - Active voice (people say) - Personal tone, use of 1st person (I think) Academic Language Centre
  • Characteristics of informal writing - May not be clearly or logically organised (Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention) - Use of abbreviations (asap, fyi, etc.) Academic Language Centre
  • Characteristics of formal writing - Long, complex sentences (use relative clauses, embedded sentences, inversion) - One-word verbs of Greek or Latin origin (to conduct) - More sophisticated use of linking words and phrases (in addition to, alternatively, as a result, however, etc.) - Formal punctuation (e.g. including semi- colons) Academic Language Centre
  • Characteristics of formal writing - Full forms (does not, it is, etc.) - Passive voice (it is said) - Impersonal tone (in my opinion) - Clear organisation sign-posted by linking words; rephrasing of vocabulary items (use of synonyms / antonyms); clear referencing (this phenomenon, one of the reasons) - Words written out in full (as soon as possible, for your information) Academic Language Centre
  • British or American English? The need to be consistent British English: - Differences in vocabulary (autumn, curriculum vitae) - Differences is spelling (programme, centre, colour, realise, etc.) American English: - fall, resumé - Program, center, color, realize Academic Language Centre
  • Resources supporting academic vocabulary - www.academicvocabularyexercises.com - Academic Word List (AWL) - Lextutor - Phrasebank Apps: Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (Audio) Chambers’ Thesaurus Academic Language Centre
  • How to begin writing a paper? - Setting the goal: what type of paper? - Choose a topic: - Brainstorming: generating ideas, and then narrowing the topic to the specific perspective you would like to explore in your paper - Scope: the amount of detail will depend on the length of your paper and the knowledge of your audience. Academic Language Centre
  • Developing your topic (1): Read actively (and efficiently): 1.Read critically 2.Look at the structure of the text 3.Read the topic sentences 4.Understand and interpret the author’s message 5.Analyse how it relates to your topic 6.Develop your own response to the author’s message Academic Language Centre
  • Developing your topic (2): Take notes while you are reading, and include: Bibliographic information Sources, page numbers Paraphrase the author’s message, unless you want to quote verbatim Academic Language Centre
  • Paraphrasing: - Find synonyms using a thesaurus - Find antonyms - Change the grammar (passive to active voice, and vice versa) However, a much better strategy is to write an outline with key and supporting points, put the original away, and write down what you have understood. Academic Language Centre
  • Introduction: - gives the topic of the essay - gives (historical) background information - shows concession (although, despite) - may include a definition - may contain interesting statistics or an anecdote - usually ends with your thesis statement
  • How to begin? Strategies for “grabbing” the reader’s attention
  • Defining a word/phrase - Identify key term/phrase - Various definitions in the literature? - Define term/phrase as you will use it
  • Asking questions - Attract attention - Answer question(s)
  • Turn about - Introduce opposing idea, belief or opinion - Turn about with a “but” or “however” - Present your own point of view
  • Using an anecdote - Relevant? - Brief? - Illustrative?
  • Using quotations - Clear link with thesis? - Sums up your argument? - Illustrates your idea?
  • Reference Source: http://www.buowl.boun.edu.tr/students/the%20e This website provides useful information.
  • Planning stage (1) The thesis statement: -is the guiding main idea or hypothesis -may very well be revised later on the basis of what you have read in order to minimise or expand the scope of your paper -is generally the last sentence of your introductory paragraph expressing what you intend to prove / explain in your paper
  • Planning stage (2): The thesis statement may be: -a debatable statement (used in argumentative essays in which you try and persuade the reader to your point of view). -a non-debatable statement (used in expository and scientific articles in which you explain a situation based on facts).
  • Effective Thesis Statement: suggests your essay’s direction, emphasis and scope Widely ridiculed as escape reading, romance novels are becoming increasingly important as a proving ground for many never-before- published writers and, more significantly, as showcases for strong heroines.
  • Introduction: Organisation: from general to specific •Setting the scene: - Statements about the subject / background information - Attention grabber: question, quote, anecdote, example, staggering statistic, etc. •Thesis statement
  • The funnel method Sentence 1: broad, general statement Subsequent sentences: narrower scope, more focused. Thesis
  • Example paragraph 1 - (1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great story that develops around the legend of the Sorcerer’s Stone, a long sought after substance that would transform any metal into gold and bestow immortality. (2) In telling the story of the Sorcerer’s Stone, the novel also touches on many universal themes, such as overcoming difficulties, dealing with conflict, relating to authority and learning new ideas. (3) Choosing just three themes to analyze from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a difficult task because so many themes are fully developed in the novel. (4) However, the three significant themes that I chose to explain from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone novel are the power of love, the importance of friendship, and courage on the hero’s journey. (source: http://academicenglishcafe.com/ModelEssay5.aspx)
  • Thesis statement (in bold) - (1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great story that develops around the legend of the Sorcerer’s Stone, a long sought after substance that would transform any metal into gold and bestow immortality. (2) In telling the story of the Sorcerer’s Stone, the novel also touches on many universal themes, such as overcoming difficulties, dealing with conflict, relating to authority and learning new ideas. (3) Choosing just three themes to analyze from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was a difficult task because so many themes are fully developed in the novel. (4) However, the three significant themes that I chose to explain from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone novel are the power of love, the importance of friendship, and courage on the hero’s journey.
  • Example paragraph 2 - (1) Assignment essays are developed from set questions that give students a period of time to research a topic and produce their answer with references to their sources of information. (2) While there are some disadvantages with using assignment essays as an assessment tool, there are sound educational purposes underpinning this practice. (3) This essay examines the reasons why assignment essays are beneficial for student learning and considers some of the problems with this method of assessment. (source: http://www.une.edu.au/tlc/aso/aso-online/academic- writing/sample-essay.php)
  • Thesis statement (in bold) - (1) Assignment essays are developed from set questions that give students a period of time to research a topic and produce their answer with references to their sources of information. (2) While there are some disadvantages with using assignment essays as an assessment tool, there are sound educational purposes underpinning this practice. (3) This essay examines the reasons why assignment essays are beneficial for student learning and considers some of the problems with this method of assessment. (source: http://www.une.edu.au/tlc/aso/aso-online/academic- writing/sample-essay.php)