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Canadian university writing

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Canadian university writing Canadian university writing Presentation Transcript

  • What can you expect?Where can you go for help?
  • Introduc)on  —  Writing  for  Canadian  University  courses  may  be   different  from  the  kind  of  writing  you  have  done   before.  —  This  presentation  will  talk  about  the  types  of  writing   assignments  you  will  get  and  where  you  can  go  for   help  with  these  assignments.  
  • Types  of  writing  assignments   In  university,  you  will  encounter  a  variety  of   writing  assignments:   —  Essays  /  Term  Papers   —  Research  Papers   —  Lab  Reports   —  Science  Posters   —  Business  Reports,  Letters,  Memos,  E-­‐mails   —  Tests,  Exams,  Take-­‐Homes   —  Applications   —  Job  Application  Letters  and  Resumes  (CVs)   View slide
  • Rules  vary  —  Each  of  these  types  of  writing  will  follow  different   rules  about  layout,  organization,  and  style.  —  The  same  types  of  assignment  may  also  follow   different  rules  in  different  disciplines.  —  How  do  you  find  out  what  these  rules  are?   View slide
  • Figuring  out  the  rules  —  Read  the  assignment  instructions  carefully.  —  Ask  your  professor/  TA  if  you  are  unsure  about  any  of   the  requirements.  —  Read  published  papers  in  your  field  and  pay  close   attention  to  the  way  they  are  written.  —  Talk  to  other  students  in  your  class.  —  Go  to  the  Dalhousie  Writing  Centre.  
  • Academic writing conventions—  According  to  data  collected  by  Rosenfeld,  Leung  &   Oltman  (2001),  these  are  the  most  important   features  of  academic  writing.  The  paper     —  Is  organized  into  major  and  supporting  ideas   —  Uses  relevant  reasons  to  support  ideas/position   —  Uses  appropriate  vocabulary   —  Shows  a  good  command  of  English   —  Paraphrases/summarizes  others’  ideas   —  Stays  on  topic   —  Demonstrates  audience  awareness   —  Uses  transitions  to  connect  ideas.  
  • Understanding the assignmentEnsure  that  you  understand  the  key  words  in  the  assignment   and  seek  help  if  you  are  unclear.  Also  consider  the   following  questions:    —  Can  I  use  the  first  person  (I)?  —  What  referencing  style  should  I  use  (MLA/  APA)?  —  Should  I  use  external  sources  or  only  my  own  ideas?  —  How  much  discipline-­‐specific  language  (jargon)  should  I   use?  —  Can  I  use  the  passive  voice?  —  Should  this  paper  have  a  formal  or  informal  writing  style?  
  • Understanding  the  assignment   —  Determine  the  audience  for  the  assignment  (for  example,   instructors  familiar  with  the  material,  a  business,  fellow   students,  etc.).   —  Determine  the  type  of  writing  you  are  expected  to  do  (an   essay,  a  research  paper,  a  proposal,  etc.).  Consider  both   the  standards  of  the  form  (for  example,  the  use  of   headings,  referencing  style,  etc.)  as  well  as  any  particular   requirements  your  instructor  may  have  (for  example,   requirements  regarding  format,  number  of  sources,  word   limit).   —  Determine  the  types  of  evidence  necessary  to  complete   the  task.  Will  you  need  secondary  source  material?  Lab   results?    Primary  source  material?  
  • Understanding  the  assignment:  Key  terms   Identify  the  verbs  in  the  assignment  and  determine   their  meaning.  The    following    list  includes  the     four  verbs  most  often  used  in  academic   assignments:   Analyze  To  break  a  topic  into  parts,  categorize   these  elements,  and  determine  how  they   relate  to  the  whole.  To  analyze  is  to   demonstrate  critical  thinking.  For  example,   Analyze  the  use  of  images  in  Shakespeare s   Sonnet  73 .  In  this  case  the  student  would   record  the  images,  decide  how  these  images   might  be  grouped  thematically,  and  determine   what  these  groupings    reveal.    
  • Understanding  the  assignment:  Key  terms  (cont.)  Apply  To  use  a  theory,  concept,  or  data  set  to  inform   your  understanding  of  the  topic.  For  example,   Apply   Maslow s  hierarchy  of  needs  to  the  employee  issues  at   XYZ  Corp.  Argue  To  defend  a  point  of  view  persuasively.  For   example,   Determine  key  features  of  the  organization s   culture  and  present  a  paper  in  which  you  argue  which   features  must  change  to  enhance  production.  Discuss  To  address  the  main  issues.  Most  instructors  will   expect  the  discussion  to  include  some  evaluation  of  the   key  ideas  rather  than  a  simple  description.  For  example,   Discuss  the  use  of  child  labour  in  India.  
  • Understanding  the  assignment    —  Circle  the  key  words.  For  example,   Discuss  the   sequence  of  imagery  in  Shakespeare s   Sonnet  73 .   How  do  these  images  relate  to  one  another?  Is  the   order  of  sequence  important?  What  are  the   differences  between  them,  and  what  do  these   differences  suggest?  —  Ask  questions  about  each  of  these  key  words  as   you  begin  the  pursuit  of  the  topic.  For  example,  What   is  the  sequence  of  events  in  the  poem?  What  images   appear  in  the  poem?  What  is  the  order  of  the  images?   In  what  ways  are  the  images  different?  Why  does   Shakespeare  select  this  order?  
  • Example  papers   —  This  Writing  Centre  guide  has  a  section  on   Writing  in  the  Disciplines.   —  On  the  page  for  your  discipline  you  will  find   —  example  papers  with  notes  explaining  the  important  features   —  useful  links   —  presentations  
  • Intellectual  property  issues    As  a  Canadian  university  student,  you  are  expected   to  participate  in  the  academic  community.  In  this   community  we  credit  the  work  of  others  and   distinguish  this  work  from  our  own.  —  There  are  heavy  penalties  for  plagiarism  —  Acknowledge  the  work  of  others  –  both  direct   quotations  and  paraphrases  —  Use  the  appropriate  citation  (documentation)   style    —  Use  the  style  consistently  and  accurately  
  • People  that  can  help  you  —  Your  professors  —  The  teaching  assistants  (TAs)  for  your  courses  —  Your  international  student  advisor  (ISA)  —  Your  subject  librarian  —  The  Writing  Centre  tutors  
  • The Dalhousie Writing Centre—  What  is  the  Writing  Centre?     —  A  free  writing  tutoring  service  for  students    —  Why  should  I  go  there?   —   The  friendly  tutors  will  help  you  to  improve  your   writing  —  Where  is  the  Dalhousie  Writing  Centre?   —  The    Killam  Library  Learning  Commons  –  G40M    
  • How can I use this centre?—  Drop  in  to  G40M  and  ask  a  quick  question  —  E-­‐mail  or  phone  to  ask  a  question   —  writingcentre@dal.ca   —  494-­‐1963  —  Book  a  free  one-­‐on-­‐one  appointment  —  Take  a  non-­‐credit  ESL  course  —  Take  a  free  non-­‐credit  seminar  —  Visit  the  Website:  http://writingcentre.dal.ca  
  • ESL  Course  &  Seminars  —  ESL  course  –  classes  are  one  evening  a  week  for  ten   weeks.  There  is  a  small  fee.   —  Check  the  website  for  details   http://writingcentre.dal.ca/esl/    —  Seminar  Series  –  regularly  scheduled  seminars  on  a   range  of  academic  writing  topics   —  See  http://writingcentre.dal.ca/services/seminars  for   dates  and  times  
  • References  —  Rosenfeld,  M.,  Leung,  S.  &  Oltman,  P.  (2001).  The   reading,  writing,  and  listening  tasks  important  for   academic  success  at  the  undergraduate  and  graduate   levels.  TOEFL  Monograph  Series,  21.  Educational   Testing  Service.