Module guide is essential – is what it says …the guide Supervisor is crucial Literature etc
You should use ambiguous words sparingly like this, these, it, his, they, etc. Always be clear with what you are saying. To avoid this, you have to review or reread your writing.
In this example, the first statement is informal. The writer speaks in the first person, using the word “I”, and states an opinion. The author employs the slang term “loser”, which is inappropriate in a formal context. He also uses the contraction “he’s”. If this were in the middle of a paragraph, it may be easier to understand to whom the author is referring. Taken as a simple statement, however, it’s impossible to know whether the writer thinks his best friend, his dog, or a rock star is a loser!The second example uses an academic, formal style typical of what professors might expect at the college level. Written in the third-person, the sentence omits references to the writer and focuses on the issue. Strong, specific adjectives like “horrific” convey the author’s view clearly without resorting to slang. The use of the colon—sometimes discouraged by professors as an antiquated punctuation mark, but still used in formal documents—creates a strong, formal feel when properly used here to introduce a list.
Acknowledgement of your sources is a vital and integral part of the academic process. If you do not do this, particularly at dissertation/postgraduate level, you could be accused of plagiarism.Little or no referencing and a short bibliography indicate little research carried out, a generally un-academic approach and maybe even copying from source material.Extensive referencing and bibliography indicate wide research, a correct approach and the use of these sources as evidence to back up the student’s argument.
Try to Make Your Dissertation Timetable as Realistic as PossibleA good way to get started is to create a timetable for your dissertation writing.This will help you focus your efforts – for large projects like dissertation writing,it is important to be organised. Creating a timetable is good practice and canact as a good guide.From your previous assignments and university work, you should be aware ofyour strengths and weaknesses. Consider these when creating your timetable.For example, if you are a slow reader schedule extra time for reading. If yourdissertation will involve making journeys to archives, sites, museums orgalleries, or other external sources, plan these in advance, you could end upsaving money as well as time.
Writing up your projectIyad Abou-Rabii, Clinical Teaching Fellow, Warwick Dentistry
Aims of session• Understand what is expected at Masters level for a professional project / dissertation• Tips for writing your project• The requirements for handing in your project
ChallengesExtended piece of writing:• Depth and breadth• Detail• Evaluation and interpretation• Independence• Volume of information• Duration
Masters project - expectationsUsed to demonstrate your:• Knowledge and understanding of a topic• Analytical and evaluation skills• Ability to apply theory and research findings to clinical practice• Ability to communicate all of the aboveRefer to the marking criteria in the handbooks
Marking criteria E 39% and CRITERIA A+80% plus A 70–79% B 60–69% C 50-59% D 40 – 49% belowKNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING 80% plus mark is There is There is very There is Whilst there is Little evidence1. Evidence that a wide range of high awarded when excellent good evidence of evidence some evidence that suitablequality literature has been accessed e.g. work satisfies all evidence of background of relevant of background background·Credible sources – peer reviewed, of the ‘A’ criteria widespread reading and background reading this is material hasprofessional/academic texts, websites, DOH in each section to reading from a reference reading and this not of a quality been accesseddirectives. an exceptional variety of material is used is generally used consistent with and poor·Original work accessed whenever level sources. appropriately to in a suitable way this level of understandingpossible demonstrating Excellent use support the to substantiate study. There is of the key·Contemporary - with exception of seminal mastery of of literature and discussion. Very the assignment limited issues.work complex and research, good grasp of the content. There is understanding of specialised appropriately relevant material a competent level the key2. Discussion is supported by relevant knowledge and is integrated into demonstrating a of understanding issues.literature/research e.g. worthy of the assessment good of the key issues.·Claims are substantiated dissemination to to demonstrate understanding of·Literature/reference material is appropriate a wider audience. exceptional the key issues.and clearly linked to the assignment topic. understanding of·Integration/paraphrasing/ the key issues.summarising of research findings rather thanoveruse of direct quotations
ACADEMIC WRITING Academic writing• Formal• Structured• Clear• Unambiguous• Logical• Sound evidence and theory
ACADEMIC WRITING Formal and Informal writing• Informal writing: I think he’s a loser.• Formal writing: Macbeth’s horrific choices cause him to lose everything he holds dear: children, wife, friends, crown and king.
Passive voice overusePassive voiceThe systems most favoured for investment were shown to be planning, designand production. Many manual systems were reported as being currentinvestments across the sector. Only the largest firms, however, were interestedto any degree in integrated systems. Textile and clothing firms were seen to beinvesting in automated production, design, planning and reporting technologies.Active voiceIn terms of current investments, manufacturers favoured planning, design andproduction systems, with many firms showing a strong interest in manualsystems. According to the literature, only the largest firms however, showed anydegree of interest in integrated systems. Textile and clothing firms, inparticular, have invested in automated production, design, planning andreporting technologies.
ACADEMIC WRITING Structure your writing• Make sure you write in complete sentences• Divide your writing up into paragraphs• Use connecting words and phrases to make your writing explicit and easy to follow• Check your grammar and spelling carefully
ACADEMIC WRITING Academic writing - tips• Avoid writing in the first person• Be concise – avoid waffle• Be precise• Define technical terms and abbreviations• Use paragraphs• Avoid repetition• References appropriately and consistently
ACADEMIC WRITING A SANDWICH PARAGRAPHTopic sentence This is a period when education faces many disturbing circumstances originating outside itself.Support Budgets have been drastically cut throughout the country affecting every type of education. Enrolments are dropping rapidly, because the children of the post-World War II "baby boom" have now completed their schooling, and we are feeling the full effect of the falling birth rate.Concluding sentence So there are fewer opportunities for new teachers, and the average age of teachers is increasing.
ACADEMIC WRITING Structure 1st Macrostructure MicrostructureINTRODUCTION The PARAGRAPH Thesis statement Topic sentence Outline Support(Summary/Background) transition Support signals!BODY/CONTENT Support CONCLUSION + Concluding sentence Bibliography (optional)
ACADEMIC WRITING Transition Intervention and influence took three forms. Firstly,techniques designed to maximise efficiency were introducedinto the home and scientific principles were applied to itsdesign. In addition, housework and parenting methods werescrutinised and subject to unprecedented standards.Secondly, all aspects of reproduction attracted increasingintervention from government and the medical profession.Thirdly, state, professional and philanthropic groups began tousurp the parental role within the family through instructionand policy. As a result , the development of modern socialideals brought regulation, intervention and ever-increasingunrealistic standards. Re-read the above without the green words
ACADEMIC WRITING A question of little ,,,,,, In this study, four paradigms were used in order to measure theresponse of TOI to changes in cerebral oxygen delivery. Hypoxaemia andhyperoxia were used to alter arterial oxygen content, and changes inarterial CO 2 tension were used to alter cerebral blood flow. TOIincreased significantly in response to hyperoxia and hypercapnoea, andsignificantly decreased in response to hypoxaemia and hyperventilation.PET studies suggest that changes in CBV occurring during experimentalprotocols of this type only occur in the arterial compartment andwill, therefore, alter the AVR. Analysis of the combined datasets revealedthat changes in TOI are significantly affected by changes in SaO 2 , EtCO2 , CBV and MBP.
ACADEMIC WRITING George Orwell’s rules for good writingNever use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you areused to seeing in print.Never use a long word where a short one will do.If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.Never use the passive where you can use the active.Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you canthink of an everyday English equivalent.Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.George Orwell: ‘Politics and the English Language’, London. 1946.
ACADEMIC WRITING Referencing• Acknowledgement of your sources is a vital and integral part of the academic process.• Check with course tutors what the preferred method is (normally at Warwick University it is the “Harvard Method”)• Referencing and research
ACADEMIC WRITING Academic writing – exampleDiabetes affects all ages and about 2.35 million peoplehave the disease in this country. We know that people withdiabetes have more oral health problems.In this project I aimed to carry out a literature review to seewhether there is a link between treating periodontal diseaseand blood sugar control in diabetes.
ACADEMIC WRITING Academic writing – exampleDiabetes affects people of all ages and it is estimated that2.35 million people in the UK have this disease(Department of Health, 2009).There is growing evidence that people with diabetes whodo not have good control over their blood sugar levels areat greater risk of some oral health problems (Tsai et al.,2002).The aim of this project is to investigate the relationshipbetween periodontal therapy and glycaemic control inpeople with diabetes.
Writing up – early stages• Timetable your writing• Decide on a structure early on• Know how and when to reference – Approved method (be consistent) – Credible and contemporary sources – Substantiate claims• Keep references organized separately (e.g. EndNote)
Timetable your writing Time Management Toolshttp://my.taskwise.com/
Writing up – as you go along• Use sections/sub-sections to organise content (guide in handbooks)• Know which information goes in each section• Use tables and figures to present information (N.B. graphs are figures)• Regularly revisit your aims, objectives and research question
Writing up – as you go along• Avoid distractions• Recognise procrastination and barriers to writing• Do not necessarily need to write in the order that the section appears in the final report• Save different versions and backup often• Write in an academic style
Writing up – towards the end• Leave enough time to interpret the findings and write the discussion• Conclusions should be based on the evidence you present• Critique your own work• Use Appendices for material which is too detailed for the main sections
Results and discussion• Describe and explain the characteristics and findings of the included studies (tables & text)• Synthesis of results (qualitative or quantitative)• Place the results in context – Consider any flaws in the evidence (quality of studies, any heterogeneity etc.) – The impact of any biases
Writing up - final checks• Proof read (spelling, grammar, clarity etc.). Use a spell cheque with caution• Consistency of styles and formatting• Tables and figures• Page numbers and other formatting• Word count• “Front matter”Refer to the marking criteria in the handbooks
Final checks E 39% and CRITERIA A+80% plus A 70–79% B 60–69% C 50-59% D 40 – 49% belowKNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING 80% plus mark is There is There is very There is Whilst there is Little evidence1. Evidence that a wide range of high awarded when excellent good evidence of evidence some evidence that suitablequality literature has been accessed e.g. work satisfies all evidence of background of relevant of background background·Credible sources – peer reviewed, of the ‘A’ criteria widespread reading and background reading this is material hasprofessional/academic texts, websites, DOH in each section to reading from a reference reading and this not of a quality been accesseddirectives. an exceptional variety of material is used is generally used consistent with and poor·Original work accessed whenever level sources. appropriately to in a suitable way this level of understandingpossible demonstrating Excellent use support the to substantiate study. There is of the key·Contemporary - with exception of seminal mastery of of literature and discussion. Very the assignment limited issues.work complex and research, good grasp of the content. There is understanding of specialised appropriately relevant material a competent level the key2. Discussion is supported by relevant knowledge and is integrated into demonstrating a of understanding issues.literature/research e.g. worthy of the assessment good of the key issues.·Claims are substantiated dissemination to to demonstrate understanding of·Literature/reference material is appropriate a wider audience. exceptional the key issues.and clearly linked to the assignment topic. understanding of·Integration/paraphrasing/ the key issues.summarising of research findings rather thanoveruse of direct quotations
Proof readingIf English is not your first language, Andrew Taylor,Postgraduate & CPD Tutor, is able to proof read projects email@example.com www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/med/staff/ataylor/• Ensure you give him plenty of time for this• Discuss this with your supervisor first
Requirements• 12 noon Wednesday 1st September 2011• Use a submission form – Three soft bound copies with a blue cover (professional project) or red cover (dissertation) to the course co-ordinator – One copy via online course submission pages• Late submissions incur a penalty of 3% per day
Finally…• Know the requirements and plan your time – writing up will take longer than you think!• Keep in touch with your supervisor• Regularly revisit your aims, objectives and research question• Leave time to proof read• Refer to the marking criteria in the handbooks whilst writing and before you submit
Further information• Reading suggestions in handbooks• Information on academic writing produced by The Centre of Applied Linguistics: www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/masters/ academic_and_career_skills/topics/writing
AW Resources for Research Students The Academic Writing Series, a year-long, detailed course for PG Researchstudents focusing on a variety of aspects of doctoral text production and promotion;covers the intricacies of the various types of writing required in an academic context.Subjects (full details at http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/rssp/workshops/writing/):* Understanding academic writing and the main types* Elements of structure and organisation The Academic Coaching* The academic writing style and language Programme* Developing critical analysis: The Cognitive Domain (Blooms Taxonomy) (weekly, at the Research Exchange)* Reporting: paraphrase, summary, synthesis Access via appointment* Grammatical accuracy in writing: morphology and syntax 1-to-1 advice on:* Revision, proofreading, editing Academic writing* Engaging the reader: writing text that is interesting to read Time management* Contextualising own writing: the integration of original ideas Working with your supervisor* Thesis structure Writing literature reviews* Referencing and plagiarism Upgrading from MPhil to PhD* Peer editing Preparing for your viva* Strategies for manipulating semantics and emphasis in writing Personal development* Presenting to specific audience (conference, publication)* Overcoming writers block: how to regain thesis-writing faculties http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/csde/gsp/ac/* How NOT to write: common problems and errors in academic writing M.Balanescu@warwick.ac.uk
Essential texts:• Essential texts:• Writing Academic English, by A. Oshima and A. Hague, Longman, 1999.• Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills (Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes), by John Swales and Christine B. Feak, University of Michigan Press, 2004
Acknowledgement• Special Thanks for – Pr. Robert Ireland – Mrs. Janet Cooper – Dr. Mihai Balanescu for allowing me to use their material in preparing this presentations