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Writing an academic paper


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  • 1. Writing an Academic Paper Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 2. Writing an Academic Paper Rationale • Understanding the importance of effective Academic Writing • Structure of an Academic Paper • Understanding the importance of Referencing • Understanding the implications of Plagiarism • How to write a coherent flowing Paper • Importance of Presentation, Spelling Grammar etc Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 3. Writing an Academic Paper Why write an academic Essay or Dissertation? Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 4. Writing an Academic Paper • Demonstrates your ability to apply ideas and theories covered within the Theory part of your course Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 5. Writing an Academic Paper • Adds Depth and Richness to your Practice • Writing can be the most exacting and therefore the most telling way to demonstrate your learning • Allows you to develop a writing style to take into your future Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 6. Writing an Academic Paper What is an Academic Paper? Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 7. Writing an Academic Paper • Objective • Formal • Exploration • Argument • Substantiated • Coherent Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 8. Writing an Academic Paper A good Academic Paper is not: • Subjective • Copied • Discursive • Unplanned • Full of errors in grammar or spelling • A Rant Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 9. Writing an Academic Paper How can I write a Good Paper? Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 10. Writing an Academic Paper Structure Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 11. Writing an Academic Paper Structure • Introduction • Chapter/Section 1 • Chapter/Section 2 • Chapter/Section 3 • Discussion/Conclusion • Bibliography Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 12. Writing an Academic Paper Introduction The Introduction must: Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 13. Writing an Academic Paper • Explain what is of interest in the chosen subject • Explain why you have chosen this subject • Include an indication of the Central Argument or Exploration • Explain the Structure and Direction of the Paper • Explain the Contents Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 14. Writing an Academic Paper Chapter Construction Each chapter should have its own introduction, main body and conclusion Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 15. Writing an Academic Paper Chapters or Sections should be organised so that : Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 16. Writing an Academic Paper • Each one addresses a specific aspect of the argument or exploration • Avoid unnecessary repetition • Allow the argument to build into a coherent journey • You can convey the direction of your ideas to your reader Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 17. Writing an Academic Paper The Conclusion Should be the place to : Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 18. Writing an Academic Paper • Draw the main strands of the argument together • Emphasise the important points • Should not raise anything that has not already been discussed • Highlight the aspects that you want the reader to remember the most Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 19. Writing an Academic Paper Bibliography This should be : Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 20. Writing an Academic Paper • Constructed according the Harvard System • Be in alphabetical order • Attached to the end of your paper • Referenced correctly within the text Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 21. Writing an Academic Paper Referencing • Follow the Harvard Guide to the letter • If you do not have a copy of the guide you are likely to get it wrong Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 22. Writing an Academic Paper Quotes • Large quotes should be indented and contained within a separate paragraph of the text • Surname of author, the date of publication and the page number in brackets at the end of the quote Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 23. Writing an Academic Paper The difficulty with, or the beauty of quantum physics (depending on your point of view) is that we are not able to actually see any of the things that are measured or quantified. It is all just a linguistic explanation of phenomena, a concept in the minds of those scientists who study it. According to Zukav (1979) “The mind is such that it only deals with ideas. It is not possible for the mind to relate to anything other than ideas. Therefore it is not correct to think that the mind can actually ponder reality. All that the mind can ponder is its ideas about reality. Therefore whether or not something is true is not a matter of how closely it corresponds to the absolute truth, but of how consistent it is with our experience.” (Zukav 1979, p112) Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 24. Writing an Academic Paper • Small quotes to be included in your own paragraph, use quotation marks and name and date • If you mention the authors name within the flow of your own text you can simply put the publication date in brackets Gary Zukav (1979) asserts that.......... Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 25. Writing an Academic Paper What is Plagiarism? Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 26. Writing an Academic Paper pla·gia·rism n 1. copying what somebody else has written or taking somebody’s else’s idea and trying to pass it off as original 2. something copied from somebody else’s work, or somebody else’s idea that somebody presents as his or her own Encarta® World English Dictionary © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Developed for Microsoft by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 27. Writing an Academic Paper Useful ways to think of plagiarism are: • Someone taking your photographs and exhibiting them as their own • Someone stealing your design sheets and going ahead with the outcome claiming it as their own • Someone stealing money from you and spending it on themselves Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 28. Writing an Academic Paper •Ideas and concepts, when published, are protected by Intellectual property laws •Individuals who publish, copyright or patent original entities own them •Misappropriation of ideas and concepts therefore constitutes Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 29. Writing an Academic Paper • Academia has formed internationally accepted conventions for allowing you to directly use the Intellectual property of others without falling foul of the Law. • This process is called referencing and a detailed guide to it is available at Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 30. Writing an Academic Paper Failing to reference properly is not a minor mistake it is plagiarism Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 31. Writing an Academic Paper If you are not sure ask your Tutor Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 32. Writing an Academic Paper Think of essay writing as a craft, this will require a process Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 33. Writing an Academic Paper • Formulating the overall purpose of the essay • Applying the things you have learned in your course • Getting hold of your own thoughts on the topic • Working out the shape of your argument • Speaking your ideas to your reader • Quality Control • Presenting a polished end product Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 34. Writing an Academic Paper Making your Paper Flow Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 35. Writing an Academic Paper Use Linking words: • however • not only..........but also • on the other hand • whereas • nevertheless • conversely Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 36. Writing an Academic Paper Use Signposting to remind your reader where you have got to • In short • As we have seen • To summarise • Having dealt with x we must now consider y Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 37. Writing an Academic Paper The use of tenses • Present tense I am............... • Past tense I was.............. • Future tense I will.............. Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 38. Writing an Academic Paper They - The people They are - The people are They’re - The people are Their - The people HAVE (possessive) Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 39. Writing an Academic Paper Spell it out • Be aware that your reader cannot see into your mind. • Your reader may not be able to see connections that are perfectly obvious to you. • Writing is a solitary task and so is reading, you will not be there to explain. Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 40. Writing an Academic Paper Sentence construction • Use short sentences for impact • Longer sentences will be necessary for explanations • Longer sentences for developing argument • Vary sentence length in order to maintain readers interest Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 41. Writing an Academic Paper Paragraph Construction • One main theme per paragraph • Use to mark natural breaks in your argument • Each paragraph has a job to do • Avoid excessively long paragraphs • Use as part of your signposting - do not allow your reader to get lost Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 42. Writing an Academic Paper Using Visual images • Images should be crucial to the point, not decorative • They should be of a reasonable standard of reproduction • They should always be referenced correctly • Useful if you can use an image instead of adding to your word count Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 43. Writing an Academic Paper Use a list of figures to detail your images This should be included with the contents page at the front of your work Using a Contents Page • List of Chapters or Sections • Include Sub-headings if you have used them Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 44. Writing an Academic Paper Preface This can be a useful way to explain personal reasons for undertaking the study and to thank organisations or artists for their input, avoid gushing soliloquies about your boy/girl friend or Mum Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 45. Writing an Academic Paper Summary or Abstract This should set out the subject and the conclusions of your Paper, and should be in proportion to your text. 500 words for a 10,000 word paper, an essay of 2,000 - 3,000 probably doesn’t need one Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 46. Writing an Academic Paper Using footnotes • You should only need footnotes at the end of a text of this size not on each page or chapter • They should NOT be used to reference • Their purpose is to explain further information that would otherwise disrupt the flow of your argument Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 47. Writing an Academic Paper Use of Appendices • Including lists • Attaching transcripts of telephone or face to face interviews • Attaching copies of e-mail conversations • Graphs or Pie Charts that may interrupt the flow of your text • Attaching Primary Data gathered Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 48. Writing an Academic Paper • Use a dictionary • Use a spell checker • Know how to get the best out of your word processing package • Get help from other students Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 49. Writing an Academic Paper • Read text aloud to yourself or a Quick i me™ a nd a T willing friend T IFF (Uncomp ressed) d eco mpre ss r o are nee ded t o see t his picture . • Ask a friend or family member to proof read Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 50. Writing an Academic Paper Writing an Academic Paper can be both challenging and rewarding Remember that you are not alone in this, and do not compromise your work Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 51. Writing an Academic Paper We all feel frustrated, bored, despairing, gloomy or annoyed Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 52. Writing an Academic Paper Most of all do not give up it will be worth it Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 53. Writing an Academic Paper Good Luck! Pob Lwc! Jayne Hall November 2009
  • 54. Writing an Academic Paper Study Advice Service study.advice@newport.a Harvard Referencing Guide b/aevans03/Bibliographies.pdf Jayne Hall November 2009