Academic writing skills


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Macbeth's choices.
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Academic writing skills

  1. 1. What is academic writing? <ul><li>Academic writing refers to a particular style of expression. </li></ul>
  2. 2. Characteristics include <ul><li>A formal tone, use of the third-person rather than first-person perspective, clear focus on the issue or topic rather than the author’s opinion, and precise word choice. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Writers employing the formal academic style avoid jargon, slang, and abbreviations .
  4. 4. <ul><li>. Many novice writers have trouble telling informal writing apart from formal writing. They resort to informal writing, since it’s easier and more familiar. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Characteristics of informal writing <ul><li>the use of slang and jargon, </li></ul><ul><li>writing in the first person or making “I” statements and imprecise word choices. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Just as you probably wouldn’t wear shorts and flip-flops to a wedding, there’s a time and a place for informal writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Informal writing is fine for diary entries, blogs, personal writing, letters or emails to friends. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Writers working on papers for school need a more formal style </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the same as wearing a suit or dress to attend a wedding. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Examples <ul><li>Informal writing example: : </li></ul><ul><li>I think Macbeth’s a loser. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Formal writing example: </li></ul><ul><li>Macbeth’s horrific choices cause him to lose everything he holds dear: children, wife, friends, crown and king. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The first statement is informal. The writer speaks in the first person, using the word “I”, and states an opinion. The slang term “loser”, is used, which is inappropriate in a formal context. They 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. </li></ul><ul><li>Taken as a simple statement, however, it’s </li></ul><ul><li>impossible to know whether the writer thinks his best friend, his dog, or a rock star is a loser ! </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The second example uses an academic, formal style. 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 creates a strong, formal feel when properly used here to introduce a list. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Getting started <ul><li>Find your time </li></ul><ul><li>Find your space </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline, self & others </li></ul><ul><li>Brain storming, clustering, mind mapping </li></ul><ul><li>Free writing </li></ul>
  13. 13. Introduction <ul><li>What is the question? </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce the : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Who </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>When </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Beginning your essay <ul><li>A quotation – (is it relevant?) that sums up the question. </li></ul><ul><li>A personal question </li></ul><ul><li>An opinion of yours. </li></ul><ul><li>An interesting fact about the times </li></ul><ul><li>An analogy – a simile of Macbeth </li></ul>
  15. 15. Body <ul><li>Your paragraphs should flow naturally into one another and connections should be made </li></ul>ADDING a point In addition, Furthermore, Not only is this…but also moreover Making a different point However, On the other hand, In contrast, Yet, although
  16. 16. Paragraphs <ul><li>7-8 sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Each paragraph should be about one thing with a clear introduction sentence </li></ul><ul><li>Use point and then evidence and explanation. </li></ul><ul><li>The last sentence concludes the paragraph and moves to the next. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Transitional words to use at beginning of paragraphs and between sentences <ul><li>Joining words </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also, and, again, etc </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparing words </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Also, in comparison </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Contrasting words </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Although, but, conversely, despite, even though, however </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Situation words </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Before, briefly, consequently, finally, first </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Conclusions <ul><li>Don’t introduce anything new </li></ul><ul><li>Say something similar to your introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Give the essay a sense of completeness </li></ul><ul><li>Leave a final impression </li></ul>
  19. 19. Edit <ul><li>Another pair of eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line…. You have to communicate with the marker you do not get to sit next to them. </li></ul>