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RTP 2019-20: Core Series: Academic Writing - Dr Myna Trustram - 05-02-20

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What makes a piece of writing ‘academic’? How can you keep the reader of your thesis interested in what you have to say? We will look at some examples of fine academic writing and consider how you too can write in this manner.

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RTP 2019-20: Core Series: Academic Writing - Dr Myna Trustram - 05-02-20

  1. 1. Academic Writing 5 February 2020 1
  2. 2. academic Relating to education or scholarship Not of practical relevance 2
  3. 3. in the form of … Field notes Research diary (sketch book) Notes from reading, conversations, seminars Conference papers Thesis 3
  4. 4. Write from the very beginning of the research 4
  5. 5. How much critical [academic] writing is done in the early hours, fuelled by the promise of next- day delivery? How much is done through the course of a quiet day as our attention moves variously in the vicinity of the materials at hand? And how much happens piecemeal over weeks and months, perhaps longer, as the words of another turn their way round and about our days and nights? Benson, S. and Connors, C (eds) (2014) Creative Criticism. An Anthology and Guide. Edinburgh University Press. p.35 5
  6. 6. academic writing is… A way to communicate research A research method A practice that constructs knowledge A researcher is a writer NOT writing up! 6
  7. 7. • Has a thesis or proposition • Takes a stance (informative, questioning, critical) • Refers to a context • Has methods • Follows certain conventions eg references • For a particular audience • A contribution to knowledge / to the field 7
  8. 8. Uses many voices (multivocal) meditative informative authoritative reflective lyrical Personal Imaginative 8
  9. 9. Language is not a neutral window on the world or onto research It is an approximation, a symbolic construction of what exists or what happened We put thoughts onto paper and so remove ourself from them They become available to others. 9
  10. 10. Pleasures • New thoughts • Eureka! • Making a new form • Recognition • Authority • Satisfaction 10
  11. 11. Why is it so hard? • Anxiety • Not knowing • Exposing • Authority • Disappointment • Shameful (humiliating) 11
  12. 12. Read these first pages from academic texts. How do you react to the text? In what way is the text ‘academic’? What voice(s) is the writer using? 12
  13. 13. meditative informative authoritative deferential lyrical personal 13

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