Lecture 1 academic writing in english final


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  • Welcome to this first lecture for Academic Writing, the second part of your Academic English course, the first being the Presentation component. My name is Philomena Dol, I am the coordinator and the head of the English section at the Academic Language Centre. I will deliver the four lectures included in this course. First a few practical points: next sheet
  • Introduce self:
  • Self-evident, go over
  • At the end of this lecture it should be clear to you how this course is structured, and what is expected of you. It should be clear what the general content of this course is going to be NB: I have heard here and there from course tutors that some of you are really worried about this course. Those of you who have had some formal training in essay writing probably have a failry good idea of what this course is going to be about. Ask by a show of hands how many students have been trained in an Anglo-Saxon environment (UK, US, Australia etc.) / Ask how many have completed an International Baccalaureate Programme? / and how many have completed a Dutch or other European Secondary School Programme. This often does not include formal training in essay writing. For those of you who are relatively inexperienced: this course is your chance to learn how to do this: take it seriously, and you will benefit from it for the rest of your academic career. Speak for myself: I was trained in an American system, and completed an International baccalaureate Programme, so I was pretty well-trained in essay writing, and indeed, sailed through my english studies without problems, completed a PhD thesis (450 pages) in 5 years, then plodded through an MA degree programme in Law with lots of essay-writing without too much trouble (I have yet to complete my MA-thesis though), and indeed, completed a However, when I was first asked to teach an Academic Writin course I couldn’t help thinking: I wish I had had something like this at the beginning of my studies. I felt it would have been extremely useful, and it would have saved me lots of time. So, even for Native Speakers, don’t take the the English bit
  • This course is worth 3 ECTS, which amounts to 84 hours of work. Together with your Presentations course, which was 2 ECTS, this works out to be 5 ECTS of Academic English. 4 pleanary lectures, name dates, not on 22 October as that is your study-week, no tutorials either. The tutorials start this week, there are 8 of them. Attendance is mandatory. Tutorials also start this week, there are 8 of them. So while the lectures finish in week 8, the tutorials will go on until week 12 of the semester. Groups are the same as the Presenting groups, tutors are also the same, apart from a few. I will deliver the 4 lectures Note that attendance at tutorials is mandatory!
  • Write academic texts : for an academic audience Use correct reference, grammar and style : referencing we use is the MLA system (Modern Language Association). Common for Humanities. We ask you to use this system for all your written work within the International Studies Programme . There are other systems: for instance, APA (American Psychology Association), used for Social Sciences, Education and Business); Chicago (Turabian), used in many fields. Use dictionaries and thesauruses : Show hands: how many of you know what a thesuarus is? Do you know how to use it? I will show you some sources later in the lecture when we go through the BB site. Use correct collocations, punctuation and register : punctuation , for example, you know (use of full stops, comma’s colons etc. Collocations have to do with groups of words that naturally go together in a language: for example you take notes , you don’t make notes . Wrong combination. English has many of these, and they are also easy to get wrong, especially if you are not a native speaker. Even non-native speakers who are very proficient still get these wrong. You wil be made aware of collocations, and learn to work with them and where to look them up. Register has to do with adapting language to the occasion: the language I use now is different from what I would use with a six-year old child. When writing a letter to my best friend, I will use a different type of language than when I write an academic article. These are examples, and will be discussed in the lectures and in the tutorials. The goal is to make you more aware of the structure and vocabulary of english (and indeed language in general), and to learn to apply these concepts when using english. This will expand your knowledge of English, and will make you a more proficinet language user. NB: This also applies for Native Speakers (show hands). Write well-structured paragraphs : e.g. each paragraph presents one idea, one step in your argument; Write well-structured introductions, discussions and conclusions : a well-formed introduction includes a thesis statement: what you are writing about. This statement should return in a conclusion. Also, your conclusion should not contain any new ideas or new arguments. Especially if you are writing a larger paper, students sometimes find this difficult. This has to do with planning, which we will go into in detail during this course. Express yourself in a cohesive, coherent and logical manner (signposting ): take your reader by the hand: e.g. use for example when you present an example; use however , when you present an opposing point of view; and use moreover when you present another argument in favour of what you are arguing. Be aware of the dangers of plagiarism and will do some thorough training to avoid this issue : we’ll go into this!
  • Academic Writing is a practical skill: You cannot learn to write by listening to someone talking about writing. So why these lectures? Because there is some basic knowledge pertaining to, for example, register, punctuation, plagiarism, struturing a paper etc. That all students have to become familiar with. This knowledge is delivered during the lectures. Armed with this knowledge, students then come to the tutorials to practice.
  • Please make sure you do your homework BEFORE the tutorial. If you do not do your homework, you cannot attend the tutorial in a meaningful way. The assignments you do for homework will be used during the tutorial. An important note: Shuold you inadvertently not have completed your homework, then please do come to the tutorials! You will miss even more if you do not attend. Your tutors will not be upset with you (maybe mildly is you miss out on doing homework more than once....) Homework is assigned every week, check your course outline for homework. Homework is on the BB site (we’ll look at it during the second half of the lecture), show them where they can find the course outline. This course outline is your lifeline: it tells you everything you need to know. We will go over BB at the end of the lecture
  • You will write a paper of no more than 2,200 words for your course “ Introduction to the Areas ” in which you argue, in an expository essay, why you picked the area that you wish to focuson during the remainder of your Bachelor’s Degree Programme. You will hand in this paper on 23 November for your course “ Introduction to the Areas ”. Your tutors in that course will mark your paper on the basis of content. This paper will be regarded as a draft by us for this course. We will help you to improve the language and stylistic aspects of your first paper using the skills you learn during this course. We will also look at format (referencing). At the end of the course you hand in your rewritten, revised paper We will assess it using language criteria. You hand in your paper for Academic English on 17 December. Before that, in the week of 5 November, you are asked to hand in your introduction, your conclusion and one paragraph, of your choice, during your tutorials, to your tutor. They will give you feedback on these within two weeks. During the course yuo will also peer-review each other’s work (like in the Presentation course). You will get maximum mileage out of one paper, which should be good news
  • Recap this and tell them it will also be announced on BB. Why a hard copy? See if questions.
  • Vocabulary range : Basically, your use of vocabulary, formal language, your range refers to how many words you use Accuracy : Do you use your words accurately, do you use your grammar accurately, can you use complex sentences. Coherence : how do you organise your text, what types of connectors do you use (and, or, despite, furthermore, but also words I mentined earlier, such as however, moreover etc). How coherent is your text in the end, is it jumpy, does the reader have to make an effort to understand the link between two points, or do you use connectors to guide the reader through the text? Argument : Can you develop your argument systematically, using detailed supporting evidence. Can you develop an argument with various point of view. Can you pick out relevant issues and leave irrelevant ones, and specifically, how do you signal this in your use of language? Orthographic control : spelling, layout, consistent paragraphing, correct use of comma’s, full stops etc (punctuation). These come from the Common European Framework of Reference, which we will go into later (on BB). Incidentally, if you attend the lectures and tutorials, it should be maneageable to fulfill these criteria up to the expected level. What is that level? Next sheet
  • Level is needed to successfully complete this course of studies in English. About the CEFR (Common European Framework: more to follow later, in the second half of the lecture, when we will have a look at the BB site). By the time you reach your BA thesis, should be C1, normally this is manageable. If you do not reach this level yet, don’t despair: an additional course (English for Academic Purposes), but also self study should suffice. Mind you, students themselves are responsible for reaching this. level: if not up to scratch, should follow a course. The resit: in June, three hours to write an academic essay on a topic which will be handed to you then.
  • Wil be posted this on BB, we will have a look a this later. Important you stick to this, it makes marking easier for us.
  • We will now move on to the actual reason for being here, namely the study of academic writing.
  • Why this book: Written by Academic Language department at University of Gronmingen. Taught courses to Bachelor’s degree Students for years, and relaised that there was not really a good book available for non-native speakers of English who needed to learn how to write. This book provides for this niche in the market. Note: Some of you are native speaker of English: you may not find all of the language exercises useful, but wou will still benefit from the content of this book regarding style, structure, conventions etc. I have taught academic writing to mixed gropups (native and non-native, and many native speakers have come up to me stating that they found the courses useful, even the ‘languagy’ aspects of it, for instance the distinction between formal and informal language.
  • Just by a show of hands, ask the students the following questions: Who likes writing? Probably very few of them. Who writes letters by hand? – probably fewer still Who agrees with the following statement? 30 years ago, students did a lot more writing than we do nowadays – the majority will probably think that this is true. However, today’s students actually write quite a lot, only they don’t think of it as such. They are on Twitter, What’s App, and what have you, almost all their waking hours and do a lot of writing / typing – all of which is (highly) informal. So ask the question again: Who likes writing? Again by a show of hands, ask the students: Who writes mostly in English? – a minority probably, depending on the students’ nationality So as learners you have a double task: You need to learn to write in a formal, academic way You need to learn to do this in English That’s why we offer this course.
  • Students often see writing as a pproduct: they write one piece and consider tha tto be the final product. They may run a grammar and spelling check on a pc, but that is it. What students are usually familiar with is informal, spoken English. In the Netherlands, the distinction between formal and informal English is often not taught explicitly More on this later. Writing is still seen as a complex and difficult task for the simple reason that it requires a lot of thinking on the writer’s part. Ordering your thoughts, trying to put them into words, and conveying your meaning to the reader is not a task that comes naturally to most people. Also remember that of the 4 skills Writing is the skill that we learn last, and typically only in an educational context. Students often see writing as a product: they write one piece and consider that to be the final product. They may run a grammar and spelling check on a pc, but that is usually it. They need to learn, however, that this is only a draft, a document to be worked on, revised, and edited. They will need to learn to do this themselves as university tutors will not do this for them. What students are usually familiar with is informal, spoken English. In the Netherlands, the distinction between formal and informal English is often not taught explicitly at school. There are quite a few textbooks which are used in secondary schools which do not explain the difference even if they do offer both forms.
  • 1. The chapters in this book are organised according to this linear process 2. For many writers, however, writing is not always such a structured, logical process: new ideas may come up during the writing process and need to be incorporated at a llater stage. The “ Developing your Textt” section at the end of each chapter takes this recursive model into account. The chapters in this book are organised according to this linear process, suggesting that you start at the beginning and work your way through, step by step, till you have the final product. While this is perfectly doable with a short piece of writing, for longer ones it does not always work. It suggests that what you get to read first was also written first, but especially with theses and dissertations, this is not likely to be the case. Introductions, for example, are often easier to write once you have written the main body of your text. For many writers, however, writing is not always such a structured, logical process: new ideas may come up during the writing process and need to be incorporated at a later stage. The “ Developing your Text” section at the end of each chapter in the book takes this recursive model into account.
  • This depends on the kind of paper you are writing 3. This makes the paper circular in argument Whether you write a thesis statement, a problem statement, research question or hypothesis, depends on the kind of paper you are writing. Thesis statements are typically found in argumentative essays as they tend to be debatable statements. Problem statement are typically used in business reports; research questions and hypotheses in research papers. The main body presents information in a way that is logical to the reader. As a writer, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the reader. As a writer it is your job to make the life of the reader easy. Your reader must not be left with any questions, everything must be clear and easy to follow. It it is not, then as a writer you have not done a good job. The conclusion makes the paper circular in argument, as it addresses the point raised in the introduction. Care must be taken that it is not a mere repetition of anything that has been said before.
  • Audience is one of the first considerations when starting to write – anything., really. Your audience determines whether your writing needs to be informal, formal, or neutral. Your friend would be offended if you wrote something very formal to them, a future employer would throw a letter of application written in an informal way straight into the bin. A 2000-word expository essay is what the students will need to write during this course, so you may want to point out the Expository Essay Structure on p. 32 at this stage. NB. I think there is a mistake in task 10: it says “ exponential essay”, but I am pretty certain it should be “expository essay”
  • Before showing the next slide: The reliabillity of a scientific article is of crucial importance, and therefore the integrity of the author. Elicit issues such as plagiarism, scientific fraud, manipulating data, citation kartels – all of which have been in the news in recent times. Ask students what they think constitutes plagiarism, etc. If you have students from non-Western cultures, ask them what the attitude is like in their society
  • This is a plagiarised definition as no source is given ! Ask students if they think anything is wrong with this definition Then show the next slide.
  • Practically all Western universities will explain their policy towards (suspected cases of ) plagiarism on their website. What they will also find on the website is the preferred method of citation – some universities have their own, others follow that of a famous university such as Harvard. What is confusing for students is that sometimes it may differ from one faculty to another, so it is crucial to find out.
  • Briefly . Point out to students that although Business Reports are not dealt with during this course, students may have to write one later during their studies, eg. while on work placements.
  • Informal language is probably what is most familiar to students. In some textbooks by Dutch publishers they even teach the contracted forms only ! In pairs, ask students to write down what the formal version would be for every bullet point, and give examples. Do not discuss yet.
  • In pairs, ask students to write down what the formal version would be for every bullet point, and give examples. Then show the next two slides and compare with what they have.
  • You may have to give examples of relative clauses, embedded sentenes, and inversion. What is easy to explain is that the average length of a written sentence is 12 words. Anything shorter than 6 words is unlikely to occur. An educated reader has no trouble reading a sentence of up to 20 words, so the best rule of thumb is to write sentences between 12 and 20 words. If you attempt anything longer than that, your grammar would have to be exceptionally good !
  • Students do not always realise what the differences are. Students do not always realise what the differences are. Although I myself prefer British English, I do not mind students using American English, but I draw the line at a mix of the two. Point out that if they use “Word” on a pc, it will automatically change the spelling to American English unless you reset it to British English.
  • Plus anything else that you may know of.
  • Any announcements will appear in your e-mail Nevertheless, check BB regularly (3 times a week) for details Have a look at the site: Course outline: show them: under course information Links to MLA-format referencing; under course documents: referencing. This also contains a word of warning concerning plagiarism. PULL UP. Read out the last paragraph. We will return to this, but they can refer to this if they are unsure. Extra exercises: Under course materials, extra exercises . Few more to com: we will put this in announcements. For now, print out and have with you to the tutorials every time. Some will be used, some not, at the discretion of the tutor. (e.g a group weak in coherence and cohesion will deal with the linking Words exercise (which is pretty basic, but nevertheless useful to go over); a group which is stronger will not, tutor may also choose to recommend exercises to some and not to others. The Toolbox: explain that developed as a project between language centres in the Netherlands and Belgium, puts together free resources for learners / users of English in show some of the writing tools: under toolbox Also grammar, if areas weak can go here: toolbox / practice / grammar (last one): check out what a collocation is. Show Practice / Writing . Don’t go to Purdue, as that takes you out of BB…….
  • practical tool for setting clear standards to be attained at successive stages of learning and for evaluating outcomes in an internationally comparable manner. the competences necessary for communication, ii) the related knowledge and skills and iii) the situations and domains of communication. The CEFR defines levels of attainment in different aspects of its descriptive scheme with illustrative descriptors scale. It’s in BB as well: Tool Box under Assessment: CEF writing assessment grid.
  • Lecture 1 academic writing in english final

    1. 1. Academic Writing-Lecturer: dr P.H. Dol
    2. 2. Practicalities I- We start at 11.15- Break from 12.00 – 12.15
    3. 3. Structure of this lecture• Introduction to the course Academic Writing• Introduction of the coursebook• Discussion of Introduction and Chapter 1• Introduction of the Blackboard-site Course Outline Assessment of your essay Toolbox
    4. 4. Aims of this Lecture• Structure of the course• What is expected of you• Overview of content
    5. 5. About the course• 3 ECTS• 4 plenary lectures, in weeks 5-8 (on 8,15, 29 October and 5 November)• 8 tutorials in small groups, in weeks 5-12
    6. 6. Course aims• Write academic texts.• Use correct reference, grammar and style.• Use dictionaries and thesauruses (with the help of an electronic toolbox in Blackboard).• Use correct collocations, punctuation and register.• Write well-structured paragraphs.• Write well-structured introductions, discussions and conclusions.• Express yourself in a cohesive, coherent and logical manner (signposting).• Be aware of the dangers of plagiarism and will do some thorough training to avoid this issue.
    7. 7. Lectures- Ratio: To go over basic principles of Academic Writing, which all students have to be familiar with at the end of the course
    8. 8. Tutorials- Homework: to be completed BEFORE the tutorial!- Where do I find the homework? Blackboard
    9. 9. Assignment 1 paper, 2 courses Link between Introduction to the Areas and Academic English
    10. 10. Deadlines• Introduction to Area Studies: 23 November, at 15.59, upload via Safe Assign.• Academic Writing: three paragraphs in week of 5 November (not mandatory, but highly recommendable).• 17 December at 15.59, one hard copy in a box provided (we will tell you where).
    11. 11. Language criteria examples- Vocabulary range- Accuracy- Coherence- Argument- Orthographic control
    12. 12. Marking• Either pass of fail• Pass: a CEFR level of B2.2 (B2+) or higher• If insufficient: resit in June
    13. 13. Style sheetStyle Sheet posted on Blackboard:• Font• Line spacing• Style of referencing (MLA)• Name, student number, number of words, name of tutor
    14. 14. IntroductionAcademic writing in English. A process-based approach Academic Language Centre
    15. 15. Course Book- Academic writing in English. A process-based approach, Janene van Loon, Arnoud Thüss, Nicole Schmidt and Kevin Haines, Coutinho. ISBN 978 90 469 0256 I
    16. 16. Audience: who do you write for?- Normally: scholars in your field- In this course: your peers and your tutor- The tutorials provide you with an audience for your writing so it is absolutely essential that you do the writing tasks before you come to class- You need to give feedback to other students’ writing, and be open to feedback from others Academic Language Centre
    17. 17. Advantages of peer review:- Learners often find it easier to notice flaws in other people’s writing than in their own- Reading and analysing somebody else’s text will increase your own critical thinking skills- Peer review increases your awareness of different aspects of your own writing Academic Language Centre
    18. 18. 5 steps to effective peer feedback:1. First draft (homework task)2. Give feedback on each other’s writing, and discuss3. Revise your draft4. Rate the helpfulness of the feedback you were given5. Give feedback on revised draft Academic Language Centre
    19. 19. Chapter 1Introduction to Academic Writing Academic Language Centre
    20. 20. Academic Writing is a complex task:As a student you need to learn twoprocesses simultaneously:1.Writing is a process of drafting, writing,and revising2.Academic writing requires the use of aformal register. Academic Language Centre
    21. 21. Two Models for Writing:1. Writing as a linear process of pre-writing, drafting, revising, fine-tuning, editing and post-writing2. Writing as a recursive process of exploring, structuring, polishing and publishing, incubating and unloadingDo task 4b, p. 25 Academic Language Centre
    22. 22. Organisation of an academic paper:- Introduction, with a thesis statement, problem statement, research question or hypothesis- Main body, with arguments arranged in a logical order- Conclusion, which addresses the statement presented in the introduction- Do task 7, p. 29 Academic Language Centre
    23. 23. Purpose and audience in AcademicWriting (1):- Expository essay: aims to explain a (new) body of knowledge to the reader, using facts and statistics in a logical order, with examplesDo task 10, p. 31- Argumentative essay: has a debatable topic, presents arguments for and against, takes a clear positionDo task 14, p. 37 Academic Language Centre
    24. 24. Purpose and audience in AcademicWriting (2):- Scientific article: describes the results of the writer’s own research, critically reviews someone else’s research, or develops new theories on the basis of other people’s research.- Its organisation is based on the IMRD model: Introduction, Methodology, Research and Discussion Academic Language Centre
    25. 25. Avoiding plagiarismDefinition:Plagiarism is a form of intellectualdishonesty or theft. When a personplagiarises he or she “steals” someoneelse’s words or ideas by passing them offas their own. Academic Language Centre
    26. 26. That was plagiarism!The sentence on the previous slide was found in someone else’s text and not acknowledged as such. It was taken from: www.services.unimelb.edu.au/llsu Academic Language Centre
    27. 27. Purpose and audience in AcademicWriting (3):- Investigative Business Reports present information and recommendation in report format (using headings). Academic Language Centre
    28. 28. Characteristics of informalwriting- Short, simple sentences- Phrasal verbs (to carry out), colloquial and slang expressions- Simple linking words (and, or, so, but)- Informal punctuation: !, ?, - Contractions used (it’s, doesn’t)- Active voice (people say)- Personal tone, use of 1st person (I think) Academic Language Centre
    29. 29. Characteristics of informalwriting- May not be clearly or logically organised (Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention)- Use of abbreviations (asap, fyi, etc.) Academic Language Centre
    30. 30. Characteristics of formal writing- Long, complex sentences (use relative clauses, embedded sentences, inversion)- One-word verbs of Greek or Latin origin (to conduct)- More sophisticated use of linking words and phrases (in addition to, alternatively, as a result, however, etc.)- Formal punctuation (e.g. including semi- colons) Academic Language Centre
    31. 31. Characteristics of formal writing- Full forms (does not, it is, etc.)- Passive voice (it is said)- Impersonal tone (in my opinion)- Clear organisation sign-posted by linking words; rephrasing of vocabulary items (use of synonyms / antonyms); clear referencing (this phenomenon, one of the reasons)- Words written out in full (as soon as possible, for your information) Academic Language Centre
    32. 32. British or American English?The need to be consistentBritish English: American English:- Differences in - fall, resumé vocabulary (autumn, curriculum vitae)- Differences is spelling - Program, center, color, (programme, centre, realize colour, realise, etc.) Academic Language Centre
    33. 33. Resources supporting academicvocabulary- www.academicvocabularyexercises.com- Academic Word List (AWL)- Lextutor- Phrasebankcf. p. 228Apps:Advanced Learners’ Dictionary (Audio)Chambers’ Thesaurus Academic Language Centre
    34. 34. The Blackboard siteThe Blackboard site: [1213]Academic English for International Studies 5181VACEN2-1213FGW
    35. 35. Common European Framework ofReference (CEFR)- http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/cadre_e n.asp