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The Write Approach to Academic Success for NSU Students 2012: The Basics. ” What is written without effort is, in general, read without pleasure ” (Samuel Johnson). Dr. Karen D. Bowser. Why students fail to complete their dissertations:. A Tale of Two Approaches to Writing.
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The Write Approach to Academic Successfor NSU Students2012: The Basics ”What is written without effort is, in general, read without pleasure” (Samuel Johnson). Dr. Karen D. Bowser
A Tale of Two Approaches to Writing Procrastination
The Write Approach • Why are some speeches and writing more effective than others? POWER!
How to Put POWER in Your Writing Pre-write Organize Write Edit Rewrite
Establish A Writing Routine • Schedule writing times—Block them out on your schedule. Make an appointment with your computer. More importantly—keep the appointment! • Work on a time-based/task-based approach—whichever works best for you, but PICK ONE! Boyle-Single, P. (2009). “A writing routine.” Demystifying the Dissertation.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Start with Audience • Who will be reading, viewing, or hearing what you compose? • What do they already know? • What do they need to know? • What format do they expect? • How can your build a relationship between them and your topic?
Quick Tricks for Prewriting What Academic Audiences Expect • Academic writing = building knowledge • Take existing knowledge seriously • Gather credible evidence • Only make arguments you can support with evidence • The emphasis is on the ideas, not the writer. • Writing that looks academic.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting—Understand Your Project • If this is for your dissertation, make sure you download ALL the documents from the ARC. • Read the assignment carefully. • Underline any key words in the assignment.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting—Understand Your Project • Why are you writing about this? • Develop your purpose—The purpose is… • If you need to do some research first, start gathering information to feed your ideas.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting—Getting Started • Brainstorm your ideas. • Write each idea down using post-it notes so they can be sorted and reorganized later • Use the outlining function on a computer. • Ask questions. • What additional research is needed?
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Purpose • Consider that what you are composing is a tool for changing minds.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Purpose • Academic writing is NOT conversational! • Academic writing is NOT an essay. • You do NOT express your own opinion. • Do not use the familiar “I, we, you, “ etc. • Use longer words and sentences • Use a higher level of vocabulary
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Purpose • Employ more complex grammatical structures • Never make claims that cannot be supported by the evidence • Give full acknowledgement to the works of others
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Strategy • What sources will convince your audience? • Know your APA and Nova formatting. • Academic writing looks more professional because of its style and format!
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Context • Define the tone • Define the approach • Prescribe the details that are necessary • Get to the point and sticks with it.
Quick Tricks for Prewriting Think About Context • Give definitions of terms • Do not use creative, figurative language • Present varying opinions from credible sources
Quick Tricks for Prewriting/Organizing • If you cannot find research to guide your paper, you likely need to change or alter your topic. • Continue adding ideas to your post-it notes or computer outline. • Make a final decision on the main topic, subtopics, and direction of your paper based on your brainstorming.
Quick Tricks for Organizing • Sort the ideas. • See where you have a lot of ideas and where you are weak. • Do additional research for key information. • Make sure that you check related bodies of literature, too. • Use other authors’ references to lead you to other sources.
Quick Tricks for Organizing • Are there any ideas that need additional support? • Broaden your research. • Organize your thoughts into subtopics. • Make sure that you have enough information to adequately support each subtopic. • Decide the best order for your subtopics.
Establish A Writing Routine • Begin at the beginning and go to the end—then revise! • Turn off your internal critic! Boyle-Single, P. (2009). “A writing routine.” Demystifying the Dissertation.
Quick Tricks for Writing • Because you spent time organizing your thoughts, you will be able to write fairly quickly. • Do not spend time thinking of the PERFECT word or sentence, just get down the “inking of your thinking.” • Write a “rough draft” first.
Establish A Writing Routine • Backup, backup, backup!—Backup and rename the document each day. • Stop and prepare for your next writing session—write a few notes to yourself. Boyle-Single, P. (2009). “A writing routine.” Demystifying the Dissertation.
Establish A Writing Routine • Track your progress—recruit a writing group or partner • Pat yourself on the back! Boyle-Single, P. (2009). “A writing routine.” Demystifying the Dissertation.
Quick Tricks for Writing • Must have one main idea • Must be organized • Support the main idea with key subtopics • Support each subtopic with statistics, examples, facts, etc. • Use appropriate words and sentence structure. • Vary sentence structure.
Quick Tricks for Writing • Write your topic sentence by “restating” the writing assignment or purpose, introducing your main topic, providing some direction as to how you will develop your paper. • Support every idea with the research. • Cite carefully and correctly.
Quick Tricks for Writing • Introduction—Set the context for your academic argument and the approach that will be taken. What is the purpose of your paper? • Body—Provide the best evidence you can find in the research. Use sub-headings (Level II) to guide your writing and your reader. • Conclusion—Tie it all together for your audience.
Quick Tricks for Writing What to Avoid in Your Introduction • Starting with a dictionary definition—TRITE • Using trite expressions • Making excuses • Not introducing your reader to the context, the purpose, and the approach—jumping right in hoping your reader can catch up!
The Write Information Earns the Right Grade • Function of body paragraphs
The Write Information Earns the Right Grade • What readers expect in paragraphs
The Write Information Earns the Right Grade Building Coherence • Transitional expressions and conjunctions (Check your blue sheet.) • Repetition of key words or phrases • Parallelism—all parts of a series have equal weight • Use headings to visually organize your paper for the reader (Hint: One of these bullets is not parallel. Can you find which one?)
Quick Tricks for Writing • Do not just throw quotations into your paper. Introduce them. • Do not ask a paragraph to do too much. • Do not ask a paragraph to do too little. No one-sentence paragraphs. • Explain all terms. • Use pronouns wisely—clear references. • Remove trite expressions—”in today’s world”
Quick Tricks for Writing • Do not use wikis in academic papers. • Use a variety of sources • Do not use contractions! • All sources cited in your text (with the exception of personal communications) must appear in the reference list. • All references in the reference list must be cited in your text.
Quick Tricks for Editing: Getting Feedback • Finish your paper early. • Put it aside for a day or at least a few hours. • Read your paper out loud or have someone read your paper out loud to catch any unclear sentences and even punctuation errors. • Read your paper from the beginning to the end taking time to correct any misspellings, grammar, etc. • What worked? What didn’t work?
Quick Tricks for Editing: Getting Feedback • Are you clear about your thesis? • Did you support your thesis with clear evidence? • Will your readers understand your purpose? • Does the order make senses?—Read just the first sentence of every paragraph. • Do your paragraphs make sense? Read the first and last sentence of each paragraph.
Editing: Most Common APA ErrorsDo not be a statistic! Onwuegbuzie, A.J., Combs, J. P., Slate, J. R., & Frels, R. K. (2010). Editorial: Evidence-based guidelines for avoiding the most common APA errors in journal article submissions. Research in the Schools.
Quick Tricks for Editing and Revising • How can you refine your composition to be even stronger, more professional? • Read your document from the last sentence to the first sentence. • Check each verb—did you use the correct tenses? (past tense for most cited lit) • Use your “ Quick Tricks” list to check for errors that you have made in past papers.
Quick Tricks for Editing and Revising • Read your paper, paragraph by paragraph, from the end to the beginning. • Does each paragraph have unity, coherence, and development? • Does each paragraph read well by itself? • Get someone else’s feedback. • Remember that your chair is not your editor.
Commas in a Compound Sentence • Independent clause, conjunctionindependent clause. • An independent clause must have a subject and a verb and be able to stand on its own as a sentence. • Writing can be powerful, and students are wise to master the art of academic writing. • Writing can be powerful. (independent clause) • Students are wise to master the art of academic writing. (independent clause)
Commas in a Compound Sentence • Independent clause, conjunction independent clause. • Conjunctions: “FAN BOYS”—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so • Remember that you cannot start a sentence with any of these conjunctions in academic writing!
Semi-colons in a Compound Sentence • Independent clause, conjunctionindependent clause. • Use a semi-colon in place of the comma and conjunction. • Independent clause; independent clause. • Writing can be powerful; students are wise to master the art of academic writing. • Independent clause; transitional expression, independent clause. • Writing can be powerful; therefore, students are wise to master the art of academic writing.
Commas After Introductory Words, Phrases, and Clauses • Introductory words such as a transitional expression must be followed by a comma. • First, the researcher identified the variables. • Introductory phrases and clauses are followed by commas. • After Jones (2020) discovered the cure for the common cold, the cold medicine industry suffered a huge drop in sales.
Commas Serve as “Pot Handles” in Non-essential Clauses • Dr. Smith, who is a 2009 graduate of Fischler/NSU, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. • Read the sentences without the clause between the commas to see if the meaning changes. If it does, then you need the clause, but should not use the commas. • Do the “by the way” test.
Commas in a Series • In academic writing, commas must be used when three or more items appear in a series or list. There MUST be a comma before the “and.” • Writing, team building, and time management are essential skills for doctoral students to master.
Commas With Adjectives • Use a comma between two adjectives that precede a noun if they are of equal weight. • Ambitious, erudite doctoral students want to earn As and learn something through the process. • Seven doctoral students stated they wanted me to help them with their writing. • A quick trick is to read the sentence with “and” in place of the comma. If it still reads well, you know you need the comma. • Ambitious and erudite doctoral students…YES • Seven and doctoral…NO
Commas With Quotations • Use a comma after expressions like Johnston (2010) stated, “This is easy.” • Do not use a comma when the sentence leads into the quotation with “that.” Johnston (2010) found that “fifteen men lost their way in the mountain.”
Unnecessary Commas • Do not separate a subject from its verb with a single comma. • John, could not understand how he had used the comma incorrectly. • John, the distinguished professor, could not understand how he had used the comma incorrectly in the previous sentence.
Unnecessary Commas • Do not put a comma between a compound subject, verb, or object. • The students danced and sang after they completed all of their writing modules.
Unnecessary Commas • Do not put a comma before a dependent clause that follows an independent clause except when you want to show a strong contrast. • Students make comma errors, because they do not know the rules. • Do not put a comma after such as or especially. • Strong writers have many advantages, such as higher pay, more frequent promotions, and the ability to win people with words.