Academic Writing for FYP Students (LCS). Seminar 2 Íde O’Sullivan Regional Writing Centre. Plan of seminars. Seminars: Weeks 3, 4, 5 Tuesday 12:00 – 14:00 (HSG025) Tuesday 15:00 – 17:00 (LG011) Drop-in/One-to-one sessions: Weeks 7, 8, 9 Tuesday 12:00 – 13:00 (HSG025)
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Regional Writing Centre
“This article examines the economic, political and social forces at work in the Georgia wheat-producing region prior to the break-up of the USSR. The causes for failing birth rates in Georgia are explored, and the links between this problem and the collapse of the Soviet system are analysed”.
University Writing Center, George Mason University)
1. Read text to be summarised – get general gist (what’s the purpose etc.)
2. Read again and mark and number important points
3. Write single sentences about each important point
4. Write a sentence to answer ‘what is this text about?’ – try to get an overview of the text’s central idea
5. Write first draft by combining overview sentence with important points – avoid repetition
6. Check draft against original – does anything need to be added? Is it accurate and complete?
7. Revise abstract, add transitions and aim for a coherent, unified piece of writing
In academic writing, an introduction has four purposes:
1. To introduce the topic
2. To indicate the context through background information
3. To give some indication of the overall plan of the essay
4. To catch the reader’s attention, usually by convincing the reader of its relevance
‘Whatever kind of conclusion you decide on, it should not introduce new topics, apologize for any real or perceived failings in the paper, or merely stop or trail off. Make sure your paper has a clear sense of closure’ (Ebert et al., 1997: 129)
‘In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement and it serves as a summary of the argument you'll make in the rest of your paper’ (UNC-CH Writing Center, 2004: Online).
Your thesis is the basic stand you take, the opinion you express, the point you make about your limited subject. It’s your controlling idea, tying together and giving direction to all other separate elements in your paper. Your primary purpose is to persuade the reader that your thesis is a valid one’ (Skwire, 1976: 3).
‘An argument is the case that someone makes, in a theory or in their writing… you give reasons for saying what you do, and present evidence to support what you say’ (ABC of Academic Writing).
1. ‘state your arguments early in the game’ – present and interpret data
2. ‘provide examples to support any assertion you make’ – makes it stronger and more credible
3. ‘give the fairest possible treatment of any perspectives different from your own’ – may support or disagree with them
4. ‘ point out the weaknesses of your own argument’ – by doing this you show objectivity as a researcher