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MSc. Psychology Professional Skills. Íde O’Sullivan Regional Writing Centre, UL www.ul.ie/rwc. Writing. Critiques of presentations Reviews of articles Literature reviews. Key Considerations. The writing process. Prewriting Drafting Revision Editing and Proofreading. Prewriting.

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msc psychology professional skills

MSc. PsychologyProfessional Skills

Íde O’Sullivan

Regional Writing Centre, UL

www.ul.ie/rwc

Regional Writing Centre

writing
Writing
  • Critiques of presentations
  • Reviews of articles
  • Literature reviews

Regional Writing Centre

key considerations

Key Considerations

Regional Writing Centre

the writing process
The writing process
  • Prewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revision
  • Editing and Proofreading

Regional Writing Centre

prewriting
Prewriting
  • Planning
    • Evaluating the rhetorical situation, or context, into which you write
    • Choosing and focusing your topic
    • Establishing an organising principle
  • Gathering information
    • Entering the discourse on your topic
    • Taking notes as a strategy to avoid charges of plagiarism
    • Evaluating sources

Regional Writing Centre

planning assessing the rhetorical situation
Planning: Assessing the rhetorical situation
  • Occasion
  • Topic
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Writer

Regional Writing Centre

stylistic differences that mark academic writing
Stylistic differences that mark academic writing

Complexity

Formality

Objectivity

Accuracy

Precision

Explicitness

Hedging

Responsibility

(Gillet 2008)

Regional Writing Centre

planning analysing journals
Planning: Analysing journals
  • Cracking the codes of academic writing
  • Analysing the genre/text and modelling
  • Identify important criteria that will make your writing more effective
  • Ask yourself the following questions:
    • How is the paper structured?
    • How is the contribution articulated?
    • What level of context is provided?
    • What level of detail is used?
    • How long are the different sections?

Regional Writing Centre

planning analysing journals1
Planning: Analysing journals
  • What organisational features/patterns are in evidence?
  • How are arguments and counterarguments presented and structured?
  • What types of evidence are important?
  • What stylistic features are prominent?
  • Is the text cohesive? How does the author achieve such cohesion?
  • What kind(s) of persuasive devises does the author employ?
  • Voice?

Regional Writing Centre

drafting
Drafting
  • Try to visualise your report. Work toward that vision.
  • Begin to structure it—establish your section headings; give them titles. These do not have to be permanent.
  • Examine the logical order of ideas reflected in those titles.
  • Do not get hung up on details; elements of the draft are subject to change in the revision stage.
  • Start to write the sections that you are ready to write.

Regional Writing Centre

drafting1
Drafting
  • Continue to reassess your rhetorical situation.
  • Does what you have written so far contribute to the achievement of your purpose?
  • Experiment with organisation and methods of development.
  • Don’t get bogged-down in details; focus on the big issues: organisation and logical flow.

Regional Writing Centre

revision
Revision
  • Is your paper logically organised?
    • A good way to check the logical flow of your ideas is to outline your report AFTER you’ve completed your draft.
  • How did you introduce your topic? By giving it definition? Describing its development? Explaining what it is?
  • Does each section contribute to your reader’s understanding of your topic? Does your report service your purpose, aims, and objectives?

Regional Writing Centre

revising
Revising
  • Outline each section. How does each paragraph contribute to our understanding of the topic of that section?
  • Take a close look at paragraphs: Does each paragraph have a central idea? Does it have unity? Is it coherent and well developed?
  • Is there a correspondence between the title of your report, your section headings and sub-headings and the central ideas in your paragraphs?

Regional Writing Centre

revising1
Revising
  • Do the methods used to illuminate your topic lead to logical discovery?
  • No truths are self-evident.
  • Claims have to be defended with evidence.
    • Processes have to be described and explained;
    • Design features and research methods have to be justified;
    • The justification for generalisations and conclusions need to be made explicit;
    • The criteria used to qualify our results also needs to be explicitly put forward and evaluated for objectivity;
    • Underlying assumptions need to be evaluated for their objectivity.

Regional Writing Centre

editing and proofreading
Editing and proofreading
  • Once the report is cogent, it must be made to be coherent.
  • Work methodically, checking one feature at a time.
  • Do not exclude formatting issues.
  • Editing and proofreading is more than just grammar and punctuation; it is also about voice, rhythm, tone, style and clarity.

Regional Writing Centre

editing and proofreading1
Editing and proofreading
  • Check for ambiguity
  • Check for comma splices, run-ons, stringy sentences and fragments.
  • Check for how sentences introduce new information: is it in the beginning of the sentence or at the end?
  • Check that you use sentence types that are appropriate for your discipline.
  • Check word order and usage.
  • Check for agreement: Subject/verb; pronoun or noun substitute/ antecedent or concatenation.
  • Check for bias.
  • Check for obstacles to clarity:
    • Poorly chosen words
    • Vague references
    • Clichés and trite language
    • Jargon
    • Inappropriate connotations

Regional Writing Centre

editing and proofreading2
Editing and proofreading
  • Check for plagiarism
    • Check the form of your in-text citations and of your full references in your References page.
    • Check the content of your citations. Is everything that should be there there?
    • Check that paraphrases are not too close to the original.
    • Check that all figures, tables and graphs are captioned and cited (below figures and graphs; above tables)
    • Check that any borrowed ideas, words or methods of organising information are referenced and clearly marked.

Regional Writing Centre

logic al choices and unity of purpose
Logical choices and unity of purpose
  • Every choice serves to defend a claim, answer a question, or confirm a hypothesis
    • Word, phrase, sentence-structure
      • Does the choice satisfy audience expectations
      • Does it speak to your authorial credibility
      • Does it further your argument, analysis,

Regional Writing Centre

arguments logic
Arguments & logic
  • A good argument will have, at the very least:
    • a thesis that declares the writer's position on the problem at hand;
    • an acknowledgment of the opposition that nods to, or quibbles with other points of view;
    • a set of clearly defined premises that illustrate the argument's line of reasoning;
    • evidence that validates the argument's premises;
    • a conclusion that convinces the reader that the argument has been soundly and persuasively made.

(Dartmouth Writing Program 2005)

Regional Writing Centre

slide20
Flow
  • Logical method of development
  • Effective transition signals
  • Good signposting
  • Consistent point of view
  • Conciseness (careful word choice)
  • Clarity of expression
  • Paragraph structure
    • Unity
    • Coherence

Regional Writing Centre

writing a critique

Writing a Critique

Regional Writing Centre

writing a critique1
Writing a critique
  • Making a claim
  • Argument
  • Evidence
  • Counterargument
  • Audience
  • Reference to the literature
  • Critical reading
  • Evaluation
  • Synthesis
  • Credibility

Regional Writing Centre

useful strategies

Useful Strategies

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getting started
Getting started
  • Where and when do you write?
  • Why are you not writing?
    • “I don’t feel ready to write.”
    • Writers’ block
  • Getting unstuck
    • Writing to prompts/freewriting (write anything)
    • Set writing goals
    • Write regularly
    • Integrate writing into your thinking
    • Break it down into a manageable process

Regional Writing Centre

outlining murray 2006
Outlining (Murray 2006)
  • Title and draft introduction
  • Level 1 outlining
    • Main headings
  • Level 2 outlining
    • Sub-headings
  • Level 3 outlining
    • Decide on content

Regional Writing Centre

writing in layers murray 2006 125 27
Writing in layers (Murray 2006: 125-27)
  • Outline the structure: write your section heading for the research paper.
  • Write a sentence or two on the contents of each section.
  • List out sub-headings for each section.
  • Write an introductory paragraph for each section.
  • At the top of each section, write the word count requirement, draft number and date.

Regional Writing Centre

writing a page 98 paper
Writing a ‘page 98 paper’
  • My research question is …
  • Researchers who have looked at this subject are …
  • They argue that …
  • Debate centres on the issue of …
  • There is work to be done on …
  • My research is closest to that of X in that …
  • My contribution will be …

(Murray 2006:104)

Regional Writing Centre

dialogue about writing
Dialogue about writing
  • Peer-review
  • Generative writing
  • The “writing sandwich” (Murray 2005:85): writing, talking, writing
  • Writing “buddies” (Murray and Moore 2006:102)
  • Writers’ groups
  • Engaging in critiques of one another’s work allows you to become effective critics of your own work.

Regional Writing Centre

resources
Resources
  • Ebest, S.B., Alred, G., Brusaw, C.T. and Oliu, W.E. (2005) Writing from A to Z: The Easy-to-use Reference Handbook, 5th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Hacker, D. (2006) A Writer’s Reference, 6th edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press.
  • Regional Writing Centre, UL http://www.ul.ie/rwc/
  • Strunk, W. and White, E.B. (2000) The Elements of Style, 4th ed. New York: Longman.
  • Using English for Academic Purposes http://www.uefap.com/index.htm
  • The Writer’s Garden http://www. cyberlyber.com/writermain.htm
  • The OWL at Purdue http://owl.english.purdue.edu/
  • The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://www.unc.edu/depts /wcweb/handouts/index.html

Regional Writing Centre

works cited
Works cited
  • Dartmouth Writing Program (2006) “Logic and Argument” [Online], available: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~writing/materials/student/toc.shtml [accessed 08 Jan. 2008].
  • Elbow, P. (1998) Writing without Teachers (2nd edition). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Murray, R. (2005) Writing for Academic Journals. UK: Open University Press.
  • Murray, R. (2006) How to Write a Thesis (2nd edition). UK: Open University Press.
  • Murray, R. and Moore, S. (2006) The Handbook of Academic Writing: A Fresh Approach. UK: Open University Press.

Regional Writing Centre