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Data commentary Why do data commentary? Highlight the results. Assess standard theory, common beliefs, or general practice in the light of the given.

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Presentation on theme: "Data commentary Why do data commentary? Highlight the results. Assess standard theory, common beliefs, or general practice in the light of the given."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Data commentary

3 Why do data commentary? Highlight the results. Assess standard theory, common beliefs, or general practice in the light of the given data. Compare and evaluate different data sets. Assess the reliability of the data in terms of the methodology that produced it. Discuss the implications of the data. From: Swales, J. and Feak, C. (1994). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. p. 78. Help the reader to interpret the data Bailey, S. (2011) Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students (3rd ed.). Routledge: Oxon, p. 162.

4 Sample Table 5 shows the most common modes of infection for U.S. businesses. As can be seen, in the majority of cases, the source of viral infection can be detected, with disks being brought to the workplace from home being by far the most significant. However, it is alarming to note that the source of nearly 30% of viral infections cannot be determined. While it may be possible to eliminate home- to-workplace infection by requiring computer users to run antiviral software on diskettes brought from home, business are still vulnerable to major data loss, especially from unidentifiable sources of infection. From: Swales, J. and Feak, C. (1994). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. p. 78.

5 Structure of Data Commentary Three main points: 1.Location elements and/or summary statements 2.Highlighting statements 3.Discussions (implications, problems, exceptions)

6 Structure of Data Commentary 1 Location elements and summaries

7 Table 5 shows the most common modes of infection for U.S. businesses. (active) The most common modes of infection are shown in table 5. (passive) Location elementSummary

8 Common verbs used: Show Provide Give Illustrate Display Present Summarize Reveal Demonstrate Indicate Suggest

9 What kind of a summary statement? Indicative or Informative?

10 Indicative: stating the obvious Table 5 shows the most common modes of infection for U.S. businesses. Informative: a summary of the data Table 5 shows that home discs are the major source of computer viruses.

11 The as –clause A common way to introduce an informative summary is using the As –clause As shown in table 5, home disks are the most frequent source of infection. Note the difference in the following statements!!! As it has been proved, the theory may have practical importance. (cause/effect) As has been proved, the theory may have practical importance. (announce or confirm)

12 The as –clause and prepositions (announcing/confirming) As shown IN table 3, As can be seen FROM the data in table 3, As shown BY the data in table 3, As described ON page 4

13 Structure of Data Commentary 2 Highlighting statements

14 Purpose: to demonstrate that You can spot trends or regularities in the data You can separate more important findings from those less important You can make claims of appropriate strength You do not: repeat the details in words attempt to cover ALL the information claim more than is reasonable or defensible Swales, J. and Feak, C. (1994). Academic Writing for Graduate Students. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor. p. 86.

15 Sample again… Table 5 shows the most common modes of infection for U.S. businesses. As can be seen, in the majority of cases, the source of viral infection can be detected, with disks being brought to the workplace from home being by far the most significant. However, it is alarming to note that the source of nearly 30% of viral infections cannot be determined. While it may be possible to eliminate home-to-workplace infection by requiring computer users to run antiviral software on diskettes brought from home, business are still vulnerable to major data loss, especially from unidentifiable sources of infection. Red text = highlight statements

16 Highlighting requires The writer to be cautious and sometimes critical. The writer to know how to express this caution. *Hedging*

17 So how do we hedge? 1. Different levels of probablitity It is certain that It is almost certain that It is very probable/highly likely thata reduced speed limit It is probable/likely thatwill result in fewer It is possible thatinjuries. It is unlikely that It is very unlikely/highly Improbably that

18 2.Distance: Compare the following Consumers have less cofidence in the economy today than 10 years ago. Consumers seem to have less confidence in the economy. Consumers appear to have less confidence in the economy. It would seem/appear that consumers have less confidence in the economy. Another alternative is to make the data appear soft: On the limited data available,a lower speed limit In the veiw of some experts,may reduce highway According to this preliminary study, fatalities.

19 3. Weaker verbs: This does not refer to the overused verbs (be, have, get, try) but to those weaker in strength. For example: Deregulation caused the banking crisis. (strong) Deregulation contributed to the banking crisis (weaker)

20 4. Generalizations (covered in chapter 2.7)

21 Cocktails anyone? These 4 elements are usually combined to construct something reasonable and defensible: Start with a big claim: The use of seat belts prevents physical injuries in car accidents.

22 Take The use of seat belts prevents physical injuries in car accidents then… Change: prevents reduce(weaker verb) reduces may reduce(weaker still) Add:In some circumstances(weaken the generalization) certain types of injury(weakening the generalization) According to simulation(adding distance – softening) studies

23 End result? According to simulation studies, in some circumstances the use of seat belts may reduce certain types of physical injuries in car accidents. = confidently uncertain

24 Exercise 1 - Highlighting

25 Structure of Data Commentary 3 Discussions (implications, problems, exceptions, etc.)

26 Discussions… Use qualifying language, just like in highlighting phrases. Usually follow the following structure Explanations and/or implicationsusually required Unexpected results or unsatisfactory dataif necessary Possible further research or possible predictionsif appropriate

27 Sample again Table 5 shows the most common modes of infection for U.S. businesses. As can be seen, in the majority of cases, the source of viral infection can be detected, with disks being brought to the workplace from home being by far the most significant. However, it is alarming to note that the source of nearly 30% of viral infections cannot be determined. While it may be possible to eliminate home-to-workplace infection by requiring computer users to run antiviral software on diskettes brought from home, business are still vulnerable to major data loss, especially from unidentifiable sources of infection. Red text = implications

28 Exercise 2 – the whole enchilada

29 Homework Chapter 2.11 – Visual information


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