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Postgraduate writing: seminar 3 John Morgan

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1 Postgraduate writing: seminar 3 John Morgan
Introductions Postgraduate writing: seminar 3 John Morgan

2 Intros you’ve written or read
What kind of information do you need to include in an introduction? Think in terms of essays, reports and journal papers. What features can you remember of papers you have read, especially those which were more memorable or inspiring to read?

3 Some specific concerns
Where do we begin and how do we structure the introduction? A good introduction can be used as a reference throughout the writing, as it sets the scope of the paper. It may not be possible to write the introduction before the body of the essay as you may not know what you are going to say.

4 Predicting content A good introduction tells the reader what the essay will be about. If you read an introduction on its own you should be able to safely predict the content of the paper and assess whether it will be useful to read. If you can’t do this, the introduction should be edited to suit what you have written in the body of the essay.

5 Create A Research Space (CARS)
John Swales (1990: 141) Through “genre analysis”, Swales identified common structures of biomedical research papers that have since been identified as being common in most academic fields

6 Three “moves” Establishing a territory:
providing background information that previews the main problem. Establishing a niche: providing details of the nature of the problem, or topic to be researched, from your own perspective, or from the perspective of how you are interpreting a set question. Occupying the niche: indicating objectives and/or structure and/or findings as a result of your specific focus on the problem or topic.

7 Your own introduction framework
Look at the notes or draft plans for an assignment or paper you are working on. Alternatively, you could look at a completed piece of work. Or even a paper in a published journal or a short paper in an edited textbook collection.

8 Consider… Can you see patterns like this running through the work?
Can you see variations on this theme? Why would you choose to follow or vary this type of structure? Do you have reasons for your choices?

9 To get started … …think about your topic in terms of:
background needed to introduce it to your reader; the main academic problem related to this issue; your objectives in writing about this issue.

10 Bibliography Hill, S.S., Soppelsa, B.F. & West, G.K. (1982). “Teaching ESL Students to Read and Write Experimental Research Papers.” TESOL Quarterly 16: In Swales, J.M. (1990). National School Boards Foundation (2000). “Safe and Smart: Research and Guidelines for Children’s Use of the Internet.” [on-line] (Accessed 26/10/05). Swales, J. (1990). Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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