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Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University,

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Presentation on theme: "Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Academic writing: It’s a skill, not an art Theresa Bell, Writing Centre Coordinator © Royal Roads University, 2013

2 What is Academic Writing? At RRU, academic writing: Provides an in-depth, evidence-based analysis of a topic – Demonstrates your critical thinking on the topic Is clear, concise, and easy to understand – Avoids assumptions of reader knowledge/experience Demonstrates the outcomes for the assignment Consistently and correctly follows the APA style rules Academic writing at RRU 2

3 Focus is on your thoughts and experiences o Present your thoughts on a reading, discuss a personal experience, apply a theory to a real-life example, or some other focus that asks you to think about and explain your thoughts and experiences Use the first person voice (I, me, my) Usually less formal than a standard research paper Personal/reflective papers 3

4 Informs or introduces your reader to a subject Expository paper explains things to your reader Doesn't argue a position but rather explains the issue o E.g., an expository essay might present an overview of the differing views on what should be done to address a specific topic, whereas an argumentative essay will choose which approach is the most appropriate. Expository papers 4

5 Strives to convince your reader of a position by using statements to establish a claim, and then supports the statements with research evidence using sound reasoning. E.g., Emotional intelligence is a key factor to consider when assessing someone’s leadership potential. Synonyms: appeal, assert, claim, contend, defend, demonstrate, display, establish, explain, justify, persuade, present, reason, show Argumentative papers 5

6 Highlight your critical examination or analysis of a topic in order to interpret the strengths and weaknesses of a debate. Often uses a compare-and-contrast model E.g., if asked to analyse two models, you would look at each author’s claims, the evidence they use to support the model, consider the assumptions, and then demonstrate how the models are similar and different. Synonyms: explain, consider, determine, dissect, divide, estimate, evaluate, figure, interpret, investigate, resolve, scrutinize 6 Analytical papers

7 What is Critical Thinking? “Good critical thinking is skillful and responsible thinking in which you study the problem from all angles, and then exercise your best judgement to draw conclusions." (Retrieved from tthink.htm) tthink.htm What is critical thinking? 7

8 The Oreo cookie approach Research evidence Analysis of connection between evidence and claim Claim (assertion) Your demonstration of your critical thinking skills that answers the “so what?” or “why should I care?” Your idea Other scholars’ work 8

9 Creating a Document Plan Helps you stay on track Identifies missing research Identifies jumps in logic/assumptions of understanding before you start to write Helps prevent writer’s block Creating a document plan 9

10 1. Choose Topic & Brainstorm Ideas Royal Roads University Peacocks Focus on teamwork Online & F2F learning Gardens Applied programs Returning learners Choose topic and brainstorm ideas 10

11 11

12 Thesis Statement/Research Question Should be specific because it outlines the parameters of the study e.g., Royal Roads University is unique amongst post- secondary institutions on Vancouver Island because of its history, Hatley Park, wildlife, and educational programs. Determine thesis statement 12

13 Edit and theme ideas 13

14 1. History ◦ First Nations ◦ Heritage trees ◦ The Dunsmuirs ◦ Royal Roads Military College ◦ Quarterdeck ◦ Royal Roads University 2. Hatley Park ◦ Unique ecosystems ◦ Gardens ◦ Hiking paths 3. Wildlife ◦ Cougars ◦ Deer ◦ Peacocks 4. Educational programs ◦ Focus on life-long learning ◦ Workplace learners ◦ Applied focus ◦ Blended model of delivery Group ideas 14

15 Create the plan 15

16 I.Introduction - Includes thesis statement II. Main point A - Oreo cookie III. Main point B - Oreo cookie IV. Main point C - Oreo cookie V. Conclusion Linear outline Say what you’re going to say Say it Say what you’ve said, what you’ve learned, and why it’s important 16

17 What is Academic Writing? At RRU, academic writing: Provides an in-depth, evidence-based analysis of a topic – Demonstrates your critical thinking on the topic Is clear, concise, and easy to understand – Avoids assumptions of reader knowledge/experience Demonstrates the outcomes for the assignment Consistently and correctly follows the APA style rules Academic writing at RRU 17

18 Questions?

19 Ask a question: (250) , ext. 4353/ Contact the Writing Centre 19


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