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WRITING IN ACADEMIA. Discipline course assignment.

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Presentation on theme: "WRITING IN ACADEMIA. Discipline course assignment."— Presentation transcript:


2 Discipline course assignment

3 DISCIPLINE Abstractive, logical, hypothetical reasoning, universal deduction Empirical, data-driven, induction theory driven, normative Characteristics Detached? Engaged? Use of authorial comment? Authoritative: it is certain that, it is clear that. Tentative: it would seem that, it may be probable Use of evaluative comments or modals? Surprising, concerning, ought, should Use of first person or not? Passive or active voice? Conventions Social scientist Economist Auditor Journalist Problem solver Evaluator of other research Researcher Student writer persona What characterises the discourse in your discipline? What are the dominant modes of enquiry and thinking? What types of evidence and data are important? What are the fundamental conventions of writing in your discipline? What persona should students, writing in your discipline, adopt?

4 Writing in a specific course within a particular discipline: academics’ expectations and students’ perceptions/ understandings Students switch between disciplines and courses. Within each there may be different assumptions about academic knowledge, learning and the nature of writing. These assumptions impact on the specific writing requirements for assignments but are seldom made explicit. If the specific writing requirements are not made explicit students end up confused or, they use the explicit requirements from one course, sometimes inappropriately, in another.

5 Designing writing assignments thinking about goals Is the writing assignment linked to significant course objectives? In designing the assignment work backwards from the goals. What do you want your students to do?  Apply theory to a specific context/scenario  Explore an aspect of the course material in more depth  Think critically about/evaluate a model/practice  Practise specific modes of thinking/research  provide analysis and synthesis  Respond to a contentious issue - develop an argument

6 Designing writing assignments think about rhetorical elements What is the situation that gives rise to the writing? Who is the writer in this situation? What kind of ethos should he/she adopt? Who is the audience? What is the purpose? What is the genre or form of writing?

7 If situation, writer, audience is specified Is there congruence between these elements, the purpose, topic and genre? Will students have the resources required to assume the specified writer’s persona? (For example, a journalist writing for a business publication).

8 Incongruity Situation: writing for a professional publication Writer: a professional Audience: fellow professionals Genre: article Instructions re writing requirements (abstract, findings, discussion of findings) are appropriate to an academic article which might appear in a peer reviewed journal but incongruous for an article in a professional publication (which is more smart, casual than tuxedo and tie).

9 Think about genre What are the genres most characteristic of your discipline? Which genre will work best in terms of the:  Goals  Purpose  Organisation  Topic of the writing assignment? Essay [what is this?] Report [what type?] Article [what type?] Case study Proposal

10 Essay topics Personal and professional ethics – should there be a difference. WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF A CONVERGENCE BETWEEN IFRS AND US GAAP? 2011 is just a year away and we are expected to see a uniform set of global accounting standards. Discuss the issues related to the convergence between IFRS and US GAAP. Also indicate how the changes will impact the South African accounting environment. Specifically identify which South African companies and industries will be significantly impacted by the proposed convergence and which will not feel the impact of the changes much and clearly indicate how they will be impacted. Where possible illustrate your essay with relevant examples. (Calculations are not required) What advice could you offer UCT contemplating the design and establishment of a comprehensive EAP to ensure that the interventions are successful. In your discussion address the following points, as a guide: [7 different points including recommendation]

11 Essay topic Read through the article provided and answer the following 2 questions concisely in 2 short essays. PART B: Imagine you have just been hired to launch a brand new line of motor-cycles in South Africa. Put together a short strategy outlining the brand you would introduce, and your marketing decisions. A strong strategy would cover each of the following aspects: The name of your brand and short description of the bike and its features The current environment in South Africa that affects your decision(s) A description of who you would choose to aim the sales of your motorbike at An explanation as to why you would choose this specific group of people A description of how you would want them to perceive your brand What your marketing message is & how you plan to communicate this Be sure to use insights gained from reading the provided article. Feel free to reference any additional articles or papers you feel added to your decisions. You are encouraged to enhance the presentation of your assignments with relevant images, attractive front covers or appendices where necessary. {max 1000 words}

12 Instructions for writing essays The essay should be structured with separate numbered sections, headings and numbered sub- sections. Write an essay based on the following questions. Begin your report by briefly identifying and describing the... a, b, c and d. There are no hard and fast rules about how a philosophical essay should be structured, but the following might be a helpful guide: Introduction, arguments, conclusion

13 Think about the topic: conceptualisation and expression Does the topic of the assignment fit the purpose? Is the topic expressed clearly and unambiguously? If quotations are used, do these serve a meaningful purpose, i.e. provide a context, springboard for thinking? Or are they gratuitous, possibly misleading.

14 Think about the rubric – assessment categories and criteria Rubric should be designed specifically for the task. Categories and/or criteria must be linked both to the goals which inform the assignment and the assignment per se. Rubric must be useful to the writers and the markers.

15 Criterion Relevance and depth of research No indication of how this is to be evaluated/measured Topic required minimal research: essentially a comparison between prior and current rules governing the composition of a specific body and some discussion of the implications thereof

16 Criterion Interest value No indication of how this will be measured. What characterises exceptional interest value? What characterises minimal interest value? If topic is assigned and the aspects to be addressed are specified, surely this predetermines, to a large extent, the interest value? What role, therefore, will the writer play in creating interest value?

17 Needs workCompetent Substantial SophisticatedMarks awarded Criterion 1 (20%)  description  ….  description  ….  description  ….  description  …. /20 Criterion 2 (20%) /20 Criterion 3 (30%) /30 Criterion 4 (30%) /30

18 Needs workCompetent Substantial Sophisticated Content 60% Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4  description  ….  description  ….  description  ….  description  …. Structure 25% Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Language and style 10% Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Referencing 5% Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4 Presentation - Criterion 1 Criterion 2 Criterion 3 Criterion 4

19 Needs workCompetent Substantial Sophisticated Research /evidence (20%) Information is taken from sources without any interpretation/evaluation. Viewpoints of experts are taken as fact, without question. Information is taken from sources with some interpretation/evaluation, but not enough to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis. Viewpoints of experts are taken as mostly fact, with little questioning Information is taken from sources with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis. Viewpoints of experts are subject to questioning Information is taken from sources with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis. Viewpoints of experts are questioned thoroughly

20 Writing assignment Rubric Instructions re citation convention, layout/presentation length Topic clearly, unambiguously stated Rhetorical elements specified

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