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Academic Writing (English Language Focus) Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Writing (English Language Focus) Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Writing (English Language Focus) Caroline Malthus Te Puna Ako Learning Centre

2 Objectives To clarify academic writing expectations at Unitec To explore the academic writing process

3 Session Plan Introductions Your questions, lecturer expectations Exploring question and marking criteria The writing process Assignment structure Key aspects of written academic language

4 Introductions your name? What programme are you studying? Your comments on the text or image?

5 Your questions about academic writing? e.g. What are lecturers looking for? How will I be marked?

6 What kind, how much and how often? Variety of tasks (report, essay, case study, literature review, proposal etc.) words 2-3 major assignments per course

7 Lecturer’s expectations Put yourself in the shoes of the lecturer Which do you think are the most important aspects of an assignment from the lecturer’s point of view? Rank from 1 = most important to 9 = least important

8 How will the assignment be marked? Content – Theory / Practice split? Research / Reading Analysis Presentation Referencing

9 An assignment: Is written for an educated, non- specialist reader Outlines writer’s thinking on the topic Presents a reasoned discussion Backs up argument with supporting references Follows a logical structure

10 Steps in the assignment writing process Do research to get more ideas for your answer Brainstorm ideas Make a plan to guide research Proofread and edit Analyse the question Sort ideas by planning the essay structure Prepare references Write drafts

11 Suggested process 1.Analyse the question or task 2.Brainstorm ideas 3.Make a plan to guide research 4.Do research to get more ideas for your answer 5.Sort ideas by planning the essay structure 6.Write drafts 7.Proofread and edit Prepare references from Stage 4 onwards

12 Assignment question With reference to the relevant literature, critically discuss the following statement: ‘Managers are not leaders’. Briefly discuss the question….

13 Analysing the Question Break it down – how many parts? Consider task words, content words, limiting words Work out the balance between description and analysis Consider different perspectives on the question

14 Analysing an assignment: Task wordsContent wordsCondition / Limit words 14

15 Assignment question With reference to the relevant literature, critically discuss the following statement: ‘Managers are not leaders’. What are the task, content and limiting words?

16 With reference to the relevant literature, critically discuss the following statement: ‘Managers are not leaders’.

17 Making Plans Brainstorm based on what you know Make a one-page plan - show all key ideas and start to prioritise Include completion dates for different stages A handy planning toolA handy planning tool

18 Introduction Aspect 1: Aspect 2: Aspect 3: (etc.) Final summary and conclusion Background, definitions of key terms and concepts

19 Exercise: from analysing a text…. what are the key features of academic writing?

20 Structure: Introduction –Preamble: explain general context and themes –Then outline your plan for the assignment: “This essay examines the statement that ‘Managers are not leaders’ by firstly defining the two concepts and then identifying some of the key differences between them in terms of their respective tasks, skills and functions. This is followed by a discussion of current theory on leadership and management. It is argued that the best approach involves a combination of management and leadership that is both timely and appropriate to the organisational context.

21 Body Paragraph = key structure of academic writing Central idea Explanations Evidence Links to previous paragraphs Section / Paragraph Headings: to use, or not to use?

22 The paragraph The key structure in academic writing Topic sentence Explanation Evidence Examples

23 Conclusion Briefly summarises the main points Restates the central argument Refers back to the topic May highlight implications May make suggestions / recommendations

24 Aspects of academic language Use signposts to indicate where you’re going Give opinions in impersonal ways Indicate degrees of certainty Refer to authors in present, regardless of date ALWAYS check specific guidelines to see what’s appropriate for each assignment, lecturer and course.

25 Tentative language Physical fitness is the most important factor in athletic performance (Lardner, 2003; Newcastle & Lind, 2005). There is some evidence to suggest that physical fitness may be one of the most important factors in athletic performance (Newcastle & Lind, 2005).

26 Presentation Follows all presentation guidelines Clear and easy to follow Cover page included In text references and reference list Checked for spelling, grammar and punctuation

27 Referencing What’s referencing? Why do we need to reference? How do we do it? Check programme handbook for guidelines on referencing system to follow

28 APA (6 th ed.) referencing style In-text Direct quotations Paraphrases Reference list

29 Referencing – in text A manager is often portrayed as a procedural administrator/supervisor – an individual in an organisation with recognised formal authority who plans, coordinates and implements the existing directions of the organisation (Koontz, O’Donnell & Weihrich, 1986). A leader, on the other hand, is defined as someone who occupies a position of influence within a group that “extends beyond supervisory responsibility and formal authority” (Vecchio, Hearn & Southey, 1994, p. 504). These definitions make it clear that…

30 What’s the plus and minus here? Dickson (2004) maintains that television violence has a marked effect on child development. Brown (2010) comments that children who watch a great deal of televised violence could be affected for many years. The Broadcasting Tribunal (2009) recommends that we should “limit the number of hours per week of programmes showing violence” (p. 16).

31 Reference List Colvard, J. (2003). Managers vs leaders. Government Executive. Retrieved from: ed/0703/070703ff.htm ed/0703/070703ff.htm Koontz, H., O’Donnell, C. and H. Weihrich (1994). Essentials of Management. New York: McGraw- Hill.

32 Reports Title page Abstract / Executive Summary Table of Contents Introduction Procedure / Methods Body (Findings / Discussion / Results) Conclusions Recommendations References Appendices

33 Reports Introduction, body, conclusion structure Paragraphs – may use headings Respond to a set topic or question In-text references and reference list Often analyse a current situation Report structure depends on subject Numbered sections under headings May use bullet points In-text references and reference list Essays

34 What should you do if… You don’t understand some of the concepts in the question The question requires use of difficult (or uninteresting!) reading material You are required to complete the task in a word length / time span that you think is unreasonable The assignment task is in the form of a question and you are not sure of the exact answer The format of the assignment is new to you

35 To help you work on writing Lecturers for course-specific questions Classmates for clarification Te Puna Ako Learning Centre / Maia / Pacific centre workshops and appointments Te Puna Ako Moodle site Library staff for information search Read examples of assignments

36 Objectives To clarify academic writing expectations at Unitec To explore the academic writing process


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