ACADEMIC WRITING GUIDE

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1 Bratislava, Slvakia ACADEMIC WRITING GUIDE 2010 A Step-by-Step Guide t Writing Academic Papers by Anne Whitaker September 2009

2 Table f Cntents Why Academic Writing... 2 The Writing Prcess... 4 Chsing and Narrwing a Tpic... 4 Thinking (Brainstrming)... 6 Ding Research... 6 Thesis Statement... 7 Planning Basic Outline... 7 Planning Taking Ntes... 9 Planning Detailed Outline Writing the First Draft The Intrductin Bdy Paragraphs The Cnclusin Cnnectin between Ideas Revising Editing Prfreading Paper Checklist Example Paper Bibligraphy... 28

3 Why Academic Writing Academic writing is, essentially, the writing yu have t d fr yur university curses. Yur instructrs may have different names fr academic writing assignments (essay, paper, research paper, term paper, argumentative paper/essay, analysis paper/essay, infrmative essay, psitin paper), but all f these assignments have the same gal and principles. Gal f Academic Writing: Why d students have t write papers? The truth is that academic papers are a specially-designed trture instrument. They are preferred because instructrs are nt directly invlved in the trture. Usually students trture themselves by waiting until the last minute t write their papers and by nt knwing what they are ding. That's why this guide was written. A paper is nt suppsed t be trture. Seriusly. The thing abut trture was a jke. An academic writing assignment is suppsed t be yur pprtunity t explre smething that interests yu frm yur curse. Yu have freedm t chse a tpic, empty pages n which t express yur wn ideas, and an audience that is interested in reading what yu think. In an academic writing assignment, yu will start by asking a gd questin, then find and analyze answers t it, and chse yur wn best answer(s) t discuss in yur paper. Yur paper will share yur thughts and findings and justify yur answer with lgic and evidence. S the gal f academic writing is nt t shw ff everything that yu knw abut yur tpic, but rather t shw that yu understand and can think critically abut yur tpic (and this is what earns yu a gd grade). Plus, yu will develp skills in researching, evaluating infrmatin, rganizing, arguing, respnding t thers arguments, analyzing, and expressing yurself clearly in writing (in English t). These skills, by the way, are all valued by emplyers. 10 Principles f Academic Writing Clear Purpse. The gal f yur paper is t answer the questin yu psed as yur tpic. Yur questin gives yu a purpse. The mst cmmn purpses in academic writing are t persuade, analyze/synthesize, and infrm. Persuasive purpse In persuasive academic writing, the purpse is t get yur readers t adpt yur answer t the questin. S yu will chse ne answer t yur questin, supprt yur answer using reasn and evidence, and try t change the readers pint f view abut the tpic. Persuasive writing assignments include argumentative and psitin papers. Analytical purpse In analytical academic writing, the purpse is t explain and evaluate pssible answers t yur questin, chsing the best answer(s) based n yur wn criteria. Analytical assignments ften investigate causes, examine effects, evaluate effectiveness, assess ways t slve prblems, find the relatinships between varius ideas, r analyze ther peple s arguments. The synthesis part f the purpse cmes in when yu put tgether all the parts and cme up with yur wn answer t the questin. Examples f these assignments include analysis papers and critical analyses. Infrmative purpse In infrmative academic writing, the purpse is t explain pssible answers t yur questin, giving the readers new infrmatin abut yur tpic. This differs frm an analytical tpic in that yu d nt push yur viewpint n the readers, but rather try t enlarge the readers view. Sme assignments will have a pre-determined purpse (see the examples abve); fr ther assignments, yu will have t chse a purpse when yu chse a tpic 2

4 (research paper, term paper). And sme assignments may have tw purpses. In all cases, the purpse will be clear at the beginning f yur paper, and yur paper must achieve its purpse in rder t be successful. Audience Engagement. As with all writing, academic writing is directed t a specific audience in mind. Unless yur instructr says therwise, cnsider yur audience t be fellw students with the same level f knwledge as yurself. As students in the field, they are interested in yur tpic, but perhaps nt s interested in reading a paper. S yu will have t engage them with yur ideas and catch their interest with yur writing style. Imagine that they are als skeptical, s that yu must use the apprpriate reasning and evidence t cnvince them f yur ideas. Clear Pint f View. Academic writing, even that with an infrmative purpse, is nt just a list f facts r summaries f surces. Althugh yu will present ther peple s ideas and research, the gal f yur paper is t shw what yu think abut these things. Yur paper will have and supprt yur wn riginal idea abut the tpic. This is called the thesis statement, and it is yur answer t the questin. Single Fcus. Every paragraph (even every sentence) in yur paper will supprt yur thesis statement. There will be n unnecessary, irrelevant, unimprtant, r cntradictry infrmatin (Yur paper will likely include cntradictry r alternative pints f view, but yu will respnd t and critique them t further strengthen yur wn pint f view). Lgical Organizatin. Academic writing fllws a standard rganizatinal pattern. Fr academic essays and papers, there is an intrductin, bdy, and cnclusin. Each paragraph lgically leads t the next ne. The intrductin catches the readers attentin, prvides backgrund infrmatin, and lets the reader knw what t expect. It als has the thesis statement. The bdy paragraphs supprt the thesis statement. Each bdy paragraph has ne main pint t supprt the thesis, which is named in a tpic sentence. Each pint is then supprted in the paragraph with lgical reasning and evidence. Each sentence cnnects t the ne befre and after it. The readers d nt have t wrk t find the cnnectin between ideas. The cnclusin summarizes the paper s thesis and main pints and shws the reader the significance f the paper s findings. Strng Supprt. Each bdy paragraph will have sufficient and relevant supprt fr the tpic sentence and thesis statement. This supprt will cnsist f facts, examples, descriptin, persnal experience, and expert pinins and qutatins. Clear and Cmplete Explanatins. This is very imprtant! As the writer, yu need t d all the wrk fr the reader. The reader shuld nt have t think hard t understand yur ideas, lgic, r rganizatin. English readers expect everything t be dne fr them; yur thughts and thught prcesses shuld be clearly and cmpletely explained. Effective Use f Research. Yur paper shuld refer t a variety f current, highquality, prfessinal and academic surces. Yu will use yur research t supprt yur wn ideas; therefre, it must be integrated int yur writing and nt presented separately. That means that surce material will be intrduced, analyzed, explained, and then cited. Research and APA Style Guide 2010 cvers this tpic in depth. Crrect APA Style. All academic papers shuld fllw the guidelines f the American Psychlgical Assciatin as fund in Research and APA Style Guide 2010, regarding 3

5 in-text citatins, the reference list, and frmat. Writing Style. Because this is yur wrk, yu shuld use yur wn wrds whenever pssible. D nt try t write like a bring, verly frmal schlarly article. Use the natural cnversatinal style that yu wuld use in the classrm. Yur writing shuld be clear, cncise, and easy t read. It is als very imprtant that there are n grammar, spelling, punctuatin, r vcabulary mistakes in academic writing. Errrs cnvey t the reader that yu d nt care. And finally, this rule will verride all the principles: ALWAYS FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS OF YOUR INSTRUCTOR. Every instructr has a reasn fr giving yu an assignment, and each instructr's requirements may differ. Fllw yur instructr s directins t get the mst frm an assignment. The Writing Prcess Yu ve just received yur first academic writing assignment. What d yu d? If yu are a beginning writer, take it step by step. The fllwing writing prcess has wrked fr millins f university students. Chse a tpic. Think (brainstrm). Research. Discver yur thesis. Plan (utline). Write. Revise. Edit. Prfread. This guide will g thrugh each f these steps with yu. Beginning writers shuld fllw this prcess. Hwever, as yu becme mre experienced, yu may find that a different rder wrks best fr yu. That is OK. Yu will als find that yu have t d sme steps mre than nce; fr example, yu may d research befre yu chse a tpic, as yu utline, and as yu revise. Yu will certainly need t revise yur paper several times befre ding the final prfreading. And f curse, yu shuld never stp thinking. Chsing and Narrwing a Tpic Smetimes yur instructr will give yu a list f pssible questins r themes, and ther times yu will have the freedm t chse yur wn tpic. Smetimes the assignment will have a specific purpse (argumentative essay, analysis paper), and ther times yu will have the freedm t determine the purpse (research paper, term paper). This freedm can be bth great and terrifying. If yu have truble chsing what t write abut, start with a few ideas and chse the best ne after several steps. Yu can als cnsult with yur instructr abut the best tpic chice. Hw t Chse a Tpic Think abut things related t the curse that yu are interested in. If there is nthing which interests yu, lk thrugh the textbk, instructr-recmmended resurces, curse slides, handuts, and current peridicals fr pssible ideas. 4

6 Then yu need t narrw yur ideas frm subjects t tpics. A subject is a brad cncept: cnflict management, abrtin, the Cld War, capital budgeting, rganizatinal culture, glbal warming, Tyta s management style, and EU agricultural subsidies are a few examples. These are nt paper tpics; these culd all be the subjects f bks. Narrw a subject by lking at its smaller parts, r by chsing a specific prblem, time perid, r place t cver. Yu may need t d a little general research here if yu d nt knw much abut the subject. Als asking yurself Wh? What? Where? When? Why? and Hw? questins abut the subject can help yu limit the subject and determine yur interests. Ding this with abrtin, fr example, leads t tpics like the reasns American wmen chse abrtin rather than adptin, the psychlgical effects f previus abrtins n wmen wh becme pregnant again, the cnsequences f Pland s ban n abrtins n Plish wmen s lives, slutins t ending the practice f using abrtin as a tl fr gender selectin in India, and whether r nt the mrning after pill shuld be sld t girls under 16. Frm here, chse a tpic which fits the prescribed purpse f yur paper (if there is ne). Specific tpics like these are much mre likely t fit the gal f academic writing and t fit the number f pages allwed in yur paper. Writing yur Tpic as a Questin Once yu have a specific tpic fr yur paper, write yur tpic as the questin which yur paper will answer. Ding this is a great way t fcus yur paper and ensure that yu meet the paper s purpse. In fact, yur purpse will determine the type f questin that yu ask. Fr example, an argumentative paper wuld prbably have a yes/n questin, such as Shuld the U.S. have used the atmic bmb in Wrld War II? r Shuld the mrning after pill be sld t girls under 16? r Shuld animal rgans be used fr human transplants? r Which is a better strategy fr the EU t fllw t encurage change in Burma engagement r islatin? And then, f curse, yur paper wuld argue fr yur answer t the questin. An analytical paper mst likely has a why/hw questin, such as Why has childhd besity been increasing in the United States? r Hw has Pland s ban n abrtins affected wmen s lives? r Hw effective is the article in supprting the authr s thesis? r Hw culd the EU best refrm its agricultural subsidies? And then, f curse, yur paper will analyze the varius answers, justifying yur pint f view t the audience. An infrmative paper ften has a what/why/hw questin, such as What are the negative aspects f wind energy? r What are the causes f anrexia in teenage bys? r Hw can managers evaluate whether t invest mney in a sftware upgrade prject? And then, f curse, yur paper will explain the varius answers, giving the readers a new way f lking at the tpic. Characteristics f a Gd Paper Tpic Yur questin des nt have a simple answer. A gd questin has several alternative answers, r n accepted answer, r maybe an easy but unsatisfactry answer. In ther wrds, there is n ne right answer t yur questin. Yur paper will give and justify yur wn best answer(s), and it will require research and critical thinking t d this. 5

7 Yur questin is wrth answering. The readers will care abut the answer t yur questin. Yur answer will have sme significance. Yur paper will achieve its purpse. Will yur infrmative paper truly give yur readers a new perspective? Will yur readers accept yur analysis in yur analytical paper? Will yur persuasive paper succeed in changing yur readers view? This is especially imprtant t cnsider with persuasive paper tpics. Avid tpics in which arguments are mstly based n (usually unchanging) persnal beliefs, rather than reasn and evidence. Whether abrtin shuld be legalized is such a tpic. Yu are interested in the tpic. Yu will spend a lt f time with this tpic, s chse smething that will nt bre r trture yu. The tpic is the right size fr the length f the paper. Make sure yu will nt have t little r t much t say fr the number f pages allwed. There is enugh (but nt t much) infrmatin available in reliable surces. If yu find t much infrmatin, yu will need t narrw yur tpic further; if yu find t little infrmatin, yu shuld widen yur tpic. Yu have enugh time t d what yu need t d. Hw much time d yu have befre the due date? Yu may have t limit the cmplexity f yur tpic if yu have waited t lng t start. Thinking (Brainstrming) When yu have a tpic, start brainstrming. Write dwn all the pssible answers t yur questin, and write dwn all the infrmatin, pinins, and questins yu have abut yur tpic. Brainstrming will help yu see what yu already knw, what yu think, what yu think yu knw, and what else yu need t find ut abut yur tpic. Writing things dwn als ensures that yu will nt frget yur great ideas later. (Althugh this is a really shrt sectin, it is a very imprtant step!) Ding Research Ding research is cvered n pp f the Research and APA Style Guide. Read them! What yu must remember is that ding gd research takes time. D nt expect t d research nce and find everything that yu need fr yur paper. Research is an n-ging part f the writing prcess. Yu will start nw, ding general research t learn mre abut yur tpic, but yu will cntinue ding research thrughut the writing prcess, as yu discver a thesis, make a basic utline and then a detailed utline, write yur paper, and revise yur paper. Als, d nt be afraid t change yur tpic a little (r a lt) if yur research leads yu in a different directin. T make research mre effective and less time-cnsuming, yu can d three things: Plan yur research befre yur start, using the research guide s tips (pp. 3-4). Set up and fllw a research schedule. Give yurself a set amunt f time t d yur preliminary research. Start wrking n yur paper, and g back t researching later when yu knw exactly what yu need t find. Immediately recrd surce infrmatin. Write dwn the address r bkmark the web page f every gd surce, even if yu are nt sure if yu will use it yu may want t later. 6

8 Thesis Statement The thesis statement is the mst imprtant sentence in yur paper. If smene asked yu, What des yur paper say? yur answer wuld be yur thesis statement. Everything yu write will supprt this statement. A gd thesis statement usually includes Main idea f the paper. ONE idea. The entire paper is based n this statement. Yur pinin r pint f view. The thesis statement is nt a fact nr a questin, but yur view f the tpic and what yu want t say abut it. Purpse f the paper. Frm the thesis, it shuld be clear what the paper will d. Answer t the research questin. Ask yurself the questin and then answer it with yur thesis. Is it truly an answer? (if nt, change the questin r the answer!) An element f surprise. This means that the thesis is interesting, engaging, and perhaps nt s expected. Clarity. It shuld be understandable after ne reading and have n mistakes. When shuld yu write yur thesis statement? It depends n when yu knw the answer t yur research questin. Yu may have an idea befre yu begin researching, yu may discver it as yu research, r yu may nt knw it until yu have almst finished writing yur paper. It s useful t have a thesis idea at the beginning t help yu fcus, but it s als OK t change yur thesis statement as yu g thrugh the writing prcess and learn and think mre abut yur tpic. Planning Basic Outline After yu have a preliminary thesis statement (the answer t yur research questin), yu can make a basic utline. Yu may be able t d this befre ding any research, r yu may need t read mre abut the tpic first. Yu shuld, hwever, have a basic utline befre yu finish researching in rder t ensure that yur paper is fcused n YOUR thughts, nt just yur surces. A basic utline is yur first attempt t rganize the ideas f yur paper. It will help yu fcus yur research and cnsider the rder f yur ideas. T make ne: Chsing and rdering pints 1. Write yur questin and answer (preliminary thesis statement). Dn t wrry abut writing a beautiful, memrable, strng thesis statement yet; just a simple answer t yur questin is enugh t start the basic utline. 2. Write dwn all the reasns/arguments/effects/slutins (each type f paper is different) yu have t answer yur questin and supprt yur thesis. D nt lk at yur surces use yur wn brain. 3. Lk at yur list and rganize the ideas. Sme may be cmbined as ne larger idea; sme may just repeat thers in different wrds. Yu may decide t delete sme t. 4. The remaining ideas will be the main pints f yur paper. These ideas are the sectins f yur paper. 5. Decide hw t rder these pints. What rder will yu fllw chrnlgical, cause 7

9 t effect, prblem t slutin, mst imprtant t least imprtant, weakest t strngest? Which rder will make yur paper the strngest and mst interesting? 6. Yur paper shuld als cver alternative r ppsing viewpints t shw that yu have dne cmplete research and cnsidered all ideas. In this cn sectin, yu will present and refute (argue against) ther views f yur tpic. EXAMPLE BASIC OUTLINE befre research (argumentative paper) Research Questin: Are birth cntrl pills safe fr wmen? Thesis: Birth cntrl pills are safe. Sectins: I. Pills cntain nthing harmful t health. II. Pills bring health benefits t wmen. III. Myths abut birth cntrl pills are wrng. EXAMPLE BASIC OUTLINE befre research (analysis paper) Research Questin: Why has childhd besity increased in the United States? Thesis: Childhd besity has increased in the United States due t the unhealthy envirnment in which many American children are raised. Sectins: I. Children eat mre than in the past. II. Children ften d nt eat healthy meals. III. Children d nt have as much physical activity as in the past. IV. Parents mdel bad habits. V. Others say that fd cmpanies, advertising are respnsible. Breaking sectins int smaller parts 7. Thse are very basic utlines. It is pssible t add mre t them, especially after a little research. Fr each sectin, think f hw much supprt yu have. If yu have a lt f supprting details (facts, examples, expert pinins) and explanatins, then yu will need mre than ne paragraph fr that sectin. Sme sectins, especially yur strngest, need mre than ne paragraph, while thers may have nly ne. 8. Divide yur sectins int smaller pints. Write the idea f each pssible paragraph as a sentence s yu can see hw/whether it still answers the research questin. EXAMPLE BASIC OUTLINE after mre thinking and/r research (argumentative paper) Research Questin: Are birth cntrl pills safe fr wmen? Thesis: Althugh there are sme disadvantages, birth cntrl pills are safe. Sectins: I. Pills cntain nthing harmful t health. II. Pills bring sme health benefits t wmen. IV. Myths abut birth cntrl pills are wrng. 1. They d nt cause varian cancer, but prevent it. 2. They d nt cause breast cancer. 3. It is safe t use them when breastfeeding if dne right. IV. There are sme minr disadvantages, but nt fr healthy wmen. 8 (4 sectins, with a ttal f 6 paragraphs)

10 EXAMPLE BASIC OUTLINE after mre thinking and/r research (analysis paper) Research Questin: Why has childhd besity increased in the United States? Thesis: Childhd besity has increased in the United States due t the unhealthy envirnment in which many American children are raised. Sectins: I. Children eat mre than in the past (prtin sizes have increased). II. Children ften d nt eat healthy meals. 1. Healthy fd is hard t get (expensive + rare). 2. Schls prvide unhealthy fd III. Children d nt have as much physical activity as in the past. 1. Physical activity in schls has decreased. 2. Sme children live in areas unsafe fr utdr activity. 3. Many children watch t much TV. IV. Parents mdel bad habits. 1. Parents d nt have time, mney, r infrmatin t prepare healthy meals. V. Fd cmpanies and advertising may bear sme respnsibility, but parents shuld be able t help children resist them. (5 sectins, with a ttal f 8 paragraphs) Planning Taking Ntes An imprtant part f the research and planning prcess is taking ntes f the infrmatin and ideas that yu find. As yu read a surce, marking and writing dwn the imprtant things that yu read will help yu t remember them and understand them better. It may seem time-cnsuming, but writing the paper will g faster if yu already have all yur ideas marked and written dwn. Start taking ntes frm r n yur surces during r after yur research perid. It s easier t d this after yu have a basic utline. Then yu can rganize the ntes arund the main pints f yur paper. Still, yu will prbably have mre ntes than yu need fr yur paper because yur riginal ideas and rganizatin will change. Where t take ntes On phtcpies r printed Internet dcuments Highlight r underline imprtant infrmatin. Take ntes in the margin. Write dwn yur cmments/questins abut the infrmatin. Nte which main pint frm yur paper the infrmatin supprts (this will help yu when yu are rganizing and writing yur paper later). On a cmputer file Create a separate Wrd dcument fr each sectin f yur paper. Take ntes f imprtant infrmatin frm paper surces. Dn t frget t include the authr s name. Put text cpied frm web pages in qutatin marks. Be very careful this ften leads t unintentinal plagiarism. Dn t frget t include the authr s name and web address. In a ntebk Write the authr's name at the tp f the page. 9

11 Take ntes f imprtant infrmatin. In the margin, nte which main pint frm yur paper the infrmatin supprts. On nte cards Write ne piece f infrmatin n each card. Dn t frget the authr s name and ther surce infrmatin. Put the main pint frm yur paper at the tp f the card s yu can rganize all the ntes later. What t take ntes abut Backgrund infrmatin abut yur tpic which is necessary fr yur paper. Arguments and explanatins which supprt r ppse yur ideas. Facts, examples, expert pinins, and ther supprting details. Hw t take ntes Summarize Write the main pints f the surce in yur wn wrds. Gd fr surces with ideas, but nt many details, related t yur tpic. Paraphrase retell imprtant infrmatin in yur wn wrds; use qutatin marks fr directly cpied wrds. Gd fr details which will supprt/ppse yu. Qute cpy the exact wrds frm the surce. Gd fr strng, exciting passages. Cmment write any questins r ideas yu think f when yu are reading surces. Planning Detailed Outline After ging thrugh yur surces and taking ntes, yu can create a detailed utline by adding details t yur basic utline as well as adding any new pints that yu fund. A detailed utline plans each bdy paragraph f yur paper fr yu, frm main pint t supprting pints t supprting details. Many students wuld prefer t skip this part f the writing prcess and just start writing their papers, since it takes a lt f time, thinking, and re-thinking t develp a gd utline. Well, if yu are an advanced academic writer, g ahead. Writers with a lt f experience knw what wrks best fr them. Hwever, if yu are still learning hw t write academic papers, yu shuld make a detailed utline fr several reasns: Yu will learn whether yu have enugh supprt fr yur thesis statement. Yu will have a map t fllw when writing yur paper. Yu will avid majr rganizatinal prblems in yur paper if yu rganize yur ideas befre yu write. Yu will have a chance t think mre abut yur tpic, refining yur ideas. Sme instructrs will require draft utlines befre yur paper is due, r even final utlines with yur paper, s yu need t knw hw t write utlines. After yu have mastered the academic writing prcess, then yu can decide whether r when t write a detailed utline. Here are the steps t fllw when making yur utline: 1. First, make changes t yur basic utline s thesis and main pints until yu are satisfied with yur ideas and the rder f yur sectins. 2. Then g thrugh yur ntes and find supprting pints fr each sectin f yur utline. 10

12 3. Organize the supprting pints in each sectin. 4. G thrugh yur ntes and add supprting details (facts, examples, expert pinin, descriptins, qutes, etc.) t each pint. Be thrugh s that the reader f yur utline can understand hw the detail supprts the pint. Always include the surce f any research that yu put in yur utline (Authr, year). If yu use the surce s exact wrds in yur utline, use qutatin marks. 5. Nw, based n the amunt f supprting pints and details in each sectin, yu can determine hw many paragraphs yu will need. 6. Divide yur utline int paragraphs, each with a main pint written in sentence frm (preliminary tpic sentence) and list f supprting pints and details. EXAMPLE DETAILED OUTLINE - 3 paragraphs (argumentative paper) Thesis: Althugh there are sme disadvantages, birth cntrl pills are safe. Sectin/Paragraph #1 Pills cntain nthing harmful t wmen s health. 1. Pills cntain hrmnes prduced by wmen s bdies. - Cmbinatin (estrgen+prgestin) and prgestin nly (Planned Parenthd, 2003) - Estrgen activates uterus, thickens walls. Prgesterne helps uterus accept egg (Natinal Cancer Institute, 2003) 2. Pills give wmen the right amunt f hrmnes s they can t get pregnant - Estrgen pill stps egg prductin, prgestin pill will thicken cervical mucus s n fertilizatin (Planned Parenthd, 2003, Basics sectin, para. 2) - Hrmnes fl the bdy int acting as if it s pregnant (Alice, 1998) Sectin/Paragraph #2 Taking birth cntrl pills has benefits fr wmen's health. 1. Avid unwanted pregnancy 2. Imprve skin - less acne, less excess hair (Greenfield, 2004a) 3. Other benefits are fewer varian cysts, and less likelihd f anemia (Greenfield, 2004a) 4. Less painful menstruatin - nt s many cramps, lighter flw (Planned Parenthd, 2003) 5. Wmen can enjy life Sectin III: Myths abut birth cntrl pills are wrng. Paragraph #3 Birth cntrl pills d nt cause varian cancer. 1. On the cntrary, birth cntrl pills help fight against cancer. - Prgestin pill caused increased cell turnver in the varian epithelium, indicating that prgestin might lwer varian cancer risk by activating cancer-preventative mlecular pathways in the vary Duke Cmprehensive Cancer Center ( Oral cntraceptives, 2002). Mre cell turnver means pre-cancerus cells are destryed earlier and faster. - Wmen wh tk pills with mre prgestin had lwer risk f varian cancer than wmen n pills with mre estrgen, but all wmen taking the pill had lwer risk f varian cancer than ther wmen ( Oral cntraceptives, 2002) 2. Sme dctrs even advise wmen t take the pill fr five years because f its benefits in preventing varian cancer (Greenfield, 2004b) 3. The lnger wmen use pill, mre prtectin they have against varian cancer. - Wmen wh used pill fr 1 year had 10-12% less chance f varian cancer. - Wmen wh use it fr 5 years decrease risk f varian cancer by 50%. Centers fr Disease Cntrl and Preventin, Harvard Medical Schl (Natinal Cancer Institute, 2003) 4. Pill can especially help wmen with varian cancer in family histry. 11

13 EXAMPLE DETAILED OUTLINE (infrmative paper) Thesis: Glden Retrievers are valuable as supprt animals. Sectin I: Retrievers are intelligent and thus trainable. Bdy Paragraph 1: Glden Retrievers are ne f the mst intelligent and trainable dg breeds. 1. Hunting dgs in 19th century (Benji, 1992) 2. Very intelligent dgs - In several current studies, Glden Retrievers have cnsistently placed in the tp five breeds when tested fr intelligence (Maximillian, 2003, p. 1238). - First in a survey f 14 intelligence + training categries. Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labradr Retrievers all usually at tp (Huff, 2008). 3. Better behavir than ther intelligent dgs - Mre trainable than G. shepherds and Labs (Huff, 2008) - Only breed with 100% passing rate at bedience schls ( The semi-annual study, 2008). 4. Intelligence and trainability make them successful helping dgs in a variety f tasks. Sectin II: Retrievers are successful in many different prgrams. BP # 2: Retrievers are successful seeing-eye dgs. 1. Retrievers can remember and fllw cmmands. - their ability t effectively assimilate large numbers f training cues and t effectively recall that infrmatin makes them ideal candidates fr seeing-eye purpses (Spt, 2006a, p. 14). - Dgs must remember all cmmands and lcatins, such as busy intersectins, crwded stres, bus stps, etc. - nly takes average f 3 trips fr Retrievers t learn everything (Spt, 2006a) 2. Retrievers gd behavir makes them less likely t react aggressively in stress (Tin, 2008), which is necessary fr seeing-eye dgs wh may encunter stressful situatins. BP #3: Retrievers sense f smell makes them invaluable as drug-sniffing dgs. 1. Retrievers have a great sense f smell. - Can distinguish mre than 150 smells (Benji, 1992) 2. Dispsitin and trainability make them gd sniffing dgs. - Used at Trnt s Pearsn Internatinal Airprt t find drugs since Nw used at mre than 30 airprts and secndary schls in Canada (Save the Pets, n.d.). - US, Japan, Peru, and thers are starting t d this t (numerus articles). BP #4: Retrievers have success in criminal rehabilitatin. 1. Prgrams t raise seeing-eye puppies - Usually raised by a family fr a year befre training (Fid & Rver, 2008) 2. Dr. Dan Canine s prisn prgram (prisners raise puppies) a success - started in 1992, prisners care fr puppies frm 8 weeks t 1 year. - released prisners have a drp in re-ffending rates cmpared t released prisners cnvicted f similar crimes at same time - Prisners gain maturity. Canine says, the emtinal cmmitment necessary t raise a puppy, lve it, then give it away seems t help inmates cpe mre ably with pst-prisn life (Shaggy, 2005, Effect n Prisner sectin, para. 12). 3. S prisners and Retrievers gain skills and maturity. BP #5: Retrievers are successful in therapy prgrams fr the elderly and disabled. 1. Cmpaninship prgrams fr elderly, physitherapy fr disabled with Glden Retrievers were started due t Canine s prgram (Bauwau, 2009). 2. Pets benefit ld r disabled they gain hpe. - Dr. Sandy: The patients reprt feelings f greater ptimism abut their disability, and their hspital stays are shrter than estimated (Zelda, 2007, para. 2). 3. Retrievers = best breed fr this - Other dgs, smaller r mixed, have mre discipline prblems (Bauwau, 2009). 4. Retrievers intelligence and trainability fit these prgrams perfectly, and they give caregivers a sense f respnsibility and hpe. 12

14 Writing the First Draft There are many ways t write the first draft f yur paper. The key is t be prepared befre yu start have a purpse, a thesis, enugh research, and a plan (sme srt f utline). And then, just write. Yu culd start at the beginning and write until the end. Or yu culd write paragraphs separately, in any rder yu like. Many writers d the bdy paragraphs first and save the intrductin and cnclusin fr the end. Advice fr the first draft Read abut the intrductin, bdy, and cnclusin in this guide befre yu start. Knw hw t use surce material (see Research and APA Style Guide, pp ) befre yu start. Then just write! D nt wrry abut perfectin yet. D nt wrry abut grammar. Keep ging! If yu are missing infrmatin, mark the spt and then d mre research later t fill in the gap. Be aware f plagiarism. Write dwn the surce whenever yu use anything frm a surce. D nt wait until the last minute! Yu will need time t revise, edit, and prfread. The Intrductin The intrductin f an academic paper is usually 1-2 paragraphs lng lnger fr lnger papers with mre backgrund infrmatin. In general, yur intrductin shuld d the fllwing things: Gain the immediate attentin f the audience Here are sme (but nt all) f the ways t start an interesting and relevant intrductin: Shrt anecdte that leads t yur tpic Surprising statement/fact that relates t yur tpic Qutatin frm a famus persn r expert that intrduces yur tpic Brief and INTERESTING histrical review f yur tpic Statement which stresses the imprtance f yur tpic Cntradictin smene else s pinin (ppsite f yurs) abut yur tpic D NOT be bring! Use the first sentence (ften called the hk sentence ) t hk the readers interest. D NOT be t general! Immediately dive int yur specific tpic; dn t waste space with a general intrductin f the entire subject area. Remember that yur audience is familiar with the subject area. And never start with the rigins f humankind: Since the beginning f histry! D NOT begin with yur thesis idea! Use the intrductin t build up t yur thesis statement, s it cmes with a little tensin. Prvide any necessary backgrund infrmatin r definitin f any terms. Give nly the histry, facts, r definitins that readers will need t understand yur tpic and thesis. Keep in mind what the audience already knws. 13

15 Use facts/statistics t shw the prblem if necessary. Avid dictinary and encyclpedia definitins if pssible and explain in yur wn wrds what the imprtant cncepts in yur paper mean. Use surce infrmatin t prvide backgrund infrmatin, but nt t answer the research questin r give yur pinin. Make sure that the readers nw knw enugh t fllw yur paper, but nt t much that they have lst the fcus f yur paper. Briefly intrduce the main pints (sectins) f the paper In academic writing, the writer lets the reader knw what t expect. Prvide a brief verview f yur paper s main pints. D NOT supprt r try t prve these pints. D nt g int depth. D NOT just write a ne-sentence list f yur pints. Yu can't summarize a great idea in ne wrd. Have a thesis statement (ften the last sentence) This guide has cvered the thesis statement already, but because it s the mst imprtant sentence f yur paper, we ll g ver it again. In the thesis, Answer the research questin in a clear, straightfrward statement. Make sure the purpse and pint f view f yur paper are clear. D NOT write a lng, wrdy, cnfusing thesis statement (especially d nt try t include all f yur main pints). D NOT annunce yur intentins. Avid This paper will prve r I m ging t write abut Dn t tell the audience what yu are ging t d; just d it. Bdy Paragraphs Bdy paragraphs can be written in many ways, depending n yur purpse. Hwever, each paragraph shuld have ONE pint which supprts the thesis statement. Mst bdy paragraphs will have: Tpic Sentence Usually, but nt always, the first sentence f the paragraph. If it s nt the first sentence, it shuld be very clear which sentence is the tpic sentence. It intrduces the paragraph's main idea, makes yur pint abut this idea, and relates t the thesis statement. The tpic sentence cnnects t the previus paragraph. The tpic sentence is NOT a fact. It has a pint f view. The tpic sentence is NOT smething frm a surce. It is yur idea. Every sentence in the paragraph will supprt this tpic sentence. Explanatin f tpic sentence The sentence(s) after the tpic sentence ften further describe the main idea f the paragraph. Supprt The tpic sentence is supprted by supprting pints, details, and explanatins, ften presented in sandwiches (review pp in Research and APA Style Guide abut 14

16 sandwiching). A bdy paragraph culd have ne t several sandwiches, depending n hw lng and in-depth the detail is. Supprting pints are the ideas that supprt the main pint f the paragraph. These can be written in yur wn wrds and then supprted by details. Specific details are very imprtant t shw the readers that yur ideas are valid. When using facts, examples, studies, experts pinins, etc. be as specific as pssible. Use the expert s names and prfessins. Use names, places, dates and ther specific infrmatin abut examples. Include numbers and dates. Fr scientific studies, explain a little abut hw the study was dne. Use vivid descriptins t make the details clear t the readers. Make sure the details are relevant t yur pint. A cmmn mistake is including misunderstd surce infrmatin that des nt actually supprt the student s pint. Remember that ne example des nt prve smething. Use mre than ne example r surce in a paragraph. Check with yur instructr if yu can als include yur wn persnal experience as a detail. Clear and cmplete explanatins are very imprtant because the readers are expecting yu t explain everything t them. The readers d nt expect t have t think t hard. S explain why/hw the details supprt the tpic sentence, and thus the thesis. Yur explanatin shuld nt just repeat the surce material, but rather interpret and analyze it. Yur explanatin shuld nt simply repeat yur thesis r tpic sentence, but rather explain hw the surce material supprts thse ideas. D NOT rely n surces t much. It s YOUR paragraph, s it shuld cntain yur ideas abut the tpic as well. Lk at the example papers in this guide and the Research and APA Style Guide t see hw the writers balance surce material and their wn ideas abut it in each bdy paragraph. Make sure all yur supprt has a lgical rder and gd cnnectins. Cncluding sentence The last sentence shuld review the bdy paragraph, emphasize the pint and/r thesis again, r prepare the reader fr the next bdy paragraph. D NOT end the paragraph with a surce citatin. End with yur wn idea. A final, imprtant guideline abut bdy paragraphs: N lng bdy paragraphs! It is difficult fr readers t stay fcused n lng blcks f text. ¾ f a page is generally as lng as a paragraph shuld be. If yur paragraph is much lnger, find a lgical way t divide it int tw bdy paragraphs. The Cnclusin The cnclusin may be the shrtest paragraph, but it s als the mst imprtant because this is what the reader will remember. A cnclusin usually des these things: Cnnect t the last sentence f the previus paragraph Use an advanced style. In cnclusin, t summarize, at the end are rather bring and 15

17 typical althugh they will wrk. Try t be mre sphisticated by repeating r cnnecting ideas in anther way. Summarize the findings f yur paper Remind the readers f the paper s main ideas and wrap up yur argument. Restate the thesis in different wrds/phrases. Briefly summarize the main pints f yur paper. Again, say these in a different way, s readers are nt bred by repetitin f the same sentences and phrases. Use yur wn thughts, nt yur surces. The place fr surce supprt was in the bdy paragraphs, nt the cnclusin. D NOT write any new infrmatin, pints, r supprt in the cnclusin. Shw the significance f yur findings Explain why yur paper is imprtant What des it mean? What des it slve? What des it say abut yur tpic? What des it shw abut the future f yur tpic? What shuld the readers take away frm yur paper? End with a strng, memrable cncluding statement(s) Als knwn as the Ww statement, the last sentence(s) f yur paper shuld make yur readers say, Ww! I m glad I read this paper. There are several ways t d this: End with the significance f yur paper, as described abve. Relate yur cnclusin t the hk sentence(s) frm yur intrductin. This can be a very effective way f wrapping up yur paper. End with an idea fr the reader t think abut a predictin r recmmendatin perhaps. D NOT ask a questin that leaves the reader uncertain. The purpse f academic writing is nt t cnfuse the reader, but t enlighten the reader. D NOT be t general. Stay fcused n yur specific tpic. DO NOT be t shcking, unbelievable, sweet, r bvius. Cnnectin between Ideas Because academic papers shuld have a clear rganizatinal structure, thrughut yur paper, yu need t shw the readers hw yur ideas are cnnected between paragraphs and between sentences. Often this happens naturally as yu write; hwever, smetimes yu will need t make the cnnectin clearer t the reader. Here are 3 ways t d this: Prnuns (he/she/they/this/that/these/thse) Use a prnun t refer t a nun frm the previus sentence. Teachers shuld nt put grades n essays. This wuld eliminate students' tears. Angela Rizzi argues that grades d nt mtivate students. She thinks teachers shuld nly write cmments, but nt grades. Repeated wrds/ideas Use the same wrd r a synnym in the next sentence. The plicy n changing classes is t strict. Accrding t the plicy, a student must get the signatures f 7 different peple befre mving t anther class. Transitin wrds 16

18 These wrds clearly state the relatinship between tw sentences. Here are sme transitins; if yu are nt sure what a wrd means, lk it up in a dictinary. t start first, first f all, t begin with t add anther idea in additin, furthermre, als, mrever, what's mre t add a mre imprtant idea mre imprtantly, what's wrse, what's mre t add yur last idea finally, mst f all, mst imprtantly t cntrast with the previus idea hwever, nevertheless, n the ther hand t shw the result f the previus idea therefre, thus, cnsequently, as a result t emphasize an idea in fact, in particular t give an example f the previus idea fr instance, fr example, t illustrate t shw a time relatinship between ideas first, secnd, then, next, finally While they are very helpful, there are tw big prblems with using these wrds: Students ver-use them. T many transitin wrds at the beginning f sentences can be annying. D NOT use a lt f transitin wrds. One r tw in a paragraph is enugh. Students ften use them incrrectly. Please see the bx belw abut prper use f these wrds. USING TRANSITIONS Sentence. Transitin, sentence. OR Sentence; transitin, sentence. Transitins usually cnnect tw sentences. Therefre, they will usually appear at the beginning f a cmplete sentence after a perid r semi-cln. The law des nt stp teenagers frm drinking therefre it is ineffective. The law des nt stp teenagers frm drinking, therefre it is ineffective. The law des nt stp teenagers frm drinking; therefre, it is ineffective. The law des nt stp teenagers frm drinking. Therefre, it is ineffective. WRONG WRONG RIGHT! RIGHT! Transitins must als be fllwed by a cmma and a cmplete sentence. Many rganizatins use English, fr example, the UN, the EU, and NATO. WRONG Many rganizatins use English. Fr example, the UN, the EU, and NATO. WRONG Many rganizatins use English. Fr example, it is ne f the fficial languages f the UN, the EU, and NATO. RIGHT Revising Yur first draft is cmplete, but yur paper is far frm finished. The next step is t revise yur paper strengthen the cntent. Start this at least a week befre yur paper is due. In fact, yu dn t need t wait until yu have a cmplete first draft t start revising. Yu can revise individual paragraphs as yu finish them as well. Knw what t fix Befre yu can revise, yu need t knw what t fix. Hw can yu find that ut? Get feedback. In sme curses, yu and yur classmates will be asked t exchange papers t read and cmment n them in class r nline. If nt, ask a friend t read it. Yu can als ask yur instructr t lk at parts f yur paper (mst instructrs are happy t help if yu have started yur paper early. They may nt be willing if yu ask fr advice at the last-minute). Listen t the advice f yur reviewers, but remember that in the end, yur paper is yur respnsibility. 17

19 Fix it Refer t the paper requirements r grading criteria r lk at the checklist in this guide. Read yur paper and lk at the requirements r checklist at the same time. Check ff what yu have, and mark what yu need t fix. Outline. Make an utline f yur first draft by listing the main pint f each tpic sentence. This will shw yu whether yur ideas are clearly rganized and whether they fcus n answering the research questin (the thesis). Read yur paper fr fcus. Read every sentence f yur paper. After each, ask yurself, Des this supprt the thesis statement? If it desn t, crss it ut r change it. [Or cnsider changing yur thesis.] Read each bdy paragraph fr supprt. Read a bdy paragraph, and then read its tpic sentence again. Did the paragraph supprt that sentence enugh? Were there enugh specific details facts, examples, descriptins, expert pinins? Re-read yur paper as the audience. Imagine that yu are seeing yur paper fr the first time (this is ften hard t d, which is why it s gd t have anther persn read yur paper). As yu read, write dwn any cmments r questins yur audience might have. Make sure that the tne fits the audience will the audience be ffended r attracted by yur writing? Once yu knw what t fix, yu must d it. Be daring. Yu will nt have a gd paper if yu are afraid t change things. It may be easier t cmpletely re-type yur paper while just lking at yur first draft. Hw shuld yu change yur paper? Erase wrds, sentences r paragraphs; eliminate all unnecessary r irrelevant ideas. Add wrds, sentences r paragraphs; add new pints, details, r explanatins. Rerganize wrds, sentences r paragraphs; put everything in a lgical rder. Re-write wrds, sentences r paragraphs; keep yur ideas but present them better. Revise it again If there is time (make time!), revise yur secnd draft. And keep revising. Gd writers actually tend t revise mre rather than less as they gain mre writing experience. Editing When yu are happy with yur paper's cntent, it's time t edit. Try t d this in the week befre yur paper is due. Editing will make yur writing mre precise and easier t understand (nt necessarily shrter, but clearer). When editing, yu examine every sentence and ask yurself if has a purpse and if it s cmplete, clear, and cncise in English. A grammar resurce and an English-English dictinary are bth helpful editing tls. Experiment with the fllwing strategies until yu find what wrks best fr yu. Read yur paper ut lud slwly (r ask smene t read it t yu). Yu will hear mistakes, wrdiness, repetitin, and lack f clarity, which yu can crrect. If yu dn't knw hw t crrect smething, start lking thrugh thse grammar bks. Use the spell check and grammar check functins in Micrsft Wrd. They will find sme things, but nt everything. This shuld nt be yur nly strategy. 18

20 Editing strategies fr specific prblems Cnnectin between ideas Read the beginning and end f every paragraph t make sure they flw tgether. G thrugh the paper sentence by sentence and find cnnectins between them. If the ideas dn't cnnect, add a transitin, prnun, repeated wrd, synnym, r anther sentence. Wrdiness Find all the very lng sentences (25 wrds r mre). Can they be rewritten mre clearly and cncisely? Read each sentence. After each ne, ask, Is it necessary t the paragraph? Des it add smething new? Culd it be eliminated cmpletely r partly? Culd it be cmbined? Read each sentence wrd by wrd. Is every wrd necessary? Culd sme be eliminated r re-written in a shrter, clearer way? Culd passive verbs be rewritten as active nes? Repetitin, Lack f variety Read each sentence and ask, What is the purpse f this sentence? Des it intrduce a new idea? Des it supprt r explain the previus idea? OR des it just repeat it? Read the first 5 wrds f each sentence t find sentences starting in the same way (such as with a transitin wrd). Change sme s yur sentences have variety. Lk at the length f every sentence. There shuld be a variety f shrt and lng sentences. Make sentences shrter by dividing them r lnger by cmbining. Find wrds which are repeated a lt. Use a thesaurus t find ther wrds t use. Sentence structure G thrugh the essay sentence by sentence. Label the subject(s) and the verb(s) in every sentence. Make sure each sentence has a subject and verb. Make sure there are nt t many subject-verb cmbinatins in each sentence and that wrd rder is Subject+Verb+Object. Fix fragments, run-ns, and wrd rder. Wrd chice Find all the lng wrds. Culd sme be replaced with shrter, clearer wrds? Clarity, Nn-English structure Read yur paper withut using a lt f effrt yu're just reading because yu are interested in the tpic. If yu have t read smething twice, it's nt clear. Read yur paper and translate it int yur native language in yur head. If it's really easy t translate, then maybe the writing is nt fllwing English structure and style. Say yur ideas ut lud in English. Write exactly what yu said. Yu prbably speak mre clearly than yu write. Prfreading When yu think yur paper is ready t turn it, it's time t prfread (check fr mistakes). If yu dn't prfread, yur paper may be full f careless errrs, which shws the audience that yu were t lazy, rushed, r uncaring t fix yur paper. T prfread: D nt lk at yur paper fr 24 hurs (this requires time management skills!) Print yur paper yu'll see mistakes that yu might nt see n a cmputer screen. 19

21 Start with the last sentence f yur paper and read yur paper sentence by sentence, ging backwards. (This will help yu fcus n grammar, nt cntent). Cver all the ther lines with anther piece f paper. Pint yur pen at each wrd. Think abut the grammar, spelling, punctuatin, capitalizatin, meaning... f every wrd. If yu are unsure abut anything, use a dictinary r grammar bk. If yu are still unsure, mark the line and ask smene fr help. Fix any mistakes that yu fund. Print yur paper and prfread it again! It is a lng, slw, unpleasant experience at first. Hwever, the mre yu prfread, the easier it gets, the better yur English gets, and the higher yur grades get t. Clear Objective, Thesis, and Fcus Thesis is clear Thesis has pint f view Thesis answers research questin Thesis is surprising Paper Checklist Thesis has n errrs Purpse f paper is clear Every paragraph relates t thesis Every paragraph supprts thesis Organizatin/Chesin Clear intrductin, bdy, cnclusin Cnnectins between paragraphs Intrductin Hk sentence catches attentin N t general statements Enugh backgrund inf abut tpic Sectin ideas explained in intrductin Thesis statement is easy t find Clear, lgical rder f paragraphs All sentences cnnect t each ther Cnclusin Cnnects t last bdy paragraph Summarizes thesis and main pints N new r superfluus infrmatin Shws imprtance f tpic Effective clsing statement ( ww ) Bdy Each paragraph has nly ne pint Supprt is explained/analyzed Lgical, cnvincing pints supprt thesis Balanced surce inf and wn ideas Tpic sentences in every paragraph Each paragraph explains why/hw Tpic sentences relate t thesis Specific explanatins Tpic sentences have pint f view N repetitin f ideas Sufficient supp. pints in each para. N irrelevant ideas r infrmatin Supprting pints are in lgical rder Apprpriate cncluding sentences Surce infrmatin is intrduced Each para. prves its tpic sentence Use f specific details as supprt Alternative/ppsing views included, Surce infrmatin is integrated minimized 20