Scholarly writing

Organize and structure your thoughts to write an essay

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Scholarly writing af Mind Map: Scholarly writing

1. Identify your issue or topic

2. What articles support your argument

3. 1. Think about your topic

3.1. What will you enjoy writing about?

3.2. Why will someone who reads this be interested?

3.3. What's your goal for this paper?

3.3.1. Inspire someone about your topic?

3.3.2. Specific grade?

3.3.3. Do your best work?

4. 2. Research

4.1. Compile some ideas

4.1.1. Consider starting an annotated bibliography. Zotero makes this very simple

4.1.1.1. What framework or theoretical perspective will you use?

4.1.1.1.1. Identify various theories you considered and articulate your reason for choosing the theory you chose.

4.1.1.2. Read and annotate articles in support of your position

4.1.1.3. Read and annotate articles that oppose your position.

4.2. Supporting sources

4.2.1. Use the most recent research

4.2.1.1. Many peer reviewed academic journals will not accept papers with more than 85% of references more than 5 years old

4.2.1.1.1. The remaining 15% must be seminal sources also known as foundational or establishing works.

4.2.2. Brandon University Library guides

4.2.3. References

4.2.3.1. Books

4.2.3.2. News sources

4.2.3.3. Blogs

4.2.3.3.1. Social media and scholarly writing

4.2.3.4. Supporting Data

4.2.3.4.1. Expert reports

4.2.3.4.2. Third party research

4.2.3.4.3. Survey data

4.2.3.4.4. Size of topic

5. 3. Structure

5.1. 5 Part argument

5.1.1. Introduction

5.1.1.1. It must attract the interest of a specific audience and focus it on the subject of the argument.

5.1.1.1.1. For academic writing it must be scholarly in tone and format. See APA 6th Ed Manual Chapter 3 Writing Clearly and Concisely/

5.1.1.1.2. Writing should project an image of an advanced scholar

5.1.1.2. It must provide enough background information to make sure that the audience is aware of both the general problem as well as the specific issue or issues the writer is addressing (for instance, not just the problem of pollution but the specific problem of groundwater pollution in Columbia, SC).

5.1.1.2.1. What is the context for this argument?

5.1.1.3. It must clearly signal the writer’s specific position on the issue and/or the direction of her/his argument. Usually a classical argument has a written thesis statementearly in the paper—usually in the first paragraph or two.

5.1.1.3.1. Thesis is based on a current theoretical perspective and is supported by

5.1.1.4. Often written after the paper is complete along with the conclusion

5.1.2. Position

5.1.2.1. What argument are you making about the theory you have chosen as your lens?

5.1.3. Confirmation

5.1.3.1. Why should your reader accept your argument?

5.1.3.2. What scholarly research supports my argument?

5.1.3.2.1. Peer-reviewed

5.1.3.2.2. Scholarly research

5.1.3.2.3. Primary and Secondary Sources

5.1.3.2.4. Do not include citations of tertiary sources like dictionaries, encyclopedias, or textbooks

5.1.4. Concession/Refutation

5.1.4.1. What are the other sides of the argument?

5.1.4.1.1. What other theoretical perspective could be used to analyse this issue?

5.1.4.1.2. How have opposing arguments been supported by scholarly research?

5.1.4.1.3. What concessions could you make that would not defeat your argument?

5.1.4.2. How do you refute other arguments?

5.1.4.2.1. Can you demonstrate that opposition is based on faulty logic?

5.1.5. Conclusion

5.1.5.1. Restates your position and provides observations about the theory from the introduction.

5.1.5.1.1. Does it look like the theory works? Doesn't work? Either way this is important information.

6. 4. Write and Edit

6.1. Don't be afraid to edit. Simple, memorable information is hard and requires filtering.

6.2. Parsimiony=saying the most with the least number of words. Imagine each word costs $10.00 and you are on a strict budget.

6.3. Read it aloud. Does it make sense? Do all the sentences work?

6.4. Read it aloud to someone else who will give you honest and correct feedback.

7. Administration

7.1. Deadlines

7.1.1. Dec 17

7.1.1.1. Extensions?

7.1.1.1.1. Policy

7.1.2. One week after end of class

7.2. Share Google doc with [email protected]

7.3. Format

7.3.1. OWL at Purdue

8. 5. Proofread & Finalize

8.1. Cover Page

8.2. Table of Contents

8.3. Bibliography

9. Features of Academic writing

9.1. Complexity

9.1.1. Written language is relatively more complex than spoken language. Written language has longer words, it is lexically more dense and it has a more varied vocabulary. It uses more noun-based phrases than verb-based phrases. Written texts are shorter and the language has more grammatical complexity, including more subordinate clauses and more passives.

9.2. Formality

9.2.1. Academic writing is relatively formal. In general this means that in an essay you should avoid colloquial words and expressions.

9.3. Precision

9.3.1. In academic writing, facts and figures are given precisely.

9.4. Objectivity

9.4.1. Written language is in general objective rather than personal. It therefore has fewer words that refer to the writer or the reader. This means that the main emphasis should be on the information that you want to give and the arguments you want to make, rather than you. For that reason, academic writing tends to use nouns (and adjectives), rather than verbs (and adverbs).

9.5. Explicitness

9.5.1. Academic writing is explicit about the relationships in the text. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the writer in English to make it clear to the reader how the various parts of the text are related. These connections can be made explicit by the use of different signalling words.

9.6. Accuracy

9.6.1. Academic writing uses vocabulary accurately. Most subjects have words with narrow specific meanings. Linguistics distinguishes clearly between "phonetics" and "phonemics"; general English does not.

9.7. Hedging

9.7.1. In any kind of academic writing you do, it is necessary to make decisions about your stance on a particular subject, or the strength of the claims you are making. Different subjects prefer to do this in different ways. A technique common in certain kinds of academic writing is known by linguists as a ‘hedge’.

9.8. Responsibility

9.8.1. In academic writing you must be responsible for, and must be able to provide evidence and justification for, any claims you make. You are also responsible for demonstrating an understanding of any source texts you use.

10. How to Write High-Quality Papers and Essays More Quickly

10.1. Sections and Word/Page counts

10.1.1. Intro 1 page 260 words

10.1.2. Lit Review 3 pages 780 words

10.1.2.1. Set smart goals

10.1.2.1.1. Who are the obligatory shout outs, experts in the field, seminal works etc

10.1.2.1.2. What are the gaps that my findings plug

10.1.3. Historical Context 2 - 520

10.1.4. Methodology 3 -780

10.1.5. Findings 10 - 2600

10.1.5.1. What are the sexiest findings in my study?

10.1.5.1.1. Get feedback from peers about what sticks out.

10.1.6. Discussion Conclusion 5 - 1300

10.1.7. References 3- 780

10.2. The Plan

10.2.1. Set a modest writing goal

10.2.1.1. 300-400 words per day is a doable in a busy life.

10.2.2. Set up a schedule

10.2.2.1. Attach the plan to a calendar

10.2.3. Stick to the plan

10.2.3.1. Get it written even if it is rough

10.2.3.1.1. "Don't get it right, get it wrote"

10.3. Let it go

10.3.1. Find 1 or 2 expert friends ask them if you have done anything totally boneheaded.

10.3.1.1. Ask for a 30-60 minute read, most reviewers don't spend much more time than that

10.3.2. Get your paper to 80% -- don't burn out. Send it out.

10.3.3. Give yourself a treat

11. Thomas Boswell 40 Paragraphs in an Article

11.1. 5 Introductory and concluding remarks

11.2. 5 will establish a general, human background

11.3. 5 will state the theory that informs the analysis

11.4. 5 will state the method by which the data was gathered

11.5. 5 for results I

11.6. 5 for results II

11.7. 5 for results III

11.8. 5 Implications of the research