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Writing for academic success

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  1. Writing for academic success Developing Business Practice – 302LON Week 2

  2. Overview of sessions

  3. By the end of this session... • Have an understanding of what is expected in writing at postgraduate level • Know about the different writing styles you may be asked to use throughout your course • Know how to plan and structure your writing • Understand the concept of citing and referencing sources in your writing

  4. Different types of writing Dissertations Letter Management reports Email Executive Briefing Wikis Blogs Essays PowerPoint presentations Reflective writing

  5. Whatever you’re writing... You Content Tutor What are you trying to communicate? Are you using the best form to communicate your message? Who is your audience? Are there any considerations to take into account? What do you want to communicate?

  6. Writing basics: spelling Use a dictionary or your spell checker... ...but don’t always trust your spell checker!

  7. Writing basics: spelling Make sure you use UK English... ...avoid ‘txt spk’

  8. Get the right tone Use appropriate vocabulary Avoid slang and colloquialisms

  9. Writing style: keeping it simple One point per sentence • But also avoid colloquialisms and slang • Read it out aloud • Avoid over-use long, multi-syllabic words

  10. Structure Introduction Body Conclusion References

  11. Introduction • Introduce your topic and expand upon the question. • Outline any assumptions, the scope and outline of your argument, including the main gist of your essay.

  12. Structure Introduction Body Background information Conclusion References

  13. Main body • Include the main points that answer the question • Remember to think about your writing style • Include any evidence to back up your arguments

  14. Main body Paragraph 1: Idea 1 Paragraph 2: Idea 2 Paragraph 3: Idea 3

  15. Writing style • Paragraphs • Paragraphs should have one topic or idea • The first sentence should introduce the idea, the final sentence conclude it. • Use paragraphs to focus and strengthen your argument

  16. Example paragraph The root of the problem is the failure to distinguish between operational effectiveness and strategy. The quest for productivity, quality, and speed has spawned a remarkable number of management tools and techniques: total quality management, `benchmarking, time-based competition, outsourcing, partnering, reengineering, change management. Although the resulting operational improvements have often been dramatic, many companies have been frustrated by their inability to translate those gains into sustainable profitability. And bit by bit, almost imperceptibly, management tools have taken the place of strategy. As managers push to improve on all fronts, they move farther away from viable competitive positions.

  17. Example paragraph The root of the problem is the failure to distinguish between operational effectiveness and strategy. The quest for productivity, quality, and speed has spawned a remarkable number of management tools and techniques: total quality management, `benchmarking, time-based competition, outsourcing, partnering, reengineering, change management. Although the resulting operational improvements have often been dramatic, many companies have been frustrated by their inability to translate those gains into sustainable profitability. And bit by bit, almost imperceptibly, management tools have taken the place of strategy. As managers push to improve on all fronts, they move farther away from viable competitive positions.

  18. Example paragraph The root of the problem is the failure to distinguish between operational effectiveness and strategy. The quest for productivity, quality, and speed has spawned a remarkable number of management tools and techniques: total quality management, `benchmarking, time-based competition, outsourcing, partnering, reengineering, change management. Although the resulting operational improvements have often been dramatic, many companies have been frustrated by their inability to translate those gains into sustainable profitability. And bit by bit, almost imperceptibly, management tools have taken the place of strategy. As managers push to improve on all fronts, they move farther away from viable competitive positions.

  19. Main body Opening sentence introducing idea that is going to cover in the paragraph Introduce the evidence that supports your argument or that you are using to demonstrate your point Concluding sentence that summarises your argument for this paragraph and introduces the next paragraph Paragraph 1 Paragraph 2 Opening sentence links to the previous paragraph and introduces the idea for this section Introduce the evidence that supports your argument or that you are using to demonstrate your point Concluding sentence that summarises your argument for this paragraph and introduces the next paragraph

  20. When writing... Point Evidence Evaluate • Make your point or argument

  21. When writing... Point Evidence Evaluate • What evidence or sources back up your point or argument?

  22. When writing... Point Evidence Evaluate • Evaluate how the evidence strengthens or demonstrates your point

  23. Example The economic impact of the ‘credit crunch’ will be felt for the next three decades. Point

  24. Example Studies conducted on behalf of the UK’s national banks have investigated the impact on consumer confidence (Bank of England 2010, Humler 2010). Consumer confidence has been demonstrated to be a major factor in economic growth (Johnson 2008:15) and Jupitus highlighted that the typical recovery can take a generation (2009:27-29) Evidence

  25. Example Studies conducted on behalf of the UK’s national banks have investigated the impact on consumer confidence (Bank of England 2010, Humler 2010). Consumer confidence has been demonstrated to be a major factor in economic growth (Johnson 2008:15) and Jupitushighlighted that the typical recovery can take a generation (2009:27-29) Evidence

  26. Example The effects of this phenomenon will be felt in many aspects of daily life for years to come. Future policy, both social and economic will be shaped by the consequences of the credit crunch. Evaluate

  27. Citing and referencing • Citation within your writing to demonstrate the use of other sources • Always the same format • In text citation: (Author Year of publication) • Reference at the end with full details

  28. Conclusions • Review the key points that you have made • Demonstrate how these points answer the question set out at the start • The conclusion mirrors your introduction where you answer what you set out to address

  29. References • List of references at the end • List of all the sources that you have cited in the essay • Set format laid out in the CULC Harvard citing and referencing guide

  30. Writing tips for success • Think about your presentation • Clear and simple font • Double spacing • No silly pictures or cartoons

  31. Personal Development Plan By A. Student Where I am now As I student at CULC, I am studying for my MBA. Where I want to go I want to work in an investment bank, because I want to make lots of money. How am I going to get there I want to work in an investment bank, because I want to make lots of money. What do I need to work on? There’s lots of stuff I need to practise like 1) presentation skills 2)writing 3) I need to get an internship

  32. Writing tips for success • Think about your presentation • Clear and simple font • Double spacing • No silly pictures or cartoons • Follow the guidelines set out • Have a plan before you start

  33. Planning your time • Do you understand the question? • Plan out your research • Have a structure and plan in mind before you start to write • Ensure you have evidence to back up your arguments • Leave enough time for a draft

  34. Knowledgecast Summary In this Knowledgecast, we have: • Looked at what is expected in terms of academic writing at postgraduate level • Looked at examples at different types of writing that will be expected during your course • Looked at ideas on how to structure a piece of academic writing, including how to use evidence and other sources of information in your work • Introduced the concept of citing and referencing in academic writing

  35. Image credits • ‘DSC_0202’ by incurable_hippiehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/3315011136/sizes/o/in/photostream/ • ‘Simple’ by R_rosehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/r_rose/102766969/sizes/l/in/photostream/