Writing Research Papers: PY4007/PY4008 Physiotherapy Project 1 & 2 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Writing Research Papers: PY4007/PY4008 Physiotherapy Project 1 & 2

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  1. Writing Research Papers:PY4007/PY4008 Physiotherapy Project 1 & 2 Íde O’Sullivan and Lawrence Cleary Regional Writing Centre

  2. Workshop outline • Reflection: Writing for publication • Motivation and time management • Key consideration: • The writing process • The rhetorical situation • Structuring your FYP/research paper • Academic writing style • Strategies to develop writing: Peer review Regional Writing Centre

  3. Reflection • Why write for publication? • Implications of publishing/not publishing? • Misconceptions about writing and publication • Common problems among new writers • New writers’ worries/fears Regional Writing Centre

  4. New writers’ errors(Murray, 2005:4) • “Writing too much about ‘the problem’.” • “Overstating the problem and claiming too much for their solution.” • “Overstating the critique of others’ work.” • “Not saying what they mean, losing focus through indirect writing.” • “Putting too many ideas in one paper.” Regional Writing Centre

  5. Difficulties associated with writing • Anxiety and fear of writing • Lack of confidence and motivation • Cracking the codes of academic writing • Getting started • Lack of guidance, practice and feedback • Misconceptions of writing • Good writing skills are innate X • Think first, then write X • The writing process is recursive Regional Writing Centre

  6. Getting Started Writing and Keeping Going

  7. It is not too late • Take stock of where you are now • Outline your research project • Make plans based on the time that is left • Organise your time accordingly • Get writing • Keep writing • Get a writing buddy • Allow time for revision and to put it all together • Let family and friends know • Be selfish with your time Regional Writing Centre

  8. Where am I? • What writing have you done for the research project, and what writing do you need to do in order to complete your FYP on time? • Keep writing non-stop for 5 minutes. • Write in sentences. • Do not edit or censor your writing. • Private writing -- no one will read it. • Discuss what you have written in pairs. Regional Writing Centre

  9. Outlining (Murray, 2006) • Title and draft introduction • Level 1 outlining • Main headings • Level 2 outlining • Sub-headings • Level 3 outlining • Decide on content Regional Writing Centre

  10. ‘Writing in layers’(Murray 2006: 125-27) • Outline the structure: write your section heading for the research paper. • Write a sentence or two on the contents of each section. • List out sub-headings for each section. • Write an introductory paragraph for each section. • At the top of each section, write the word count requirement, draft number and date. Regional Writing Centre

  11. Writing goals Regional Writing Centre

  12. Keep writing • Where and when do you write? • Why are you not writing? • “I don’t feel ready to write.” • Writers’ block • Getting unstuck • Writing to prompts/freewriting (write anything) • Set writing goals • Write regularly • Integrate writing into your thinking • Break it down into a manageable process Regional Writing Centre

  13. Keep writing • Be patient • Be creative • Taking pleasure in writing • Be proud of your writing • Get stuck in Regional Writing Centre

  14. Key Considerations

  15. Key stages in the process • Pre-writing • Drafting • Revision • Editing and Proofreading Regional Writing Centre

  16. The rhetorical situation Occasion Topic Audience Purpose Writer Regional Writing Centre

  17. Organising principles Research question Thesis Hypothesis Regional Writing Centre

  18. Key tasks for academic writers Participating in academic conversations Developing and advancing balanced arguments Exploring your personal writing process Developing strategies that work for you Regional Writing Centre

  19. The process: Pre-writing • Decide on the writing project • Choose a target journal • Get information about the journal • Mission/vision of the journal • Identify categories of submission • Identify key subject areas • Analyse the journal • Select a sample paper from the target journal • Follow the guidelines for authors Regional Writing Centre

  20. Analysing the journal • Cracking the codes • Analysing the genre/text and modelling • Generate a list of the important criteria which will make your writing more effective • Ask yourself the following questions: • How is the paper structured? • How is the contribution articulated? • What level of context is provided? • What level of detail is used? • How long are the different sections? Regional Writing Centre

  21. Analysing the journal • What organisational features/patterns are in evidence? • How are arguments and counterarguments presented and structured? • What types of evidence are important? • What stylistic features are prominent? • Is the text cohesive? How does the author achieve such cohesion? • What kind(s) of persuasive devises does the author employ? • Voice? Regional Writing Centre

  22. Structuring your FYP

  23. Organising principles Thesis Research question Hypothesis Regional Writing Centre

  24. FYP Presentation and Layout A major report or thesis is generally divided into three parts. Regional Writing Centre

  25. Preliminaries • Cover page • Title page • Author’s Declaration • Table of Contents • Acknowledgements • Abstract Regional Writing Centre

  26. Abstract • Abstract (250 words) • Background • Objectives • Methods • Results • Conclusions • Keywords Regional Writing Centre

  27. The manuscript • Introduction • Background and context/Literature review • Method • Results • Discussion • Conclusions Regional Writing Centre

  28. The introduction • In academic writing, an introduction, or opening, has four purposes: • To introduce the topic of the paper • To indicate the context of the conversation through background information • To give some indication of the overall plan of the paper • To catch the reader’s attention, usually by convincing the reader of its relevance. Regional Writing Centre

  29. What should I put into the introduction? • Identify the domain and the topic • State the problem - claim, hypothesis, or question - to be investigated • Gives the problem context and significance within the research community • Identify the gaps in the literature • Outline and justify the purpose of your proposed study • State the objectives of the paper and outline the plan • May delineate the scope of the research Regional Writing Centre

  30. Methodology and research design • In the methodology section, two main issues are addressed: • The methods used to gather data • The methods used to analyse the data • How were your results obtained and how did you came to the conclusions put forth? Regional Writing Centre

  31. Methodology and research design Justification • Why and how did you choose the targeted population/sample? • Why did you choose the particular method? • Is the methodology appropriate to your field of study? • Is the methodology appropriate to the objectives of the study? Regional Writing Centre

  32. Methodology and research design Justification • Methods affect results • Methods affect validity and reliability • Methods affect conclusions Regional Writing Centre

  33. Results and discussion • The results section must not only present the results; it must make the results meaningful for the reader. • The discussion should not simply provide more detail about the results; it should interpret and explain the results. • Methods of organising the results and discussion. Regional Writing Centre

  34. Results • Organising the results • Readability • Accessibility (graphs, tables) • Use of appendices for raw data • Making the results meaningful • Explanation • Simplification • Trends • Significant results • Relationships/correlations Regional Writing Centre

  35. Discussion • Organising the discussion • Summarise the main results in order to remind the reader of your key findings. • Put the results of the research into context. • Support the validity of the results by referring to similar results. • Explain the differences between your findings and that of previous researchers. • Can you explain the unexpected results? Regional Writing Centre

  36. Conclusion • To what extend have the aims of the study been achieved? • How has your primary and secondary research helped answer the research question posed? • Have your hypotheses been proved/disproved/partially proved? • Did the study raise any further questions? • Any recommendations for future research? Regional Writing Centre

  37. Elements of a good conclusion • A summary of the investigation, the results, and the analysis • A summary of the conclusions drawn from the analysis and discussion of the data / results • An account of whether the research has answered the research question • An assessment of whether the hypothesis or claim has been proved, disproved, or partially proved Regional Writing Centre

  38. Elements of a good conclusion • A discussionion of the implications of the findings • A demonstrable awareness of the limitations of the outcome • Suggestions for future developments – Remember: A summary alone of what you have done is a weak conclusion • A final, strong, positive statement Regional Writing Centre

  39. Flow • Logical method of development • Effective transition signals • Good signposting • Consistent point of view • Conciseness (careful word choice) • Clarity of expression • Paragraph structure • Unity • Coherence Regional Writing Centre

  40. Paragraph structure • What is a paragraph? • Series of sentences • Coherent (introduction, middle, end) • Common theme • Paragraphs signal the logically organised progression of ideas. • The flow of information should be organised around themes and comments. The main idea in one paragraph should flow logically into the next. • Shifts in the argument or changes in direction should be accurately signalled using appropriate adverbials, conjunctions, and prepositions. Regional Writing Centre

  41. Paragraph structure • Just as an essay is guided by a thesis statement, a paragraph is organised around its topic sentence. • A topic sentence informs the reader of the topic to be discussed. • A topic sentence contains controlling ideas which limit the scope of the discussion to ideas that are manageable in a paragraph. Regional Writing Centre

  42. Paragraph structure: Supporting sentences • The sentences that follow expand upon the topic, using controlling ideas to limit the discussion. The main idea is supported by • Evidence in the form of facts, statistics, theoretical probabilities, reputable, educated opinions, • Illustrations in the form of examples and extended examples, and • Argumentation based on the evidence presented. • Qualifying statements indicate the limitations of the support or argument. Regional Writing Centre

  43. Paragraph structure: Concluding sentences • Not every paragraph needs a concluding sentence. • Concluding sentences can either comment on the information in the text, or • They can paraphrase the topic sentence. Regional Writing Centre

  44. Paragraph structure:Unity • Paragraphs should be unified. • ‘Unitymeans that only one main idea is discussed in a paragraph. The main idea is stated in the topic sentence, and then each and every supporting sentence develops that idea’ (Oshima and Hogue 1999, p.18). Regional Writing Centre

  45. Paragraph structure: Coherence • Coherencemeans that your paragraph is easy to read and understand because • your supporting sentences are in some kind of logical order • your ideas are connected by the use of appropriate transition signals • your pronoun references clearly point to the intended antecedent and is consistent • you have repeated or substituted key nouns. (Oshima and Hogue 2006, p.22) Regional Writing Centre

  46. Example: (Meei-Fang et al. 2007, p.471) People with dementia are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition: they have a decreased ability to understand directions and to express their needs verbally, are easily distracted from eating, prone to become agitated, and may use utensils incorrectly. Inability to feed oneself (eating dependency) is a major risk factor for malnutrition among older people living in long-term care settings (Abbasi & Rudman 1994, Durnbaugh et al. 1996). When people with dementia can no longer take food voluntarily, assistance is required although, as the disease progresses, even taking food with assistance can become difficult and, in some instances, tube-feeding may be required to supply nutrition. This form of feeding can, however, cause distress and anxiety, not only for the person being fed, but also for caregivers (Akerlund & Norberg 1985, Burgener & Shimer 1993). Regional Writing Centre

  47. Academic Writing Style

  48. Features of academic writing Complexity Formality Precision Objectivity Explicitness Accuracy Hedging Responsibility (Gillet, 2008) Regional Writing Centre

  49. Academic writing style • Hedge. Distinguish between absolutes and probabilities. Absolutes are 100% certain. Probabilities are less than 100% certain. • Be responsible. Provide traceable evidence and justifications for any claims you make or any opinions you have formed as a result of your research. Regional Writing Centre

  50. Persuasion and truth in academic writing • Because they are argumentative, academic writing tends to be persuasive. • An argument should be persuasive, but don’t sacrifice truth in favour of persuasion. • Academic inquiry is a truth-seeking pursuit. • facts are distinguished from opinions. • relative truths are distinguished from absolute truths. • The integrity of the conclusions reached in an academic essay or report is based on its honest pursuit of truth. Regional Writing Centre