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Writing at the Graduate Level

Writing at the Graduate Level

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Writing at the Graduate Level

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  1. Writing at the Graduate Level Matt Sharkey-Smith Writing Instructor and Coordinator of Graduate Writing Initiatives

  2. Housekeeping • Muting • Questions • Tech trouble? • Recording:

  3. Agenda • APA Style • Paraphrasing • Plagiarism • Graduate Writing • Grammar • Resources

  4. APA Style Refresher • Citations • References • Paraphrasing • Plagiarism

  5. Citations

  6. Citations • In-text citations • Smith’s (2012) study showed that APA was students’ favorite citation style. • According to Zuckerman (2012), APA triggers more neurons in the brain than footnotes. • Parenthetical citations • APA makes the world a better place (Grammer, 2012). NO:(Grammer, 2012) said that APA makes the world a better place.

  7. Citation with Direct Quotation • Direct quotations • According to Oyler (2012), “Citations help one’s reader to better understand the origin of material” (p. 12). • To become a stronger writer, one must begin “by tackling the ominous stare of the blank computer screen” (Powet, 2012, para. 4).

  8. Citation Variations • An organization: (US Bank, 2005) • No author: (“Without Identity,” 2002) • Secondary source: Cosby (as cited in Nash, 2007)

  9. Which would be a correct in-text citation? A. According to Johnson 2012, “College graduates are underprepared for the rigors of the corporate world” (p. 214). B. Students who have recently graduated “are underprepared for the rigors of the corporate world” according to (Johnson, 2012, p. 214). C. Johnson (2012) reminded the researchers that “College graduates are underprepared for the rigors of the corporate world” (p. 214).

  10. References

  11. Common References Poe, E., & Lee, A. (1847). Good poetry and one-syllable surnames. Journal of Really Nothing, 4(2), 23-45. doi: 107897830 Nadeau, N. (2012). Rapping with Seoul. Funtown, MN: Too Cool Press.

  12. Common References U. S. Department of Education. (2007). Reconstructing the educational system: Guidelines from trial and error. Retrieved from

  13. Which Reference Is Best? A. Skarbakka, K., & Grammer, R. (2012). How to talk like a scholar and really mean it. Journal of All Things Crazy, 8(17), 22-44. doi: 10x594930 B. Skarbakka, K., & Grammer, R. (2012). How to talk like a scholar and really mean it. Journal of All Things Crazy, 8(17), 22-44. doi: 10x594930 C. Skarbakka, K., & Grammer, R. (2012) How to talk like a scholar and really mean it. Journal of All Things Crazy, 8(17), 22-44. doi: 10x594930

  14. For a List of Common References • • He used the website →

  15. Paraphrasing

  16. Paraphrasing Your Mind = Funnel

  17. Paraphrasing Strategies • Reread until you relax • Look up from the screen • Be selective: Do you need to paraphrase the entire source? • Change the structure, then the words.

  18. Paraphrasing Original: “Students who have a tendency to apply source material without adapting a proper citation and abiding by APA format may be prosecuted for intentional imitation and may be required to modify their material.” Paraphrase: Students may be accused of plagiarism and have to rewrite their papers if they use outside sources and don’t follow APA rules for citations.

  19. Plagiarism

  20. What is Plagiarism? Using other people’s words, ideas, images, data, etc. without proper attribution

  21. Plagiarism and Culture: Why? • Personal • Time • Fear • Lack of confidence Academic • Test only • Memorization • Imitation • Lifestyle • Copying • Common Knowledge • Definition of “intellectual property”

  22. How to Avoid It Do: • Paraphrase • Restructure the entire sentence • Give credit to any ideas that are not your own Don’t: • Just insert synonyms • Forget your citations •

  23. Graduate Writing Expectations Scholarly voice Argument Writing tips Resources

  24. Scholarly Voice Goal: sound serious, professional, and informed

  25. Formality: Word choice Formal and precise language • Avoid slang, colloquialisms, and clichés The kids said the test was a piece of cake. The students said the test was easy. • Avoid metaphors and similes The patient was sick as a dog. The patient was diagnosed with severe pneumonia. • Avoid contractions James hasn’t ever missed a day of school. James has never missed a day of school.

  26. Formality: Point of View • Avoid the second person (you/your) You need to be aware of your treatment options. → Patients need to be aware of their treatment options. • Avoid the general we (or us or our) We are responsible for our children’s wellbeing. → Parents are responsible for their children’s wellbeing. • Use the first person (I/me/my) only as appropriate This paper will discuss…→ In this paper, I will discuss… The data will be collected.→ I will collect the data. The scholar will argue… → Iwill argue… Not appropriate: I found several studies that suggested… Not appropriate: I think that all politicians are corrupt.

  27. Neutrality • Avoid opinion statements I think/I feel/I believe Not so great: I think childhood obesity is a major concern. Better: Childhood obesity is a major concern. Best: Childhood obesity is a major concern, as 17% of children in America are obese (CDC, 2012).

  28. Neutrality • Avoid generalizations Not so great: Children do not get enough exercise. Better: Many children do not get enough exercise. Best: According to the CDC (2012), in 2011, only 29% of high schoolers received the recommended amount of exercise, defined as at least one hour per day.

  29. Clear and Direct Statements • The simpler the better! Not so great: There are 60 individuals who participated in the study and responded to the survey. Better: Sixty participants responded to the survey. Not so great: How to address the achievement gap in the most effective way has been argued and debated by scholars. Better: Scholars debate the most effective way to address the achievement gap.

  30. Consider Your Audience • In general: scholars in your field • May depend on assignment

  31. Argument and Analysis • Not just reporting what you’ve learned! • Take part in the scholarly conversation.

  32. Argument and Analysis: Thesis Thesis • Specific and arguable • Comes at the end of introduction Not so great: This paper is about classroom management Better: Classroom management is an important part of teaching. Best: All teachers should develop the classroom management skills of authority, individualization, and time management, which are necessary to run effective classrooms.

  33. Argument and Analysis Evidence • Supports your central argument throughout your paper • Demonstrates your scholarly credibility Each and every sentence that uses information from a source must include a citation. • Cite credible sources

  34. Argument and Analysis Analysis • Your own interpretation of other authors’ ideas • Ensures that you’re not just summarizing your research, but using it to support your argument According to Wilson (2011), 68% of Dallas high school juniors reported chronic boredom in math class, suggesting a need to reconsider the math curriculum and invest in teacher training in this district.

  35. Writing Tips

  36. Tips: Research

  37. Tips: Prewriting • Outlining I. Introduction A. Main topic B. Focus of paper D. Thesis statement II. Background A. Evidence of the problem B. Significance of problem III. Major Point 1 A. Evidence of point…

  38. Tips: Writing Introduction • Construct an arguable thesis • Establish your scholarly tone Conclusion • Reiterate your thesis • Provide closure

  39. Tips: Writing MEAL plan: • Main idea: topic sentence • Evidence: information from your sources to support your main idea (usually include citations) • Analysis: explanation of the evidence/discussion of its relevance in light of your thesis statement • Lead out: conclusion (Duke University's Thompson Writing Program, n.d.)

  40. Tips: Revise, revise, revise! Revision checklist: • Thesis statement • Paper and paragraph organization • Use of evidence • Citation format • Reference format • Scholarly tone • Simple and direct sentences • Mechanics (grammar and spelling)

  41. Recap • Include APA citations in each and every sentence that includes information from your sources • All sources you cite in your paper should appear in your reference list • Paraphrase mindfully and carefully • Keep your tone formal and neutral and your sentences simple • Use scholarly arguments to join the conversation • Remember that writing is a process!

  42. Resources • Website: • Guides and resources • Exercises and quizzes • Webinars • Writing courses • Grammarly • • One-on-one paper reviews • Library

  43. References Amsberry, D. (2010). Deconstructing Plagiarism: International Students and Textual Borrowing Practices. The Reference Librarian, 51, 31-44. doi: 10.1080/02763870903362183 Duff, H. A., Rogers, D. P., & Harris, M. B. (2006). International engineering students—avoiding plagiarism through understanding the Western academic context of scholarship. European Journal of Engineering Education, 31 (6), 673-681. doi: 10.1080/03043790600911753 Hayes, N., & Introna, L.D. (2005). Cultural Values, Plagiarism, and Fairness: When Plagiarism Gets in the Way of Learning. Ethics & Behavior, 15(3). doi: 10.1207/s15327019eb1503_2 Heitman, E., & Litewka, S. (2011). Seminar article: International perspectives on plagiarism and considerations for teaching international trainees. Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations, 29 (1), 104-108. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2010.09.014

  44. Questions?