Effective Academic Writing: Write Papers that Get Results | Nadine B. | Skillshare

Effective Academic Writing: Write Papers that Get Results

Nadine B., Instructor & Researcher

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9 Lessons (1h 8m)
    • 1. Intro to effective academic writing

      4:26
    • 2. The purpose of academic writing2

      13:31
    • 3. Writing For Your Audience

      7:26
    • 4. Creating structure

      5:56
    • 5. Writing the Intro

      8:54
    • 6. Writing a conclusion revised

      7:47
    • 7. Writing the Body

      8:29
    • 8. Writing tools and smart writing

      8:21
    • 9. In conclusion final lecture

      2:56

About This Class

Academic writing is not about grammar. It's not about fancy words. It's not about memorizing information or showing off new fonts.

It's about effectively communicating a complex idea, and backing that idea up with facts and compelling arguments.

"But I have good ideas!", you protest. "But I still don't get good grades!!"

That's because you haven't learned how to package and sell your ideas to your reader. I was a straight A student before becoming a professional editor. I have spent the past 10 years mastering the art of academic writing. I know how to get good grades, I know what you need to do to get them too. And in this course, I show you.

"I am a graduate student or academic," you sigh. "I don't need some class talking to me about grammar. I need someone who knows that I have ideas that need to get through."

I understand about ideas needing to get through. I am a published researcher, and professional scientific editor. I have edited 100s of manuscripts at every level in the fields of psychology, social science, linguistics, engineering, education... I know what this kind of writing is about. And I know how to make it "sell".

Academic writing is a strict, rules-based form of communication. In this course, I take you behind the scenes and into the mind of your professor (or TA) or referee board. I give you the tips and tricks that I have gained through my years of experience and that work.

I have jam-packed the information you need into a series of lectures, course notes, and quizzes. This course is compact: I give you the information you need to excel, no time-wasters.

The lectures, course notes, and quizzes are complimentary and contain all the information you need to take your academic writing to the next level.

Students who will benefit most:

1) college students/undergraduates who need to boost grades,

2) grad students/researchers who need to take their writing to the next level (read: get published).

This course is NOT a grammar course. If you are looking for a course to take you through the basics of English grammar and style, I don't do that here. If you are looking for a course to help you kick some academic butt, enroll right now.

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Transcripts

1. Intro to effective academic writing: welcome to effective academic writing. Academic writing is one of the most important skills that you will learn not only for your career at the student, but also for your future career. The reason for this is that never before have we needed so many people who are able to effectively communicate complex material and complex ideas as we do now. This course really aims to fast track you into understanding what your professors are looking for and how to provide it. So let's jump in the course of designed according to what you need to know. So the first lecture is on the purpose of academic rating. This is the place to start because it's gonna provide the framework of What are we actually doing when we're writing an academic people? Academic writing is unlike journalism. It's unlike creative writing. It follows a very strict set of conventions, and it follows. It served a very distinct purpose and understanding this, I think it's necessary to understanding everything else that we're gonna go over about technique. Um, and writing style related to this second lecture is about writing for your audience. So I would like to introduce you to your professor and you're th academics are a prickly set of people. We tend to be so deeply steeped in our fields and in the conventions of our fields that pitching a message toe an academic really needs to be done in a certain way. And there are certain common pitfalls and pet peeves to be avoided as well. And so this lecture is where we're gonna go over some of those. The third lecture is about structure. Structure is the equivalent toe packaging. When you're sending a book through the mail, you wouldn't expect the book to get where it's supposed to get If you didn't put a label on a package on it and you just put it in a mailbox and the same way you cannot expect somebody to understand your ideas. If you don't put that idea within a framework, put that idea within a context. And so that's what this section is about. After that, we're gonna go into the technique of writing an introduction, writing an introduction and structure. These are the two areas where I have found that soon struggled the most. However, the introduction is actually very mathematical. It follows a distinct set of principles and we're gonna go over it in this lecture before we get into writing the body, we're gonna talk about writing the conclusion. Now, why are we going to do this out of order? In that way, Very simple, because we're talking about structure. In many ways, it's a mirror image of the introduction. And so we're gonna cover it right immediately afterwards to give you a good sense of how the package needs to hold together. The next lecture is on writing the body. So this is where we're talking about the topic sentences. This is where we talked about how do you package your specific ideas so that they receive optimum consideration from your reader? Here's the value. Add to this course. I'm assuming that you have a good idea and that you want to write a good paper. However, if you're serious, academic or even if you're not so serious academic, the time will come when you have to write a paper that you don't have a brilliant idea for , and you're gonna have to float some some you know. So so are passable ideas across good framework, good presentation. Good packaging will make even mediocre ideas look good. Finally, we're going to talk about some writing tips and tricks. So think of this as the frosting on the cake. This is the wrapping paper or the pretty bow here. We're gonna talk about terminology. We're talking about academic tone. We're talking about Pattern. This is the stuff that's gonna make your paper kind of extra delicious. We're trying here. T hit be the academic soft spot of your reader. Okay. And in so doing to really ensure that you hit this paper out of the park and that it really reflects everything that can reflect that's good about your ideas and your intellectual contribution. 2. The purpose of academic writing2: so welcome to the lecture when we discussed the purpose of academic writing. What we mean is, what is the point? What kind of message can you get across with the style of writing? And to answer that question, we're going to start with the definition. Academic writing is written communication that justifies a point of view or an opinion on a question posed within the context of a greater conversation in the intellectual community along clear, logical lines while conforming to the conventions of that intellectual community. So this is important, and there are a few elements in this definition that I want to bring out. So the first is that it justifies a point of view or an opinion. That is, the real purpose of academic writing is to justify a point of view or an opinion along clear, logical lines. So you're justification needs to make use of facts that are accessible to everybody that are accessible to your reader. It can't be ah, justification according to how you feel about something while conforming to the conventions of the intellectual community. This is important because there are other styles of writing, arguably where you're justifying an opinion you're using clear, logical lines. But what makes academic writing academic writing is the fact that you're sticking to these conventions. Okay, now what academic writing is not, On the other hand, is the creative telling of a story. That's not what this is about. Were also not just effectively reporting or summarizing observed facts or situations. Also, a good academic paper is not just the writing down, you know, off the right. Answer the quote unquote right. Answer to a question. The purpose of academic writing is really to justify a point of view. And since that's the purpose, generally speaking, there is no one right answer. Okay, some answers are better than others. Absolutely. What makes an answer better than another answer is how easy it is to justify or how well you are able to justify it. So I want to take a few moments here to talk about the subject matter of academic writing. Okay, academic writing can't deal with just any any type of subject out there or any kind of question out there. Academic writing is really restricted to justifications that have to do with ideas or theories when you have to, when you have to critique a theory or or an explanation. Ah, same thing when you're when you're giving an opinion about the meaning of a piece of art or literature that were very good at discussing methodology and research were the best. As far as I know, academic writing is not equipped to deal with expressions of strong emotion. Okay, It's also not equipped to deal with opinions that are based on things other than observable fact were also not very good at dealing with things such as quote unquote rightness or quote unquote wrongness. That's not really the the field that we're dealing with. So the thing that gets tricky here, and the reason that I wanted to bring this up is that often times you'll be given a question that that you may have, ah, strong emotional opinion on. So sometimes in some courses you're asked to debate things like the death penalty or abortion or other other issues that are kind of socially relevant, which you may very well have strong. Um, you know, moral opinions on you could be asked to discuss politics, and people often have very strong political opinions. Now the thing about this is that these are often based in an emotional reactions, right? And so the game and academic writing is to try to explain your point of view or your opinion according to universally observable facts. So just saying, Well, I really feel this way it doesn't work. That's not that's not the game here. That's not what we're doing. No, A quick note on Sofus Tree You might find it easier to justify an opinion that isn't actually your own. Okay. Conversely, after writing your paper and marshalling the fact that you're are able to find, you might find that your opinion, your first kind of gut reaction, um, is modified based on what you have found. That's part of the process. That's a very interesting part of the process, You know, logic, according to me, is not at all divorced from emotion or from values. In fact, logic is based on values, however, sometimes you'll find that your initial opinion was based on, um, you know, emotional reactions or fears or other things that you didn't really know you carried, and you'll be happy with your change of opinion. So remember, the purpose of academic writing is to justify an opinion along clear a logical lines. Academic writing is judged according to the success of that justification, and not according to the opinion being justified. This is important. What you need to do to write a good paper is one. Make sure your paper is easy to read to respect the demands of your audience. That means respecting the assignments. Respecting conventions were going to get to that three. Logically support your point of view using observable facts and arguments. How do you do this? This is the list of the three C's. These are my three C's for effective academic writing. The first, its creativity. The second is convention on. The third is clarity. You need to master these, and once you do, you'll be writing a great paper, so let's take them one by one. The first is creativity. Unless you have a maverick professor who asks for creativity. Tread carefully. You want to keep it simple, OK, and the reason for this is that there's so much to read, and there's so much to know that your professors appreciate it when you first of all, make yourself easy to understand. Okay, and there's nothing like simplicity for making yourself easy to understand, to demonstrate some humility regarding your ideas. You should know that given that you're you're relatively new to this conversation, this conversation has been going on for a long time. There's probably somebody who has been able to effectively argue the opposing point of view , so that doesn't mean you can have some fun. I've compiled a list here of the kinds of creativity that tend to be well received by academics welcomed. So first we have the reinterpretation of a previously existing construct. That's great. We love that stuff. A new angle on an old problem. This is the same idea, you know. For example, if you're you're critiquing a piece of art or pace of literature and you know there's a scene that's particularly appointment, that might be very sad or painful on the surface, and you've reinterpret it as as a blessing in disguise. This is also the kind of thing that we kind of just love. Okay, the synthesis of two or more desperate ideas or constructs. Now this this is hard to do. This is very advanced, actually, and if you're able to do this, this is one of the best kinds of papers that you can write uninterested interpretation of data. That's also something that's interesting to us. Sometimes facts, you know, a given observable fact. For example, a scene in a movie that you're critiquing. Or, um, you know, a piece of evidence from a theory can be interpreted in one of several ways, right? And if you're interpreting your your particular observation or fact in a new way, as long as you explain it properly, that's usually very well received. We like that sort of thing if you're able to come up with an interesting argument. So an interesting use of logic, for example, the use of a syllogism in your paper that's great. We love that sort of thing. To thes are examples of creativity that are welcomed. The second sees convention conventions serve the purpose of streamlining communication between large and geographically dispersed communities. That's why convention is so important to the academic world, Okay, because the academic community intellectual community it's spread out over every continent . Many different languages, almost every country toe enable this conversation for this conversation to be possible. Convention is very important. Basically, it gets rid of the fluff, whatever's distracting in terms of how you're presenting your ideas. Okay, whatever is distracting in terms of language is basically just cut out, Done away with OK and is replaced by very strict convention and learning to follow these conventions allows you to engage in this conversation effectively. Convention typically has to do with ah, the four following things so that structure the structure of your paper formatting the way that you present citations or quotations and your bibliography and reference list. There is a hidden fifth element, and that is anything your instructor requires. Basically, if your instructor asks for you to present your paper in 12 point times new Roman double spaced, one inch margins, just do it. It doesn't matter if you think your paper looks better in verdana you just want to follow those kinds of instructions. Okay, the third si clarity, clarity and structure are key. Okay, they are the keys to success and academic writing. This is what it's about. There's a huge amount of material out there. Your job is to make sense of it. Here are some do's and dont's toe academic rating. Don't be afraid to spoon feed it to them. Don't assume they're smarter than you. This is hard for a lot of people to understand, cause they think that if they write out their reasoning really step by step, that that's like insulting to the professor. That that's like telling the professor, But they're they're stupid and that they can't figure it out. I'm not worried that I'm stupid. Okay, I want you to be able to prove to me that your logic is good. Do prioritize a clear message above humor above synonyms above train of thought. Construction clarity should be our main priority. So let's go back to this question of spoon feeding information. OK, there are some fields such as met where once you get good at it, you can start skipping steps. The reason for this is that typically there is only one right answer. Okay? And if you come to the right answer, your professor can be pretty sure that your logic was good. In fields that require s a type answers, there is rarely won rate. Answer that maybe a few. But rarely is there only one. And what that means is that I don't know that your logic was good unless you spell it out for me. So show your work. That's the point of this game. Show your work. Explain your logic clearly, even if this means repeating yourself and even if it means stating your assumptions, which to you may be obvious, your assumptions may be obvious to you, but they may not be obvious to me, is the reader. So your job is to spell them out for me to make them clear? Finally, to recap, the point of academic writing is to justify a point of view along clear, a logical lines, using facts as evidence. Remember that you're taking part in a conversation and that this conversation has been going on for probably hundreds of years. Remember the three C's controlled creativity? So you want to make sure that your creativity you put into your paper is the kind that's gonna be welcomed by the academics who are reading it. Convention, respect the conventions, understand that you need them to take part of this conversation and finally prioritized clarity 3. Writing For Your Audience: so writing for your audience is a very important skill toe learn in any form of writing. It's not any less true in academic writing. Effective writing requires some understanding of your reader. And before we get into this, I want to spend a few moments discussing high context versus low context language. This is a concept that comes out of social anthropology or cultural anthropology, and basically what it means that is that some cultures are high context. High context means that the responsibility for effective communication lies on the receiver . So if I, you know, and reading your paper that it would be my job to kind of figure it out, figure out what you're trying to say. Low context cultures work in the opposite way. It's the responsibility of the writer or the person speaking and communicating to make themselves understood. Malcolm clad well in his book Out Liars, discussed this concept a little bit, and it's very interesting. I put some links to it below um, but the point that I want to make here is that effective academic writing, particularly one done in English and English, is a low context language. It's distinctly low context what that means is the onus is completely on you as the writer to make yourself understood. Remember, your professors or your TS are not going to feel offended if you spell out your point. If you spell out your logic, that's actually what we're looking for because I, as the reader don't want, have to go looking for that. I don't want to put in that kind of extra effort. Another element that makes academic writing particularly low context is the part where it's a conversation that involves so many different people from so many different places in different countries. So you can't really expect, you know, a reader of somebody read your paper who's from a different culture from you to understand different references or cultural references unless you spell them out. So this the exercise and academic writing is really kind of spelling out your logic, making it clear for somebody who comes from a kind of a different place than you. Okay, now let's get into the meat of this lecture. When you're writing an academic paper at the undergraduate level, you're writing it either for a professor or for a T A. To be honest, This is the same at the graduate level and beyond, because your audience is going to be either PhD's or graduate students now in orderto pitch your message effectively. It's good to know who these people are. So let's start with your professor who is your professor? Your professor is somebody probably between the age of 30 and 60. Average years of schooling are over 21 usually closer to 27 or 28 if not more. They were average salary. Here is between 60 and 100,000 per year solder generally on average. Not rich, but not poor. These are all very proximate statistics since you might be able to tell the really important question on this slide is the following. What is the average number of pages to read every single day for your average professor isn't a way too many. Be hundreds see more than he or she is ever going to get to or d all of the above. If you guessed all of the above, you are correct. Now let's move on to your ta. Who is your TA t s are almost without exception overworked graduate students. The average age is late twenties. The average years of schooling over 21 in this case, maybe usually about I would say 25 or 26. Um, and the average rate of depression. And this is true, You can actually look this up is about 50% so quite high again. What is the average number of pages this person has to read every day? You should guess d all of the above immediately. The point that I want to drive home here is that this audience doesn't have time to dig through your paper to find, you know, the hidden gems there. Really? If you want to stack the deck in your favor, you make yourself easy to understand. Now, I would also like to tackle this question about weather. Writing for the TA really is worse than writing for the Professor. The short answer is yes. And the reason for that is that, as you can see from the previous like this person has, you know, a lot of work to do not very much control over it. There are actually relatively high rates of depression amongst graduate students in general . You know what? That What does that mean for you? that just means take everything that I've said and however much importance use assigned to it in your mind. Take it up a notch and it's that much more important. Okay, respect, convention, respect the assignment. A TA doesn't have the same kind of authority as a professor in terms of taking creative license in understanding your paper, a TA has to stick to the gruel book a little bit more. So that means make sure your assignment follows the instructions in the assignment. Make sure your your paper follows the conventions that have been spelled out for you. And make sure that your tone is always kind respectful. Um, because you know you're ta is more likely to get offended about that than your professor doing. All of these things stacks the deck in your favor. Sometimes the ideas that you're gonna have in your paper, the fact and the arguments maybe kind of So so. But if you're able to present thumb well, tow, package them well, toe. Follow the assignment to follow the conventions than your audience is predisposed to agree with you. Toe like what you've had to say because you've just kind of proved you're taking academia and the academic world seriously. Also, don't forget that your audience is steeped 24 7 in the conventions of their fields. What that means is that when you present a paper to them, you're you're doing yourself a favor. If your paper respect that world, respects that fishable, okay and shows that yeah, I get it. And I'm willing to play the game. So to recap, make sure your paper respects the convention that your audience is steeped in. Also, make your paper easy to read. How do you do this? You do this by respecting the assignment by using conventional structure and formatting is that way I know what to expect when I read your paper and by prioritizing clarity. 4. Creating structure: Okay, so this is third lecture structure. This is the first of the technical lectures about writing an academic paper structure is the first of these lectures because it is the most important thing to master. When I think of structure in a paper, I think of a boat because the game is to create the best, most buoyant structure possible to send your ideas from your mind to the mind of your reader. So, in other words, structure is the framework by which you locomotive your ideas from your mind to that of another person. There are two main steps to creating structure in my you know, preference is to start with a brainstorm and follow up with an outline. It doesn't really matter what order you do these steps in, but you have to do both of them at some point. Okay, Step one to me is the brainstorm. That means you throw your ideas on the paper. You pick up whatever facts, whatever evidence you think it's salient from the material that you've had to read or watch , and then you create an outline with it. So how does that look? Step one brainstorm. That means getting your ideas onto the paper. Okay, I do this on paper. I'm a visual person and I need to write it down. I know people who are able to do this in their head and who are able to subsequently write the paper, and they do it very well. I don't recommend that you do this unless you know for a fact that you're one of those people. What's the point of creating a brainstorm? Okay, you create a brainstorm because it's from your ideas. And it's from your observations that you're gonna be ableto pick what structure you're going to use for your paper. Now, there are two main structures in academic writing. I call them the kick Out an essay in no time structures. Why are they good? Because they follow convention to they facilitate composition. Once you're used to the structures, writing a paper becomes much more easy because you don't actually have to decide every time you write a paper, what it's gonna look like, how you're gonna structure to the information. You're going to do it the same every single time. Third, it helps to organize thinking these two structures are the following. Either you start with a thesis statement. That's basically your opinion or your point of view, and you justify it. 123 You find arguments to support your point of view, and then you conclude basically that you were right. It's great. The second structure is slightly more complicated and arguably more sophisticated. In this case, you start with the thesis statement. That's your point of view. But then you follow it up with evidence that on one hand justifies your point of view and on the other hand, rebuts it. Okay. And when you have this structure, your job is to create a synthesis. So you say, Well, my opinion was this in the beginning, but I found evidence to support that opinion, and I found evidence to contradict that opinion. And now I come up with a new opinion but synthesis and you conclude that your new opinion is the best opinion toe account for all of the evidence that you were able to find. Now what you do is that you take your brainstorm and you say I wonder what structure fits the data that I've collected, the evidence that I've found important the best step two to creating your structure. It's the outline. Once you decide what structure best fits what you have to say, you have to stuff your ideas into that structure, fill in the gaps, and then if you find that you need some transition statement so that you need extra evidence, then you go hunting for that. You've probably heard about outlines before. Basically, every academic writing teacher in the world will tell you make an outline making outline. But let me tell you why you need to make an outline. They're useful because they force you to have structure. Now, I don't care if you create your outline before you write your paper during the writing at the same time or afterwards. That doesn't matter to me. But you need an outline because if by the time you finish your paper you are not able to fit an outline over it, chances are you don't have good structure in your paper. And if you don't have good structure in the paper, you're not going to be a successful academic writer. Now let's go back to our boat metaphor. There are basically three pieces to any paper. The introduction, which is like the front of the ship. The body, which is the middle. And the conclusion, which is the back. The ship. Your introduction is where you put your thesis statement. This is where you say this is my point of view or opinion. The body is where you put all your evidence, the justifications or the rebuttal. Okay. The conclusion is where you put your recap or your summary. Interestingly enough, the two most important aspects of structure are probably the intro and the conclusion You definitely want to structure your your body correctly. You want the cargo to be nicely packaged, but in order to make sure that you create a good structure, you need an intro and you need a conclusion. That's the front of the ship and the back of the ship. It's a non negotiable. So in the next lecture, we're going to get into the technical aspects of writing the intro 5. Writing the Intro: This is the 2nd 1 of our technical lectures. So about writing an introduction. Writing an introduction means introducing two things. First, the topic of the paper. Your opinion? What are you writing about? But second, and as importantly, you need to introduce your structure and tell the reader what topics you're gonna hit to justify your opinion or your point of view. When you're writing an introduction, you need to think of a funnel. You start with a general observation and then you progressively lead your reader to the specific question or observation that you're dealing with. So to your specific thesis statement, here are some examples of opening statements for academic papers. Comedy is an art form with a long history. That's a very general statement that's very hard to argue with. What you're doing is that you're creating common ground with your reader. Alternatively, you can say something like heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U. S. For a statement like that, you might want to put a little citation after it because you want to show that you've done your research and that you're not just pulling this out of the hat this is actually fact based. But once you have that reference there, nobody's gonna argue with you. That's a general statement, a general observation once again creating common ground with the reader. After you do that, you wanna lead your reader towards your specific question. Er, issue. So the comedy when you want to follow up with, however, modern comedy, differs in many ways from its historical counterpart. Alternatively, for the heart disease opener, you would follow up. You could follow up with something like Lifestyle Factors play a big role in the genesis and ideology of heart disease. In both of these statements, what you're gonna observe is that I've led you in a certain direction with an opening statement. There are plenty of follow ups that you can use that will lead you in different directions . What you need to do is choose the one that's gonna lead the reader toe the thesis statement that you are gonna be dealing with in your paper. So with a follow up statement like, however, modern comedy differs from its historical counterpart already. Before you even know what the next statement is, you know that it's gonna have something to do with a historical comparison of communiqu styles in the heart disease. Example. Immediately. I've led you towards lifestyle factors, right? I could have led you towards anything. I could have talked about surgery. I could have talked about, um, cholesterol. I could have talked about anything, but I specifically lead you towards lifestyle so that you know that what I'm gonna follow up with has something to do with lifestyle. Now, let's take a look. Once you've led your reader, you want to hit them with your thesis statement. Okay, So for the comedic example, the purpose of this paper is to compare comedic styles from the 19 nineties to does from the 18 nineties, I could have chosen anything I could have compared from, you know, the 19 nineties to today, I could have done what I wanted. But this is my thesis steeping and my reader, based on the two previous statements, was able to anticipate something along these lines. That's a good introduction. Now let's look at our second example for the heart disease line in this paper, we will examine the role of psychosocial stress in the development of heart disease. I was talking about lifestyle now I'm talking about psychosocial stress as a reader. When I see that I know that I have been led through this line. So now we're talking about things like psychos like psychology and social aspects, off heart disease writing a thesis statement. Now, if we go back to our previous examples, okay, the purpose of this paper is to compare communiqu styles and this paper we will examine the role of psychosocial stress. These are different ways of framing a thesis statement. But if you get stuck and you're not quite sure how to frame it, how to present your thesis statement, there is a very formulaic, almost mathematical way of going about it. You used the following formula, the purpose of this paper, and you should get familiar with synonyms for words like purpose. Gold point aim, object. Okay, the point of this paper is to evaluate or examined or discuss or explore one of those words . Okay, The topic of interest. So the point of this paper is to evaluate, to compare, to explore, enter topic here. Remember that I had said that in the introduction you need to introduce both the topic and the structure now Let's go through our examples again here for the comedy example. Those three sentences effectively introduce the topic of the paper. Comedy is an art form with long history. However, modern comedy differs in many ways from its historical counterpart. The purpose of this paper is to compare comedic styles from the 19 nineties to comedy from the 18 nineties. Okay, once this is done, you need to follow up immediately with an introduction of your structure. Once again, this is basically mathematical to do so, we will first examine X. Then we will discuss why. Finally, we will explore said. In our second example. It's the same thing. I'll let you read it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U. S. Lifestyle factors play a big role in the genesis and ideology of heart disease. In this paper, we will examine the role of psychosocial stress in the development of heart disease. Follow up immediately with your structure to do so, we will first examine X and then examine why finally we will examine said this is how you introduce a structure you need to decide what topics you're gonna hit, and those topics you insert them instead of ex. You're talking about your topic instead of why you're talking about you know, this other aspect instead of that you're talking about 1/3 aspect X, y and Z here all referred to whatever topics you're gonna hit to justify your point of view . Okay, So, for example, if we stick with the heart disease example X, let's say X's job stress. Why wise family stress Z or zed? Major life events. What would that look like? It looks like this. We will first examine the effect of job stress and family stress on the development of heart disease. We will also examine the effects of major life events on disease development. This is a clean, clear introduction off your structure. Sometimes people recommend that you write your introduction after you've written your paper . What I recommend is that you write the part of your introduction that introduces your structure. After you've written your paper, I think that you can write the part that introduces the topic first. But sometimes you don't know exactly what pieces of evidence you're gonna use, what cargo you're gonna put in the boat. Okay. And once you know that it's easy to go back up to your introduction and to fill in the X, y and z parts of introducing your structure and the next lecture. We're gonna jump right into talking about how to write a conclusion. We're skipping the body for the time being because it's important to know how to open your paper and how to close it. Those are the two most important elements of your structure. After that, we're gonna move into how to write the body. 6. Writing a conclusion revised: So let's talk about writing the conclusion. Writing the conclusion is necessary to creating the framework for your papers. In many ways, the conclusion is the mirror image of the introduction, but with some slight differences. When you write a conclusion, what you need to do is repeat the thesis statement from your introduction to repeat the topic sentences from the body. We haven't talked about that yet, but we'll get there. Three. You want to repeat your findings, your synthesis from the body of the text. Basically, if you were able to summarize anything from all the evidence that you've discussed, you need to repeat that again in the conclusion. Finally, and this is optional. You need to suggest future directions, Um, for for other papers or for other explorations into this topic, that's a value add. Okay, so it's not necessary. But if your paper has future lines of enquiry that you can suggest, that makes it that much more worth reading, okay, and part of what you're doing here is selling your paper as having been worth my time to read. So let's jump right into the examples, so you need to repeat the thesis statement now I'm going to stick with the heart disease example from now on. Okay. This paper examined the effects of psychosocial stress on the development of heart disease . That is nearly a word for word repetition that's allowed in academic writing. You never want to repeat something for bait. Um, so don't repeat exactly the same words, but you are absolutely allowed to repeat the general just of any given sentence. If it's a sentence that's important to your framework, then you want to repeat your topic sentences from the body again, not verbatim. But you want to bring out the same information using the same keywords or technical terms that you used in the body. So we examined the literature on job stress, family stress and major life events on the development of heart disease. You notice a lot of these words come back. There's a lot of repetition and academic writing that's acceptable in this form of writing . More than acceptable. It's necessary. It's encouraged. This is the kind of thing that you don't want to start using synonyms on. You don't want to start saying we examined the literature on, um, you know, workplace conflict and, um, divorce and bereavement and, um, you know, job loss. Instead of saying job stress, families, dress and major life events, you really want to stick with your Pirmin ology? That's very important, and we'll bring this up again in a future lecture once you've repeated your main thesis statement and your main structure, reminding the reader exactly what you just did. You then want to repeat your findings from the body. So we found that most of these factors were associated with heart disease. However, family stress, in particular divorce and bereavement, was associated with worsened disease profiles. Now you're allowed to say divorce and bereavement because now you've clearly indicated to the reader that that was part of the evidence that you explored having to do with family stress. You need to keep these things very clear. Finally, suggest future directions. Future research could be done to examine the effect of social support during a loss on her disease development. Future directions means if you have found something through your research, if you have found something through the evidence that you've managed to come up with, that suggests that your question might have been a little bit off mark or that another question might yield some very interesting findings. Then you put that in your future directions. Okay, in this example, basically, I said Okay, family stress is important, but in particular, what we really were talking about with families dress was divorce or bereavement. Okay, so then I talk about the value at future. Research could be done specifically on that topic. Writing The conclusion involves repeating your thesis statement your topic sentences. So repeating your structure and creating an echo in the paper and repeating your findings. Finally, if there's something interesting that you want to put as a future direction or a value, add you close with the value. Add That way you really created a good pattern in your paper, whereas you have your intro that introduces your structure. You have your conclusion that reminds your reader of the structure, and you've repeated kind of the important pieces of information from your body. So when you put it all together, it looks pretty good. This paper examined the effects of psychosocial stress on the development of C. A. D. We examined the literature on job stress, family stress and major life events. We found that most of these factors were associated with CED. However, family stress, in particular divorcing bereavement, was associated with worse and disease profiles. In conclusion, psychosocial stress plays a big role in the development of C A D. Future research could be done to examine the effect of social support during a loss on CED development. Now, you see, from this kind of pulled together conclusion that in fact, the place where you've expressed your opinion or point of view was in one of the last lines wasn't one of the final lines of the conclusion. In conclusion, psychosocial stress plays a big role in the development of C A. D. That's really been the thesis statement all along. That's been the point of view or the opinion that you've been trying to justify. Remember, the introduction is about introducing the topic. You don't necessarily come out and stay or in state your point of view very strongly in the introduction, but you can do it here in the conclusion. So to recap when you write the conclusion, what you're doing is that you're repeating your thesis statement from the introduction. Then you're repeating your structure from the body, you reminding the reader. Okay, this is what we talked about. This is what I did. Finally, you're repeating your main findings. So the main take home message from your evidence. From what? The cargo you've managed to put into the body off the text. Finally, you're hitting the reader with your conclusion. Your opinion. Then if you have a future directions, if you have a value at here, is the place to put it. And the next lecture, we're going to be discussing how to write the body. And that's gonna be all about how you package the cargo of facts and evidence that you've come up with so that it receives optimal consideration from the reader. 7. Writing the Body: writing the body. Remember that the body of the text is like the middle of the ship. This is where you put the cargo, and the cargo is basically all of the facts and all of the evidence that you've been able to marshal to support your case. The structure of the body basically involves topic sentences and recap sentences. OK, the way that you figure out what to focus on in terms of your topic sentences and in terms of your recap, Cendant is really comes from Ah, close reading of the assignment. You want your facts. You want your cargo to really be solid fact based and to to, if possible, be interesting. Interesting findings. Talk about relationships between the different evidence that you're able to find. Also, remember that if you're using the second structure where you're going to rebut your original pieces statement, you want to make sure that you include your synthesis in the body of the text. It's not the same thing as your conclusion. Okay? It's your final putting together of all the pieces of information, and that's the kind of thing that you still put in the body. Let's talk a little bit about topic sentences. Whenever you're gonna introduce a piece of information a piece of evidence that you think is important to your case, you need to introduce that piece of evidence with the topic Sentence A topic sentence basically says, Hey, now we're talking about this topic. Sentences are a reworking of the two or three sentences that you are gonna put and the second half of your introduction when you introduced the structure. There is an important element here. Often times you're gonna be writing a whole section as opposed to only one paragraph on any given topic. So you need a topic sentence to introduce the section, and then you're gonna need a topic sentence to introduce each subsection. So each paragraph let's say you're writing a paper on cinematography. Okay, so you're gonna be critiquing a movie or you're going to be giving an interpretation of a movie. Let's say one of the one of the topics that you're being asked to focus on in your assignment is muse on Sen. The intro sentence for the whole section, then, is that we will examine the relevant elements of Meselson environment camera angle costumes to explore the protagonists. Inner conflict. Okay, Another way of doing this is to say we will examine elements of musical sent, including environment, camera, angle and costumes to explore the protagonists. Inner conflict. This topic sentence introduces a section and within the topic sentence. You're telling the reader exactly what elements to expect. Okay, what is it specifically about Maison sent that you're going to address in the following section? That's a good topic sentence that tells me exactly what's coming. That's what I want to see. The next slide here is an example of how this would work. So you introduced burst the section with a big topic sentence about the section. Then you're gonna need three topic sentences to deal with each of the elements of Miss Johnson. You told me you were going to deal with the movie. Uses means on Send the highlight. Tony's in inner conflict. First, the juxtaposition of clean lines in the environment contrasts with the confusion present in the interpersonal relationships. Once you do that, once you've introduced your topic and you've introduced your first element, your first piece of evidence, then you stick in the cargo. Those are the observations. That's specifically what did you notice in the movie that makes you say this? Then second, the camera angles highlight the distance between Toni's words and his actions. That's the second piece of evidence that you're gonna talk about. You follow it up right away with cargo. We should all be in separate paragraphs. First is in one paragraph second. That's another paragraph. Follow it up with a cargo. Follow it up with the evidence. Then finally, the brightness of the sets emphasizes the darkness of the costumes showcasing these showcasing his separateness from the world around him. Then you followed that up with cargo. So immediately you've told me your opinion and your interpretation of the data, and then you back it up with some data. Tell me, why do you think that you're going to say well in such a scene? You know, we're at minutes such and such I notice blah, blah, blah. That's your evidence. So the cargo, this is your actual observations. These are your actual pieces of evidence. It depends on the paper. What your cargo is gonna be. Read the assignment closely to figure out what kinds of things your instructor or your T A wants you to focus on. If you don't know, Go ask the T A. That's like candy. Okay. Tia's can't help themselves. They're gonna give you hints. If they don't tell you flat out what elements toe focus on to really maximize the appeal of your paper when your professor or your ta breeds here you can be creative. So if you see you know a piece of evidence and you're not exactly sure you think it could go a couple of ways, including your way, make it go your way. That's fine. If you can make a case for it, anything goes. The recap sentences are just ah mini conclusion at the end of each of these sections. So they look like this. Therefore, the brightness of the sets salient. Lee sets off the darkness of the costumes highlighting Tony's isolation. Really, this is taking a lot of the same words from the topic sentences, but just framing it as a conclusion. Okay, when you have to recap a whole section, what you want to do is create a little summary paragraph. Then you want to rework all of the many recap sentences and put them in that paragraph. It'll look something like this. Therefore, the movies Mrs Johnson is used to showcase the character's inner conflict. That's basically a repetition of your big topic sentence. Then the conclusion and interpersonal relationships is highlighted by the visual contrast ing of clean lines in the sets. That's your many recap sentence. That's your first topic. Sentence. Your first actual topic sentence related to your evidence rephrased as a conclusion. Sentence rephrased as a recap sent. It's the same for the following. Furthermore, the camera angles air used to emphasize the inconsistency in how the character acts and speaks. Finally, the dark costumes set off by the break colors in the sets drive home the characters poor state of mind and growing isolation. Really, all of this is a repetition of your previous sentences, but reworded, reframed as a recap sentences. This creates an echo in your paper. This creates structure in your paper to get back to my recap for this lecture. Many intro sentences and many recap sentences really served to clarify the structure of your paper. The reason that I'm emphasizing this so much is that sometimes people shy away from this because they just feel like they're repeating themselves again. You don't want to repeat yourself verbatim, But when you have these sentences in here, the reader knows exactly what you're doing. Exactly. When you're finished talking about one piece of evidence exactly when you've opened up to the next one, this really helps the flow and readability of your paper. So absolutely use these little tips. So absolutely used, the many intros, many recaps. This creates structure. 8. Writing tools and smart writing: finally writing tools and smart rating. How do I choose my topic? Sentences remember, topic sentences come from a close reading of the assignment. Usually, if you read your assignment carefully, your professor is going have told you what to focus on. Told you what topics are of interest. This is especially true in the first couple of years of university. After that, you might have more latitude. The next thing that I mentioned when I was talking about the technical aspects of writing the body, I want to re emphasize this. This is really important. Create echo. Echo the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph dealing with that topic. That's a mini conclusion. If you have several paragraphs under one topic, write a summary paragraph for it. You're creating structure. The purpose of thes many intros and these many conclusions is to create an echo, a recognisable pattern in your paper. Really? What we've been talking about when we've been talking about structure is pattern OK, human beings where pattern processors were gestalt ists. If you know what that means, we recognize the whole We don't recognize the parts. Okay, so your job when you write is that you create a recognisable pattern, the parts, little bits of information, the evidence and the facts that you come up with that you need to really blend them into your structure and bed them in tow a framework. And then your reader has an easy time understanding it and seeing how it's relevant to the rest of your paper. I put these little pictures up here of this. Is this two faces or is it a vase? This is exactly the kind of thing that you're dealing with when you're talking about the evidence and the facts that you bring up. You want to put it in a framework that tells people whether or not that's two faces or vase , because often times a given fact can go. Either way, you're framework is what people need to understand your point and to understand the relevance off the data that you're presenting. The next thing you really want to get familiar with marker words and synonyms for them. Here is the place where you go for synonyms, okay, so therefore furthermore, moreover, thus as such, these are all many marker words that served to tell your reader what the purpose of any given sentence is you don't need to have one of these at the beginning of each sentence, but you really should have a good smattering of them throughout your paper because these little words introduce every given little sentence that tell the reader what it's doing there. What its purposes. Don't put one in if it doesn't have a place, don't put one and just to put one in. But if you feel that it helps the reader understand your meaning, go for it. Avoiding synonyms. I've brought this up a few different times over the course of the lectures. I wanted to clarify to make sure you know what I mean. In chemistry, there are symbols such as F E for iron. I doesn't mean iron. I mean something else. When you're talking about academic writing, we don't have this kind of nomine creature. OK, we don't have symbols that directly refer to some things and not toe others. However, that doesn't mean that we don't take all were version of nomine creature very seriously, because we do okay. I was working with a student on a paper regarding three D object rotation in psychology. That's an intelligence test. It's a spatial intelligence test. You cannot say, however, that three D object rotation is, you know, interchangeable with spatial intelligence. When you're writing a test, when you say I had somebody do this task, you can't say And so that means they're spatial. Intelligence is such and such. It's a nuance. It's subtle, but it's important. This is our Nam incl, each er in academic writing. So when it comes to your technical terms, when it comes to the actual meat of your evidence, the actual technical aspect of the data you're discussing in your paper you want to avoid synonyms, you're allowed to repeat these kinds of words and academic writing. You're encouraged to repeat these kinds of words and academic writing. This is all about clarity. Now, speaking of repetition, we've talked a lot about repetition. So remember, repeat your technical terms. Avoid synonyms there. Repeat the form of your topic sentence of your justification sentences of your concluding sentences. Never repeat the exact same sentence. That's not acceptable. But repeat the general gist of it. Repeat. The technical words also never repeat facts or arguments. When you repeat those that just seems like you're trying to fill a pure text and you don't have enough to say. Don't repeat the actual data that you bring up, but make sure that you create your pattern. Okay? Your echo pattern by having a very similar form of an intro in a very similar form of a conclusion, sentence around pretty much every paragraph in the body. Also, repeat marker words as necessary to structure your text. But here synonyms are encouraged. I don't wanna have to read the same marker word over and over and over again in your text. That doesn't help clarity really use them to make yourself clear. That's your mission. So finally, some helpful hints avoid the use of I unless you know for a fact that your professor prefers the use of I to the use of we Okay, this is the kind of thing that can very amongst professors, just try toe, conform to whatever that professors preferences are. You're stacking the deck in your favor. Also, avoid the use of questions so usually you want toe frame. You want a phrase your question as a statement, because oftentimes an academic paper has to do with a question, but you phrase that as a thesis statement, not as a question. Also, remember that if you can understand you, your TA can't understand you so really again, prioritize clarity. Finally, though, you are justifying a point of view in your paper, OK, your point of view typically is couched an objective language. This isn't the same thing as opinion writing, so you don't typically come out and state your point of view as though it were an opinion. You stayed it in the form of Ah, you introduce it in the form of a visa statement. And then in your conclusion, you really could be clear about what your opinion is based on the data. I think this okay, but again, usually phrased a little bit differently. The data show that in conclusion, it seems that that's the kind of phrasing you want to use. To recap you want to create echo. That means you're creating structure. Get familiar with the marker words and how to use them. Get familiar with synonyms for the marker words avoid synonyms for the technical words. This is important. You really want to be clear. And when it comes to your technical words, prioritize that clarity. Repeat the words. That's okay. Finally, again, if I haven't said it enough prioritized clarity and structure, Remember, those are your keys to success. 9. In conclusion final lecture: in conclusion. So this is our final lecture. So the purpose of academic writing is to clearly communicate a point of view. The intro and the conclusion are the main building blocks to creating that vehicle. That boat that's going to transmit the information underlying this point of view, the body of your text should echo this overriding structure by including many intros and many conclusions in the form of topic sentences and summary sentences and paragraphs. Some final thoughts go over your paper at least three times. Okay, the first time you want to just write it. Once you've thought your brainstorm and you've got your outline, right it the second time. You got to make sure that your structure is good. Make sure that your structure is clearly reflected throughout your paper The third time. That's your proof. Read. Go through it. Make sure your marker words air there. Make sure you haven't used to many synonyms regarding the technical words. Make sure things are clean involved in this is formatting. Make sure that you're following the conventions that your professor has asked you to follow . Formatting can take a long time plan to give it at least an hour. Find your preferred method of composition and trust. It also spell checking proof routing. Make a friend often times. If you have somebody else read your paper, they can tell you whether or not it's clear or not. Whether or not it's adequate. However, I think that there's an important warning here in important cap. Yet that person needs to understand academic rating. Okay, academic writing has different conventions from a lot of other kinds of writing. It's not like journalism. You don't need to start with the who what, when, Where? How so? If you have a friend who reads it over for you, make sure that that person is familiar with the conventions of the field you're writing in . Finally, if you're struggling, you can use a tutor or academic editor. Most universities have, um, you know, billboards. Oh, are people who are willing to do this kind of work. I do some of it myself, and usually the input that you can get from this kind of one on one mentoring will go really a long way to making sure that your paper is what it needs to be. Use your ta if possible. Th They're usually very happy to at least help get you on the right path, even though oftentimes they won't be able to really spend a lot of time of the actual rating with you. And so that's it. I want to thank you very much for being part of the course. Please check in. I love to hear from you any questions or if you have examples and good luck with your writing.