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Academic writing is a term used to refer to a certain approach of expression. The distinctive features of academic writing comprise of a formal tone, the exploit of the third-person instead of the first-person point of view, lucid focus on the question or topic, as opposed to the writer’s attitude, and diction. Academic writing is typified by the use of the formal academic approach, avoidance of jargon, slang, and undefined acronyms. It is a formal way of writing. Many new students in higher education find it hard differentiating informal writing from formal writing and end up drifting to informal writing, because it is easier and a lot more common. The task of preparing an academic paper for a higher education level social sciences course is a vital one that should not be ignored. According to Professor Alan McDonald of Butler University, students in general score in the Pass/Credit range in their first academic writing task but improve as they continue writing. This can be attributed to various reasons; students join higher education institutions with an unclear idea of the requirements for being a member of an academic discipline or profession. In the first-year social sciences papers, the quality of the first academic writing is substandard. The most widespread issues are lack of coherence, insufficient arguments, and informal presentation of ideas.
To be better readers and writers within the social sciences discipline, students should learn a few tips. First, they must find an issue that merits attention. This is achieved through regularly reading and evaluating secondary sources against each other. Secondary sources include monographs and journal articles and they are read to determine the discourses in the social sciences discipline and compare them against each other. As such, the secondary sources should be well chosen to ensure they are relevant to the discipline in question. After coming up with an academic issue, students must then find a set of primary sources that can tackle the issue they have formulated. The student must read and reread the primary sources. This requires among other things the ability of utilizing the library. Students must put the relevant information they have collected from the primary sources into perspective and blend them to generate awareness. They must pose a succinct social science issue and the present a thesis statement, which tackles it.
Professor Alan McDonald of Butler University points out that the main concern for lecturers and instructors is whether they addressed the issue that was put forward by the lecturer. This is the major issue when assessing a new student's academic social science papers. While it might appear to new students that that higher education questions permit for a wide range of responses, one needs to make sure that they do not wander away too far from the fundamental matter in question. To avoid wandering off topic, a student must carefully study the wording of the question closely. The student should ensure to break down the question into constitute part for better comprehension.
Another concern for lecturers, when evaluating academic writing, is whether the paper presented has a lucid line of argument. Nonetheless, while the student might be aware that they ought to present an argument in their academic paper, it is often hard to bring that argument out in a clear manner when dealing with compound issues in an academic writing (Melzer 98). At other times, the students are not even aware of their argument. To present an argument in a clear argument, students must have a concise and exact perspective of the question requirements and their reaction. The student is required to make sure that this reaction is presented in a lucid line of argument throughout the piece of academic essay. To guarantee that ones’ writing is a concise answer to a question, a student should make an effort to link the introduction of their essay and the conclusion to the question at hand. This appears obvious; however, new students regularly lose marks for not linking the different parts of their academic paper to the question. It is also imperative to make sure that each paragraph or part of the paper is also undoubtedly connected and is pertinent to, the question or topic. When researching for a task, is it very probable that fascinating or exciting issues that are not directly pertinent to the question or topic will arise; this may divert a new student.
It is imperative when a student is writing their academic paper to make certain that it is a cohesive academic work. To put it differently, what a student is arguing for in their opening paragraph (or the hypothesis they make concerning the question in focus or the literature under the spotlight) require to be held up and expanded in the ensuing paragraphs. The conclusion of the academic paper ought to relate to the introductory paragraph. If a student finds the major terms in the introductory paragraphs not noticeable in the closing paragraph, it is an indication that they could have drifted off the initial issue. The student should be explicit in their exposition at the start of the academic paper and ensure that they coherently move the idea of their argument from paragraph to the other. One should not be carried away into generalizations or simplifications.
Additionally, new students in institutions of higher learning face the problem of incorporating the information they discover in the study sources into their own work. Producing a rhetorically successful researched, academic essay, requires a student to find a technique of blending the research information, the voices, and hypothesis of study sources’ writers, on the one side, and the student’s ideas, tone and voice on the other. This can be achieved through directly quoting when the student feels it is important, paraphrasing or summarizing the ideas of the source materials. New students dislike the traditional academic paper since they feel that it requires them to gather and assemble data without much thinking and reasoning. What they fail to realize is that there is often sufficient space for the student to articulate and investigate their own point, thoughts, and hypotheses. Researching and quoting academic works is supposed to aid them make their own case, explicate or demonstrate an idea. However, it is important to avoid using only materials merely on the basis that they support ones hypothesis (Bell 128). The students should acknowledge these incorporated ideas in there academic work through in-texting and providing a list of the sources at the end of their paper. The in-texting and referencing should be in line with the institution’s preferred citation style.
In conclusion, the best advice that can be given to a new student regarding writing of academic papers is to remember key expressions of the issue they are writing on always. Evaluate whether each paragraph is pertinent to the question at hand. The student ought to, in a well-structured and grammatically accurate paper, maneuver their way throughout an argument devoid of common fallacies. It is of the essence that they match proof to argument, subordinate, minor thoughts to major ones, and foresee and preempt challenges to their viewpoints.
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