In conclusion: the process of academic writing
The nature and process of academic writing
Academic writing begins with understanding the nature of the task you have to undertake. Your writing assignment is normally set within a discipline that has certain conventions for the writing you are expected to do. This, in turn, shapes the research you carry out, the reading you do, and the writing style and document structure you will fashion. Writing an assignment usually involves planning the structure of the assignment you are going to submit, in order to build an argument. Planning shapes the act of composing (writing flowing sentences). Writing is normally done in stages, with text gradually being improved through reviewing and editing. Ultimately, the text and its presentation are polished to create the final version.
Key points in the chapter
1Different kinds of academic writing have their own features, including specific forms of structure and style.
2Writing is important in study because it helps you to: remember; observe and gather evidence; think; communicate; and above all, learn. Through writing, you also develop key skills that enhance your employability.
3Academic writing has certain features that apply generally but that also need to be tailored to your specific discipline. Features of academic writing include: the use of argument; being critical; being formal; and using words with precision.
4Different people write in different ways and the same person may write in different ways depending on the nature of the task.
5The process of academic writing normally involves: planning, researching, reading and note-taking; composing (drafting); and reviewing and editing.
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Answers for Chapter 1
Activity 1.2: Which of these is an argument?
(a)Yes, this is an argument. The writer has sought to use evidence and reasoning, and careful wording, to shape an argument that leads to a conclusion.
(b)No, this is not an argument. It is essentially a description or statement of fact.
(c)No, this is not an argument. It is a description, followed by the expression of an opinion.
Activity 1.3: Words and precise meanings
Activity 1.4: Avoiding ’look at’
Possible answers include: analyses, ascertains, assesses, challenges, critiques, deconstructs, determines, establishes, explores, introduces, investigates, judges, ponders, proposes, reflects, reveals, reviews, synthesises, verifies.