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The Academic Writing Process

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❶Although the writing process is the approach taught and used in all Time4Writing courses, there are two distinct elementary writing courses that focus on helping students internalize the process so that it becomes their natural way of approaching writing assignments. If your institution has a subscription to the electronic copy of the book or journal, fine you can use them like that, but if not, go to the library — do some research.




After you've received your assignment the academic writing process can be split into four parts: As explained above you should be able to do the first three parts if you work hard and understand your chosen area of study.

For the last part of the academic writing process I offer advice and help in the proofreading part of this website, including articles and checklists for you to print and use. But first an important point to do with the academic writing process before I start to explain the research section.

You've received the title or topic for your piece of coursework, the first thing you must do is understand it. Make sure you're clear about precisely what the topic is and what it is asking for.

If you need to look up any words you're uncertain about, do so — it's better to check now, if you've any doubts, before you start the academic writing process than later. I've seen far too many students fail a written task because they didn't write about the correct topic.

If you think the lecturer has asked the wrong question, tough, you've to answer the question given to you. Write about the topic you've been given and nothing else! OK, now we can start the research phase. No matter what you're writing about you need to be factually accurate and precise. This means going to the library and doing research as the first part of the academic writing process. You can use the internet for some research but using actual books and journals will be much better.

If your institution has a subscription to the electronic copy of the book or journal, fine you can use them like that, but if not, go to the library — do some research. This means reading something, taking notes, writing down the information about the book or journal author s or editor s names, date, title, pages and publisher as a minimum.

You'll need all that information to cite your source in your text and add the reference to the reference section at the end of your paper, see the referencing section for more information.

You'll need to read many different books and papers before you're in a position to start planning your paper. When taking notes about each one you read you should rewrite it in your own works by either paraphrasing or summarizing.

If you do use the exact same wording you'll need to quote it. If you don't quote, paraphrase or summarize correctly you could be accused of plagiarism , which is a very serious offence. If you're not sure where to start your research for the academic writing process , enter the main keyword or phrase from the title of your assignment into a search engine Google, Yahoo, etc.

This should only be used to help you understand the basics of the topic. It's better to read too much than not enough, so plan plenty of time for this part. When reading an essay or lab report, a lecturer can tell which students know and understand what they're writing about and those who've just done the basic amount of work. You can come back and do more research later in the process, for clarification of certain points, but if you can keep it to a minimum, it'd be good.

Once you've all the information you need, you're ready to start planning your writing. Everything in life, which is built well, is based on a strong foundation. Your writing, as part of the academic writing process, is no different. There are two parts to your foundation for excellent writing.

The first is the research and the second is the planning. Now that you've all the information and knowledge gained in the research phase go back and look at your topic again.

How are you going to turn that knowledge into some writing worth of top marks? The first part of the planning can be quite disorganized. You just need to think of all the facts that you wish to include in your writing. There are several ways in which you can do this. You should choose the one that suits you the best.

Once you've got your list of all the information, which you'll include in your written work, you need to form the outline. This is where you decide how you'll answer the question in you topic or the title that you have been given.

While you should never go off topic in your academic writing it's quite often necessary to narrow your focus to be able to provide the level of detail needed in the space or time you've to complete each assignment.

You'll need to make a plan, quite possibly paragraph by paragraph, of what you'd like to include in your essay. Here you'll take the related points from the ideas you wrote down, previously, and form your argument.

This is an important part of the academic writing process as it means you won't waste time writing something which isn't well thought out. The points in each paragraph should be related and grouped around one main point.

When writing, each paragraph should contain one main point only and the related supporting minor points.

The paragraphs in you essay should follow on from each other to build your over all argument. Since the s, writing instruction has been changing. Students are taught a variety of styles to structure their thinking, ranging from analytical outlines to highly visual graphic organizers. Students explore ways for organizing and visualizing their ideas that is the most effective for them. For instance, many right-brained visual thinkers find the highly-graphical spatial bubble-diagram organizers most effective in the pre-writing stage.

Verbal thinkers may like to use lists, charts and free writing to organize their thoughts. At Time4Writing, the process begins with this kind of brainstorming. Some advanced writers will try to start with a prewriting outline or collection of ideas that exists only in their head, but they are required to put it in writing, either by way of a graphic organizer or in a more linear format, like listing or free writing.

Students also create a topical outline to help organize their ideas, and the advanced students are required to develop a working thesis statement. The goal is for students to become personally invested in their work. For many students, writing can be intimidating, upsetting and mystifying. At Time4Writing, because the emphasis is on the process of writing rather than the finished product, much of the sensitivity about receiving constructive criticism is eliminated; in fact, comments from students indicate they love the feedback!

By approaching writing as a process, instructors encourage students to postpone closure on a piece of writing until they have explored all of its possibilities. Although the writing process is the approach taught and used in all Time4Writing courses, there are two distinct elementary writing courses that focus on helping students internalize the process so that it becomes their natural way of approaching writing assignments.

This course, for advanced students with some technical know-how, incorporates the full writing process from beginning to end.


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The writing phase, of the academic writing process, is a multi part process. You'll write a draft, edit it and rewrite it, before editing and rewriting again. To begin with, write a rough draft from your notes and plan, made in the planning section.

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Academic writing is easy if you follow the process. Anyone can be an effective academic writing - if they follow the process. This short video provides an overview of the academic writing process.

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Academic Writing - 1 THE PROCESS USED FOR ACADEMIC WRITING By Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D. Minnesota State University, Mankato [email protected] This is an excerpt from my book, Academic Writing: Process and Product published by Rowman and Littlefield Academic writing is easy as long as you. Video created by Duke University for the course "English Composition I". To start our course, we will examine your own writing process and what it means to respond to the writing of others. We will also think about what academic writing means.

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Students, professors, and researchers in every discipline use academic writing to convey ideas, make arguments, and engage in scholarly conversation. Academic writing is characterized by evidence-based arguments, precise word choice, logical organization, and an impersonal tone. Though sometimes. Academic writing process 1. Preparation • Analyse the task for key words – words that identify the topic or issue. See Table 1 for some common key words used in assignment/examination questions.