Academic English writing skills

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Published Date:16-07-2017
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Academic Writing Guideline for Writing in English AVOK - Centre for Academic Writing and Communication University of Tartu 2013A big thank you to the: Writing consultants (in alphabetical order) Eda Ahi Sven Blehner Nathan Brand Hanna Brauer Helen Hint Anni Jürine Shota Kakabadze Kristiina Kamenik Anne Kokkov Mirjam Parve Anna Penkina Tuuli Pern Ilze Zagorska For supporting your fellow students when they are in dire straights. For supporting the Academic Writing cause, in Estonian and English, and for being true pioneers in Estonia, and the Baltics Your endeavour will always be recognized. A special thank you to: Hanna Brauer, Eda Ahi, Kristin Lillemäe, and Helen Hint for your comments on the content. Nathan Brand for proofreading Sven Blehner for translating Kristel Kink for designing the logo All the academic staff who agreed to be interviewed and share their vision on aca- demic writing. Your comments have given us invaluable insight into academic writ - ing at the University of Tartu. The consultants who went out to interview them, and spend hours transcribing them. Finally, this booklet would not have been possible if it was not for the endless ef- forts and belief of: Ilona Tragel, Anni Jürine, Kristin Lillemäe, Tiina Kael, tt Kätlin Lehiste, and last but not least, PRIMUS. Djuddah A.J. Leijen Head of AVOKTable of contents Section 1: Academic writing 1. What is academic writing 2. Writing academically product oriented writing process oriented writing 3. Learn to write. Write to learn 4. The academic writing process Understanding your assignment Prewriting Writing Post-writing 5. Plagiarism - writing from sources 6. Useful sources 7. So, what is academic writing? 8. Plagiarism - writing from sources Section II: Writing in international programmes. Jyrki Heinämäki, UT Professor of Medical Technology Maret Ahonen, Programme Manager, Bachelor’s Degree of Business Administration, University of Tartu Heiko Pääbo, Lecturer, PhD, Head of the Centre for Baltic Studies – 3 –Section I: Academic Writing What is academic writing? In order to determine what academic writing is, it is necessary to place it within the context for which it is used. In our case, the context of academic writing is the University of Tartu, Estonia. Knowing the context, and seeking meaningful answers to this question has confronted us with a number of dilemmas which need to be clarified for you to understand why the content of this booklet is the way it is. The biggest challenge we have faced is translating what we know about academic writing into Estonian. It seems not much has been written about academic writ - ing from a purely Estonian writing tradition. More specifically, investigating what academic writing traditions are applied in Estonian higher education and therefore what it means to write academically seems to be lacking. As a result, finding the right words describing the right aspects has been and still is a major challenge. You also have to understand that this text is written in English and translated into Estonian, which means that many of the concepts and ideas presented come from a more Anglo-Saxon tradition. In other words, much more is known, or presented about academic writing in English, from the perspectives of publishers who mainly deal with academic writing concepts and problems in English speaking countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom is placed somewhat outside as academic writing there is viewed from a slightly different perspective. All the other three seem to share a similar academic system which supports and teaches academic writing fairly similarly. Placing academic writing in the context of Europe, and more specifically of Estonia, means that both national and institutional perspectives on academic writing need to be taken into consideration. Determining what type of academic writing is being – 4 –done at the University also needs to be understood before concrete advice can be offered about academic writing and learning to write academically. In 2009 we (AVOK) conducted a University of Tartu wide survey which aimed to investigate what type of writing is being given to students (teachers’ perspectives), how writing is perceived (teachers’ and students’ perspectives), the perspective of the quality of the writing (teachers’ and students’ perspective), and whether stu- dents and teachers think support is needed to teach and develop academic writing, and if so, who is responsible. The result of the survey has revealed a common mis- conception about academic writing, which is that most of the students who enter university know how to write academically and that writing is something you do, rather than learn. This common misconception is often made as academic writing heavily relies on the application of specific language, and therefore, if you have problems writing, it must be because you lack the language skills; thus, fix your language. The survey also revealed a common understanding about academic writing. There is a clear difference between the type and frequency of writing tasks students are engaged in at the start of their academic endeavour and at the end (final year BA, MA, or PhD), and in which faculties, departments, and study areas these differ - ences are strongly represented or not represented at all (AVOK survey data, 2009). Additionally, teachers’ perspectives on their students’ writing is often less positive than students’ perspectives on their own writing: as teachers go through reading a lot of student texts, it’s the bad ones that leave a lasting impression, and students are almost never able to compare their writing with the writing of their peers. Of - ten, the only reflection students have about their writing is graded representation at the end, rather than a comment at the beginning. And finally, academic writing is different across the disciplinary board. Writing in the natural sciences is different from writing in the humanities. Writing in history is different from writing in law, or business studies, etc. Both the shared conceptions as well as the misconceptions have become the agents driving the content of this booklet. As a result, the shared conceptions are repre- sented by the different versions of this booklet (the four major represented re- search areas at the University of Tartu: Humaniora (humanities), Medicina (Medi- cal sciences), Realia et Naturalia (real and natural sciences), and Socialia (social sciences) and the English version. We also understand that even within these four major disciplines there are a lot of differences in academic writing requirements, e.g. within Socialia (Economics, Psychology, and Law). Therefore, we have included links and references to online sources offered by these departments in each respec - tive booklet, as well as including the opinions of academic members within differ - ent departments about writing, writing requirements, and general perceptions of writing within their discipline. As most of the writing in these four divisions is done in Estonian, specifically at the – 5 –beginning stages, we aim to support this target group, as they also would benefit the most from an informative booklet such as this. The English version mainly ca- ters for the international students writing at one of the international programmes. However, all students who need to write in English will find useful information from this booklet. The common misconceptions about academic writing are addressed by introducing concepts of how writing is learned, techniques which can be applied and used to reflect on the writing, and, more specifically, to show how academic writing is constructed to become writing. So, coming back to the original question: what is academic writing, our aim is for you to be able to answer this question aer ft reading this booklet. What we can say is that the answer greatly depends on many factors; at what stage of your academic writing career are you asking this, in which discipline, for what purpose and for whom are you writing? If you’re a PhD student, for example, academic writing for you is mainly represented by journal articles. If you’re a bachelor’s student in medi- cal sciences, academic writing might mainly consist of lab reports. And, if you are a student in natural sciences, some of the academic writing you do - mainly written exam questions - is only to be assessed by your class instructor. From this perspec- tive, you can already get an idea what we are getting at. Within most academic writing you may find yourself engaged in, there are a number of components which will apply in all situations, and which will help you to learn how to become a more skilled academic writer. Writing academically Academic writing, and writing in general, is a skill, and skills are generally learned through practice, practice, and more practice. Some people like writing, and as a re- sult, practice their writing whenever they write. For example, you may enjoy writing entries in a personal diary, you might keep a blog on the web, post lots of comments on Facebook, or even Tweet regularly. Some people enjoy writing poetry and crea- tive stories, either as a hobby, or with the intention to publish. You may identify yourself as one of those persons who enjoys writing, as exempli - fied above, or you may be amongst the majority of students who actually do not like writing, at all, or has lost the passion to write. Schools and university, as educational institutions, may have been the cause of this demise; these institutions have taken the ‘joy’ out of writing as the application of writing within this setting often changes its meaning and purpose. Within an educational context, writing is mainly used as a means to assess. However, as we know in academia, the application of writing is an extremely powerful tool for learning (which we’ll thoroughly discuss in the next part). – 6 –Although the concept of writing to learn may not be immediately apparent, the use of writing as a form of assessment is much more obvious. Students, specifically at university, are constantly confronted with deadlines for the writing assignments which are part of a course’s requirements. According to the survey, the research area of Humanities offers students the widest variety of writing assignments, as well as the most frequently, in comparison to the other three research areas (Medi- cal Sciences, Real and Natural Sciences, Social Sciences). Quite often, the deadline for an essay, for example, is set at the end of the semester, and in some cases can count to a large part of the final grade as the essay will measure how much the students have learned from the course content. From a writing perspective, this is what is referred to as product oriented writing. Product oriented writing Product oriented writing is exactly what it says it is: a product that needs to be handed in at a specific date for assessment. The product is likely to be assessed according to specific criteria set by the course instructor. From the perspective of a learner, it means having to assume that you know what these criteria are and hoping that the writing you produce matches these assumptions. Product orient - ed writing can often be recognised by the following: completing writing tasks as quickly and as painlessly as possible for a maximum score; leaving the writing as- signment to the last minute; lack of time for revision and reviewing before handing in the text; and little or no feedback on the final assessed product. Thus, product oriented writing leaves a student with the impression that the grade received on the product is a reflection of what the student has learned or knows about the subject and not so much about whether the written task was dealt with correctly, or incorrectly (the final grade might be a result of poor writing, rather than a lack of subject knowledge). So when it comes to learning how to write, being aware of writing as a process is essential, as it will allow you to exercise much more control over the learning of content specific knowledge through the application of specific writing conventions, as well as to be more engaged in an academic dialogue with your content specific audience, whether they be the instructor who is going to as- sess your paper, or your peers. Process oriented writing In comparison to product writing, process writing is basically completing many sub- products, at different stages, for the same final product. In other words, writing has many different stages, and every stage is represented by different processes, all of – 7 –which contribute to a developed written product. A final written product, as we see published, has undergone many different processes, starting from a stage which is defined as a pre-writing stage, followed by a writing stage, and completed with a post-writing stage. What we know from writing research is that the writing stage is often the least time consuming stage. We also know that the pre-writing stage is where many writers get in trouble, and not enough time is spent on the post-writing stage. We will discuss these different stages in more detail below, and offer, for every single stage, guidelines and suggestions how to optimally make use of these stages to develop yourself to become a more skilled academic writer. Learn to write. Write to learn. Generally, as we stated above, it cannot be assumed, or taken as a fact, that students entering university (or exiting, for that maer), tt will know how to write academically. First of all, generally speaking, the majority of students who enter university come from a secondary school system that has not required them to write academically, if it had required them to write anything at all that resembles the writing students are asked to do at university. Thus, upon entering university students have had little or no practice of academic writing. Secondly, beginning university students have lit - tle, or no experience with reading academic text which is representative of the text they are asked to write. Therefore, at the beginning stages of university academic writing, students should be offered a lot of practice to develop both their academic writing skills, as well as their academic reading and thinking skills. But, what if the curriculum students follow does not contain a great deal of opportunities to practice writing academically? And what if their curriculum does not require them to write a thesis at the end of their BA studies? What if it does? Well, if students are not asked to write a thesis, and continue on to study at a master’s level, these students will enter their studies with little or no practice writing academically. If they are asked to write a thesis at the end of their BA studies, as a result of little practice, students often struggle and are depending heavily on the supervisor’s ability to help them to deliver a product which meets the requirement set by the committee assessing the thesis. The more students are offered to do some writing, the wider the variety of writ - ing tasks, and the more they will be able to reflect on their text, either through receiving teacher feedback, but also peer feedback, etc. the more skilled students become at writing academically. We also suggest that writing and learning to write is not just building a necessary academic skill, but it also helps students to engage with subject maer tt for the pur - pose of learning the subject maer tt . When instructors assign writing assignments, they often do so as a means to assess learning, as we established earlier. These – 8 –writing assignments are, therefore, formulated in such a way so that the assessor of the assignment is going to be able to assess the learning of the content he or she set out to teach. In other words, understanding the writing assignment is the key to getting a good grade. Thus, going back to the beginning of this booklet, what academic writing, within this context, strongly depends what your assignment is asking you to do. The academic writing process At this point we focus our aen tt tion to describing and applying the process of aca- demic writing, and offering you a systematic approach to understanding what it means to write academic text, how to write academic text, and how to become bet- ter at writing academic text in a step by step approach, starting with understanding your assignment and the prewriting phase, followed by the writing phase, and end- ing with the post-writing phase. Understanding your assignment As indicated earlier, understanding your assignment is a key, if not the key com- ponent of any academic writing assignment. Although understanding your assign - ment is part of the prewriting stage of the writing process, we feel it is necessary to dedicate a separate section to this topic. In our experience, and according to the experience of many other centres for academic writing, students often do not understand what the assignment is actually asking from them. As a result, students make assumptions about the task and complete the writing task based on their own preconceived ideas about what ‘academic’ writing is and how it should be done. As a result, students might be writing a descriptive text, when a more argumentative text is required, or students might write from personal experience, when the task asks students to write from credible sources. Remember, academic writing can be many things, depending on what you are asked to do. Misunderstanding this part of the writing process will lead to a lower grade and will quite often damage a student’s confidence about their own skill in writing. Our main advice is, therefore, if you are not sure if you understood the assignment correctly, check with your instructor, double check with your instructor, and check again with your instructor (no shame in making sure), or check with your peers. In addition, the following points will also help you along to analyse the assignment and draw up a plan for your text. – 9 –1. Read the assignment thoroughly at the time when you receive it. The assignment sheet you received should contain the most important information, such as the length of the task, the deadline of the task, the nature of the task, the audience, and perhaps additional information which will guide you and teach you how to write the text. Make sure you read the assignment instructions containing the question twice. When you are reading the assignment sheet for the second time, highlight words which are unclear, words which you think are keywords of the assignment and ask yourself how this text relates to the knowledge you have been learning in class; what is the goal (what are you being asked to do)? Keywords These mainly prescribe the content of your text. What is the topic? Are there any restrictions? You’ll need all of them reflected in your text, and under - standing these will help you to choose your reading and information needed to develop your text. • Being able to identify keywords ensures you understand the assignment clearly • Specifically in lengthy assignment instructions, it is important to distin- guish which words reflect the content of your written text as opposed to formal instructions. Example 1: The study of the equal rights movement in Estonia, over the last 5 years, has not changed or improved the gender pay gap. Discuss. The underlined words are key components which need to be included in your answers. Goal The goal of the assignment is usually indicated on the assignment sheet, either as a single directive (usually an active verb) which is telling you to do something with the keywords specified above, or with multiple direc - tives (prove and discuss) . Example 1, above, tells you to discuss the problem. What does it mean, to discuss? Is listing possible answers, or facts a discus - sion? Or will you need to include additional resources and references in or - der to create a discussion? – 10 –In general, writing assignments will ask you the following: 1. Demonstrate what you know about a subject. 2. Demonstrate how certain things are related or connected. 3. Support and defend your ideas about a subject. Going through your assignment, look for the following action verbs. Your as- signment will have at least one of these active verbs, but quite often it will contain a combination of these words. In general we can state that these action verbs are related to assessing your thought as well as your knowledge and your ability to use these. 1. Demonstrate what you know e.g. give reasons for a situation or attitude and provide explain examples. e.g. list the most important aspects or points about the topic summarise or subject. e.g. give the meaning of concepts or terms. define e.g. give concrete examples. These can be in the form of illustrate tables, figures, diagrams, etc. 2. Demonstrate connection or relation e.g. highlight how two or more things are similar compare e.g. highlight how two or more things are different contrast Emphasise connections and associations. relate – 11 –3. Support and defend ideas give reasons or evidence for something you believe. support summarise your opinion or ideas about a topic and measure assess it against something. state your opinion about a topic (positive, negative, or both) evaluate and give examples and reasons. Identify and describe the parts of a topic, and explain how analyse they relate to each other or how they work together. defend an opinion or an idea with evidence. argue determine how individual parts create or relate to the synthesise whole, how it could work, what it might mean, or why it is important. One useful source to investigate if you want to know what you are asked to do is Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning objectives . (see our reference list at the end, or drop by AVOK for additional support and help with understanding the assignment) Prewriting What we know from writing research is that prewriting is a crucial element in the whole writing process and one which is often not exploited, or used by novice or in - experienced writers. As a result, students who ignore, or skip the prewriting phase hand in papers which lack structure or a solid foundation. The prewriting phase of the writing process is everything you do to prepare yourself for the writing itself. This may include some or all of the following: • Make a list of keywords and concepts • Make a list of ideas on your topic/assignment • Read and take notes on your topic • Make clusters, mindmaps, visual schemas of your topic showing relations and connections. • Raise questions about your topic – 12 –• Discuss your ideas with others (classmates, friends, writing consultants, etc.) • Make an outline of your text • Relate what you now know back to what the assignment asks for Remember to constantly keep in mind who you are writing for, who your audience is and to adjust your text accordingly. It’s your task to convince your audience and make sure they understand you (not the other way around). The idea of prewriting helps to: • Narrow your topic • Determine how much you know about a topic and how much you will need to research the topic. • Find a clear direction (redline) for your text • Get over writer’s block Writer’s block (before the writing starts) If you are one of those writers who has problems with starting, there are a couple of techniques which may help you overcome this problem, and these are often in - cluded in the prewriting phase. Freewriting or Brainstorming Freewriting can help you discover ideas or find the right words to explore and de- velop existing ideas. Take your topic and give yourself a set period of time (between 1 to 6 minutes). During that time you write down non-stop everything that comes to mind about that topic. Once you complete this stage, reread what you wrote and pick up on an idea you like or wish to further explore in a new freewriting session. Repeat the process 2 to 5 times. Writer’s block can actually occur throughout the writing process, and freewriting and brainstorming have been known to work wherever you are in the process. (for additional tips and techniques how to overcome writer’s block, make an ap- pointment with one of AVOK’s writing consultants) – 13 –Writing The writing phase of the writing process does not mean that this is where you will write your final product. On the contrary, the writing phase of the writing process is where you start putting text on paper. At this stage it is not referred to as the text but as the draft version of your final product. The writing stage itself is also considered to be at the late stage of your product de- velopment as it is assumed that you have adequate information and understanding, are near or at the end of gathering research, and have completed the prewriting stage. At this point, it is also important that you think about the best “writing” situation that applies to you. For example: • The place where you write (library, home, cafe, etc.). • The amount of time you need for writing and have for writing. • Clearing distractions (such as social media; Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, e-mail etc.). The writing stage mainly includes the following: planning, drafting and developing. Planning In the prewriting phase, you should have made an outline of your text, also referred to as the initial plan. Planning at the stage of writing means that you start to ar - range your ideas and materials in your outline in a sensible order that will clarify the points you want to make. At this stage, you should also plan what your thesis, or main point is going to look like or be, and how it is going to reflect the rest of the text. You can start planning how many paragraphs your text might need, how much space your introduction and conclusion need, as well as aspects related to your sources and references. Drafting This stage of writing is the actual phase of writing. At this stage, you’re developing your content into comprehensible paragraphs. Remember that at this stage, everything you write is tentative and eligible for de- letion or can be moved and/or altered. As the word drafting suggests, nothing is fixed, and nothing should be fixed. Allow yourself time to go through many stages – 14 –of developing your drafts. Remember also that at this stage it is not important that you focus too much on language, punctuation, or clarity of sentences. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to focus on these when you enter the final stage of the writ - ing process (post-writing). As you draft, let yourself be guided by your prewriting phase. The research, the out - line, the notes you have made should all guide you to develop a more or less coher- ent piece of text. Quite often, as a result of writing, you’ll further develop specific ideas you had, or you might change your initial outline, or change your approach to the assignment. Do not be discouraged as making changes to initial plans and ideas is quite normal when you are drafting. It generally means that you are developing your idea. The final stage of the writing process will clear up any inconsistencies you might have encountered when drafting. The most important writing elements you want to pay aen tt tion to during the draft - ing phase are: • Paragraphs When you construct your paragraphs, keep in mind that each paragraph should have a clearly distinct concept or idea. Every important point you wish to make can be incorporated into one well developed paragraph. Very long paragraphs usually mean that you have more than one idea and it is always a good indication that it needs revising. Knowing what your paragraphs do and what they say is an impor- tant indication whether the information you present fits the paragraph or would be beer tt placed somewhere else. In other words, do not let a single paragraph say or do too much. • Your arguments It will help if you construct a sound argument that you can adapt when you are writ- ing your paragraphs. Writing from a clear standpoint, idea, argument, helps you to stay focused. • Signposts When you are connecting your ideas, thoughts, and arguments, make sure you in - clude clear signposts (words such as: next, following, because, as a result, however, finally, etc.) so your reader can easily follow your thoughts in the text. Signposts are particularly helpful when moving from one paragraph to the next. • Conclusion Your conclusion must come out as a result of the reasoning and arguments you have used as well as the evidence that support it. In other words, by now it must be quite clear what your conclusion is going to be. – 15 –You can always double check by looking back at your text and the main points you present. Finalise any point you wish to make, any position you are taking, etc. Re- member, your conclusion is not absolute but a result of your argument. • Introduction We suggest to end the drafting with writing the introduction. As mentioned earlier, quite often we develop our ideas when writing, and therefore, our introduction is as tentative as the ideas we develop, or the conclusions we draw. The introduction should be a reflection of the complete text. It’s also the part where you need to capture your audience. If your audience is the instructor of the course, make sure the introduction reflects the assignment. Your introduction will contain the main thesis of your text and serve as a map for your readers. (for additional tips and techniques how to construct arguments, thesis statements, paragraphs, introductions and conclusions make an appointment with one of AVOK’s writing consultants) Post-writing Post-writing is often referred to as the final stage of the writing process, but, actu- ally, the writing process only stops when your time is up and you have to hand over your text for a final assessment. The stage where your text has at last become a product. The following are all part of the post-writing stage: 1. Reviewing and revising drafts 2. Editing 3. Proofreading Reviewing and revising drafts At this point you should get the sense that the writing process is very cyclical and that drafting is a recurring feature throughout the writing process. In this context, drafting is included in the post-writing phase, specifically in combination with re- – 16 –viewing and revising. The main reason is because there are a lot of strategies you can use to develop your text and your writing skills. The best way to do this is to do it with existing drafts of your text. The idea being, you are going to review and revise your text to improve the quality of your text and to improve the quality of your self-diagnostic skills, and eventually your writing skills. Reviewing and revising Once you have created ownership of your own writing, it becomes very difficult to review your own text for any set of criteria. The problem is that quite often we are not able to critically evaluate our text, or add or delete information throughout the text. Think about how many times you have deleted a complete paragraph in your text, or changed the introduction of your text completely. Sometimes it can be quite painful to delete a paragraph that has taken you 3 hours to write. What you need is help, and help from a fresh pair of eyes and a less committed mind. Therefore, we suggest that you find a way to get your text reviewed by others. The problem with this is that you need to be quite certain that the people who are going to review your text know what they are looking for and are sensitive to your cause. If not, reviewing may become a painstaking process, and do more harm than good. How- ever, on the upside, if you receive constructive reviews on your text, by somebody who is sensitive to your cause, you and your text will likely benefit from this. Below we provide some suggestions how to organise reviews of your text by other people. 1. If you want to receive professional reviews of your text, you can drop by or make an appointment with a writing consultant at the centre for academic writing and communication (AVOK). These writing consultants are trained at reviewing texts and trained to provide constructive feedback on how to im- prove your text. In addition, quite often writing consultants are aware of the different genres, and disciplines, as well as languages and can, therefore, be helpful in more than one way. 2. Establishing writing groups is one way of getting multiple reviews on your text. The advantage of writing groups is that everybody who participates in the group is both being reviewed and offering reviews. Writing groups will often work best if the writers are writing in the same discipline. 3. Friends, family and relatives do not always make for good reviewers because they tend to be more positive and encouraging when perhaps more critical comments are required. When you are asking others to review your text, it is always best if you provide the reviewer with some guidelines or questions. In this case, the review will be focused on that aspect you want them to focus on. If you do not do this, quite often the review will focus on language specific issues when you would actually prefer to receive comments on the clarity of your argument or the logic of structure. – 17 –Once you have received reviews on your draft, you’ll have to go back to that dra ft and decide which of the aspects of the reviews you received you wish to revise and improve. You still have ownership of the text and you’re therefore in charge of deciding which comments you received need immediate aen tt tion. If you receive a lot of comments, it’s often wise to make a few changes and get another review of your new draft, etc. Some texts might need to go through a single review process, whereas others might need three or four iterations. That’s why it is important to allocate a good amount of time to the post-writing stage of the writing process. Editing and proofreading Once you are content with the final draft of your text, it’s time to complete the final writing process and do some final editing and proofreading. Although editing and proofreading can be considered revising, revising is usually done on a much larger section of a text, whereas editing and proofreading is making changes at a sentence of word level. When you think about editing, think about the following: • Verb usage and tense • Subject/verb agreement • Adjectives and adverb usage • etc. Once this is done, leave your text as it is and return to it aer ft a day or two/three and proofread the text one last time. Highlight/change anything that jumps out. By this time you are reading your text not for content but purely on the basis of it being text that needs to be made readable for the readers, without interruptions. (Our writing consultants are available to help you review your text, organise writing groups, and support your revision process. In addition, some of our writing consult - ants can help you if English or Estonian is not your native language and you need help with editing) – 18 –Plagiarism - writing from sources As plagiarism is a serious issue, our approach to dealing with this issue is to advo- cate good writing practice, which often eliminates problems associated with pla - giarism. Plagiarism most frequently occurs when students procrastinate, write at the last moment, do not spend enough time revising their text, do not plan their arguments or their sources. Writing is time consuming, writing takes a lot of practice, and writing is about creat - ing a dialogue between yourself, your sources, and your audience. It is, therefore, very important to learn how to write from sources. This guide offers the following suggestions: • Allow plenty of time for your text to grow throughout the process (prewriting, writing, post-writing stages) • In the prewriting phase, make sure you get a system in place to organise your literature, your notes. Mark everything you want to use, where did you get it, what page, author etc. • Have a separate notebook or file in your computer to write down quotations, interesting points, opposing ideas, etc. • When drafting, write as you would write. Do not copy and paste any sentences from the book, no maer tt how well they are written. You’ll have plenty of time to rephrase your own ideas and thoughts, and refer them to the original source. • When drafting, include any reference right away in your text. Know how to make references correctly (learn the system which is applicable for your text). • Do not rely on other people to write the text for you. • Always spend enough time on the revision and reviewing process. Drafting and reviewing is a powerful tool against plagiarism. • Visit the centre for academic writing and communication (AVOK) for free as- sistance throughout the process, about any topic in the process. The booklet’s online version and homepage also include links to what specific de- partments have to say about plagiarism and the writing instructions they provide. – 19 –Useful sources Google for the following sources: term description the academic phrasebank A general resource for academic writ- ers. It aims to provide some of the phraseological 'nuts and bolts' of writ- ing academic word list Using English for Academic Purposes: Information and Advice for Students in Higher Education. advice on academic writing University of Toronto guide assessing the writing task Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning out- comes Books: • Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd Edition: Essential Tasks and Skills (Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes) John M. Swales, Christine Feak • Writing Academic English, Fourth Edition (The Longman Academic Writing Se- ries, Level 4) Alice Oshima, Ann Hogue • Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students Stephen Bailey • They Say/I Say: The Moves That Maer tt in Academic Writing Gerald Gra, ff Cathy Birkenstein The procedure and guidelines governing teach- ing and studying at the Faculty of Philosophy. – 20 –

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