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Academic Writing

By Nicola Nakashima

Academic writing Academic honesty and plagiarism Academic assignments Referencing

Introduction to Academic Writing

Used in universities for assignments Written for a specific audience scholars in your field of study Has an argument presents different views for better understanding of the subject It is an analysis engages in an inquiry, open to multiple suggestions Has a clear structure and uses formal language

Characteristics of Academic Writing

Use of correct grammar and punctuation Uses cautious language Avoids subjective and emotive language Is precise and concise Uses linking words and phrases Uses correct referencing Clear language Formal writing style

Requirements of Academic Writing

A clear structure An objective Relatively formal style Acknowledgement of all sources that you used

Cautious Language
Language that is not cautious Jennings (2010) research shows that smoking tobacco causes lung cancer Cautious language Jennings (2010) research would appear to show that smoking tobacco may cause lung cancer Smiths (2011) evidence suggests that greenhouse gases may have an effect on climate

Concise Language
Not concise: Owing to the fact that wet weather can contribute towards erosion in metals Concise: Because wet weather can contribute towards erosion in metals

Precise Language
Not precise: The earthquake was strong. A cupful of methanol was added to the solution.

Precise: The earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale. 400ml of methanol was added to the solution.

Subjective and Objective Language

Subjective The residue from the experiment was a beautiful red colour. Browns contribution to the field of quantum physics is extremely important because...

Objective The residue from the experience was red in colour

Brown made a significant contribution to the field of quantum physics because

Formal Writing Style

Dont use texting language Avoid using SMN language Avoid etc. e.x. %. i.e., Always spell out words in academic writing

For an example, percent, that is..

Dont use Cant, Wont, Isnt, Shouldnt Use Cannot, Would not, Is not, Should not

Always spell out these words

First Party/Person Language

First party language (do not use): I, Me, Mine, We, Us, Ours.

Third Party/Person Language

This report will discuss the effect of The author will .

Second Party/Person Language

Use second party language as linking reference words He, She,They, Them

Note: The in-text citation should be directly given within the sentence Additionally, Dooren, Bouckaert and Halligan (2010, p. 37) stress that the antecedents to contemporary performance measurement and management have a long lineage. They further state that...

Achieving clarity and accuracy

Use short words, rather short sentences, and plain language. Avoid tautology (using two or more words with the same meaning) Use British spelling conventions Use your spell checker

Active and Passive Voice

Use an active voice in academic writing. Dont use a passive voice.

Video: 5 tips to improve academic English.

Providing Evidence
Unlike other forms of writing, all claims made in academic writing must be backed up by evidence In academic writing, you must provide appropriate justification for your claims through arguments and evidence.

All claims made in academic writing should be backed up with reference. All your sources, including tables, charts or photos, must be acknowledged through references. In-text citation (within sentences) and endtext citation (reference list) should be provided

Academic Honesty
If you understand the reasons for referencing it is evident why you should not pass off work of others as your own. Failing to reference appropriately could result in your assessors thinking you are guilty of plagiarism the act of using somebody elses work or ideas as your own.

Using someone elses words or ideas without properly acknowledging them presenting someone elses ideas as your own. Deliberate or inadvertent and even if you reference an author but your words are considered too close to the original work you can be accused of plagiarism. It is very important that you take steps to avoid plagiarism and learn to reference correctly.

Characteristics of Plagiarism
Copying information from any source without acknowledgement (web, book, magazines, journals, papers). Writing about someone elses ideas as if they were your own. Writing about someone elses ideas without giving a reference. Using someone elses words exactly without indicating that it is a direct quote and including the reference.

Characteristics of Plagiarism
Using more or less the same words as another writer even if you acknowledge their work. Copying another students work or letting another student copy from you. Submitting work written for you by another person. Downloading chunks of text from the Internet and putting them together to form an essay.

How to avoid Plagiarism

Get into the habit of taking down full references when making notes so you know where the ideas have come from. Dont forget to make a note of the URL and date accessed for any web based information.

How to avoid Plagiarism

Do not copy word for word when making notes. Try reading a paragraph at a time and then summarising the main points using your own words. This is an alternative way of referring to an author's ideas and is called paraphrasing.

Types of Information to Reference

Thoughts, ideas, definitions or theories Research and other studies Statistics Information from the Internet, including images and media Designs or works of art Facts that are not common knowledge

What not to Reference

Common knowledge An example of common knowledge would be; Tokyo is the capital of Japan.

Essential information and ideas expressed by someone else, presented in a new form by you. one legitimate way (when accompanied by accurate documentation) to borrow from a source. A more detailed restatement than a summary, which focuses concisely on a single main idea.

Providing a brief account of someone elses work, concentrating on the main points and omitting the details. involves putting the main idea(s) into your own words, including only the main point(s). Summaries are significantly shorter than the original and take a broad overview of the source material.

Academic Assignments
Either essays, reports or dissertations/projects Has a clear structure Starts with an introduction Presents a main body (argument) Ends with a conclusion Uses referencing (in-text citation and endtext citation/reference list)

Academic Paragraphs
Divide your text into meaningful paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain one main idea or topic. The idea or topic is often introduced in the opening sentence. The rest of the paragraph is then used to give examples, evidence, definitions and further explanations of the idea/topic. Avoid paragraphs of just one or two sentences.

Coherence means that the text within paragraphs is well linked, and that the paragraphs are linked with each other. Coherence can be achieved with linking words and phrases.

Linking Words
Commonly used words at undergraduate level: Additionally Moreover Nevertheless In addition However On the contrary In contrast Similarly Nonetheless Furthermore Further Correspondingly This suggests This implies Likewise Accordingly

The Elements of a Good Paper

The Introduction The Body Paragraphs/Main-Text/Main-Body The Conclusion

The Introduction sets the scene. It introduces the question/problem and explains the purpose and focus of the paper. It also provides some background information, for instance on previous work in the area, and on research gaps. If necessary, it provides definitions of the key term(s). Finally, the Introduction outlines in summary form how you are going to deal with the topic, and the various stages you will take before reaching the Conclusion. If appropriate, you also may state here why the topic is relevant to you, for instance in relation to your professional context.

Introduction Setting the Scene

One of the biggest challenges organisations face is to secure a competitive advantage and survive in this rapidly changing environment (Hang et al., 2011). Indeed, innovation has become a powerful tool that can rewrite the rules of the game and open up new opportunities in the market (Tsai, 2001). Similarly, it is argued that innovation matters to an organisation and more importantly results of innovation contribute to national growth of the economy (Tidd and bessant, 2009). Furthermore, Damanpour (1996, cited in Johannessen, et al., 2001, p .23) emphasises that innovation includes a series of .......

Signposting is an important feature of academic writing which enables the reader to follow your development of the topic. You need to signal how the various sections of your writing link together, and what you are going to discuss next and why. There are two aspects to signposting: 1) saying where you are 2) saying where you are going

Example of Signposting in an Introduction

This section starts by presenting the definitions of leadership and management. Flowingly a discussion on the importance of leaders and managers to modern organizations will be made. Then this chapter moves on to discuss the theories and main differences between leadership and management. Finally the author will highlight the ways that authority and power has been used by managers and leaders in order to influence behavior of subordinates.

Main Text/Body
The Main Text includes a critical review of the literature. Based on this review, you will develop your argument. Most assignments ask for theory to be related to a real organization. Information on practical examples should be linked back to theory and state if it is supported or not.

Examples of Academic Writing - Literature Only

Although some authors argue that organisations should depend on ones R&D to come up with unique products that enable them to be competitive in the market (Graner and Behr, 2013; Perlmutter, 2013; Koudal and Coleman, 2013; Denning, 2005; Dooley and Kirk, 2007; Morales et al., 2008; Narvekar and Jain, 2006; Skarzynski and Latre, 2011) some theorists argue that organisations should depend on an open innovation strategy that provides a broad search option to come with more products to gain a competitive advantage (Tepic et al., 2013; Ojasalo, 2008; Patnaik and Prasad, 2013; Tidd and Bessant, 2009; Johne, 1999; Chanal, 2012; Nieto, 2004; Lilleoere et a.,2011; Inauen and Wicki, 2011; Chiaroni et al., 2009; Roux and Paraponaris, 2012).

Examples Literature and Organization

Amazons Sales Approach According to Nummela et al. (2006) the sales approach represents the brand and products to gain a competitive advantage. Moreover Caskey and Subirana (2007) state that organisational success depends on the sales approach. Similarly Huang (2008) argues that Amazon adapts to the multichannel sales approaches to link business and customer. Furthermore McCullagh (2010) points out that Amazon keeps every record of each move that customers make with a mouse to understand preferences of customers to create the sales approach. However, Leach (2013) debate that data produced with digital systems cannot depend on it and particularly with data that relates to human behaviour.

The Conclusion should give the reader the clear impression that the purposes of the assignment have been achieved. It typically includes:
A summary of the main points (discussed in the Main Text) Concluding statements drawn from these points Signal the main steps taken

The Introduction and Conclusion must link together; at the end of your paper, you should look back at the goals you set out in the Introduction and discuss how you achieved them.

Example Conclusion
This reported started by presenting the background information of Merck and AstraZeneca. Then it moved on to discuss the innovation process. Next the report analysed the innovation management of the two organisations. The results indicate that Merck believes that R&D is the key to success in innovation and they mainly depended on the companys R&D projects (Graner and Behr, 2013)........................ Flowingly, this report moved on to compare the two organisations innovation management.

Academic Writing: The Stages

Analyzing the question
Finding relevant sources

Constructing an outline
Writing a first draft

Redrafting, editing and checking

Task Words
Analyse Contrast Define Evaluate Justify Compare Describe Discuss Illustrate Review



Assignment Structure Check

Harvard Referencing Style

Why do I need to provide references in my work? To show anyone who reads your work that you understand the topic and can demonstrate your own thoughts on this. To demonstrate that you have read widely and deeply. To enable the reader to locate where you obtained each quote or idea. By providing a reference to the original source you are acknowledging that you have read the work and recognize the original author(s) ideas.

Harvard Referencing Style

In the Harvard system, the author's surname and year of publication are cited in the text of your work. The full details of the source are included in a reference list at the end of the assignment. This system does not use footnotes or endnotes.

Reference list
The reference list should include details for everything that you cite in your assignment. It should be in alphabetical order by author with all the different types of material in one sequence A reference list should always be included

In-text citation Direct citation: Adhikari (2010) argues that performance management was possibly the highest....
In-direct citation: These include performance agreements (Aguinis, 2009) and the importance of individual goal setting (Armstrong, 2010).

More than one author cited in the text

Smith (1946) and Jones (1948) have both shown Further research in the late forties (Smith, 1946; Jones, 1948) led to major developments

Two or three authors for a work

White and Brown (2004) in their recent research paper found Recent research (White and Brown, 2004) suggests that.. Further research (Green, Harris and Dunne, 1969) showed

Four or more authors for a work

Green, et al. (1995) found that the majority Recent research (Green, et al., 1995) has found that the majority of

Several works by one author in different years

As suggested by Patel (1992; 1994) who found that Research in the nineties (Patel, 1992; 1994) found that

Several works by one author in the same year

Earlier research by Dunn (1993a) found thatbut later research suggested again by Dunn (1993b) that
Bloggs (1993a; 1993b) has stated on more than one occasion that

Direct Quotes (no more than 40 words and 10% of the total word count) On the topic of professional writing and referencing Cormack and Brown (1994, p.32) have stated When writing for a professional readership, writers invariably make reference to already published works.

Secondary sources (second-hand references)

Research recently carried out in the Greater Manchester area by Brown (1966 cited in Bassett, 1986, p.142) found that

Reference List (end-text citation)

Reference List
One author book: Bell, J. (2005) Doing your research project. 4th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Two or three authors: Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2007) The health needs of young people leaving care. San Francisco: Addison-Wesley.

Reference List
Online book (E-book): Henry, W. (1823) The elements of experimental chemistry. Google Books [Online]. Available at: &printsec=frontcover&dq=The+elements+of+exp erimental+chemistry&hl=en&sa=X&ei=jivrUrCiM oulrQe6m4FQ&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage &q=The%20elements%20of%20experimental%20 chemistry&f=false (Accessed: 30 January 2014).

Reference List
Online Journal Article: Bass, B.M. (1997) Personal Selling and ransactional/Transformational Leadership, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales and Management, 17 (3), pp. 19 28 [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 1 October 2010).

Reference List
Journal Article (DOI): Burke, R.J. (2006) Why leaders fail: exploring the darkside, International Journal of Manpower, 27 (1), pp. 91 100. DOI: 10.1108/01437720610652862 (Accessed: 1 October 2010).

Reference List
Website: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2010) Leadership: an overview. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2010).

Thank you!