Academic Writing Lecture Notes

While I was in University of Copenhagen (2010-feb) I enrolled to academic writing class which leads us to “Writing The Paper A to Z”. Those are the lecture notes thats why Im pleased to share with you who are interested in Academic Writing. Hopefully, it works for you!
P.S : To take more information please write to me without hesitating!
Mustafa Ijaz (
Copenhagen University – 2010
Deciding on a topic or title
àFinding a relevant – interesting topic
Strategy for invention
Brain storming => mind mapping
1.Find a subject or theme
2.Define a problem area
3.Define a spesific problem
4.Formulate the problem
·Ask yourself – write down yourself
·Why I change it?
·What do I think about this topic or theme?
A well-though thesis is the key to writing an effective paper
Print out a copy
Keep your thesis at the center of the paper
It will help you to write a well organised and focused paper
·Where do i want to take it?
·What do i know about my topic?
·What do i not know?
oWhere/How do i find out more
oWhat about “newness” or “originality” of title or approach
üConsult your professor
üHand in a draft
üArrange a meeting
üGet the “OK”
üUse e-mail!
§After discussing the paper
§Compose your work Schedule
§Made it flooting
§But keep it in view
Allow sufficient theme
·Library loans
·Field studies
Check your Schedule
Worst case secenory à a new angle topic
Back to start and all over again
Electronic search
*the internet
* google search
How-where do they information from ask always
àplagiarism !
üNever use modifier like “it seems like” or it appears to be”
üLiterally ask a question and answer the question
üThis can be done both introduction or body?
èStart with the section that appears most inspiring you
èFollow your essay plan
èFollow your Schedule
Set yourself a target for each day and stick to it. Even if you have to burn midnight oil.
Think of it as writing a letter to a friend where your introduce your topic, theme, texts you have read and your respondes
Kill your darlings! Put yourself in the position of your reader
You have planned
You have written
Now its time to revise
General Advice for Revision
Time: Allow time fort he revision proces
HARD COPY: print out a hard copy and take a red pen fort he revision process
TRY READING ALOUD to yourself get a SECOND READER both for content and prof-reading
Is the paper coherent?
Look your thesis.
General structure paper
·Do paraghraphs hang together
·Are the arguments moving on in a logical and instructional?
·What are strength of my paper?
·What are the weakness?
èLanguage, style tone!!!
Over use of
ü passive constructions
üLong, complex sentences
Excessive use of academic jargon or terms.
İnviting yet formal without being dull
Objective and fairness in tone
You may be polemical is thesis appropriate to your topic or argument.
COHERENCE: The Flow Of Your Paper
§Anchoring of sentences: backward as well as forward
§Consistency in subjects
§Use repetition to create unity in key issues or words at appropriate moments
§Use transition markers wisely to announce turn in argument
oDo not tell us what you are going t oto all time!!!
oDo it once – otherwise do it!
oAvoid using qualifiers : i think, in my opinion, perhaps, could be, it’s possible, a likely situation might be
Avoid using first and second person: I, we, you, me, my etc.
İf possible avoid of these are
·Use headings and make a table of contents for all papers
A book advice : Gibaldi, Joseph ; MLA
More than telling what you see!
Academic papers must be analytical than just descriptive
§Force you think
§Be critical and independent
§Analysis making questions – why, what, where, how
Subordinate your priorities
No evidence – No conclusion!
No description – No analysis!
Analysis is based on pros and cons
All points must be clearly stated and substained
Write in clear and logical
Structure so the reader can follow you step by step!
(fish metaphore)
%80 %15 %5
§Body I: description and exposition
§Body II: Analyzing and discussion
§Works cited or bibliography
Separate methodology sewctions!
Have a table of contents ( always for longer papers more than 8 pages)
*your style must be inviting maybe provacative
Øİntroduction begins with more general topical information and conclude with your ideas
ØGive the reader the tools they need to get into your topic
§Open with a anectode
§A quotation
§In medias res
èDoes my introduction define terms improtant to my thesis statement?
èDoe it place my thesis within the longer ongoing scholarly discussing!?
Body Description – Exposition
§Main points and sub-points in a logically progressive arrangement a paragraph and topic sentences
§Be strong in your style
§You must explore one idea or topic of your thesis and offers evidence for it at a time.
§Does it stand the test of “so what”?
§Is it interesting?
Body –Analyse of discussion
§Do i have sufficient evidence
§Transitions must be clear
§Anchor your paragraphs
§Secure connection to the previous
§Point and place the way fort he next point you wish to make
Good Arguments à Objective
§By being objective you become academic
§Return to introduction, the circular strcuture and your thesis statement.
§How have you managed to clarify what you promised to do?
§But do not introduce any new ideas ( in conclusion) or issues that the reader will be puzzled by!
§A conclusion does not always have to be conclusive!
§İf you have struggling with conclusion, try to answer the question “so what”.
§End off with an anoctode or a quotation that emphasises yur central point.
§Style must be concincing, persuasive and precise
§Do not introduce new idea sor issues ( again J)
§Quotations: do not over use! When used thg must be easy to see “…” and acknowledge the source
Pros: can illustrate a point?
Cons: can end up as being name dropping?
§Parenthetical (authors name and page : Spurgeon, 335)
§End notes
§Works cited (author or editor, title, year printed) or bibliography must be placed of the and of your paper. It is mandatory!
Beware of I, me, my! And plus : –;-; (); []; {}
They all maket he reader go full stop! Like hitting a wall!
Side Margins
Top : 1cm Left: 2cm Right: 3cm Bottom: 4cm
Times New Roman – 12 Points , Arial, Baskerville old fare , Courier New, Garamond

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