Writing for Academic and Professional Communication
Writing for Academic and Professional Communication
The session looks at the various ways of structuring an essay. One can use the SPSE logic structure or the IMRD textual structure. The SPSE structure looks at the situation, problem, solution, and evaluation factors. The situation involves the writer identifying what he is talking about and the evaluation examines the effectiveness of the solutions. The major elements involved under the IMRD structure include introduction, method, results, and discussion. Writers can also include conclusion, references, and appendix. Under introduction, the writer looks at the situation in terms of what is known and the problem in terms of what is unknown. The methods and the results are a description of the solution and the discussion involves evaluating the effectiveness of the solution. The session also looks at the main points to consider when selecting a research topic. This includes brainstorming, reading, narrowing or broadening the topic, identifying the key words, developing the questions guiding the research, extensive researching on the topic, and flexibility, in terms of being able to change the topic and content as the need arises. In addition, it provides the guidelines necessary for writing the proposal, which include ensuring that it has a topic, identifies the situation, problems, questions, and methods to be use in the research.
This session concentrates on formulating a good and working thesis. It begins by identifying the thesis as the foundation for all papers dealing with research. It defines a thesis as the main idea or argument in research. A thesis constitutes the topic and the opinion. For a thesis to be effective, it has to be specific, arguable, consist of one idea, and encourage discussion. A working thesis is flexible, as it changes as a person continues to write. As writers research more on the topic, they find out more information and this leads to changing the initial thesis by including the additional details. The session looks at how a writer can use a working thesis. Writers can revise their thesis if they find out that the available evidence does not support it. The session also looks at the relevance principle. Writers should examine their paragraphs to ensure that they fit with the thesis. Alternatively, they can revise their thesis to ensure that it reflects the contents of the paragraphs. The relevance principle involves the writer informing the readers on new knowledge concerning the issues they care about
This section deals with arguments and defines them as the acts of asserting, supporting, and defending claims. It identifies three models of arguments, which include arguments as fights, debates, and committee deliberations. The models are different and are applicable in different situations. The fight model is characterized by hostility, the main objective of the debate model is to win, and the committee model seeks to find a common solution to the present problem. In academic writing, the main components of arguments are truth seeking and persuasion. An argument consists of a claim and support. The different types of claims include claims of facts or definition, cause and effect claims, policies or solution claims, and claims about value. There are two forms of support. The first form of support deals with evidence and it includes elements such as facts, testimonies, authorities, and statistics. The second form of support deals with appeals directed at logic, emotion, character, and belief. Writers can combine different forms of appeals. Appeals dealing with emotions and beliefs are easy to counter.
This session focuses on research sources used for academic writing. It highlights the guidelines used to evaluate the sources, which include finding out more about the ‘who, where, what, when, and why’. The writer should find out more about the credentials of the authors and determine their authenticity. Writers can obtain information from different sources such as the internet and journals. They should also look for other sources containing similar information. It is also important to consider the period of the information. The writers should determine how the source interests them, and its accessibility, and relevance as well. When using research sources as evidence, writers introduce it by providing more information about it. They then analyze its relevance. When analyzing, the writers have to identify how the details connect to each other and the relevance of the information.
This session offers principles on how writers can improve their English. They deal with various grammatical elements that can be adopted to improve writing. This includes the use of formal instead of phrasal or prepositional verbs, use of precise words as a way of avoiding vagueness in writing and using synonyms as a way of making writing more interesting. Writers should avoid the use of informal, colloquial expressions, contractions, and idioms in academic and professional writing. They should avoid writing in second person by not referring to the user directly, limit their use of run-on expressions such as etc, and avoid informal negative forms. The session also contrasts English and Chinese writing. This difference is depicted by three major dimensions in cultural divergence, which includes the social, informative, and ontological dimensions. In addition, writing in the two languages differ because of two corresponding divergence. This include writing as structured texts and writing as a contract.