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Critical Wriitng

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This pack contains tasks for discussion in lectures and tasks for preparation and discussion in tutorials. Please refer to the lecture PowerPoint slides to understand the purpose of these tasks in the lectures.

Lecture 2 Task Standing on the shoulders of giants: Summarising and Paraphrasing Sources

A researcher is investigating how different universities approach the issue of academic integrity. He has found the following case study on the website of iParadigms, which developed the software package Turnitin for plagiarism detection. He decides he wants to use some of the information in the report.

Strengthening Honour Codes through Plagiarism Detection[1]

Academic integrity was suffering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Each of the university’s schools had an ethics committee to investigate charges of academic dishonesty, but there was no uniformity in how standards were applied or enforced. There was also no mechanism for sharing information between schools regarding serial cheaters. And because it was faculty-run, the students had little investment in the system and therefore took it lightly.

To address these shortcomings, the University reinvented their approach to honour codes on campus. Instead of faculty-run ethics committees for each school, they established a Student Honor Code Council, serving the entire campus, which was responsible for writing the honor code and evaluating cases of honour code violations. The university administration, faculty, and student body all agreed that putting students in charge of the honor code was the surest way to establish a lasting culture of academic honesty.

Which of the following is an acceptable way to use the source material in the report?

Comment on how acceptable you find the other uses of the material.

There have been a number of innovative approaches to ensuring academic integrity. At the University of Colorado, the university administration, faculty, and student body all agreed that putting students in charge of the honour code was the surest way to establish a lasting culture of academic honesty.

There have been a number of innovative approaches to ensuring academic integrity. The university administration, faculty, and student body at the University of Colorado have decided that putting students in charge of an honour code was the best way to establish a lasting culture of academic honesty. (Turnitin Success Story, n.d. para. 2)

There have been a number of innovative approaches to ensuring academic integrity. The University of Colorado have given student councils the responsibility for managing academic honesty.

There have been a number of innovative approaches to ensuring academic integrity. The University of Colorado have established an ‘honour code’ (Turnitin Success Story, n.d. para. 2) which the students are responsible for maintaining.
Lecture 2 Tutorial Task 1: Summarising and Paraphrasing Sources

Instructions: this task will be discussed at the first tutorial meeting in Week 3 of the course. You should complete the task in advance and take it to that tutorial. You will not submit the work to be marked, but it will form part of your mark for tutorial participation.

This task uses the material discussed in the course textbook, Gillett et al. (2009), chapter 10. Read this chapter before attempting the task and in preparation for the tutorial. See in particular: Integrating source material – pp. 180-193 Avoiding plagiarism – pp. 197-198 Writing a list of references – pp. 194-196 Samples of student essays – Vision course Learning Materials

On the next page, you will find a portion of text from a history by Peter Heather about the fall of the Roman Empire, together with publication information about this book. In this extract, Heather explains why the border between the Roman Empire in Europe ended up where it did: the Empire included the province of Gaul, where the inhabitants originally spoke Celtic and whose technology and culture is known as La Tène, and excluded the region of Germania, where the inhabitants spoke an ancient form of German and whose technology and culture is known as Jasdorf.

Your task is to write two to three sentences in which you paraphrase or summarise the MAIN POINT of Heather’s argument and cite him properly using Harvard documentation style. Consult the library guidelines for the specific rules and styles that you should use.

http://www.hw.ac.uk/is/docs/Harvardguide.pdf

In particular:

1. Include one sentence where you paraphrase Heather.

Either: At the end of the sentence, cite Heather in parentheses. See Gillett et al. (2009) pages 181-185. Or: At the start of the sentence, cite Heather using the style ‘According to Heather’ or ‘As Heather argues’ (or an equivalent formulation). See Gillett et al. (2009) pages 181-185.

2. Include one direct quote from Heather. See Gillett et al. (2009) pages 181-185. Be sure to think carefully about your choice of which piece of text to quote. When you write an essay, it is your essay. You should use other people’s words selectively and only for a very good reason – a direct quote should be something special.

3. At the end of your text, add a references section with one entry, namely Heather’s book. The section should be titled References and should use Harvard style. See Gillett et al. (2009) pages 194-195 and the library referencing guide.
Title page of the book:

Peter Heather
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Macmillan

Reverse of title page:

First published 2005 by Macmillan an imprint of Pan Macmillan Ltd Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RR Basingstoke and Oxford Associated companies throughout the world www.panmacmillan.com ISBN 0 333 98914 7 Copyright by Peter Heather

Extract from Chapter 2, “Barbarians”, page 57:

“… The Roman advance ground to a halt not on an ethnic divide, therefore, but around a major fault-line in European socio-economic organization. What happened was that most of more advanced La Tène Europe was taken into the Empire, while most of Jastorf Europe was excluded. “This fits a much broader pattern. As has also been observed in the case of China, there is a general tendency for the frontiers of an empire based on arable agriculture to stabilize in an intermediate, part-arable part-pastoral zone, where the productive capacity of the local economy is not by itself sufficient to support the empire’s armies. Expansionary ideologies and individual rulers’ desired for glory will carry those armies some way beyond the gain line; but, eventually, the difficulties involved in incorporating the next patch of territory, combined with the relative lack of wealth that can be extracted from it, make further conquest unattractive. A two-speed Europe is not a new phenomenon, and the Romans drew the logical conclusion. Augustus’ successor Tiberius saw that Germania just wasn’t worth conquering. The more widely dispersed populations of these still heavily forested corners of Europe could be defeated in individual engagements, but the Jastorf regions proved much more difficult to dominate strategically than the concentrated and ordered populations occupying the La Tène towns.”

Notes:

1. Augustus was the first Roman emperor; Tiberius was the second. 2. The La Tène regions of Europe were mostly located in what became the Roman province of Gaul and what is now France, and were inhabited by Celts who eventually adopted the Latin language and Roman culture. 3. The Jastorf regions of Europe were mostly located in what was known as Germania and were inhabited by speakers of an ancient form of German.
Lecture 3 Tutorial Task 2: Locating, Selecting and Evaluating Sources

Following the presentation by the subject librarian about research resources available in the library, prepare the following task for discussion in your tutorial in around week 4 of the course.

• Visit the library and locate two sources which will help you to plan and focus your essay topic. • List each source following the Harvard format. Consult Gillett et al. (2009) or the Library Harvard referencing guide http://www.hw.ac.uk/is/docs/Harvardguide.pdf to follow the appropriate referencing conventions • Then write one paragraph about each source and what you learned from it—what was important, interesting, illuminating. Say how you think you can use this source for your essay. • The librarian provided a number of criteria for assessing the quality of the sources you have found. In your tutorial, answer the following questions to evaluate the quality of your sources:

author(s) who is the author or publisher? Who sponsored the website? Are they authoritative or well known? purpose what are their motives for publishing? For Internet sources, is the material commercial or scholarly or just someone’s opinion, e.g. a blog? bias does the writer cover both sides of the story? Can you detect any bias towards one particular viewpoint? currency is the material up to date? Is it recent enough for your topic? relevance will this source be useful for your research? How will you use it? validity are the arguments logical and supported by evidence? Can you clearly see the difference between fact and opinion? comparison how does the work relate to others in your bibliography?

• This task provides a preview of the annotated bibliography you will do later in the semester. • The coursebook, Gillett et al. (2009) is available as an e-book and there are also paper copies in the library. • You can also find online guidance for Harvard referencing. For example, the following link takes you to a website maintained by one of the authors of the coursebook Gillett et al., 2009. http://www.uefap.com/writing/writfram.htm • If you have any questions, discuss these with your classmates and your tutorial leader.
Tutorial 3 Peer review of Investigation

Exchange your written investigation with a classmate and answer the questions below. They are adapted from the assessment descriptors for this submission. Your purpose in answering these questions is to provide an honest and helpful response to your classmate’s draft, which they will be able to use to improve their essay.

Be specific. Be constructive.

1. Is the topic clearly and fully outlined? For you as the reader, was there any missing information that you needed to help you understand the topic?

2. Is there a clear focus on the aspect of the topic to be investigated? Is the writer attempting to cover too much or too little ground?

3. Can you see evidence in the text that the writer has used a wide variety of relevant academic sources?

4. Has the writer cited in-text references accurately with full references in the correct order at the end?

5. Does the writer support his/her claims with reference to sources?

6. Can you see evidence of a critical approach to sources? For example, does the writer compare or contrast ideas from sources?

7. Is there a logical structure which develops from general to specific ideas, making it easy for a reader to follow the argument.

8. Does the text end with a statement which provides a purpose for the essay and shows the writer’s viewpoint at this stage of the investigation?

When you have read each other’s essays, discuss any aspects that you particularly liked and that you think you could try to use in your own essay.

Discuss anything you think the writer could do to improve the writing so that it is easier for you to read and understand the ideas.

When you have finished your discussion, write a reflection at the bottom of your investigation to show your tutor what you have learned from this peer review and how you will improve your essay.
Lecture 4 Aspects of Academic Style

The important features of academic writing can be summarised as follows:

1. Write about concepts and ideas and how they relate together not about people and what they do and think. You can achieve this by using nouns more than verbs.

2. Tell your reader what you are going to do before you do it.

3. Structure your explanation from general to specific and familiar to new so that you

a. give the reader the Big Picture before you fill in the details

b. remind them what they know before you introduce something new.

4. Use summarising noun phrases to link ideas in preference to signpost expressions.

5. Use functional language for defining, classifying, comparing, contrasting, linking causes and effects, discussing problems and solutions, linking evidence to claims in an argument.

Register

Language use changes from one context to another depending on the topic, the relationship between the people involved and the type of communication. When you tune in to the radio you can usually tell very quickly what type of programme you are listening to. The way language is used in news reports is different from the way it is used in discussion or comedy programmes.

Task: Read the texts on the following page quickly. 1. Look at the title and the layout of each. Which texts are part of a newspaper article and which are part of an academic report? How do you know?

2. Who are the intended readers of the texts and what are the writer’s purposes?

3. How is the style and organization of the texts influenced by the writer’s purpose and intended readers? Compare the texts on the basis of the following features.

a. Aspect of the topic to focus on

b. Starting point of the texts

c. How information is presented

d. How information is organised

e. Language

4. Which texts are about people and what they do? Which texts are about ideas?

1. Rat brain robot aids memory study[2] Dr Ben Whalley, from the University of Reading has carried out tests on the 'rat- brain-controlled' robot. A robot controlled by a blob of rat brain cells could provide insights into diseases such as Alzheimer's, University of Reading scientists say. The project marries 300,000 rat neurons to a robot that navigates via sonar.

2. Navigating with a rat brain: a neurobiologically-inspired model for robot spatial representation[3] Maja J Mataric, MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

3. Robots Take To The Stairs – This Is Just The Beginning[4] Robots can climb stairs, and they are doing it everywhere you look. “No big deal” you say, but it really is a big deal. Five to ten years ago almost nobody was doing it. Now grad students are doing it all by themselves for thesis projects.

4. Stabilization of a mobile robot climbing stairs[5] Martens, J.D.; Newman, W.S.; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Appl. Phys., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH Many types of mobile machines use legs that extend from the main body like a creature of nature. Such machines as COLLIE-1 [l], TITAN 111 [2], GENGHIS [3], and the General Electric Walking Truck (1968) shown in [4] are all examples of such vehicles. These types of machines are capable of overcoming obstacles that are sufficiently smaller than their body but are generally slow at doing so and require complex control schemes such as [5].

5. Advanced driver assistance systems mushroom[6] The advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) market will approach $10 billion in 2011 and $130 billion by 2016. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have been expensive add-ons for luxury vehicles for over 10 years, but this year is seeing features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and low-speed collision mitigation becoming available on higher-volume models.

6. Behavioural impacts of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems–an overview[7] Karel A. Brookhuis, Dick de Waard and Wiel H. Janssen, University of Groningen

The purpose of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is that driver error will be reduced or even eliminated, and efficiency in traffic and transport is enhanced. The benefits of ADAS implementations are potentially considerable because of a significant decrease in human suffering, economical cost and pollution. However, there are also potential problems to be expected, since the task of driving an ordinary motor vehicle is changing in nature, in the direction of supervising a (partly) automated moving vehicle.

The right style for the audience

Which of the following writing letters would you prefer to receive from your bank manager? Why?

1. Dear Dr Smith,

You will recently have received an advice note from the Bank providing details of the Service Charge due to be applied to your account on 16th February 2006.

On examining the details of the charge due at this time, I have discovered that the advice note is in fact incorrect. Due to the fact that your account became overdrawn on only one occasion and in view of the other accounts held at the Branch, I would advise that the net charge has been reversed.

Unfortunately our desire to give you advance warning of any forthcoming service charges means that there is insufficient time to take corrective action on the very few occasions where the charge is found to be incorrect and I apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this may cause.

If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

2. Dear Bill,

We sent you a note recently telling you that we were going to charge you for services because you were overdrawn.

But when we checked our records we realised that you are a valued customer with other accounts at this branch and that, anyway, your overdraft only lasted for a couple of days. So the note about charges was a mistake.

We send out these notes to give customers advance warning of the charges that we are going to impose. Every now and then we get it wrong – as happened in your case.

Sorry about that. Do pop into the branch if you want to talk about this some more.

Cheers

What is wrong with these styles? What is this text actually about?

1. Scintillate, scintillate, globule orific, Fain would I fathom thy nature’s specific. Lofitly poised in ether capacious, Strongly resembling a gem carbonaceous.

2. There was this thing hanging there and what I mean to say is I don’t really know what it’s like because it’s up there and when it comes to appearance it’s fair to say that diamond springs to mind.

RAINBOWS

HERE ARE THREE DESCRIPTIONS OF RAINBOWS. WHICH ONES HAVE AN EMOTIONAL TONE AND WHICH IS NEUTRAL? HIGHLIGHT THE LANGUAGE THAT HELPED YOU DECIDE.

1) And forgetting, startled, she looked for the hovering colour and saw a rainbow forming itself. In one place it gleamed fiercely, and, her heart anguished with hope, she sought the shadow of iris where the bow should be. Steadily the colour gathered, mysteriously, from nowhere, it took presence upon itself, there was a faint, vast rainbow. The arc bended and strengthened itself till it arched indomitable, making great architecture of light and colour and the space of heaven, its pedestals luminous in the corruption of new houses on the low hill, its arch the top of heaven.[8]

2) Rainbow From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia[9]

For other uses, see Rainbow (disambiguation).

A rainbow is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines on to droplets of moisture in the Earth's atmosphere. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc, with red on the outer part of the arc and violet on the inner section. A rainbow spans a continuous spectrum of colours; the distinct bands are an artifact of human colour vision. The most commonly cited and remembered sequence, in English, is Newton's sevenfold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet (popularly memorized by mnemonics like Roy G. Biv). Rainbows can be caused by other forms of water than rain, including mist, spray, and dew.

3) Spectacular Spectrums: 10 Amazing Rainbows[10]

By Steve in 7 Wonders Series, Nature & Ecosystems, Science & Research

Lecture 4 tutorial task 3: Analysing and using academic style

Gillett et al., (2009) Chapter 6, Features of Academic Writing, Tasks 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9 on pages 94 – 96.

Lecture 5 How to get out of one sentence and into another

Here are two sentences from The Language Instinct (1994: 209) by Steven Pinker:

1. Time flies like an arrow.

2. Fruit flies like a banana.

Divide each one into two parts. Check to see if your neighbour has made the same division as you.

Answer these questions about each sentence:

1. What are we talking about? This is the jumping-off point for the sentence.

2. What are we saying about it/them? This is the main message to deliver in the sentence.

Do you know the grammatical terms for any of the parts of a sentence?

Identify: a noun, a verb, a subject, an object

The answers to the questions above tell us the function of each part of a sentence (how it helps to build a message).

Definition for a simple sentence

In English, a simple sentence consists of a subject, a main verb and anything required to make that verb complete. Sentences end with full stops but not with commas.

How do writers decide which information will be in a subject noun phrase and which will be in a verb phrase or prepositional phrase? That depends on how a writer wants to develop ideas in a paragraph.
Here are two paragraphs with two different topics. What is the topic of each paragraph?

a. At Bettaworld we value efficiency in our workforce. We are very clear about the duties of each member of staff. The sales assistant deals with enquiries over the phone. The manager contacts clients personally. This ensures that there is no duplication of effort.

b. At Bettaworld we value our clients. They make our business a success. Their enquiries are dealt with immediately by the sales assistant. Some clients are contacted personally by the manager. This ensures that they continue to do business with Bettaworld.
HINT: you can choose two from the topics listed in the box.

sales clients Bettaworld efficiency staff duties management

When sentences combine in a paragraph their subjects work together to show what the paragraph is about (the topic of the paragraph). Because the topic of the two paragraphs above is different, their sentences need to start with different subjects, even though they give the same information.

A writer builds a message by thinking about the topic of a paragraph and choosing sentence subjects which fit that topic. The choice of subject for each sentence then determines the form of a verb.

The sales assistant deals with enquiries over the phone. Their enquiries are dealt with immediately by the sales assistant

The manager contacts clients personally Some clients are contacted personally by the manager.

Below is a more complex, authentic text taken from a first year business studies textbook. The task shows the choices writers have about what to put at the beginning and what to put at the end of their sentences.

You have been given the title and the first sentence. Build the rest of the text by choosing one of the three alternatives for each subsequent sentence.

You will probably be able to do this intuitively but try to justify your choice each time. Think about the topic and how it is developing logically through the text.

Groups and Group Formation

1 The group is an important unit in the study of organisational behaviour.

2 a) Studying groups is especially valuable when group dynamics are analysed.

b) Analysing group dynamics is especially valuable for studying groups.

c) What is especially valuable for studying groups is group dynamics.

3 a) The social situation in which interactions and forces among group members occur is the concern of group dynamics.

b) Group dynamics is concerned with the interactions and forces among group members in a social situation.

c) The interactions and forces among group members in a social situation is the concern of group dynamics.

4 a) The dynamics of. members of formal or informal work groups and teams in an organisation are the focus when the concept of group dynamics is applied to the study of organisational behaviour.

b) When the concept of group dynamics is applied to the study of organisational behaviour, the focus is on the dynamics of members of formal or informal work groups and teams in the organisation.

c) The focus when the concept of group dynamics is applied to the study of organisational behaviour, is on the dynamics of members of formal or informal work groups and teams in the organisation.

5 a) A group consists of two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve common goals for behavioural scientists.

b) Two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve common goals is what constitutes a group for behavioural scientists.

c) For behavioural scientists a group consists of two or more people interacting interdependently to achieve common goals.

6 a) Formal work groups are established by organisations to achieve organisational goals.

b) Organisations establish formal work groups to achieve organisational goals.

c) The achievement of organisational goals is the purpose of formal work groups.

7 a) The common interests of organisational members prompt informal work groups to form naturally.

b) Informal work groups form naturally in response to the common interests of organisational members.

c) In response to the common interests of organisational members, informal work groups form naturally

8 a) Even relatively simple groups are actually complex social devices that require a fair amount of negotiation and trial-and-error before individual members begin to function as a true group.

b) Complex social devices that require a fair amount of negotiation and trial-and-error before individual members begin to function as a true group are what even relatively simple groups actually are.

c) Before individual members begin to function as a true group even in relatively simple groups they require a fair amount of negotiation and trial-and-error because they are actually complex social devices.

9 a) There has been an abundance of significant research on groups which has implications for organisational behaviour and management.

b) The abundance of significant research on groups has implications for organisational behaviour and management.

c) Significant research on groups which has implications for organisational behaviour and management has been abundant.

When tutors tell students to write clearly and logically, they are referring to the choices you made when selecting which sentence is appropriate. These ideas give rise to a number of guiding principles:

• Make sure your readers have familiar information (the topic) in mind before you tell them something new about it.

• Put the familiar information at the beginning of your sentences and the new information you want your readers to focus on at the end.

• As soon as you have introduced new information, you can repackage it in the following sentences as familiar information in a shorter summary form.

• Put detailed explanations in complex clauses at the ends of your sentences so they are easier for your readers to understand.

Lecture 5 Tutorial Task 4: Deciding how to follow one sentence with another

In each of the examples below the same information is presented in different ways. The task requires you to think about which information is in the background and which is the topic of the extract.

• Read the final part of each numbered example and decide which sentence, a or b, is the most appropriate to come just before it. • Put a tick ( beside the most appropriate sentence. The first one is done for you.

HINT: try to decide which information should be in the background and therefore in the relative clause (inside the commas) and how new information at the end of the first sentence is summarized as familiar information in the following sentence.

1 Barter

a. Barter, which is a form of exchange, involves people swapping essential goods and services with each other. ( b. Barter, which involves people swapping essential goods and services with each other, is a form of exchange.

Each person must want the goods the other has to offer for barter to be effective.

2 Barter

a. Barter, which is a form of exchange, involves people swapping goods and services with each other. b. Barter, which involves people swapping essential goods and services with each other, is a form of exchange.

But it is much less efficient than the form of exchange we use today - money.

3 Cash

a. Cash, which is the form of payment used most often by people, consists of coins and bank notes. b. Cash, which consists of coins and bank notes, is the form of payment used most often by people.

It is a very convenient way of making payments for small transactions such as buying a coffee or newspaper.

4 Cash

a. Cash, which is the form of payment used most often by people, consists of coins and bank notes. b. Cash, which consists of coins and bank notes, is the form of payment used most often by people.

It is quick, no papers need to be signed or proof of identity produced and it can even be used in machines.

The second set of examples contains longer sentences with more information.

Before you decide which of the first two sentences is the most appropriate one in each case, try to decide what is the topic of the sentence which follows. Choose as a first sentence the one which most closely matches that topic.

1 Communication

a. Communication, which can be defined as the transfer of anything which has meaning and creates understanding, is essential if management and employees are to make well-informed decisions. b. Communication, which is essential if management and employees are to make well-informed decisions, can be defined as the transfer of anything which has meaning and creates understanding.

Wherever people have to work with each other, communication is the 'glue' which holds them together.

2 Communication

a. Communication, which can be defined as the transfer of anything which has meaning and creates understanding, is essential if management and employees are to make well-informed decisions. b. Communication, which is essential if management and employees are to make well-informed decisions, can be defined as the transfer of anything which has meaning and creates understanding.

This could be information, ideas or emotions.

3 Motivation

a. Motivation, which is an internal concept, means being willing to make an effort in order to achieve something. b. Motivation, which means being willing to make an effort in order to achieve something, is an internal concept.

A person can only motivate him or herself. Managers cannot motivate employees directly but they can 'set the scene' for employees to motivate themselves.

4 Motivation

a. Motivation, which is an internal concept, means being willing to make an effort in order to achieve something. b. Motivation, which means being willing to make an effort in order to achieve something, is an internal concept.

In the organisational context, employees ideally should be making an effort to achieve organisational goals. Managers, who are concerned with the behaviour of employees, must also be concerned with motivation.

Lecture 5 Additional tutorial task: identifying complete and incomplete sentences

The following text has nine sentences but some of them are not complete. Put a cross X beside the incomplete ones and add the missing information. You can guess it by looking at the rest of the text.

Quality (1) We now turn to the concept of quality. (2) The influence of Japanese management techniques to spread the 'quality philosophy' across the globe. (3) At the same time, intensifying competition and more demanding customers have increased the need for greater product and service quality. (4) Most organisations now build into their business strategy. (5) Continuous improvement is seen as a necessary to maintain competitive advantage. (6) Total Quality Management (TQM) is designed to train employees in quality and generate commitment to 'getting it right first time' rather than using expensive quality control checking systems. (7) Encourages a constant review of processes and outputs. (8) It aims to ensure that the balance between quality and cost is effectively. (9) It a framework in which continuous improvement can be made effective.

On the following page you can find the text with gaps to show what is missing.
Lecture 5 Additional tutorial task: identifying complete and incomplete sentences

Here is the text with gaps where parts of each sentence are missing.

Quality (1) We now turn to the concept of quality. (X) The influence of Japanese management techniques to spread the 'quality philosophy' across the globe.(3) At the same time, intensifying competition and more demanding customers have increased the need for greater product and service quality. (X) Most organisations now build into their business strategy. (X) Continuous improvement is seen as a necessary to maintain competitive advantage. (6) Total Quality Management (TQM) is designed to train employees in quality and generate commitment to 'getting it right first time' rather than using expensive quality control checking systems. (X) encourages a constant review of processes and outputs. (X) It aims to ensure that the balance between quality and cost is effectively. (X) It a framework in which continuous improvement can be made effective.

Lecture 6 Shaping an essay

Introduction
A good introduction provides your reader with a jumping off point for your essay. It usually contains • A definition of the main concept or general statement of the main topic – to give the reader the Big Picture • More specific details – to focus the essay on a particular aspect • An issue or problem – to justify the purpose of the essay • A purpose or thesis statement – to tell the reader what the essay will do

Here are two introductions: which one is more effective to answer the question

Is the debate about global warming just a lot of hot air?

Many topics are discussed and debated in the media today, but none are so controversial and the issue of global warming. According to Wikipedia, Global warming is about the increase in temperature on Earth; other expressions relating to the topic are climate change and greenhouse effect which the public are equally familiar with. The temperature on Earth has increased significantly over the past few decades and the main proponents in this problem are carbon dioxide and burning fossil fuels, which contribute to the temperature increase. Carbon dioxide is produced from a wide range of sources, namely industry, which has created a hole in the ozone layer. Thus, increasing the temperature of the climate and the term ‘greenhouse effect’ is based on these facts.

Global warming refers to the increase in the temperature of the land, seas and atmosphere of the earth (Maslin, 2008). One of the major causes of global warming is the greenhouse effect, in which gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere trap heat from the sun which would otherwise be reflected back out into space (Dessler, 2011). Carbon dioxide is produced naturally so there is a natural greenhouse effect which warms the planet and makes it possible for animals and humans to live there (ibid). However, global average temperatures of the surface of the earth have risen markedly over the last 150 years and this is thought to be linked to the effects of human activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels (Kyoto Protocol, 1998; IPCC, 2007). However, there are a number of so-called global warming deniers, who claim that there is nothing to worry about (Cook n.d.) In this essay I will critically evaluate the arguments from both sides in order to show that there is compelling evidence that global warming is a real phenomenon.

The second is effective because it clearly and simply defines global warming and then presents the causes both natural and human-induced. There is no unnecessary padding or vague general statements about what people know. Notice how the beginnings of the sentences relate to or develop the topic in some way. The introduction develops from general to specific ideas

Thesis statement
A thesis statement is the central idea or focus of your essay and it should • Communicate the main point of the essay • Say what stance you will take on the issue • Say what you are going to do • Suggest direction and scope of essay

An effective thesis statement should be direct and sharply focused. It should indicate how your ideas are related, what major points you will discuss and what emphasis you will give to these.

Conclusion

The reader should be able to read just the introduction and the conclusion and understand the main points of your essay. The introduction tells the reader about the topic and the aspects to be covered.

• It is the jumping off point for the essay.

The conclusion sums up the essay.

• It reminds the reader what the writer set out to do. • It answers the question posed. • It uses evidence from the points made in the main body of the essay to support and justify the answer to the question. • It may end with a future prediction and / or suggestion for future work. It is important to remember not to introduce new ideas at the end of an essay.

Here is a conclusion to the essay Is the debate about global warming just a lot of hot air?

• Does it remind the reader about the purpose of the essay? • Does it answer the question? • Does it summarise very briefly the points made in the essay in order to justify the answer?

In this essay I have critically examined the arguments on both sides of the debate about global warming to determine whether global warming is a real phenomenon. A considerable amount of research activity has documented the rise in the earth’s surface temperature and this is reported in peer-reviewed journals (IPCC, 2007). The evidence for a contribution to climate change is compelling. In contrast, the global warming deniers tend to be selective in choosing evidence to support their case (Cook n.d.). They focus on less significant aspects of the science and do not attempt to provide counter arguments to explain the evidence from research. Nevertheless, their arguments are attractive to people and corporations who are interested in a ‘business as usual’ scenario. This is dangerous in the face of the very real phenomenon of global warming which could fundamentally change life on earth.

The body

This is where you present the evidence that will allow you to answer your essay question. This evidence may be in the form of:

• Descriptions – e.g. narrative, process • Explanations – e.g. comparison, definition, causes • Persuasive points – e.g. problem-solution, argument

A common problem is just to ‘tell what you know’ Instead, you need to ‘transform’ the information you have found in your sources so that it fits your purpose in answering the essay question.

Your essay will consist of a number of paragraphs – the number depends on the length and scope. Each paragraph should contain one main idea – usually the point you want to make – supported by evidence. You have to decide in what order to present the paragraphs – depending on the viewpoint you want to take, e.g. • Global warming is a real phenomenon • Global warming is not a real phenomenon

It is unlikely you will be at either extreme but somewhere between these two positions. You need to show the extent to which you believe global warming is a real phenomenon.
Here is a simple example about space exploration. Look at the writer’s first draft. How easy is it to determine the writer’s viewpoint?

I think it is difficult to judge whether space exploration is a good thing or not, because this depends on what you are after, if you are going to explore space just for scientific purposes and to learn whether there are people living up there and who and how. I think this is wrong as there are many other things on earth which we do not know about yet, so it is easier to discover and learn about our earth and then go beyond that into space, but if you are going to space for the benefit of mankind as they are trying now to facilitate television broadcasting and telecommunications and so on thus I think it is not a waste of money. To support this and to express my opinion, I think it is a waste of money either because of famine or war and if those are people who care for the benefit of mankind, then they should put all the money and resources for this reason, because I think no-one in the 20th century should die because of lack of food or lack of medicine, but after we have a perfect earth, one with lasting peace, everyone has the primary requirements of living, then and only then should we go to space

Now look at the following redrafted paragraphs. Which ones clearly shows the writer’s viewpoint? Which one is most persuasive?

Text 1 Space exploration is very important to find new and useful materials. Neither science nor technology is possible without space exploration. Moreover, it is not possible to find out more about climactic change or global warming unless we go into space. Going into space is in every sense a benefit to mankind.

Text 2 Large numbers of people on earth do not have the basic requirements of life: shelter, fresh water and food. Many are dying every day from famine and war or because they lack basic medicines. There are enough resources on earth for everyone but they are not used efficiently or shared equally. We should tackle these problems and provide everyone with the primary requirements of life before we spend money on space exploration.

Text 3 Space exploration is beneficial to mankind because it has enabled us to develop sophisticated telecommunications, which has made our lives richer. Satellites are used to broadcast TV programmes and it is now possible to know exactly where you are using global positioning technology. Most of us now use mobile phones. Critics have argued that space exploration is a waste of money. We should try harder to improve living conditions for the millions of people who live in poverty on our planet. It is true that many people lack basic resources such as food and water. However, this is often the result of war and political turmoil in some countries or of unfair trading practices between countries. No amount of money can solve these problems but the inventions and discoveries from the space programme may be able to alleviate them. Of course governments should try harder to find political solutions to war and poverty but this should not prevent us from exploring space.

Text 4 Exploring space is basically a waste of money. Of course, space satellites enable mankind to facilitate television broadcasting and telecommunications and it is indeed wonderful to be able to contact relatives living at the other end of the world. However, there is still so much misery on earth and people dying of famine that money should not be spent on space exploration until we have solved these huge problems in the world.
What makes the persuasive text persuasive? Here is the structure:

General statement about the topic:

Space exploration is beneficial to mankind because it has enabled us to develop sophisticated telecommunications, which has made our lives richer.

Examples of the way our lives have been made richer:

Satellites are used to broadcast TV programmes and it is now possible to know exactly where you are using global positioning technology. Most of us now use mobile phones.

The counter-argument:

Critics have argued that space exploration is a waste of money. We should try harder to improve living conditions for the millions of people who live in poverty on our planet.

Acknowledge the truth of this but provide an argument against it:

It is true that many people lack basic resources such as food and water. However, this is often the result of war and political turmoil in some countries or of unfair trading practices between countries.

No amount of money can solve these problems but the inventions and discoveries from the space programme may be able to alleviate them. Of course governments should try harder to find political solutions to war and poverty but this should not prevent us from exploring space.

You must deal with disagreement. The reader who is looking over your shoulder [your lecturer] is a critical reader who is looking to challenge the points you make. You have to show you are aware of opposite points of view but that you can deal with them and show they are not important.

Start with the idea that you disagree with.

End with the idea that you agree with.

Provide reasons why the first idea is wrong and the second idea is right. Show that there is more evidence to support the second idea than the first. Bring the reader to a position of agreement.

Things to pay attention to

This course is giving you a checklist of items for planning, drafting and redrafting your essay:

• Scholarship – have you supported your arguments with references, both in-text and at the end? • Style in writing – is your writing appropriately plain, explicit, neutral and cautious? • Cohesion in writing – are your sentences complete? Have you followed the given>new information structure? • Paragraph structure – does each paragraph present one point of your argument? • Introduction – do you prepare your reader by explaining the background and providing a jumping off point? • Main body – will your reader agree with your viewpoint? • Conclusion – is there a link back to the introduction to answer the question?

Lecture 6 Tutorial Task Shaping an essay

Create an outline plan of your essay which shows the logical development of your ideas. Meet with your tutor to discuss your ideas and your plan.

Lecture 7 Finding a voice

An academic essay is a written communication, received, i.e. read, by an expert audience. The writer and the audience are not together, which means that the writer has to anticipate the audience reaction. The writer also has to guide the audience through the text and make sure their own ideas about the topic come through clearly to the reader. This is referred to as their voice

You have joined an academic community and you are learning how to be a competent member. Your community expects you to present and evaluate ideas in a way that is acceptable to the community. You have to find the right voice – not too bold but not too shy.

Read the following text from Gillett et al. (2009). Identify the voices speaking in the text.

People make allowances for the age of the child with whom they are talking. Mothers talk differently to 2-year-olds compared with10-year-olds (Snow, 1972a). Even 4-year-old children talk differently to 2-year-olds compared with how they talk to adults or other 4-year-olds (Shatz and Galman, 1973). It seems unlikely that these differentiated speech patterns are innately determined. Snow (1972a) compared the speech patterns of a mother talking to a child with her speech patterns when she only pretended to be talking to a child. The woman’s speech when the child was absent was simpler than it would have been if addressed to an adult, but when the child was present it was simpler still. Clearly then feedback from children is important. (Martin et al., 2007 p. 420)

Adapted from Gillett, A., Hammond, A. and Martala, M. (2009). Successful Academic Writing. Harlow: Pearson Education.

You can allow other voices into your text

• directly, by quoting their actual words

• indirectly by paraphrasing their ideas.

The indirect voices can be allowed to appear as actors in a reporting sentence, using integral citation,

Snow (1972a) compared the speech patterns of a mother talking to a child with her speech patterns when she only pretended to be talking to a child.

Or the idea can be centre stage with the source shown in brackets, using non-integral citation.

Mothers talk differently to 2-year-olds compared with10-year-olds (Snow, 1972a).

Academic writers do not claim more than their evidence warrants. They moderate their claims using cautious language. To do this they can:

• Reduce the probability that the claims are true

• Reduce the generality of the claims

• Increase their distance from the claims

• Use weak verbs or related nouns to soften claims

Does the following text make sense to you? What would you have to do to make sense of it?

Nottingham is a city which has suffered a great deal of ‘development’. It retains some of the charm that once earned for it the title of Queen of the Midlands. It is a provincial city with many of the drawbacks implied in that description. There are distinct advantages in living there. It is possible to live quite near the city centre. For most people transport is a minor problem. At certain times of the day the bus services are overcrowded. It is difficult to find a parking space in the inner city area. It is still fairly easy to get about.

Adapted from Nash, Walter (1980). Designs in Prose. Harlow: Longman

Here is the text with gaps

Nottingham is a city which has suffered a great deal of ‘development’. , it retains some of the charm that once earned for it the title of Queen of the Midlands. , it is a provincial city with many of the drawbacks implied in that description. There are distinct advantages in living there . , it is possible to live quite near the city centre. for most people transport is a minor problem. At certain times of the day, , the bus services are overcrowded. It is difficult to find a parking space in the inner city area. , it is still fairly easy to get about.

Here are some words that might fit the gaps

Nevertheless all the same also However This means that For all that only of course simply admittedly For example Consequently

Here are some of the main meaning relations found between sentences together with the most common conjunctions and adverbs that show these relations.

|Meaning |Sentence-linking conjunctions |Sentence adverbs |
|Addition |and |In addition, Furthermore, |
|Time |when, before, after, since, while, as, until |Initially, Previously, Subsequently, Meanwhile, |
|Condition |if, unless, providing, in case | |
|Purpose |to, in order to, so that, so | |
|Reason |because, since, as | |
|Result |so, so… that, such… that |Consequently, As a result, Therefore, Thus, |
|Contrast |although, while, despite, whereas, even if |However, Nevertheless, |
|Concession | |On the other hand, |

Developing a voice in writing means bringing other voices into your text to support your claims and strengthen your argument, while at the same time controlling these voices so it is clear that you are in charge of the argument. You need to demonstrate that you are confidently uncertain about the ideas you present and lead your reader through your text with transitions.

Follow up Task for self study: Read Chapter 11, Finding your own voice, in Gillett et al. (2009) and try some of the tasks for yourself.

Lecture 9 …And finally: a self-study task

There are two possible ways of punctuating the following text which result in very different letters with contrasting messages. Try adding some punctuation.

From: Games Magazine (1984)

Dear John I want a man who knows what love is all about you are generous kind thoughtful people who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior you have ruined me for other men I yearn for you I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart I can be forever happy will you let me be yours Gloria

----------------------- [1] Turnitin Success Story (n.d.) Retrieved 12 January 2007 from http://www.turnitin.com/static/pdf/success_stories_colorado.pdf [2] http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7559150.stm [3] http://robotics.usc.edu/~maja/publications/sab90-2.pdf [4] http://singularityhub.com/2009/05/05/robots-take-to-the-stairs-this-is-just-the-beginning-videos/ [5] Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ROBOT.1994.351135 [6] http://www.rin.org.uk/News.aspx?ID=378&SectionID=0&ItemID=1517 [7] http://www.ejtir.tbm.tudelft.nl/issues/2001_03/pdf/2001_03_02.pdf [8] The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence p 300 Digireads.com Available in Google Books. [9] Available from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow. Accessed 20.01.11 [10] Available from http://webecoist.com/2009/12/22/spectacular-spectrums-10-amazing-rainbows/ Accessed 25.01.11

----------------------- Lecture and Tutorial Tasks

Critical Writing and Analysis C07CP

Ms Olwyn Alexander

Gloriously hued and ephemeral in nature, rainbows are one of the most beautiful sights the skies have to offer. They come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, sizes and yes, even colors. These ten amazing arcs show what happens when Mother Nature gets out her paintbox.

[pic]

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