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Iresha M. Karunaratne
Different disciplines have a tendency to appreciate different practices of academic writing!! . Some of these hints might also be useful for you when you prepare for a structured essay at the final examination. I thought this might give you some ideas for writing assignments in future. But always check with the relevant lecturer/s before you adopt these practices.A Note to the ICT 1009 Students The slides that you are about to see were prepared for students who studied a sociology course I taught last year at the Faculty of Arts. Some of these hints may help you in general when you write assignments for other ICT subjects in future.
. YOU CAN CHOOSE TO COMPLETELY IGNORE THESE GUIDELINES AND STILL PRODUCE AN ‘EXCELLENT’ PIECE OF ACADEMIC WORK.NOTE THAT THERE IS NO FIXED WAY OF WRITING THE ‘BEST’ ESSAY. WHAT IS PROVIDED HERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES THAT MAY HELP YOU IN THE PROCESS OF WRITING. ALSO NOTE THAT MOST OF THESE GUIDELINE WILL BE USEFUL FOR DESIGNING THE ‘BEST’ (ORAL) PRESENTATION.
Write about what you want to write about and why you want to write about it Body.Write what you want to write Conclusion.Main Components Introduction.Write about what you have written about .
1) Entrance statement/s: Say something about the relevance and timeliness of the topic at hand. 3)Essay structure: Explain briefly how you plan to structure your essay/ organise your facts in order to approach the topic at hand. THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO CATCH THE ATTENTION OF YOUR READER! Three main facts are usually found in introductions.The Introduction This is a crucial part of your essay. rather than just laying them out. 2) Definition/s: Give any definition/s that may be relevant before proceeding into the topic. The amount of words/ sentences that you spend on each of these sections should depend on the overall length of the document. Not merely because it is the beginning. make it a comparison of definitions. If you have more than one definition that you feel would be useful to mention. . but because it would give the reasons as to why somebody should read your essay.
The Body Two main types of essays can be identified. you can start with the most important aspects of the topic and proceed. compare. 2) Analytical Essays: Topics beginning with ‘analyse. describe’ etc. The structure of the body of your essay would depend on the type of essay you are dealing with. In presenting data ‘referencing’ becomes an important issue. you could state facts that help you agree with the topic and proceed to facts that critique the topic. In a descriptive essay. 1) Descriptive Essays: Topics beginning with ‘explain. Criticisms might be useful depending on the topic. evaluate’ etc. In an analytical essay. .
the conclusion may take the form of summary where you would summarise all the important facts that you mentioned in your essay. In an analytical essay.The Conclusion Throughout your essay you have argued a case using works by other academics and examples. a common trend is to not take a side. because facts may be inadequate to take a side. SAY WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY! In a descriptive essay. In short essays. through the facts presented. NOW. . you will have to decide on whether you want to agree or disagree with a certain topic.
: American Sociological Association (ASA). the source of information must be cited. When using findings. . it is better to avoid such sites. Web sites must be dealt with carefully. Harvard Style. In-text citation: (Author. if Inapplicable). It is imperative that you stick to one style throughout your essay. If you cannot find an author or a year. year: page number. E.g.Referencing and Plagiarism Plagiarism is a serious offence. There are many styles of referencing which can be adopted by social scientists. ideas and thoughts of other people.
City of Publication: Publisher.One Author Surname. Year. Same as above. (Contd. Books by same author ------. Surname of other author. ------.) . Year.Two authors Surname. Year. First name followed by any other initials. City Italics. Italics. Book title in Italics. BooksBooks. According to ASA Style Guide: BooksBooks. Book title in Italics. First name (of 1st author) and First name of other author. you must state the details of the sources of information.Preparing a Reference List At the end of the document. of Publication: Publisher.
Pp (page numbers) in First name and surname of editor.edited: Books. Author. “Title of chapter in inverted comas. First name followed by any other initials. First name followed by any other initials. “Title of article in inverted comas. Year. Year. City of Publication: Publisher. City of Publication: Publisher. Italics.” Name of magazine/ Newspaper in Italics.. Date. pages. Year. First name followed by any other initials.”. Magazines/ Newspapers: Newspapers: Surname. ed. Web sites: sites: “Title of web page in inverted comas.edited: Surname. .Books. Book title in Italics. Italics.” Year. Book title in Italics. Retrieved (date of retrieval) (Web address in brackets). Chapter from edited book: book: Chapter author surname.
More information can be obtained from the Web: ASA Style: http://www.buffalostate.pdf Harvard Style: http://www.edu/library/docs/ asa.ac.za/infolit/bibharvard .lib.uk/Library/pdf/H arvard_referencing.ac.uct.pdf or http://www.htm .imperial.
Presenting Your Paper You would be given specifications on formatting/ page setting you essay. . stick to wordthat! Long essays are not necessarily good. (Quantity VS Quality) Always use a font and a format that is readerreaderfriendly. Stick to those guidelines! Stick to the deadline! If there is a word-limit to your essay.
(Don’t say ‘good’ and then later on say ‘bad’. Writing shorter sentences might be a good idea in this case. Avoid confusing your self. Be consistent.) Always proofread for grammar and spellings.Language Be straightforward with what you have to say. Use academic language that is free of emotions and exaggerations. . Your ideas must be conveyed clearly to the reader.