Structuring your Extended Project The University of York Katy Mann Structure Why is structure important in a piece of academic writing? List three reasons and compare with your partner.
Academic writing Academic writing conforms to a set of general moves. Academics say they enjoy innovative structures devised by their students, but they also warm very positively to this classic model ( Barnes, 1995 p.130) The classic extended project is
organised into sections: Title page ( not counted) Contents ( List of acronyms) ( not counted) Abstract ( Abbrev.Acknowledgements) ( not counted) Introductions Review of background literature Critique/ comment on literature Summary & conclusion Recommendations References ( not counted) Bibliography ( not counted) Appendices ( not counted) (Blaxter, 2006)
The readers five questions 1. What is the question/ problem or situation addressed? Title/ Introduction 2. How was the matter studied? Methods 3. What information/ data was obtained? Results/ Appendices 4. What interpretations/ comments and evaluations were made? Discussions/ conclusions 5. What actions are recommended? Conclusion/ recommendations Structural Moves
Within most sections of the project report there are a series of moves ( Swales, 2000). Introduction 10-20% Functions To establish the background/ context and importance of the research
To explain the value To identify the gap To provide the reader with a clear structure To clarify any key terms/ abbreviations
Structure of the Introduction Establish the importance of the topic Give a very brief synopsis of the key literature Give your question Explain your interest in the topic Outline approach Provide a synopsis of the research methods Define key terms/ abbreviations Structure Provide an overview of how you will organise your report
Literature review Functions To give the reader all the information they need to understand your research To demonstrate the depth and breadth of your reading To establish connections between your study and previous studies To point out you know the arguments for and against the subject matter
To inspire, educate and excite the reader Literature review structure Distant-close You cite and discuss work ever closer to your own Research question grouped
From distance to close under each research question Chronological History of research- be careful not to get too descriptive here. Taxonomy of skills (Bloom, 1964) Evaluation Synthesis Summary Balance your arguments
Studies against Studies for Types of resources c eren f n o C e s ract
To describe exactly what you did To explain why you did it To describe the advantages and disadvantages of the method To allow another research to repeat / expand on your research
Structure of Methods Describe different methods often used in this type of research Detail method selected and justify Describe exact procedure
Discuss weaknesses Results and discussion/ analysis Functions: To discuss relevant results or findings To demonstrate your critical thinking/
evaluation Reco mm end Refrain from introducing new ideas Restate key findings Reiterate aims/ research question(s) Conclusion & recommendations References/ Bibliography
Zotero-Firefox extension Word 2007- referencing tool NOT footnotes Appendices Copy of questionnaire
Interview transcripts Pictures/ diagrams not essential Observation records Extracts/ images Small things, big difference Avoid all things that may confuse-abbreviations And so on.. etc
Signpost-direct the reader Reference details in text and in References Numbers under 10 spell out Capitalisation-learn the rules and apply them British spelling-adjust spellcheck
Examiners comments Narrow range of literature Lack of critical analysis Poorly structured
Lack of references Weak reflection and refinement of aims Model examples Read through the model/ exemplar reports from previous cohorts.
Think about why they were awarded A or A* Read the examiners commentary and compare it to your view. Checklist Does the introduction help the reader understand how your research fits into a wider area of study?
Does the literature review demonstrate that you are familiar with a wide range of literature relevant to your study? Is your method section clear and detailed enough to allow another researcher to replicate it? Checklist continued Is the information in the results and discussion
section relevant to your research questions? Are all your conclusions drawn from your research and supported by evidence? Are all the transitions managed smoothly? Are all the in-text references included in the References section?
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