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Academic Writing Workshop Part I

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Academic Writing Workshop Part I Powered By Docstoc
					Academic Writing Workshop
          Part I

    DEFINING AND
    DEMYSTIFYING
  ACADEMIC WRITING
              Identifying the Source

 Determining writing genre by analysis of content
  voice and style
 Goal is to demystify academic writing by isolating its
  most basic moves
                             #1

 I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which
  governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more
  rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts
  to this, which also I believe--"That government is best
  which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for
  it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
  Government is at best but an expedient; but most
  governments are usually, and all governments are
  sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been
  brought against a standing army, and they are many and
  weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought
  against a standing government.
                            #1

 The standing army is only an arm of the standing
 government. The government itself, which is only the mode
 which the people have chosen to execute their will, is
 equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people
 can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the
 work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing
 government as their tool; for in the outset, the people
 would not have consented to this measure.
                         #2

 In a little district west of Washington Square the
 streets have run crazy and broken themselves into
 small strips called "places." These "places" make
 strange angles and curves. One Street crosses itself
 a time or two. An artist once discovered a valuable
 possibility in this street. Suppose a collector with a
 bill for paints, paper and canvas should, in
 traversing this route, suddenly meet himself
 coming back, without a cent having been paid on
 account!
                      #2

 So, to quaint old Greenwich Village the art
 people soon came prowling, hunting for
 north windows and eighteenth-century
 gables and Dutch attics and low rents. Then
 they imported some pewter mugs and a
 chafing dish or two from Sixth Avenue, and
 became a "colony."
                      #2

 At the top of a squatty, three-story brick Sue
 and Johnsy had their studio. "Johnsy" was
 familiar for Joanna. One was from Maine;
 the other from California. They had met at
 the table d'hôte of an Eighth Street
 "Delmonico's," and found their tastes in art,
 chicory salad and bishop sleeves so
 congenial that the joint studio resulted.
                            #2

 That was in May. In November a cold, unseen stranger,
 whom the doctors called Pneumonia, stalked about the
 colony, touching one here and there with his icy fingers.
 Over on the east side this ravager strode boldly, smiting his
 victims by scores, but his feet trod slowly through the maze
 of the narrow and moss-grown "places."
 Mr. Pneumonia was not what you would call a chivalric old
 gentleman. A mite of a little woman with blood thinned by
 California zephyrs was hardly fair game for the red-fisted,
 short-breathed old duffer. But Johnsy he smote; and she
 lay, scarcely moving, on her painted iron bedstead, looking
 through the small Dutch window-panes at the blank side of
 the next brick house.
                        #3

 What is a paradigm shift? A paradigm is simply a
 mental grid through which we interpret certain
 aspects of reality that come to our attention. We
 all know that two people can arrive at vastly
 different conclusions after processing the same
 facts. That is because they have different
 paradigms. So a paradigm shift involves making
 changes in our mental grids. This is necessary for
 most of us when we begin to hear what the Spirit is
 saying about the different components of the
 social-transformation graphic.
                        #3

 Notice that because a paradigm is a mental grid,
 the central issue is how we think. This is what Paul
 had in mind when he wrote Romans 12:2: “Do not
 be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
 the renewing of your mind. Some important things
 in life require a change of heart. But a paradigm
 shift requires a renewing of the mind. We can be
 transformed if we begin to think properly.
                            #4

 The mother country, having saved them from the French,
  now herself threatened to reduce them to slavery through
  the devious method of Parliamentary taxation. With the
  other English colonies in America they sprang to arms, to
  determine, as Edward Pendleton put, “whether we shall be
  slaves.” George Washington, who had helped to fight off
  enslavement to papists, prepared to fight again and grieved
  that “the once happy and peaceful plains of America are
  either to be drenched with Blood or inhabited by Slaves.” It
  was, he thought, a sad alternative. But, he asked, “Can a
  virtuous Man hesitate in his choice.” Washington led his
                                   #4

 countrymen in arms, while another Virginian led them in a Declaration
  of Independence that founded the American republic. The starting
  point of that document, the premise on which it rested, was that all
  men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain
  inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. At the
  time when Thomas Jefferson wrote those words, he was personally
  depriving two hundred men, women, and children of their liberty.
  When he died, on the fiftieth anniversary of his great Declaration, he
  still owned slaves, probably more than two hundred. When
  Washington faced his sad alternative, the happy and peaceful plains of
  Virginia had been inhabited by slaves for more than a century, and 135
  of them belonged to him. When he died, he was master of 277.
                        #5

 A group of would-be terrorists, allegedly undone
 after attempting to have jihad training videos
 copied onto a DVD, has been charged with
 conspiring to attack Fort Dix and kill soldiers there
 with assault rifles and grenades, authorities said
 Tuesday. Five men -- all foreign-born and
 described as "radical Islamists" by federal
 authorities -- allegedly trained at a shooting range
 in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains to kill "as
 many soldiers as possible" at the historic
                        #5

 Army base 25 miles east of Philadelphia. A sixth
 man was charged with helping them obtain illegal
 weapons. FBI and Justice Department officials said
 the arrests were the result of a 16-month operation
 to infiltrate and monitor the group. It was
 portrayed as a leaderless, homegrown cell of
 immigrants from Jordan, Turkey and the former
 Yugoslavia who came together because of a shared
 infatuation with Internet images of jihad, or holy
 war.
                      #6

I’ve taken note for years of the “drug and alcohol
education” programs now routinely part of school
programs in North America, including in most
Adventist schools. D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse
Resistance Education), M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against
Drunk Driving), and S.A.D.D. (Students Against
Driving Drunk) programs proliferate, and
collectively create the impression for many parents
that their children and teens must have absorbed
the essentials of Adventism’s historic “abstaining”
policy toward all recreational drugs, especially
including alcohol.
                       #6

Even a quick glance at the organizing principles of
these and other such groups, however, illustrates a
fundamentally different approach to alcohol than
that offered by Adventist principles. The official
D.A.R.E. Web site page for elementary curriculum
now concedes that “There is a recognition of the
need to help students at this level develop an
awareness that alcohol and tobacco are also
drugs”—but there is no suggestion that students
consider a lifetime of abstaining from them.
M.A.D.D. and S.A.D.D. programs actively—and
                            #6

 even graphically—warn against alcohol abuse, but the
 bottom-line message could just as easily be that of the
 ubiquitous beer company ads: “Drink responsibly.”
 Our biblical faith calls us to remember that our bodies are
 temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), that even
 our eating and drinking must be done to the glory of God (1
 Corinthians 10:31), and that there is a decidedly moral
 reason for not numbing what reasoning powers we may
 have been blessed with. The sad pathway that leads from
 alcohol use to a host of personal, social, and spiritual
 calamities clearly needs charting for a new generation.
                           #7

Both Henry Mitchell and Cleophus J. LaRue acknowledge
the difficulty of defining Black preaching. For Mitchell a
sermon contains nothing that makes it inherently a Black
sermon. The characteristics of Black preaching are in the
“delivery and the reception” of the sermon. For LaRue there
is no single method, style, or expression that constitutes
Black preaching. In contrast to Mitchell’s focus on delivery
and reception, however, LaRue focuses on a distinctive
Black hermeneutic that underscores the essence of Black
preaching. Ultimately, it is disrespectful to the rich
tradition of African-American preaching to relegate it to a
mere stereotype. It is better to explore its dynamic
character. This principle is applicable to all ethnic/cultural
groups.
                Categories of Writing

 Genre 1
 Essay written by Henry David Thoreau- Civil Disobedience
 Essay is written to persuade people to think and do as the
  author says. It presents on philosophical idea dealt with in
  length
 Genre 2
 Short story written by O Henry (William Sydney Porter)-
  “The Last Leaf”
 A fictional prose narrative shorter and more focused than a
  novella. The short story usually deals with a single episode
  and often a single character. The "tone," the author's
  attitude toward his or her subject and audience, is uniform
  throughout. The short story frequently also lacks
  denouement (unknotting), ending instead at its climax.
                Categories of Writing

 Genre 3
 Commentary on church growth written by C. Peter Wagner
 How distinguish from academic writing? Asking questions
  of reader—no common in academic writing which is more
  declarative
 Genre 4
 Scholarly Historical Publication written by Edmund
  Morgan
 Characteristic atypical of academic writing- the use of irony
  and the juxtaposition of elements to show friction and
  absurdity of one
                 Categories of Writing

 Genre 5
 News paper article
 Saturated with facts, chronological, with the most
  important stuff at the top
 Genre 6
 Editorial written by Bill Knott
 An article in a publication expressing the opinion of its
  editors or publishers.
                Categories of Writing

 Genre 7
 Dissertation written by Kenley Hall
 Academic writings one central feature is that it deeply
  engaged with the views of others and attempts to
  dispassionately and fairly present those views even when in
  disagreement with them
             Purpose of the exercise

 To alert you to and warn you against certain genres
  of writing that you are not being asked to do in your
  dissertation.
 As you look at your own writing, which of these
  genres most matches yours?
Expanding the Definition of Academic Writing (Graff
               & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Academic writings one central feature is that it deeply
  engaged with the views of others and attempts to
  dispassionately and fairly present those views even when in
  disagreement with them
 It is not about just expressing your own ideas, but to do so
  in response to what others have said
 Too often people think of academic writing as merely
  saying “true” or “smart” things in a vacuum, as if you can
  effectively argue without being in conversation with others
 Effective writers do more than make well-supported claims
  (“I say”); they also map out those claims relative to the
  claims of others (“they say”)
Expanding the Definition of Academic Writing (Graff
               & Birkenstein, 2006)

 The most important movement then in good academic
  writing is the “they say ______, I say ______.”
 Your ideas need to be expressed as a response to the ideas
  of others
 Effective academic writing and credible public discourse
  involves much more than just stating our own ideas. It
  requires listening closely to others, summarizing their
  views in a recognizable fashion—in a dispassionate and fair
  way, and responding with our own ideas
The Art of Summarizing (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Summarizing the ideas of others is central to being in
  dialog with what they say
 Avoiding two extremes:
    Shying away from summarizing others
      Don’t want to take the time to really wrestle with what the text is
       saying
      Don’t want to have the ideas of others take away from their own
       ideas
    Doing nothing but summarizing others
        Lacking confidence in their own ideas they just load their text with
         summaries of the ideas of others
The Art of Summarizing (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 The key to writing a good summary is suspending
  your own ideas and putting yourself in the other
  persons place
 If you do not do this you will end up producing
  biased summaries
                           Example

 Zinczenko, D. (2002, November 23) Don’t blame the eater.
    New York Times.
   Argues that the practices of the fast-food industry have the
    effect of making people fat
   In his article “Don’t Blame the Eater,” David Zinczenko
    accuses the fast-food companies of an evil conspiracy to
    make people fat. I disagree because these companies need
    to make money.
   Unfair distortion—caricatures what the author is saying
   Hastily abandons the summary to interject his own
    response
The Art of Summarizing (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Focus on the overall claim of the author that is the
  heart of your conversation
 Avoid list summaries
The Art of Summarizing (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Focus on the overall claim of the author that is the
  heart of your conversation
 Avoid list summaries
 Use signal verbs that fit the action
Signaling Verbs
Signaling Verbs
     The Art of Quoting (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Gives credibility to your summary and demonstrates
  that it is fair and accurate
 Serves as evidence to readers that you are not just
  making this stuff up
 Common mistakes
    Quoting too little
    Over quoting
      Not an afternoon spent with scissors, glue, and photocopies
      Good academic writing demonstrates that you have assimilated
       and synthesized the material and drawn reasonable conclusions
    Assuming that quotations speak for themselves
   The Art of Quoting (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Quoting involves more then just inclosing something
  in brackets
 Need to choose them wisely
 Surround with a frame
   The Art of Quoting (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Choosing wisely
   Not for the purpose of showing you have read the work

   Need to be relevant to your work

 Framing quotations
   Quotes do not speak for themselves—you must build a frame
    around them that speaks for them
   Quotations without a frame are referred to as “dangling”
   The Art of Quoting (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Choosing wisely
   Not for the purpose of showing you have read the work

   Need to be relevant to your work

 Framing quotations
   Quotes do not speak for themselves—you must build a frame
    around them that speaks for them
   Quotations without a frame are referred to as “dangling”

   To frame a quotation you need to put it in a “quotation
    sandwich”
      The Art of Quoting (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 A “quotation sandwich”
 The statement that introduces it serves as the top slice of bread
 The explanation that follows it serves as the bottom slice of bread
 The introductory statement
   Use proper signaling verbs
   Make sure they adequately reflect the spirit of the quoted passage

 The explanation
   Follow every major quotation with explanatory sentences

   Do not assume that what is obvious to you is obvious to everyone else
    “I say” (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Three most common responses to what other say
 Agreeing
 Disagreeing
 Some combination of both
 When writers take to long to express their position
 readers get frustrated
    “I say” (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Three most common responses to what other say
 Agreeing
 Disagreeing
 Some combination of both
 When writers take to long to express their position
  readers get frustrated
 Begin not by launching into mass of details but by
  clearly stating whether you agree, disagree or both
 Then offer clear reasons for your assertion
      “I say” (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Disagreeing
 Must do more than make assertion, you must give
    persuasive reasons for disagreeing
   To move the conversation forward you need to show
    that you have something to contribute
   Agreeing
   More than simply echoing the views you agree with
   You need to bring something new and fresh to the
    table that adds to the conversation
    “I say” (Graff & Birkenstein, 2006)

 Both/and
 Some worry that expressing ambivalence will come
  across as wish-washy
 Our that readers expect clear-cut statements
 Demonstrates your integrity as a writer
 Shows that you are not satisfied with simple yes/no
  answers to complex questions

				
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