Oral communication: Presentation and discussion skills - PowerPoint by um21qgL

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									Common problems in
   writing style


   Academic Skills Office
  University of New England
    www.une.edu.au/aso
             Introduction

 Guidelines for academic writing
 Writing complete sentences
 Improving grammar and punctuation
 Spelling
 Paragraph structure


                                      2
    Academic writing guidelines

 Always write in complete sentences
 Write from an objective viewpoint
 Use formal more complex vocabulary (with caution)
 Avoid colloquialisms and clichés; contractions and
  abbreviations
 Take care with punctuation, grammar and spelling
 Paragraphs must be clear, concise and logical



                                                       3
         Simple sentences

A simple sentence (or independent clause)
has at least one subject and a verb or a verb
group.

(e.g. Human behaviour can be significantly changed
by exposure to cold.)


  Subjects and verbs must agree in number.

                                                     4
    Subject and verb agreement
   subject                       verb
The threat from overseas competitors is serious.
The threats from overseas competitors are serious.

    Non-count nouns take singular verb forms
    Collective nouns (e.g. each, every, either) take
    singular verb forms
      (e.g. Each of the arguments is to be explored.)
    With both, use plural verb (e.g. Both arguments are
    valid.)
                                                           5
      Compound sentences

A compound sentence is formed by joining
one simple sentence to another simple
sentence using a conjunction.

(e.g. Price increases may stimulate a search for
  a cheaper
alternative, but this does not always happen.)

(e.g. Price increases may stimulate a search for
  a cheaper
                                                   6
      Complex sentences

A complex sentence consists of at least
one simple sentence and one dependent
clause.

(e.g. The plants will grow if they receive enough
  water.
                        OR
    If the plants receive enough water, they will
    grow.)
                                                    7
           Sentence problems
                     the fragment
A fragment is a piece of a sentence.
It is not a sentence for one of the following
  reasons:
 The subject is missing
 (e.g. Told me to go home.)

 The verb is missing
  (e.g. My friend to my house.)

 Both the subject and the verb are missing
  (e.g. For my birthday.)

 The subject and verb are present but do not
  express a complete thought                    8
       Sentence problems
           the run-on sentence
Run-on sentences occur when
simple sentences are joined
incorrectly.

For example, when simple sentences are:
 run together without any punctuation
   (e.g. It was a poor argument there was no sound
     evidence.)
 joined together with only a comma
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Abbreviations and contractions

 Use that is, not i.e. ; use for example, not
  e.g.
   unless the material is in brackets (e.g. like
    this)
 It is, never it’s. The possessive pronoun is
  always its
 They are, never they’re. The possessive
  pronoun is their
 Do not use contractions in academic writing      10
      Essential punctuation

 End stops     . ? !
 Commas
   To separate a list
   After an introductory element
   To separate the elements of a location
   To contrast
   Before an after any element which interrupts
    the main idea
 Apostrophes
   Use apostrophes (’) only to show possession
                                                   11
                  Spelling
 Learn to spell technical terms
 Keep a list of words you misspell and highlight
  problems letters (e.g. goverNment)
 Read more and use a dictionary to look up
  unfamiliar words
 Learn simple spelling rules
 Use the spell check facility, but always proof
  read your work because spell check is not
  always reliable
 Play some word games (e.g. play scrabble or do
  a crossword at least once a week!)                12
         Paragraph structure
 A paragraph should have one major idea or group
  of smaller related ideas
 Start with topic sentence (summary of the
  paragraph)
 Points backed up by reference to literature
 Paraphrasing used, plus few direct quotations
 Argument developed using information: not just
  presentation of information
 Finish the paragraph with a concluding sentence if
  you need to tie up your argument
                                                       13
         Sample paragraph
Assignment essay tasks are set to assist students
to develop mastery of their study subject. Firstly,
assignment tasks enhance understandings about
subject matter. Yang and Baker (2005:1) reason
that to ‘master your learning materials and extend
your understandings, you need to write about the
meanings you gain form your research’. Secondly,
research (Jink 2004; Zapper 2006) clearly
demonstrates that students learn the writing
conventions of a subject area while thy are
researching, reading and writing in their
discipline. This activity helps them to ‘crack the
code’ of the discipline (Bloggs 2003:44). Thus,
students are learning subject matter and how to
write in that disciplinary area by researching and
                                                      14
writing assignment essays.
            Sample paragraph analysis
  Topic sentence

         Assignment essay tasks are set to assist students
         to develop mastery of their study subject. Firstly,
                                                                 Argument
         assignment tasks enhance understandings about supported
Direct
         subject matter. Yang and Baker (2005:1) reason by authors
quote    that to ‘master your learning materials and extend
         your understandings, you need to write about the
         meanings you gain form your research’. Secondly,
         research (Jink 2004; Zapper 2006) clearly             Paraphrase
         demonstrates that students learn the writing
         conventions of a subject area while they are
         researching, reading and writing in their
         discipline. This activity helps them to ‘crack the
         code’ of the discipline (Bloggs 2003:44). Thus,
                                                  Concluding sentence
         students are learning subject matter and how to                  15
Summary
 Be objective
 Conversational English                 Punctuation
                                          Paragraph
                                        Use complete
  not acceptable                             objective
                                         BeFormal
                                           Spelling
                                       Academic writing
 Complete sentences                       structure
                                          sentences
                                           Grammar
 Spelling, grammar &
  punctuation important
 Paragraph structure


‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ Good writing takes enormous
concentration.                                                  16

								
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