Academic writing by nauman55

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detailed description of different academic writings

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									Writing Academic Papers

    Nauman Hashmi

    Test Assignment

     27 March 2010
                                                                Hashmi i


Thesis: Academic writing has been in use since the dawn of

human civilizations. Different concepts and techniques have

been use to pen down the academic work. An analysis of

established good academic writing techniques is necessary

to spell out the precise requirement of good academic work.

A brief overview of modern citation styles and types of

academic assignment is also essential to provide basic

information on the subject. Educational qualifications may be

a plus point for an academic writer but might not be the

solitary requirement for a good academic writer.

I. Introduction to academic writing

II. Writing Good academic paper

A.      General perception about academic writing

B.      Aim of an academic paper

C.      Few tips regarding writing good academic papers

D.      Usage of literary source during writing an academic


III. Plagiarism

A.      Defining plagiarism

B.      Methods to avoid plagiarism
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IV. Modern Citation Styles

A.       American Psychological Association (APA) Style

1. Brief History and definition

2. Example of APA Style

B. Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

1. Definition

2. Example of MLA Style

C. Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)


     1. Definition

D. Vancouver Style

     1. Definition

V. Type of Assignments

A. Essay

B. Report

C. Business Report

D. Literature Review

E. Research Proposal
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F. Book Review

G. Annotated Bibliography

H. Reflective Writing

J. Oral Presentation

VI. Educational Requirement for Academic writing

A. Is education the solitary Requirement for Academic


B. The revisited qualification requirement for an academic


VII. Conclusion
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       Academic writing is a medium to express thoughts in

writing about any topic. This topic could be a part of syllabi,

research, or a social topic. Such sort of writing has been in

use since the primitive human history. Most of these early

writings were literary works of authors or research based

efforts. In preceding paragraphs, tips/guidelines about

writing good academic papers will be marked. The basic of

plagiarism and its avoidance is also a part of discussion.

Then we will take a brief overview of modern citation styles

and types of academic assignments. What should be a bare

minima educational qualification of an academic writer? We

will try to unearth the mystery.

1.     Writing Good academic papers

       Many jinx and myths exist about academic writing;

(Hartley 4) has described few comments of the people

regarding academic writings. As per the general views,

academic writings are complicated, boring, and too much

technical from reader’s point of view. Such kind of issues

can take away the objectivity of an academic article and may

not bring desired results for the writers.
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       With all these perceptions and ideas what is the best

way to write an article? Before proceeding further, let us first

discuss the aim of an academic piece of work. While writing

a manuscript, the writer desires to reach a particular set of

audience and convey his thoughts. For example, an article

written for Royal Aeronautical Society would contain more

details that are technical then the same written for a

newspaper. The difference is target audience. The specific

target audience in case of Royal Aeronautical Society is

learned scientist who would be interested to know the

precise technical details. The same article with specific

technical details might not attract common readers of a


       Any academic paper must follow objectivity. The

vague object of a paper would achieve desire results for the

writer. A right nexus of objectivity, content, and organization

of paper would add into weight of an academic writing.

Usage of easily understandable language would also

increase the audience understanding. (Hartley 8) Has

indicated that the most popular articles of their times have a

Flesch readability index of 15-60. (Trzeciak 114) Has also

highlighted the used of balanced language.
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       Usage of sources and their appropriated referencing

would add to the academic value of any academic writing. A

well-integrated and referenced material would add to the

beauty of any academic work. These referencing materials

can be use to illustrate, prove, or disprove your point of

concern. However, inappropriate usage of such materials

can dent the credibility of a writer.

2.     Plagiarism

       Plagiarism in its literal meanings is illegal usage of

intellectual property without appropriate acknowledgment of

the source. According to (American Psychological

Association 14-15) plagiarism is defined as the presenting

the work of others as if their own work.

       With dawn of information age and bulk of publicly

available information, Plagiarized use of intellectual property

has been on the rise. The worldwide-established academic

writing does not prevent consultation with other academic

material. However, an illegal tagging of someone else

thought by his own name is not legitimate. Use of proper

referencing and acknowledgment of source is what is

required to avoid plagiarism. Different academic writing style

have issued instructions regarding verbatim copying or
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paraphrasing of source material. If these instructions are

complied, then genuine academic work may still be produce

even with the usage of other academic writings.

3.     Modern Citation Styles

       (Hartley 57) classifies the modern citation styles into

four different categories. These classifications along with

their brief description are enlisted.

4.1 American Psychological Association (APA) Style

       As per (American Psychological Association Xiii) in

1929, the brief introduction of publication Manual of

American Psychological Association marked the

standardizing of scientific communication. The main goal of

subject standardization was to increase the ease of reading

conception of the scientific material. As per (Hartley 57) this

style is also call as Harvard or the name-date system.

According to (Hartley 57), “The author surname is followed

by the date of publication in brackets, and entries in the

reference list are listed alphabetically, starting with the name

and initials of author(s) followed by date of publication.”

Similarly in-text and bibliographical formats of other sources

like news paper articles; web site content and journal are

also specific.
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       For example if an extract or paraphrasing is taken

from James Hartley’s Book on Academic writing its in-text

APA citation would be like this (Hartley, 2008) and on

reference list or bibliography page it would appear like

       Hartley, J. (2008). Academic Writing and Publishing.

London: Routeldge.

4.2 Modern Language Association (MLA) Style

       It is another version of referencing and formatting of

an academic work. According to (Hartley 58),

              The authors’ surnames (with or without dates)

              appear in the text and the first authors’

              surname comes first in the reference list. This

              is follow by his or her first name, but first name

              then come first for any additional authors.

              Dates of publication are given after journal

              titles, or at the end of the references for books.

       For example if material is take from James Hartley’s

Book on academic writing then the in-text citation would be

like (Hartley) and on reference list or bibliographical page it

would appear like
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      Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing.

London: Routeldge, 2008.

4.3 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers

(IEEE) style

      As per (Hartley 58), in this style “the authors in the

text are numbered in order of their appearance in the text,

some time without their names, and the numbers are

enclosed in square brackets. The reference list is then

numbered sequentially.”

4.4 Vancouver Style

      It was originated by the International Steering

Committee of Medical Editors in 1987. This style is a mostly

used in medical journals. As per (Hartley 59),

               As with the IEEE system, the authors are

               numbered in the text in order of their

               appearance, and the numbers are enclosed in

               square brackets. The reference list is

               numbered sequentially, but the authors are

               listed surnames first, followed by initials. Again,
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              the dates of publication are given after journal

              titles or at the end of references for books.

4.     Types of Assignments

       Types of academic assignments, their definition, and

scope are mention by (Massey University 32-86). Based on

the classifications different types of academic assignment

and their theoretical definitions are enlisted.

5.1 Essay

       Essay is an academic work, which involves debate

around a particular topic. Ideally, it should contain both pro

and anti arguments regarding a particular topic. The essay

needs to be drafted like a skillful lawyer.

5.2 Report

       Report is a critical assessment of a specific issue. A

report must contain the events related to the issue and

unbiased results. It can also include the investigation or

research results pertaining to a particular topic.

5.3 Business report

       It generally contains analysis or case study of a real

situation with application of business theories to produce

certain recommendations for improvement.
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5.4 Literature Review

       It is the critical analysis of a literary work often done to

lay the foundation stone of further research.

5.5 Research Proposal

       It is a proposal of a research topic containing both

theoretical and practical aspects like budget, time, and goal

definition of a research topic.

5.6 Book Review

       It is critical assessment of a book and its evaluation in

different aspects. It is not a summary description of the book

under consideration.

5.7 Annotated Bibliography

       It is a list of source with brief description of source

covering its content and purpose.

5.8 Reflective Writing

       It is the documentation of response to a literary or

physical work. They are also use for encouraging deep and

evaluative thinking.

5.9 Oral Presentation
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        It is the preparation of a talk or leads for a discussion

in a forum.

5.      Educational requirements for Academic Writing

        Educational qualification is a plus point for any

academic writer. It has to bear in mind that it is not the sole

requirement for being an academic writer. Academic writing

is basic explanation of thoughts on a particular topic. The

educational requirement may be very crucial for writing

specific science material. For such case, education might

prove to be a plus point. Historical records indicate that

many of great inventors like Thomas Addison were not

formally educated or electrical engineers. Similarly, many

other exceptions also exist in history.

        In short, formal academic education may be an

additional advantage for an academic writer but it is not the

sole criteria for their success. Modern information age

provides easy access to the relevant information on any

subject, just the skill of thought processing and their

elaboration in writing might suffice needs of an academic


6.      Conclusion
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       Academic writing is elaboration of thought process in

writing. Objectivity, clarity, organization, and readability are

essence of a good academic work. Original academic work

can even be produce by using or inspiring from other literary

works with proper acknowledgment. Educational qualification

might add feather to a good academic work but is not the

only requirement for a good academic work.

                      Works Cited
     American Psychological Association. Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Washington D.C: American Psychological Association, 2010.
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     Hartley, James. Academic Writing and Publishing.
London: Routeldge, 2008.

       Massey University. Academic Writing: A guide to
Tertiary Level Writing. Palmerson North: Massey University,

       Trzeciak, John. Academic Writing. New York: Pheonix
Elt, 2008.

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