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Flipping the Academic Writing Classroom Joel Bloch


This E-book is designed for graduate level second language writers. The book is in divided into five modules that are related to each other: rhetorical skills, plagiarism and intellectual property, grammar skills, print and digital writing assignments, and a description of writing courses.


Contents Plagiarism and Intellectual Property Grammar Skills Print and Digital Assignments Courses

Flipping the L2 Composition Classroom by Joel Bloch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Photos courtesy of Hannah Bloch


MODULE ONE: RHETORICAL SKILLS FOR ACADEMIC WRITING What are Rhetorical Skills Rhetorical Skills refer how you develop your arguments, organize your paper, and make decisions about writing style. Your goal is to convince your audience that what you are writing about is both interesting and important. This chapter is divided into a number of rhetorical skills: how to borrow and paraphrase texts, how to organize a paper, how to evaluate texts, how to hedge claims, and how to conclude a paper. These are not the only rhetorical skills you will need. There are other rhetorical skills that will be discussed in other chapters.




PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARIZING Research Questions in an Academic Paper Textual Borrowing The Number of Citations The Purpose of Citations Writing a Conclusion


Evaluation in Academic Writing The goal for focusing on evaluation is that you include your own voices in your academic papers. Although we ask you to cite other articles, what we call textual borrowing, we want you to include your own ideas in your writing, in particular whether you agree or disagree with the claims, why you think the ideas you borrowed are important, and how do they relate to your own ideas. In that way, you are not simply “regurgitating� what you have previously read but you are borrowing texts to support and develop your own ideas.

Evaluation in Academic Writing



Evaluation Exercise – Warrants for Evaluating Examine the Evaluation in boldface and write what value or values the evaluation is using as a warrant 1. Research described by Sunny Bains...can lead to a better understanding of the female cricket's sound localization ability and may provide better insight into the functioning of neuron-based auditory systems in general. 2. We read with interest the report "Identification of herpesvirus-like DNA sequences in AIDSassociated Karposi's sarcoma by Y. Chang et al., which presents evidence for a new human herpesvirus in Karposi sarcoma (KS) lesions. We hypothesized that if KS is caused by a herpesvirus, antiviral agents with activity against herpesviruses might also decrease this incidence of KS. 3. This layer [of water] is the link between the atmosphere and the deep ocean and directly affects the air-sea fluxes of momentum, heat, and gases (2) i. It is also of great importance for biological productivity and marine pollution (3). Despite Langmuir's pioneering work, the role of Langmuir's circulation in forming the mixed layer and in distributing heat and momentum within it has not yet been determined. Most models of the mixed layer are one-dimensional 4. Although Hughes notes that on land "nearly all major vegetation [has been] cleared for agriculture and urban development," he does not present data on the nitrification by increased runoff, sewage discharge, and fertilizer use." 5. The choice of informants for the article fosters an impression that the exhibit [at the Smithsonian Museum] depicts science in overwhelmingly negative terms--an impression that clashes with the actual presentation. 6. . It would be a mistake to view undergrazing of algae and eutrophication as mutually exclusive causes of algae blooms. 7. The article implies that truth was somehow compromised... The article trivializes this debate ii by lending credence to a simplistic polarity between an old Du Pont advertisement slogan about better living through chemistry and a desire to depict science as "pollution and death." This is ludicrous. 8. 10. Even more to the point, why doesn't Paul come down out of the ivory tower, take some of the millions Congress has given him, and just go out on the open market and get to work? 9. 11. It is an unwelcome sign of the times that Bill Wattenberg's Policy Forum "Fluorescent barriers to infiltration" appeared in Science instead of in a military ordinance journal.... The danger in such a scheme is less in its dubious practical outcome than in its invitation to scientists to collaborate with xenophobia. 10. [T]he monitoring program design appears to have excluded at least one potential causal factor. 11. The study is of great value in that we can eliminate consideration of singlet oxygen. 12. This clade-B primary isolate exhibits growth characteristics in chimpanzees similar to those seen in humans. It reliably infects chimpanzees using small challenge inocula (10 to 100tissue-culture infectious doses) and maintains a detectable chronic viremia similar to that obtained with the laboratory isolate HIV-1 Lai . It does not cause AIDS rapidly, if at all‌. We urge those who carry out vaccine research in the chimpanzee model to seriously question the use of virulent HIV challenge inocula from both a scientific and an ethical standpoint. 13. While mathematical models may be useful tools to explore the potential impact of vaccines and other interventions, their results should be interpreted carefully. Models may omit or misspecify


14. 15. 16. 17.

18. 19. 20.



important aspects of HIV spread and control. Furthermore, there are limited data at this time with which to estimate model parameters reliably. To use the model predictively for ITER, however, requires that all the auxiliary information be calculated, and the tools for some important elements are not well developed or benchmarked. Had the views of Glenn Seaborg been cited ... the article would be more balanced. Hughes makes the logical case that the overfishing of herbivores and the die-off of urchins have allowed macro-algae to outcompete corals. My colleagues and I designed Biosphere 2 to be an experiment in biospherics with two things in mind: (i) to determine how much was known about biospheres (1) by seeing if what had been tested by us and the Russians on a smaller scale would work as predicted in Biosphere 2, and (ii) to see how much that was new could be discovered about designing sustainable, closed life systems (artificial biospheres) with humans living in them on a healthy, long-term basis. Paul's assertion that a turning point has been reached in ordering priorities for AIDS research is especially welcome at a time of increasing criticism of established-discipline only approaches to HIV/AIDS. Congratulations to William Paul for so clearly and boldly laying out the key questions that must be addressed if we are to make progress in the coming 5 years of AIDS research. Kirschner et al. promote biomedical research as a key solution for the health care crisis, without considering that research policy may be part of the problem. Few would argue against the value of basic research in medicine, but its organization should be examined as critically as that of medical practice. Henry I. Miller's Policy Forum about reinventing biotechnology regulation asserts most persuasively that a product should be assessed by what it is and what it can do and not how it was created. Analogously, we evaluate scientific hypotheses and theories on their predictive consequences and not on how they were conceived. Applying that ideal to biotechnology, however, is problematic in several respects.

These numbers refer to references cited at the end of the article.



EVALUATION IN THE INTRODUCTIONS TO ENGINEERING PAPERS Evaluation is an important part of the research paper. You will need to evaluate the importance of your topic, the quality of the past research, and the importance of your own research.


PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARIZING Paraphrasing is one of the requirements for avoiding accusations of plagiarism but also is a way of summarizing the article and its claims in ways that help you develop and argue your claims and demonstrate that you are a well-read researchers. There are two kinds of summaries: one where you summarize all or part of an article (descriptive) and a second where you summarize a claim (Informative). You can summarize an entire article with one sentence or sometimes even by mentioning the author in a list of other authors. This strategy is often used to demonstrate that there has been a lot of previous research on your topic or to show the research upon which you have built your own research. Informative summaries can be one or more sentences and are used to summarize claims to show how they support your claims or if they disagree with your claims, how they might be incorrect or not relevant.


Research Questions in an Academic Paper In a formal research, questions the researcher is often expected to come up with 1-3 research questions that will guide the following research. These questions should be clearly developed in the literature review of your papers. Don’t surprise the reader with your choice of questions. The questions should be clearly laid out and developed in the literature review. You should use them to guide the remainder of the paper even organizing the paper according to each question.


Textual Borrowing Textual borrowing has been an important part of text creation since the beginning of time. All texts to varying degrees borrow other texts. Texts can be borrowed because they are considered to be intellectual property, often without asking permission. In different text types, genres, and communities of practice, the nature and purpose of textual borrowing can vary. The importance of textual borrowing has led to a greater interest in understanding its rhetorical purposes, which can include supporting an argument, motivating the purpose of the research, describing the “shoulders” of the “giants” the author is standing upon, and providing additional resources for further pursuing the topics. As new forms of multimodal texts emerges, new approaches to textual borrowing have appeared. Each community of practice has different practices and rules for how these borrowed texts can be incorporated; the violation of these rules is often referred to as plagiarism. The complex nature of textual borrowing, as well as the sanctions that can be placed on rule violation, has necessitated a greater focus on explicit teaching in the composition classroom, with the goal of having students understand various rhetorical purposes and strategies for as they become full members of their communities of practice. Watch this video: Textual borrowing


The Number of Citations

In formal papers, it could be necessary to cite many references. How many citations you need for your paper can vary by a great deal, depending on the field of study you are in. There are more publications in some fields than in others. However, there are a number of purposes for citing references, so it is important that you fulfill all the goals for citing sources, which in the end will determine how many citations you need.


Citation Number A. Count the total number of citations and the number in the introduction 1. What is the total number of citations in the article?

2. What is the total number of citations in the introduction?

3. What percentage of citations are in the introduction?

B. Years of Citation

1. From date of publication – 5 years

2. From 6-10 years preceding the date of publication

3. Over 10 years from date of publication.


The Purpose of Citations While we often discuss the Use of citations in terms of attribution to avoid plagiarism, this use, or what we sometimes call textual borrowing has many purposes: to support a claim, to make a claim, to show how much research there has been and therefore that the topic is important, to show whose “shoulders� the author is standing on, and to give direction to other researchers to what further research they can look at.



Go through the paper attached and find examples of the purpose of the citation. After each purpose, list how many citations are mentioned. Skip around to different parts of the paper 1=Background (provides relevant information about the topic) 2=Support (used to support a claim or idea proposed by the author or to make a claim yourself) 3=Critical (either is criticized or used to criticize others; this could be support but there is something negative about it) 1. ______________ 2. ______________ 3. ______________ 4. ______________ 5. ______________ 6. ______________ 7. ______________ 8. ______________ 9. ______________ 10. ________________


Writing a Conclusion In the conclusion of your paper, you can express your opinions about the value and future direction of your research, suggest possible policies and implications of your research, and show its contribution to the field. Try to avoid too much summarizing since the readers can also reread the paper if they cannot remember specific points. Also remember, when you are expressing these opinions, you may need to hedge your claims since you may not have too much support to back up your claims.



MODULE TWO: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND PLAGIARISM The Relationship between Plagiarism and Intellectual Property Intellectual property refers to ideas that have been placed in a fixed medium, so anything you create, whether it is a great novel or your own notes, can be considered intellectual property. The laws regarding intellectual property are the reason you can borrow texts when you write. In an academic paper, there are many reasons for textual borrowing in developing your ideas. There are rules that can vary greatly in different situations in how you can use intellectual property. The violation of these are often referred to as plagiarism.


Intellectual Property and Plagiarism Why Teachers are Concerned About Intellectual Property? Why Students Cheat? Creative Commons


Why do students cheat? Plagiarism is one of the most controversial issues in American universities. Accusations of plagiarism can seriously affect a student’s academic career, sometimes involving failure and even expulsion. Avoiding these accusations of plagiarism is therefore very important for every student. One of the questions that has been continually discussed is the reasons why students, especially international students, are seemingly more often accused of plagiarism. Is it because they come from cultures that have different rules for Textual Borrowing or is it because international students have more problems writing in English in general?

Why Do Students Cheat?

Blogging Assignment Post a 300 blog on your response to this video. What do you think of the argument that international students often are accused of plagiarism because of cultural differences? What other reasons could there be?


Why Teachers are Concerned About Intellectual Property Intellectual Property refers to works that have been placed in a fixed medium. With some exceptions, eveything you create is considered intellectual property and therefore you can control its use and distribution, again within certain boundaries. In the United States, intellectual property is not considered a moral right but rather an incentive to create more property that can benefit society. There are are conditions, which are referred to as fair use, that allow you to use intellectual property without having Textual Borrowing to specifically ask permission. Since academic writing depends on, these conditions are impotant since it would very difficult to borrow texts and have to ask permission everytime you do so. Teaching always depend on fair use for allowing the use of materials for educational purposes. Teachers may want to use pages from a book or chapters, show movies in class, or even use their students’ work. Intellectual property laws cover their rights and restrictions for using these kinds of materials in class. Their students may also want to use intellectual property both for school work or for personal use and here again, these laws can affect their rights to do so. Therefore, we feel it is important that everybody understand their rights and responsibilities regarding the use of intellectual property.


Blogging Assignment Post 300 words to the class blog on your use intellectual property for both personal and class use. What do you think are your rights and responsibilities for the use of intellectual property in all of these cases? What do you consider to be your own intellectual property?


Thomas Jefferson on Fair Use Fair use is the concept that allows us to borrow texts, print, image, and music, without always having to ask permission of the author or creator. Without this concept, it would be very difficult for us to write good academic papers. Thomas Jefferson, who would be the third president of the United States, introduced the concept of fair use into the United States Constitution. Jefferson believed that intellectual property should be protected to encourage its production and to help in the development of science and education. He believed that sharing intellectual property did not diminish its value. When a piece of intellectual property can be used under the fair use principal depends on its economic impact, the amount being used, and the purpose of its use. Therefore, whether any use of intellectual property is covered by fair use is always controversial.


Blogging Assignment In your class blog, post a 300-word blog on what you consider to be the fair use of intellectual property. Is your use of images for your digital stories fair use? How about listening to music or watching movies? Are they similar or different?


CREATIVE COMMONS Alternatives to Traditional Copyright Creative Commons is an alternative copyright system that allows creators to more specifically control how their creations can be used. In traditional systems, everything is useful automatically copyrighted in the same way if it qualifies for a copyright. In some systems, there are provisions for using intellectual property that function like a rubric that you can use to judge whether you usage is appropriate. Since these are provisions, the final decision is a result of an argument, or trial, over whether the provisions apply. Creative Commons allows creators to choose from a variety of factors to determine whether usage is appropriate. The creator can decide whether the author should be attributed, whether it can be used commercially, or how the borrower should be shared. If you are interested in creating a license, visit


Module Three: Grammar Skills The focus on grammar is connected to our focus on rhetoric. Each of these skills has specific connections to the decisions writers make about creating their arguments or organizing their paper. Their goal is often to clarify the presentation of information so that readers can more easily understand and agree with the claims of the author.

Present Perfect


Hedging with Modals


Descriptive Reporting Verbs Cutting Unnecessary Words Pronouns and Coherence Paraphrasing and Specificity


The Use of Articles Specificity

Present Perfect The use of the present perfect has very specific uses in academic writing. It is used to show that an action has occurred over a period of time and is still relevant now (at the time of writing). For example whenever you refer to more than one piece of research, you usually use the present perfect. It is also used whenever you create a time period such as when you use adverbs such as “until now.�

View this Video: Present Perfect (Need to install Silverlight)


Verb Discussion For the most part, we use three tenses in academic writing: past tense, present tense, and present perfect. You may hear the term “future tense,” but we don’t really have a tense to express the future. We can use modals or sometimes-progressive tenses to express either predictability of an event or its sequence. Progressive tenses are rarely used in academic writing and past perfect is usually only used if the sequence of events in the past is ambiguous. We focus on two dimensions to tenses: time and truth. Present tense refers to evens that are currently true, so it is often used when making generalizations. Past tenses are used for events that happened in the past and may or may not still be true. So past is used to report something that happened in the past but that is all you want to claim – it is not a generalization. Present perfect is used when reporting on information that has occurred over a period of time and is still true. So present perfect is used, for example, when you are reporting different research papers that were published at different times. Because each tense has these specific meanings, you can switch them within a sentence if it is necessary. So if you are reporting something that happened you could first use past tense and if the next sentence makes a generalization, you can switch to present. Often when you are using reporting verbs, you will use one tense with the reporting verb and switch within the same sentence to another tense in the clause.


Verb Discussion All of these sentences have problems with the verbs. Correct these sentences, focusing on the verb forms.

1. Internet without making judgments about whether or not the text is cited correctly 2. Keune argues that turnitin would support to make a decision 3. which can prove that nowadays academic institutions and universities are much rely 4. It’s much more convenient to exam plagiarism than using traditional methods like searching on the internet. 5. that we shouldn’t stopping using it before we find an replacement. 6. But Turnitin is not a program that per se can to detects plagiarism 7.

students are tend to do ‘cut and phase’

8. Does this worth more than $100,000 annually? 9. The real reason is detecting plagiarism


Cohesiveness Cohesiveness refers to the relationship between one sentence and the next sentence. The idea is that each sentence is connected to the previous one, so that each new sentence gives more specific information about the topic of the paragraph. That is why we say that paragraphs go from general to specific since each new sentence gives more specific information. To achieve this cohesiveness, we can use what is called the “given/new� relationship. The first part of the sentence, sometimes called the subject, is the old information; that is, the information connected to the previous sentence, and the second part of the sentence, sometimes called the predicate gives new and more specific information. In the next sentence, this new information can become the old information in the next sentence, thus making the paragraph more and more specific about a single topic expressed at the beginning of the paragraph.

View this video: Cohesiveness


Hedging with Modals When you present a claim or an argument, you cannot present it too strongly or too weakly. If it is too strong, your readers may not agree with you or accept the claim. If it is presented too weakly, your readers may find it too wish-washy and dismiss both it and you. Therefore, you can have to present the claim or argument with the proper degree of certainty. There are a number of factors that determine how certain you can be: how much evidence there is for support, how many other writers agree with you, what are the expectations of the audience, and to what extent do your readers agree. There are a number of ways in which you can hedge your claims. In this video, we are discussing the use of modals, such as “will,” “can,” “should,” “must,” and “should.” View this Video:


Hedging Hedge each of these sentences using a modal. 1. Turnitin is the only way to analyze if student are copying 2. Using Turnitin is a controversy issues, because Turnitin program is very useful tool to catch plagiarism 3. However, OSU should adopt Turnitin as a tool to help students improve their writing skills instead of help professors to catch plagiarism, accuse and send students to academic misconduct 4. It is true that this tool detect copied words 5. It is more benefit for students if OSU adopt Turnitin. com to help them to improve their academic writings, 6. Because Turnitin tool is an effective tool to check the originality of text and find out that this text has some plagiarized words, it is also more useful to use it to improve their writing skills. Adoption of Turnitin is very helpful to find copied text 7. With this freedom, teachers make decisions about plagiarism.


Cutting Unnecessary Words Conciseness In academic writing, you often find that you need to write succinctly, that is using only the number of words necessary. Sometimes that means cutting information that is unnecessary or redundant. In other cases, you may only be allowed to use a certain number of words, such as in an abstract, a proposal, or even a full paper. In all of these situations, you may need to eliminate some words that are not essential to furthering the meaning of your writing. In this video, we discuss this process of cutting words.


Watch the video on Cutting unnecessary words ( and then cut all the unnecessary words form these sentences 1. The author discuss about many graduate student deny rightful authorship. 2. And Antonia Demas claimed that the professor repeatedly took credit for her work as a 3. I believe that at the most of time, mentors, trying to help student to develop their ideas, are not 4. In view of this point, an associate professor comes from UCSF stated that it had accustomed for a mentor to steal junior scientists' productions. 5. Undoubtly, adding professor's name on their student's paper is not novel in today's university. 6. In the article, Chris told us a story about Ann Green, 7. First of all, I have to admit that these kinds of things are common in my country. 8. Ann is kind of innocent in the story, but her experiences could teach every graduate student a 9. At the same time, they should also protect their results of the research from the professor. 10. In this way, it would not do any harm to the relationship between them and the professors. 11. So Rennie holds an opinion that the order of authorship means how much responsibility they would take and effort they would make on the research.


Reporting Verbs Reporting verbs are used as part of the citation process to (1) show who the author of the piece is and (2) to show your attitude towards what the author said. We are most concerned with (2) because we hope you will understand that you are citing the source as a means of helping you develop your argument as well as your own voice in your writing. (1) is also important since it shows that somebody else agrees with you, supports your idea, or if they happen to disagree, that their argument is problematic or incorrect.


Informative Reporting Verbs In your academic writing, you need to use reporting verbs to perform two actions when you borrow texts: you have to mark where the text comes from, often by citing the name of the author, and second to show your attitude towards the text your borrowed. There are a number of ways to show your attitude, but here we are going to discuss the use of informative reporting verbs. There are many verbs that can be used to express this attitude. Each one may have a different, sometimes very slight, difference, so it is very important to choose the one that most precisely expresses your attitude. Don’t just substitute one reporting verbs for another. Also, informative reporting verbs always take a that-clause, so the form will be Name + reporting verb + that-clause.



• • • • • • •


• • • •


1. People like Plantinga and Johnson [[claim]] the high ground without earning it, and so they seldom hold it long.

2. She also [[points out]] that political action has been, and remains, effective.

3. He [[argues]] that the scale of experiments is too small and that it cuts off populations and communities from their proper spatial context.


• • •

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know

4. They [[state]] that their tree-growth data are more influenced by summer than winter conditions.


• • •

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate

5. This pattern [[suggests]] that most of the currently observed variation is due to changes and adaptations that occurred in the ancient history of the group.

• • • •


• • • • • • • • • • • 37

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate


6. The authors [[discuss]] most of the critical work that has been done on this broad subject.

The authors seem to give little consideration to all the ways that humans can rightfully [[claim]] significant differences from the rest of the animate world.

8. Wegner [[points out]] that people do not control their lives in the way they think they do, but he never goes so far as to say what does control them.

9. The author [[discusses]] most of the major factors linking migration and microevolution.

10. Critics have [[argued]] that the patterns are also consistent with a range of different demographic histories.

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know Strong/weak/moderate

• • •

Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know

11. The authors [[examine]] whether women attempted to change the status quo in their organizations

• • • •


• • •


Descriptive/Informative Fact/Opinion Agree/Disagree/Don't know

12. They also [[describe]] the peace he found when his ideas were accepted

Descriptive Reporting Verbs One of the goals of summarizing is that you find information from other texts that you can use in your own writing. Each time you borrow information from another article you need to summarize or paraphrase the information, identify the name of the author, and choose a reporting verb to introduce the information. Descriptive information is used to summarize the entire article. In each summary, you need one sentence of descriptive information. When you cite that information, you need to use a descriptive reporting verb. Descriptive reporting verbs only take direct objects or object clauses as complements, so you can use a noun or clause beginning with “whether” or “if”, for example, but you cannot use a “that” clause, which is used with informative reporting verbs. Some verbs, like “describe,” “discuss,” or “examine” are only used as descriptive reporting verbs. Some informative reporting verbs, such as “argue” can be used as descriptive reporting verbs if you add a preposition like “about.” Then the verb takes a noun or a clause instead of that as a complement.

Watch the following video on Descriptive Reporting Verbs


Examples of Descriptive Reporting Verbs Discuss • • •

He does not [[discuss]] the failures of the methodology in other cases. Anderson and Fienberg [[discuss]] the role of mid-decade test censuses. Here I [[discuss]] three chapters.

Describe • • •

They [[describe]] the legal wrangling surrounding the 1990 Census. The authors [[describe]] in detail current biotechnological efforts. They [[describe]] a vastly altered regulatory environment.

Present • • •

He [[presents]] numerous examples. Zimmer [[presents]] easily understandable summaries Turner [[presents]] physiological concepts with noteworthy clarity.

Address • They have [[addressed]] this goal by competing for patients. • Sternberg does not [[address]] a number of critical questions. • Two authors [[address]] the possible separation of the ritual and cutting parts Consider •

She [[considers]] it in relation to other aspects of the culture, including economic development, ethnic identity, the zar (spirit possession rituals), marriage and sex roles, and societal values. • PuO2 was therefore [[considered]] suitable as a component of nuclear reactor fuels, running either with fast or slow neutrons, for electricity production Analyze 1. Our next three authors analyze Russia's relationship with its neighbors in Europe and Central Asia


PRONOUNS AND COHERENCE Cohesiveness The use of pronouns is one to achieve cohesiveness e in an academic paper. There are two kinds of pronouns for this use: pronouns, which connect nouns, and demonstratives such as this, which connects ideas. To make the coherence clear, this should always include a noun reference (e.g. this idea).

Pronouns and Coherence


Collocation The Relationships between Words Collocation refers to the relationship between words; that is, sometimes we use two words together and sometimes we don’t. For example, we can say “sweep the floor” but we can’t say “broom the floor” even though it makes perfect sense. Why not? I don’t know since there are no real rules; therefore, you just have to learn which words go together and which words don’t. Therefore we suggest that you use some free online computer programs that will help you judge whether your usage is acceptable. For example, if you aren’t sure whether the words go together, you can use Google N-gram ( to show how often the words have been used together. In this example, “broom the floor” is never used. N-gram does not always tell you the “correct” answer; often you have to judge that for yourself.



The Use of Articles Using articles is one of the most difficult aspect of learning to write in English. You may never master them, so it may be important that you always have someone to proofread what you write. The difficulty is that you need to think about whether you need an article and which article you choose with every noun that you use. There are three considerations for every noun: whether the noun is specific that is whether both the reader and writer know what is referred to, whether the noun is countable, which can be difficult to determine, and if countable, whether it is singular or plural. However, despite the difficulty, they can be important, particularly for creating cohesive texts that show how one noun is related to another or to show whether you are discussing a specific item or a general item.


In the following paragraph, fill in the missing articles: a/an, the, this. If no article is necessary, place a 0. ____ intron is______sequence of DNA within ___ genes that is removed during __ RNA processing. ____ Introns may enhance ___ promoter strength, which can lead to______high gene expression. ___ phenomenon was supposed to be related to ______ interaction between introns and RNA metabolism. Hir et al. (2003) pointed out that ______ introns might enhance transcription by influencing ______ transcriptional regulatory elements or by enhancing RNA polymerase II activity. Moreover, ______ the author argued that ______ splicing of introns could influence ______ mRNA export and localization as well as ______ subsequent translation process. ______. The author concluded that ______ introncontaining promoters usually showed ___ than ______ intronless promoters. However, we cannot rule out ______ possibility that ______ loss of ______ regulatory elements in ______ upstream of ______ promoter results in ___ lower strength of intron less promoter.


Punctuation Punctuation is important to help readers more easily follow what you have written. Punctuation marks can tell readers what is coming next, so they can be better prepared for the type of information that will follow. Sometimes correct important punctuation does not matter; however, other times it can be very confusing if you have the wrong punctuation. Therefore, it is important to try to follow the rules even though making a mistake may not be that important.


Punctuation Correction 1. The author brings some interpretations from his Data Analysis it seems important that there is a significant correlation between figural representations and formal representations. 2. The results show a surprising fact that under a mild degree of heating, the flow is highly unstable. 3. Some of the materials used in the study are the following; normal rabid serum, sheep anti calbindin and peroxidase-antiperoxidase complex. 4. The protein however was completely depleted. 5. This article is understandable and orderly, supporting my claim. 6. This article reviews three developmental theories on play by: Piaget, Erickson and Colley and Mead. 7. Both Piaget and Vygotsky emphasized play's cognitive role, however, there are differences. 8. A surgical transectomy and postganglionic axons of the superior cervial ganglion in neonatal rodents, caused the death of 90% of the cells. 9. The demonstrations of NGF taken up by nerve endings of sensory fibers, and reverly conveyed to the cell perikarya supported the concept, that NGF is a trophic messenger, transported through nerve fibers. 10. Although the second messenger which transmits stimulant signals of hormone from cell membranes is not known neurotrophins regulating the physiological reponses, have been established in many studies. 11. V.F. Pudovkin, one of the great Soviet filmmakers thinks that the art of cinema requires more than mere ability. 12. In another vitro experimental study the NGF neurotropic effect supported this idea that neuities of NGF target cells, grown along the gradient of NGF, and change their route direction. 13. Half the spinal motoneurons were lost by a naturally occuring process or programmed cell death during normal vertebral development and additional developing motoneurons would degenerate after the removal of targets.



Specificity in Academic Writing There are two aspects of your writing that are particularly important when writing an academic paper. One that is you are precise in what you mean and that you carefully choose words that expand the meaning of what you write. The second is that you are concise. You may often have to observe a strict word count either in a piece of your paper, such as an abstract, or in the entire paper. For both of these reasons, it is important that you carefully choose exactly which words you want to use.


Specificity Homework Rewrite these sentences, focusing on making the boldfaced phrases more specific. 1. In the “When a Mentor Becomes a Thief� article, Mr. Chris Woolston describes an issue about exposing students to academic mentor cheating.

2. In this article, Chris discussed whether a mentor can be a thief.

3. Undoubtly, adding professor's name on their student's paper is not novel in today's university.

4. all the junior scientists should show grateful to their mentors, because it is due to their help that youth can quickly gain success on their realm.

5. Ms. Green, a doctoral student, claimed that her advisor stole her outcomes and it finally led to a very bad effect on her vocational development


PARAPHRASING AND SPECIFICITY Paraphrasing refers to changing the vocabulary and syntax of pieces of text that you borrow and “putting it your own words.” What this expression means is not that clear. To be an effective academic writer, you need to paraphrase in such a way as to create cohesiveness with the previous sentences and to be specific enough to “push forward” the meaning of your paper.


Paraphrasing Paraphrasing refers to borrowing a piece of text from another source and “putting it in your words.� Unfortunately, it is difficult to define what that expression means in practice. To paraphrase you often need to change the grammar and/or the vocabulary while maintaining the meaning. Moreover, as we explain in other videos, your paraphrase needs to summarize the key ideas that you are interested is, specifically express the ideas you want to make, and be coherent with the previous sentences and more specific in expressing your meaning. How many words or phrase you can copy into your paraphrased sentence is not clear. Some words, for example, may not matter. Other times, if the word is particularly important or if it is a word that is identified with the author, you many need to put it in quotes even if it is one word. Therefore, it is always important that you make clear who the original author of the sentence is.



PARAPHRASING AND SUMMARIZING Paraphrasing is one of the requirements for avoiding accusations of plagiarism but also is a way of summarizing the article and its claims in ways that help you develop and argue your claims and demonstrate that you are a well-read researchers. There are two kinds of summaries: one where you summarize all or part of an article (descriptive) and a second where you summarize a claim (Informative). You can summarize an entire article with one sentence or sometimes even by mentioning the author in a list of other authors. This strategy is often used to demonstrate that there has been a lot of previous research on your topic or to show the research upon which you have built your own research. Informative summaries can be one or more sentences and are used to summarize claims to show how they support your claims or if they disagree with your claims, how they might be incorrect or not relevant.


MODULE FOUR: ASSIGNMENTS Print and Digital Assignments In this chapter, there are a number of different writing assignments, both traditional academic writing and newer forms of digital writing.

The Argument/Counterargument Paper Data Analysis Paper

Digital Storytelling Assignment

Critical Review 54

The Argument/Counterargument Paper In the argument/counterargument paper, you are going to discuss a controversial argument and show why you agree with one position and disagree with the other. The paper will be divided into four parts: (1) a problem analysis that shows what is the problem being discuss, why that problem is important, the causes of the problem, and what is the argument, (2) an argument you disagree with and why this argument is wrong, (3) 2-3 arguments you agree with and why you agree with them, and (4) a conclusion in which you discuss your solutions or why your argument is correct. Remember: In the introduction, you need to lay out the issues – perhaps the causes of the problem – that you are going to argue.


Blogging Assignment In the Argument/counterargument paper you will discuss an argument regarding plagiarism based on the articles you read for your annotated bibliography. In this blog, discuss the argument that you are making: what do you agree with and why and what do you disagree with and why.


Questions about the Argument Paper


Annotated Bibliography In the annotated bibliography, choose five articles to summarize and evaluate. Determine the specific articles. The assignment is divided into two parts: a five-sentence summary with one descriptive sentence and at least four informative sentences and an evaluative part with at least five evaluative sentences. The goals of the assignment are as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Summarize the overall article Choose the most important information for your following papers Mark the difference between your ideas and the ideas that you borrow Paraphrase and cite the information you borrow Express your own opinions about the information you borrow

Summaries are not like abstracts in that they do not cover all the information in the article: only focus on the information that you think is important for your next papers. You can use the issues, information, and evaluation in these papers.


More Questions about the Annotative Bibliography One of the goals of writing summaries is to identify the key questions or issues in the discussions. These issues shape the future research that will take place in the community. Therefore, before you write in your community, you need to be aware of those issues and what are the debates or remaining problems that still need to be addressed.


Identify the different authors in the article you have read and briefly summarize the most important issues that author is discussing Author


Identify the key issues that each author made in regard to plagiarism. You can focus on the questions that we discussed in relationship; that is, what did each of the authors say, if anything about the questions from the survey

Summary Outline In your summaries, you should have identified a few key issues that are related to your research or course work. Before writing your next two summaries, please fill out this outline. In the left column identify the issues you are summarizing (you don’t need 4; use as many as you home). In the second column, briefly outline what the author says about that issue. In the third column, discuss what the third author has to say. You can either cut and paste or you can paraphrase and then cut and paste into your paper. Article 1 Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4


Article 2

Article 3

Evaluating the Annotative Bibliography Watch this video: View this video

Evaluating the Annotative Bibliography


Data Analysis Paper Writing a Data Analysis Paper The data interpretation paper attempts to answer a question by using data (and other forms of argumentation). In the real world, you begin with a question you want to answer, and then find data that you hope will help you answer the question. However, in this class, so that everyone can work with the same data, we are taking a backwards approach: You start with the data, and then imagine what kind of question it might help you answer. The paper should be between 800 and 1000 words, and should have three parts: 1. an introduction where the question is introduced and defined 2. a main body that brings in the data and anything else that will help answer the question 3. a conclusion where the writer can express an opinion about what direction research can take or what action they would like people to take, based on the argument presented. When you bring in the data, remember to use the three elements of a data commentary discussed in class: location element, highlights of important results, and commentary on the findings. The commentary can explain why the data is important, how it proves your point, or even how it is not adequate in some respect (incomplete, biased, etc.). In addition to the data, the paper will make use of at least 5 citations of various sources—possibly some of the papers you summarized for your annotated bibliography, possibly other sources that you find. The citations might appear in the introduction or the body of the paper; the important thing is to cite someone any time you make a claim that isn’t an established fact. For example, if you write, “Plagiarism is a growing problem on university campuses,” you should provide a source that agrees with you, so that the reader will take you seriously. (Otherwise, they’ll just think it’s an empty sentence that you just put in there because you needed a general statement to start your introduction.) All cited sources must be listed in a list of references at the end, in APA style. (To put entries in APA style, go to the EasyBib link in the Critical Review section of Carmen, and follow the directions there.)


View this video

Introduction to the Data Analysis Paper


The Body of the Data Analysis Paper


Digital Storytelling Assignment Creating a Digital Story Making your digital story more dramatic Choosing Images for your Digital Story Storyboarding

Adjusting Sound and Music on Audacity


Creating a Digital Story A digital story is a short movie you created that centers on an important moment in your life. In this assignment, you will write a story about yourself, around 500 words, record that story in your own voice, choose or create images that expand on the story, and then “remix” all of this together into a movie. At the end of the course, we will get together and screen all the movies. Although this assignment may seem different than the writing assignments you are also doing in your class, they are similar in that they both rely on your creating a story, then choosing texts to expand on your story, and then remixing them together. • • • • • •


Think about what you are doing academically (focus on your studies) and then go out with a camera or cell phone and take between 10-15 photos that illustrate what you are doing Write a short story describing how the photos relate to what you are doing at OSU Create a storyboard in which you match your story with each picture Record your story in a podcast Using IMovie or Moviemaker, create your movie Share your movie with your classmates, parents, and friends or post it on YouTube.

Digital Story Outline With a partner, describe what your digital story is going to be about. You tell your partner the answers to the questions and your partner will write them down. When you are finished, switch roles. A. What is the story going to be about (remember it must relate to your personally) B. General Questions to consider 1. What is the point of view of your story? story? :

What is your connection to the

2. What is the dramatic question your story is going to answer? What is the “mystery� you are trying to solve?

3. What is the dramatic moment in your story?

4. What emotions are you focusing on in your story? How will you use emotion to engage your viewers? 5. What do you want the viewer to come away with?


Making your digital story more dramatic One of the most important aspects of the digital story is that it has to center around a particular moment when the story most greatly affects your life, such as the moment you left home or the moment you arrived at university. By experiencing such moments, the viewer can better understand who you are the purpose of your story. So don’t just describe an experience such your vacation but discuss something important to you, something that has had a long term affect your life, that happened during that time. So please watch our video on making your story more dramatic.


Blogging Assignment In the digital story you need to focus on a key moment or turning point in your decision – perhaps how you choose your field or when you chose to come to Ohio State. On the class blog, post 300 words describing that moment – why you chose it, how did you feel, what apprehensions did you have about it.


Choosing Images for your Digital Story The images for your digital story can either be yours – either drawings or photographs – or downloaded from the Internet (remember to attribute them). The images might explain the text or extend the text. Sometimes your viewer won’t be able to understand what the images means without your text. You can choose images to explain your text or create text to explain the images.

Blogging Assignmen: Choose one image and write in 300words why you chose it and what is its purpose in your text.


StoryBoarding A storyboard is an outline of the relationship between your images and your text. Create a table with one row for each image. Create a small icon of each image and put it in one column. In another column, cut and paste a piece of your story. If you feel you need more images, choose them. If you feel you need more text to explain the image, write more.


Adjusting Sound and Music on Audacity In your digital story, it is important that you record your story in your own voice. We hope that recording your voice will help you understand that everything you write, even an academic paper, expresses your own voice. Therefore, it is important that you clearly speak when you record your story. We use a program called Audacity ( to record your voice. It’s a free program, so you can download to your computer. However, we would like you to record in the university’s recording studio if possible. Audacity has a number of tools that you can use to make your voice clearer. If you speak too low, there is a tool to boost the volume. Feel free to look through Audacity to see other tools you might want to use to improve the sound quality of your recording.

View this video


Critical Review Assignment The critical review compares two or three articles that have attempted to solve a problem. You can think about the critical review as an argument paper where two or three authors are arguing about a different approach to perhaps defining a problem or solving a problem. The paper should have three parts: an introduction where the problem is defined and argued, a main body that deals with 2-3 issues related to that problem or argument, and a conclusion where the writer can express an opinion about what direction research can take or which opinion is better. The introduction to the paper should contain: definition of the problem that explains its importance, an analysis of the problem that explains where the gaps or differences exists, a discussion of the consequences of the problem, which establishes its importance, and the causes, which establishes the criteria for resolving the issue. In addition, there should be a one-sentence descriptive summary of the authors being discussed that compares their different opinions. Finally, there should be one sentence discussing what the paper is going to be about. The body of the paper should contain a description of each issue being discussed, a short summary of each position, and an evaluation of each position. The most important aspect of the paper is that the different authors or positions are clearly compared. The conclusion can show what gaps still exist in the research, the writer’s opinion, future research, or more discussion of the significance of the issue. Don’t have more than one sentence summarizing what was said in the body.

Creating The Critical Review Paper The Body of the Critical Review


Creating The Critical Review Paper The purpose of the critical review paper is to explore problems and questions that your field of study. In the critical review you will identify the problem that at least two of the authors you read both address and then compare their ideas. You need to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their approaches and then show how you would better address the problems. You should have identified at least two issues related to the problem or question. The body of your paper should be organized around these issues. In the conclusion, you can discuss your own solutions or answers. 75

Critical Review Outline Before you begin writing your critical review, you need to have outlined the key issues and controversies in the articles you have read. In this assignment, I would like you to examine the issues that the articles you are reading have in common. You need only summarize what the articles discuss about these issues. These issues will be the basis for your critical review. Note that they may not be issues in common in the first three articles; however, if this is the case, you will need to find two more articles that share the issues you have already found. In this assignment, identify three issues and briefly describe how the article addresses this issue. Include the title of the article (you will fill out articles 4 and 5 next week). Article 1


Article 2

Article 3

Article 4

Article 5

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

The Body of the Critical Review In the critical review assignment, you will address a problem or question in your field and then compare the research that has already addressed the problem so that you can fit your own research into the ongoing research. In the body of the critical review, you need to compare two research papers on how they address he key issues or questions related to the problem you are working on. You should have identified the key issues in your annotated bibliography. The body of the critical review should be at least two paragraphs, each one addressing eh key issue. Each paragraph should address one of the issues. You can begin the paragraph by describing in as much detail as possible the issue, the summarizing and comparing the key arguments of 77

each author while evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each. You do the same in the next paragraph. At the end of the body your evaluation should show clear where your research will fit in.

Outline for Critical Review Fill in the table below with the issues on the horizontal row and the authors’ names and opinions on the vertical column. Issue #1

Author #1 – name


Issue #2

Issue #3

Author #2 – name

Author #3 – name (optional)

Your opinion


The Problem/Solution Paper The problem/solution paper is similar to the critical review assignment in that it focuses on a problem and possible solutions, often solutions that have been proposed in the past by others. You need to analyze these solutions and show their strengths and weaknesses. The difference, however, is that the solution could be a proposal for researching your own solution to the problem.



The Research Paper The Research Paper Outline Writing in the Humanities Part I- Introductions

Writing in the Humanities – Part 2: Making and Supporting Claims


The Research Paper Outline The research paper outline should break the paper into at least three parts: (1) introduction where you discuss the problem, the importance of the problem, the causes of the problem, and who has been discussing it; (2) the literature review where you discuss the issues and what literature is connected to the issues, and (3) the conclusion where you evaluate what has been done before and discussion some more possible solutions or new directions for research.


Outline Problem Statement Outline 1. What is the topic you are writing about and why is it important?

2. Describe some of the key issues you are going to discuss

3. Problem Statement a. Goal c. consequences

d. causes

e. What is the paper going to be about?

Literature Review Outline:


You need to organize the literature review by issues as you did the critical review. In each block, identify the issue you want to discuss and then put in some references you want to use in your paper. Your issues can reflect the research questions you will discuss in the conclusion. You don’t need six issues

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 5

Issue 6



1. Brief summary and evaluation of your research. If you have specific research questions, list them here.

2. Limitations of study

3. Implications of research


Analyze the Introduction of a Research Paper Your research paper outline should be laid out in your introduction, so it is useful to think about the outline when writing your introduction. Take one of the journal articles you read for your summaries, read the introduction to the article and answer the following questions. If you cannot find the appropriate answer, indicate that the information is not available Introduction

1) What is the topic and why is it important?

2) What is the problem? 3) What is the goal of the problem? 4) What current state of the problem?

5) What are the consequences of the problem? 6) What are the causes of the problem? . 7) What are the criteria for solving the problem?

8) What research has already been done (descriptive sentences)

9) What is your paper going to be about?


The Case Study The case study is a type of research paper often found in business classes.


The Body of the Case Study


Writing in the Humanities Part I- Introductions In our courses, we tend to treat all forms of academic similarly that is, they have a similar format and organization. However, there are some variations across different disciplines. One of the differences can be found in academic papers written in the humanities. In this video, we discuss the introduction of a paper written by a graduate student in Portuguese and discuss the kinds of moves he makes in his introduction. For more information, you can also view our video on the organization of claims in his paper.


Writing in the Humanities – Part 2: Making and Supporting Claims


Summaries and Abstracts When you finish your research paper, you will need to add an abstract, usually between 200 and 250 words. Abstracts are different than summaries. An Abstract summarizes each aspect of your paper while the summary focuses on the key issues of the article.


Module Five: Courses


5901.05: Introduction to Academic Writing for Multilingual Students The goals of this course are to introduce students to many of the aspects of academic writing they will need in their other university courses. Specifically, we will look at various rhetorical strategies that are necessary for success in academic writing, such as • • • • • • • • • •

Summarizing Defining Synthesizing Comparing Arguing Designing multimedia Writing stories Understanding and using intellectual property Understanding and avoiding plagiarism Becoming a content creator

The main focus of the course is on the issues surrounding plagiarism, which are important for all students to understand. Plagiarism is one of the most important and controversial issues in the university today, and we have found that many students do not understand it. Everything you read and write about in this class will be on plagiarism. We hope you will be 94

able to look at plagiarism from a variety of perspectives and be able to decide what plagiarism is and what it is not. Along with the writing assignments on plagiarism, we will also be creating a digital story. A digital story is a recorded personal story illustrated with images and incorporating music. Finally, specific grammatical forms that are related to these rhetorical forms will be discussed. By the end of the course, we hope you will be prepared for both further ESl courses as well as other university writing.


5901: Academic Writing for Multilingual Students


5902: Advanced Academic Writing for Multilingual Students


6912: Publishing for Academic Students The purpose of the course is for students to produce a publishable paper for a journal or a conference. The focus of the course will be on • • • • • • •

The nature of Academic publishing The nature and role of Academic journals. The structure of an Academic Paper Plagiarism and Academic Misconduct Grant and Proposal Writing Making a presentation, academic letters, CV Key grammar Issues

The course will meet for about one and fifty minutes once a week. In addition, there will be a tutorial between ½ hour and an hour once a week where we can discuss your work. The tutorials are normally in my office but can be held online. If you are going to miss a tutorial or you want to change the time, please email me in advance.


Choosing a Scholarly Journal


Journal Analysis Find the submission guidelines to a journal you are interested in and then answer the following questions. If you cannot find the information, simply skip the question. 1. What are the appropriate topics for the journal? What is not considered appropriate research? You might need to look through an issue of the journal. If it gives the most cited articles, what are the topics? 2. What is the journal’s impact factor (if found)? 3. Look at the editors and the editorial board. Do you recognize them 4. Who is the publisher of the journal? Is this a reliable publisher? 5. What types of articles are accepted? 6. Who is the audience for the journal 7. How long should the paper be 8. How should the paper be formatted 9. How should the references be formatted 10. What advice is given about writing the papers? 11. What advice, if any, is given to non-native English speakers? 12. What are the “rules� for submission? What does the journal consider to be prior publication? 13. What should be contained in the cover letter? 14. What information is given about the review process? 15. What are the rules for copyright?


Peer Review in Scholarly Journals



Rhetorical skills for academic writing  
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