All entries for November 2004

November 04, 2004

Academic Writing – Proposals and Scientific Essays

CS119 - Week 6 Session 2

An important factor to consider before you start writing is your target audience. You need to ask yourself who is your target audience and thus what style ahould you use? The style for the academic essay is very different to that of other texts such as the popular article.

The Scientific Essay
as defined by the course convenor Dr. Cathia Jenainati

1. Outline

2. Abstract

3. Introduction
a. statement of problem
b. objectives
c. limitations

4. Methodology

5. Review of the literature

6. Results and Discussion

7. Conclusion

8. Appendices

9. Bibliography

Plotting the Essay

In prose, a plot is the things that happen. Once you have created your characters, something has to happen to them in some kind of order. Plot is also the sequence of questions that the reader will be asking the narative as they read.

  • Who dunnit?
  • Why is this the case?
  • How can you justify that?
    etc.

If the events of a narrative ae badly placed or inadequately foregrounded, the story will be hard to read and will lack the tension required to keep the reader turning the page.

This also applies to the essay. You are the narrator informing the reader about the scope of a particular debate. You need to lead the reader through the different arguments eloquently.

The essay can have:

*a moral plot if you are discussing moral issues

*a detective plot if you are investigating different debates

*a journey or quest plot as you travel through various schools of thought to discover your own conclusions.

The Best Words in the Best Order

Order is heav'n's first law. Alexander Pope

Much of what we call intelligence is the ability to recognise patterns. We recognise:

  1. sequences
  2. cycles
  3. processes
  4. tendencies
  5. shapes
  6. similarities
  7. behaviours
  8. probabitilies

Pattern diagrams can be helpful in generating ideas for your essay.

Proposals

Writing a shorter essay can be more difficult than writing a long one. There is a need to focus and to be economical with words. Essays are marked down if they fall outside of the word limit. These rules are applied very strictly in the world of journalism and writing due to column space/costs etc.

The proposal is a good way to focus your thoughts. It is a problem-solving strategy which seeks to convince tutors and peers that you have enough understanding and have conducted enough research to undertake the project.

A proposal includes:

A. Statement of problem
B. Research Methodology
C. Brief survey of the field
D. Plan for completion
E. Predicted outcome


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