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Approach to Academic Writing

Audience►Purpose►Organizartion►Style►Flow►Presentation (APOSFP) ►Positioning

I.            Organization by
A.    problem solution:
  1. Description of a situation
  2. Identification of problem
  3. Description of a solution
  4. Evaluation of the solution
B.     Comparison-contrast
C.     Cause-effect
    1. One cause and multiple effects
    2. Multiple causes and one effects
D.    Classification
II.            Style
A.    Consistent
B.     Academic style (dependent on the area of study) or not
C.     Verbs
a.       Phrasal verb (verb + particle)
b.      Prepositional verb (verb + preposition)
c.       Single verb (more formal)
D.    Grammar style
a.       Formal/Academic-scholarly and objective tone
                                                  i.      Avoid contractions(won’t►will not)
                                                ii.      More appropriate negative forms (not... any►no)
                                              iii.      Limit the use of run-on expressions (and so forth; etc. ►__,___, and other electronic devices)
                                              iv.      Avoid addressing the reader as you (except if writing textbook or instructional materials)
                                                v.      Avoid direct question(depends on the field)
                                              vi.      Place adverb within the verb
1.      Adverbs are often placed midposition rather than the initial or final positions
                                            vii.      Consider if you should split infinitives  (usually avoided unless reader’s prefer) (to + verb)
1.      Splitting infinitive verb (to + adverbial modifier + verb)
                                          viii.      Aim for efficient use of words (use as many words as you need to express your points; try to use no more than what you really need)
                                              ix.      Avoid I or We unless you are a renowned writer or a scholar
III.            Flow-movement from one statement to another/clear connection
A.    Use linking words and phrases
a. help a writer maintain flow and establish clear relationship between ideas

Subordinators (dependent clause + complete sentence)
Sentence Connectors (complete sentence + complete sentence)
Phrases Linkers
(complete sentence + noun phrase)

in addition
In addition to
Even though
In spite of
Cause and Effect
As a result of
Because of
Due to
As a result of

In other words
That is (i.e.)

In contrast
On the other hand

For example
For instance


On the contrary
As a matter of fact
In fact

B.     Semicolons
a. Join 2 completely independent sentences and work much like a full stop
1.      Sentence 1;+Sentence 2
b.Can be used with sentences connectors
1.      Sentence 1 ;however +Sentence 2
c. Because semicolons are a “stronger” type of punctuation (they mark a stronger break in the flow of ideas) than commas, they can be used to chunk longer sequences into parts.
1.      (China,6%;Japan,5%; US3%)
d.                        Used to separate long items in a list (replacing commas or dash)
C.     This + Summary word (but expanded summary first before this)
D.    Use adverbials (first,once,then,finally)
IV.            Presentation
  1. overall format of written work
a.       Carefully prepared
b.      Clear paragraphs
c.       Line spacing
d.      Standards fonts and font sizes
  1. careless grammar mistakes
a.       Subject verb agreement
b.      Verb tenses
c.       Articles used necessary (a,an and the)
d.      “the” used too much
  1. Mispelled words
a.       Correct homophone
b.      Spell check missed
V.            General► Supporting/Explanation of the General Statement ►More detailed►Specific Statements
A.    General statement
a.       General statements of facts
b.      Broad statements
B.     Definitions
a. common way of getting started
b.definio(latin word)-to limit or bound; to interpret ideas or words in terms of each other
c. extent-depends on :
1.      purpose
2.      level of familiarity of audience in a paper
3.      subject
4.      concept-definition agreement
d.                        common ways
1.      short definitions or “glosses”-give information about a term in a word or phrase and are placed within either parentheses or commas in a sentence
a.       phrasal definitions signalled (or, i.e.)
b.      phrases (known as, defined as, called)
2.      Sentence definitions-brief and similar to dictionary definition
3.      Extended definitions-longer and more detailed than dictionary definition
C.     Textbook definitional information-used to clarify terms unfamiliar to the readers
VI.            Problem, Process and Solution
A.    Structure of Problem-Solution Texts
a. Situation-background information about claims for research engine
b.Problem-reasons for doubting the accuracy of the figures
c. Solution-Alternative data leading to more accurate figures
d.                        Evaluation-Assessment of the merits of the proposed answer
B.     Midposition Adverbs-adverbs within the verbs
C.     Procedures and Processes
a. Review process
b.Technical (descriptive)
D.    Verbs and Agents in the Solution
a. Passive voice v. Imperative forms
b.Human agent uncommon except in field history
c. By + process ; + non-human agent
d.                        –ed participles in passive construction
e. Active voice
1.      direct human action
2.      change of state(expand,rise,cool,form)
3.      generalization in human society
4.      cause and effects
E.     –ing clauses of result
F.      Indirect question (invert form) NOTE: direct questions may be possible
G.    Introduce problem with connectors(however, despite, nevertheless)

NOTE: subordination clause(optional) + main clause + (thus/thereby)-ing clause