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Writing Workshop Physiotherapy Year 2


Writing Workshop Physiotherapy Year 2 de O Sullivan and Lawrence Cleary Regional Writing Centre Workshop outline Getting started: Motivation and time management ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing Workshop Physiotherapy Year 2

Writing WorkshopPhysiotherapy Year 2
  • Íde OSullivan and Lawrence Cleary
  • Regional Writing Centre

Workshop outline
  • Getting started Motivation and time management
  • Key consideration
  • The writing process
  • The rhetorical situation
  • Academic writing style
  • Critical appraisal
  • Structuring your paper
  • Scientific style
  • Strategies to develop writing Peer review

Getting Started Writing and Keeping Going
Anxieties and fears
  • What do you worry about or struggle when faced
    with a writing task?
  • How will you overcome these anxieties and fears?

Difficulties associated with writing
  • Anxiety and fear of writing
  • Lack of confidence and motivation
  • Fear of making your writing public
  • Cracking the codes of academic writing
  • Getting started
  • Getting stuck writers block
  • Lack of guidance, practice and feedback
  • Misconceptions of writing
  • Good writing skills are innate X
  • Think first, then write X

It is not too late
  • Take stock of where you are now
  • Outline your research project
  • Make plans based on the time that is left
  • Organise your time accordingly
  • Get writing
  • Keep writing
  • Get a writing buddy
  • Allow time for revision and to put it all
  • Let family and friends know
  • Be selfish with your time

Where am I?
  • What writing have you done and what writing do
    you need to do in order to complete your paper
    for PY434 on time?
  • Keep writing non-stop for 5 minutes.
  • Write in sentences.
  • Do not edit or censor your writing.
  • Private writing -- no one will read it.
  • Discuss what you have written in pairs.

Getting started
  • Where and when do you write?
  • Why are you not writing?
  • I dont feel ready to write.
  • Writers block
  • Getting unstuck
  • Writing to prompts/freewriting (write anything)
  • Set writing goals
  • Write regularly
  • Integrate writing into your thinking
  • Break it down into a manageable process

Outlining (Murray 2006)
  • Title and draft introduction
  • Level 1 outlining
  • Main headings
  • Level 2 outlining
  • Sub-headings
  • Level 3 outlining
  • Decide on content

Writing in layers (Murray 2006125-27)
  • Outline the structure write your section heading
    for the research paper.
  • Write a sentence or two on the contents of each
  • List out sub-headings for each section.
  • Write an introductory paragraph for each section.
  • At the top of each section, write the word count
    requirement, draft number and date.

Key Considerations
Key stages in the process
  • Pre-writing
  • Drafting
  • Revision
  • Editing and Proofreading

The rhetorical situation
  • Occasion
  • Topic
  • Audience
  • Purpose
  • Writer

Organising principles
  • Research question
  • Thesis
  • Hypothesis

Stylistic differences that mark academic writing
  • Complexity
  • Formality
  • Objectivity
  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Explicitness
  • Hedging
  • Responsibility
  • (Gillet 2008)

Academic writing style
  • Hedge. Distinguish between absolutes and
    probabilities. Absolutes are 100 certain.
    Probabilities are less than 100 certain.
  • Be responsible. Provide traceable evidence and
    justifications for any claims you make or any
    opinions you have formed as a result of your

Persuasion and truth in academic writing
  • Because they are argumentative, academic writing
    tends to be persuasive.
  • An argument should be persuasive, but dont
    sacrifice truth in favour of persuasion.
  • Academic inquiry is a truth-seeking pursuit.
  • facts are distinguished from opinions.
  • relative truths are distinguished from absolute
  • The integrity of the conclusions reached in an
    academic essay or report is based on its honest
    pursuit of truth.

Key tasks for academic writers
  • Participating in academic conversations
  • Developing and advancing balanced arguments
  • Exploring your personal writing process
  • Developing strategies that work for you

Cracking the codes
  • Analysing the genre/text and modelling
  • Generate a list of the important criteria which
    will make your writing more effective
  • Ask yourself the following questions
  • How is the paper structured?
  • How is the contribution articulated?
  • What level of context is provided?
  • What level of detail is used?
  • How long are the different sections?

Cracking the codes
  • What organisational features/patterns are in
  • How are arguments and counterarguments presented
    and structured?
  • What types of evidence are important?
  • What stylistic features are prominent?
  • Is the text cohesive? How does the author achieve
    such cohesion?
  • What kind(s) of persuasive devises does the
    author employ?
  • Voice?

Critical Appraisal
Reporting the work of others
  • Making use of the ideas of other people is one
    of the most important aspects of academic writing
  • it shows awareness of other peoples work
  • it shows that you can use their ideas and
  • it shows you have read and understood the
    material you are reading
  • it shows where your contribution fits in
  • it supports the points you are making.
  • (Gillet 2008)

Reporting the work of others
  • We report another authors ideas by using
    paraphrase, summary, synthesis and quotation, and
    we use introductory phrases and reporting verbs
    to communicate our relationship to the ideas that
    we are reporting.
  • Compare, for example
  • Brown (1983 231) claims that a far more
    effective approach is ...
  • Brown (1983 231) points out that a far more
    effective approach is ...
  • A far more effective approach is ... (Brown 1983

Critical thinking
  • McPeck (19818 cited in Borg 200813) defines
    critical thinking as
  • the prosperity and skill to engage in an
    activity with reflective scepticism.
  • Critical thinking
  • is clear, precise, accurate, relevant, logical
    and consistent
  • integrates a controlled sense of scepticism or
    disbelief about claims, assertions and
    conclusions (i.e. not taking information and
    positions at face value
  • involves interrogating existing information for
    strengths, weaknesses and gaps
  • is deliberately and demonstrably free from bias
    and prejudice.
  • (Paul and Elder 2006 cited in Borg 200813)

Good reasoning
  • Key features of good reasoning
  • Reasoning
  • has a purpose
  • is shaped by and expressed through concepts and
  • is based on data, information and evidence
  • involves making inferences and interpretations
    based on the data and evidence in order to draw
  • is based on assumptions that are explicit and
  • is carried out from a particular point of view
  • has consequences and implications.
  • (Paul and Elder 2006 cited in Borg 200813)

Critical thinking
  • How can you bring a critical orientation to your
  • What questions should you ask when reading and
    writing in order to develop critical and
    analytical thinking skills?

Structuring your paper
Main Text
End Matter
The main text
  • Introduction
  • Development
  • Conclusion
  • How the writing is structured will depend on the
    genre, i.e. essay, literature review, reflection.
  • UEfAP Academic Writing ltGenres

The main text Essays
  • Purpose
  • Present a clear argument
  • Structure
  • Introduction
  • Development of ideas
  • Conclusion

The introduction
  • In academic writing, an introduction, or opening,
    has four purposes
  • To introduce the topic of the essay
  • To indicate the context of the conversation
    through background information
  • To give some indication of the overall plan of
    the essay
  • To catch the readers attention, usually by
    convincing the reader of its relevance.

The introduction
  • The introduction has two parts
  • General statements.
  • General statements attract a readers attention
    and give background information on the topic.
  • A thesis statement
  • States the main topic.
  • Sometimes indicates sub-topics.
  • Will sometimes indicate how the essay is to be

In brief.
  • The introduction should be funnel shaped
  • Begin with broad statements.
  • Make these statements more and more specific as
    the writer narrows the scope of the topic and
    comes to the problem.
  • Be sure that the question, hypothesis or claim is
    one that can be handled in a report of the length
  • This question, hypothesis or claim is your thesis

The conclusion
  • How you conclude your paper, like everything else
    in writing, largely depends on your purpose.
    Generally, though, a conclusion ends by reminding
    the reader of the main points of the argument in
    support of your thesis.
  • Otherwise, you may end with a reflection, a call
    to action, an impact question (indicating,
    perhaps, that you see scope for future research),
    a quote, or advice.

Elements of a good conclusion
  • A conclusion should
  • Remind the reader of the main points of your
  • Bring closure to the interpretation of the data
    (Leedy 2001291)
  • Be clear
  • Be logical
  • Be credible

Elements of a good conclusion
  • A summary of the investigation, the results and
    the analysis
  • A summary of the conclusions drawn from the
    analysis and discussion of the data / results
  • An account of whether the research has answered
    the research question
  • An assessment of whether the hypothesis or claim
    has been proved, disproved, or partially proved

Elements of a good conclusion
  • A discussionion of the implications of the
  • A demonstrable awareness of the limitations of
    the outcome
  • Suggestions for future developments Remember A
    summary alone of what you have done is a weak
  • A final, strong, positive statement

In brief
  • Whatever kind of conclusion you decide on, it
    should not introduce new topics, apologize for
    any real or perceived failings in the paper, or
    merely stop or trail off. Make sure your paper
    has a clear sense of closure.
  • (Ebert et al. 1997129)

  • Logical method of development
  • Effective transition signals
  • Good signposting
  • Consistent point of view
  • Conciseness (careful word choice)
  • Clarity of expression
  • Paragraph structure
  • Unity
  • Coherence

Paragraph structure
  • What is a paragraph?
  • Series of sentences
  • Coherent (introduction, middle, end)
  • Common theme
  • Every sentence in a paragraph develops one topic
    or idea.
  • Paragraphs signal the logically organised
    progression of ideas.
  • The flow of information should be organised
    around themes and comments.
  • The main idea in one paragraph should flow
    logically into the next.
  • Shifts in the argument or changes in direction
    should be accurately signalled using appropriate
    adverbials, conjunctions, and prepositions.

Paragraph structure
  • Just as an essay is guided by a thesis statement,
    a paragraph is organised around its topic
  • A topic sentence informs the reader of the topic
    to be discussed.
  • A topic sentence contains controlling ideas which
    limit the scope of the discussion to ideas that
    are manageable in a paragraph.

Paragraph structure Supporting sentences
  • The sentences that follow expand upon the topic,
    using controlling ideas to limit the discussion.
    The main idea is supported by
  • Evidence in the form of facts, statistics,
    theoretical probabilities, reputable, educated
  • Illustrations in the form of examples and
    extended examples, and
  • Argumentation based on the evidence presented.
  • Qualifying statements indicate the limitations of
    the support or argument.

Paragraph structure Concluding sentences
  • Not every paragraph needs a concluding sentence.
  • Concluding sentences can either comment on the
    information in the text, or
  • They can paraphrase the topic sentence.

Paragraph structure Unity
  • Paragraphs should be unified.
  • Unity means that only one main idea is discussed
    in a paragraph. The main idea is stated in the
    topic sentence, and then each and every
    supporting sentence develops that idea (Oshima
    and Hogue 199918).

Paragraph structure Coherence
  • Coherence means that your paragraph is easy to
    read and understand because
  • your supporting sentences are in some kind of
    logical order
  • your ideas are connected by the use of
    appropriate transition signals
  • your pronoun references clearly point to the
    intended antecedent and is consistent
  • you have repeated or substituted key nouns.
    (Oshima and Hogue 200622)

Example (Meei-Fang et al. 2007471)
  • People with dementia are particularly vulnerable
    to malnutrition they have a decreased ability to
    understand directions and to express their needs
    verbally, are easily distracted from eating,
    prone to become agitated, and may use utensils
    incorrectly. Inability to feed oneself (eating
    dependency) is a major risk factor for
    malnutrition among older people living in
    long-term care settings (Abbasi Rudman 1994,
    Durnbaugh et al. 1996). When people with dementia
    can no longer take food voluntarily, assistance
    is required although, as the disease progresses,
    even taking food with assistance can become
    difficult and, in some instances, tube-feeding
    may be required to supply nutrition. This form of
    feeding can, however, cause distress and anxiety,
    not only for the person being fed, but also for
    caregivers (Akerlund Norberg 1985, Burgener
    Shimer 1993).

Scientific Writing Style
Stylistic features common to scientific and
technical writing
  • Sentences
  • Short v. long
  • Simple v. complex
  • Vocabulary
  • Short vs long phrases
  • Ordinary vs grandiose
  • Familiar vs unfamiliar
  • Non-technical vs technical
  • Concrete vs abstract
  • Normal, comfortable idiomatic expression vs
    special, stiff scientific idioms
  • Direct incisive phrasing vs roundabout, verbose

Stylistic features common to scientific and
technical writing
  • Verb Forms
  • Active vs passive
  • Personal vs impersonal
  • Informal vs formal

Stylistic features common to scientific and
technical writing
  • Mechanics
  • Spelling
  • Capitalisation
  • Punctuation Careful use vs casual, random use

Strategies to Develop Writing Peer Review
Dialogue about writing
  • Peer-review
  • Generative writing
  • The writing sandwich (Murray 200585) writing,
    talking, writing
  • Writing buddies (Murray and Moore 2006102)
  • Writers groups
  • Engaging in critiques of one anothers work
    allows you to become effective critics of your
    own work.

Writing a page 98 paper
  • My research question is
  • Researchers who have looked at this subject are
  • They argue that
  • Debate centres on the issue of
  • There is work to be done on
  • My research is closest to that of X in that
  • My contribution will be
  • (Murray 2006104)

  • Shannon Consortium Regional Writing Centre, UL
  • Using English for Academic Purposes
  • The Writers Garden http//www.
  • The OWL at Purdue http//owl.english.purdue.edu/
  • The Writing Center at the University of North
    Carolina at Chapel Hill http//www.unc.edu/depts

Works cited
  • Elbow, P. (1998) Writing without Teachers (2nd
    edition). New York Oxford University Press.
  • Elbow, P. and Belanoff, P. (2003) Being a Writer
    A Community of Writers Revisited. New York
  • McPeck, J. (1981) Critical Thinking and
    Education, New York St. Martins Press.
  • Moore, S. and Murphy, M. (2005) How to be a
    Student 100 Great Ideas and Practical Hints for
    Students Everywhere. UK Open University Press.
  • Murray, R. (2005) Writing for Academic Journals.
    UK Open University Press.
  • Murray, R. and Moore, S. (2006) The Handbook of
    Academic Writing A Fresh Approach. UK Open
    University Press.
  • Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (2006) Writing Academic
    English, 4th edition. New York Pearson
  • Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2006) The Miniature Guide
    to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, New
    York The Foundation for Critical Thinking.
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