Thursday, 31 January 2013

Academic Writing Quiz: Answers

Test your knowledge of academic writing by answering the questions in the quiz (posted January 23rd),then check them with the answers below:

1. b
Academic writing tends to use a more specialised vocabulary, which may make it more difficult to understand. However, its most important feature is the attempt at objectivity - trying to present an unbiased and accurate view of the topic.

2. c
Among the many writing tasks that students are set, both essays and projects are common.
These may vary in length between 1,000 to 5,000 words, but essays are generally written to titles selected by the teacher, while the subject of projects is chosen by the student. On Masters courses the same applies to dissertations and theses.

3. a
If you have to write an essay, the starting point is to analyse the title, so that you are sure you are answering the right question. Teachers say that students often don't understand what is required, and lose marks by not doing what their teacher asked.

4. c
It may be a mistake to write the introduction to an essay or project first, except in an exam. It can be better to wait until you have written the main body, so that you know exactly how your answer is organised.

5. b
Plagiarism is an academic offence in most educational institutions, and even if you don't intend to plagiarise you may do so by accident. Therefore, it is important to find out more about the subject before you submit any work for assessment.

6. c
Good note-making habits need to be learnt when reading sources, attending lectures and seminars, and preparing to write. Although it may seem strange at first, you need to make notes in English if you are going to write in that language.

7. c
This is the style required by the Harvard system of referencing. Your department may use another system, but it is important to be clear about what is required and how it works.

8. b
When making notes on a text, paraphrasing is one technique which ensures that you do not plagiarise. It is necessary to change as much vocabulary as possible without changing the meaning.

9. c
A topic sentence is usually the first sentence in the paragraph. It states the main subject of the paragraph, which is then developed in the following sentences.

10. a
An introduction is in many ways the most important part of a piece of writing. It must explain the purpose of the text, as well as outlining the method by which you answer the question.

You can practise all these skills - understanding titles, writing introductions, note-making, paraphrasing, referencing, avoiding plagiarism, and many others, by using Academic Writing - A Handbook for International Students

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