Academic Writing Overview

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Academic Writing Guide
UTS LIBRARY
February 2013

Academic Writing Guide Overview: This guide provides explanations, examples and advice on the different aspects of academic writing, including assignment types, grammar and research writing.

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Welcome to the UTS Academic Writing Guide
1. Why do I need this guide?
The aim of this guide is to give you a place to come and find explanations, examples and advice about different aspects of academic writing. When you have a question about your assessment task you can refer to different sections of the guide for help. For example, the guide can tell you what is meant by academic tone; how to write an annotated bibliography (Assignment Types – 7 Annotated Bibliography); the way to structure an essay (Academic Writing – 3.3 Structure), or add variety to your writing (Grammar – 2. Linking Words).

The guide is in four sections:
1. Academic Writing – what it is and how to do it. 2. Assignment types – what’s the difference between a report and a literature review? 3. Grammar – a nuts and bolt guide to building academic sentence, using reporting verbs and transition signals, etc. 4. Research Writing – how to do a literature review, write an abstract writing, submit and give a conference paper.

2. Why do I need to do assessment tasks?
Assessment tasks are your chance to show your teachers your ability across a range of skills. Becoming proficient in these skills is an academic and professional necessity. During your course you will be asked to perform different tasks requiring different skills. No matter what assessment task you are doing the following checklist applies: • • Always make sure you clearly understand what is required. If you are unsure, ask your lecturers and tutors to explain. Analyse the question before you start researching or writing. Make sure you understand what the instruction words are asking you to do, what the keywords are, the scope, etc. Look at the assessment criteria for each task and make sure you meet them in the task.



Assessment tasks include: • • • • Multiple-choice questions Written answers (eg. essays, reports) Exams Group projects

Assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning.

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It lets your teachers know if their teaching is effective and their students are learning. It lets you – the student – know if you have really understood the course materials and can carry out the skills of your profession. Each faculty, subject and course will have a series of learning aims and objectives. In order to graduate you must be able to show that you have achieved these aims and objectives. You will do this by successfully completing assessment tasks.

Some important reasons for assessment: • • It directs your learning. The assessment task clearly tells you what you will be able to do by the end of the unit. It measures results. An academic degree is proof of a high level of knowledge and skill. Your marks show you and your lecturer whether you have achieved the required level. It defines and protects standards. Universities have regulations outlining how much work students need to do and assessments comply with these standards.



3. Why am I doing this assessment task?
Before you start an assessment task it’s important to understand why you are doing it. Ask your tutor/lecturer/supervisor questions. • Which skills and Program Learning Objectives are being tested? – If there are a number of skills ask which one will be the most important. This will help you to plan and structure your essay and focus your research. What is the objective of this question? – Are you collecting information, analysing it, or creating something original? How does it relate to what you have been learning in this subject? – Have you already been using some of these skills? What resources are relevant to this task? – What should I use? Where should I look? Is there a model answer/sample exam? What criteria will be used for marking?...
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