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By | October 2013
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jtye most important aspects of academic writing is making use of the ideas of other people. This is important as you need to show that you have understood the materials that you have studied and that you can use their ideas and findings in your own way. In fact, this is an essential skill for every student. Spack (1988, p. 42) has pointed out that the most important skill a student can engage in is "the complex activity to write from other texts", which is "a major part of their academic experience." For this reason, any academic text you read or write will contain the voices of other writers as well as your own.

In your writing, however, the main voice should be your own and it should be clear what your point of view is in relation to the topic or essay question. The object of academic writing is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas of the subject, for you to present ideas you have learned in your own way. The emphasis should be on working with other people’s ideas, rather than reproducing their words. If your view is not clear, you will be told you have not answered the question or something similar. It is essential therefore that it must always be clear whose voice is speaking.

There are two main ways in which you can show your view (Tadros, 1993):

negatively
lack of mention of any other writer
positively
first person pronouns ("I")
comments and evaluations ("two major drawbacks", "of no great merit", " as X insightfully states", ) It will always be assumed that the words or ideas are your own if you do not say otherwise. When the words or ideas you are using are taken from another writer, you must make this clear. If you do not do this...

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