WRITING CLUES FOR STUDENTS
Introduction Getting Started Writing as Thinking (4) ◊ Generating Ideas Through Free Writing (3) ◊ Mapping (6) ◊ Finding a Topic Having Ideas (7) ◊ Helpful Hints for Choosing a Paper Topic (10) ◊
Developing an Argument 13 What Is an Argument? (13) ◊ Constructing an Argument (15) ◊ Making a Claim (18) ◊ Evidence (20) ◊ Counter-Argument (21) ◊ Audience (23) ◊ Critical Reading (24) ◊ Helpful Hints for Writing an Argumentative Paper (25) ◊ Developing a Central Idea or Thesis 27 What is a Thesis? (27) ◊ Hints for Developing a Thesis (31) ◊ Critiques (33) ◊ Writing the Research Paper Definitional Techniques in the Research Paper (37) ◊ Documenting Your Sources (38) ◊ A Quick Guide to Using Quotes (45) ◊ Taking Notes from Sources (47) ◊ How to 37
Document (49) ◊ How to Ask for and Receive Feedback on Your Writing (83) ◊ Revising Your Paper (85) ◊ Helpful Hints for Writing Research Papers (87) ◊ Writing Essays 91 Writing Informal Essays (91) ◊ Writing Compare/Contrast Essays (99) ◊ Writing Thesis/Support Essays (100) ◊ Writing Argumentative Essays (112) ◊ Writing Exploratory Essays (122) Writing About Literature 131 Reading Poetry (133) ◊ Analyzing a Poem (136) ◊ Analyzing a Play (139) ◊ Analyzing Prose Fiction (141) ◊ Analyzing Journals, Articles and Essays (144) ◊ Types of Literary Criticism (145) ◊ Science Writing: Scientific Report Style The Plain Style (155) ◊ Clarity (162) ◊ Concision (171) ◊ Rhetoric (172) ◊ Mechanics Punctuation (179) ◊ Top Ten Mistakes (188) ◊ Layout and Content Instructions (192) ◊ Ten Commandments of Academic Writing Annex: Helpful Books for Dissertators 149 155
Writing Clues for Students
Scope. The Writing Clues for Students is a guide to academic writing that addresses a variety of people who are concerned with the basic rules for effective writing in English. The term “students” refers to a wide range of researchers, from high school students who are asked to write an assignment in English, or write an application essay, to university undergraduates who intend to write their BA thesis or a current research paper as an exam assignment. Likewise, this guide addresses advanced university graduates, MA or Ph.D. candidates, who write their theses, as well as all scientists who carry out advanced research and participate in international conferences, or intend to publish their results in an academic journal in English. The guidebook is directed to persons who have a good command of English, but who need to improve their writing skills in this language, according to the international academic standards. This study describes and, in most instances, evaluates the basic requirements for competent academic writing in English. I have based decisions about what to include in this study mainly on my own experience in writing essays, a Ph.D. thesis, academic research papers, and books in English. I have also relied on published surveys, the advice of scholars, and my own research for the World Shakespeare Bibliography, and on the impressive number of existing guides in this domain. Limitations. Since this guide is intended as a vademecum for students and researchers — from beginning and
Writing Clues for Students
advanced undergraduates to experienced scholars — pursuing a topic at a more than superficial level, I have tried to maintain an accessible style. Consequently, I have opted for the direct address to the reader, considering her/him a friend with whom I share some of my experience. The main purpose in writing is effective communication, and I hope this is an expectation well served. Because of the informal style adopted, it may seem that precisely the academic rules described are not observed in this study. This is a limitation and a risk I have chosen to take, with a view to stressing the importance of...