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Academic Writing in English

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Academic Writing in English
Academic Writing in English∗
Dr Radu Negoescu, RKC
January 22, 2012

Contents
1 Introduction

2

2 Common English mistakes

2

3 Academic writing
3.1 Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.2 Clarity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Citations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.1 Referencing using the Harvard method
3.3.2 Conventions for the Bibliography . . .
3.4 Assignment front cover . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.5 Presentation of your assignment (checklist) .

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Ver. 1.23, January 22, 2012

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1

Introduction

Academic writing, and in particular academic writing in English, can be quite different from other languages or undergraduate level writing. As such, Robert Kennedy College (RKC) and University of Cumbria (UoC) leaders of this programme decided to give you, as an MBALS student, a quick primer to academic writing in English.
This document is by no means extensive. Its main purpose is to help
RKC and UoC students prepare high quality material for their required course-work in the MBALS programme, often in the form of essays. As such, a very concise list of guidelines is provided here, with pointers to more extensive pieces of work detailing different aspects of academic writing in
English.
This document is structured as follows: in Section 2 we will review some of the most frequent mistakes made while writing in English, and we briefly discuss academic writing in particular in Section 3.

2

Common English mistakes

In this section we give you a quick overview of the most common mistakes found in student submitted works, which have an impact on the final quality, and thus mark, of the papers.

Spelling
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Citations: “it has been argued by Smith (1998), however, that...” When a less direct reference is made to one or more authors, both name and date are bracketed, with the references separated by a semi-colon, as in: “several authors have noted this trend (Carr, 1989; Grundy, 2000; Kemmis, 2001)” When the reference is to a work of dual or multiple authorship, use only surnames of the abbreviated form, as in: “Salter and Tapper (1991)” or “Broadfoot et al “Smith (1994a, 1994b)” For direct quotations, you should include page numbers in the reference, as in: “Jones (2001:57)” “Gardner and Lunzer (cited in Beard, 1987) suggest...” Brief quotations should be incorporated in the text of the assignment, Wells, G. (1997) The Meaning Makers. London: Hodder & Stoughton. Blyth, W.A.L. (1990) “Social Demands and Schools’ Responses” O’Hear, A. (1999) “Learning One of Life’s Mysteries”. The Times Education Supplement. 29th June 1990: 20. The Times Education Supplement. (1993) “Call for Nursery Expansion”

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