The Conventions of Academic Writing
Shirley A. Boyd
ENC 1102 Composition II - 84
Research writing in each discipline follows certain convention – that is, special forms required to citing sources and designing pages. These rules make uniform the numerous articles written internationally by millions of Scholars. The society of language and literature scholars, the Modern Language Association has a set of guidelines generally known as MLA style. Similarly, the American Psychological Association has its own APA style. Other groups of scholars prefer a footnote system, while others use a numbering system. I have used the American Psychological Association (APA) for all of the essay that I have written so far.
Plagiarism is defined as the act of claiming the words or ideas of another person as your own. The most important convention of academic writing is the principle of giving proper credit to the work of others. To avoid plagiarism use citation and let the readers know when you borrow from a source by introducing a quotation or paraphrase with the name of its author. Use one of the academic documentation styles (MLA or APA) to provide specific in-text citation for each source according to the conventions of the discipline in which you are writing. Provide a complete bibliography entry at the end of your paper for every source you use, conforming to the standards of the documentation style you are using. Plagiarism is a serious violation of the ethical standards of academic writing and most colleges and universities have strict penalties, including academic probation or expulsion, for students who are guilty of plagiarism.
To evaluate, you first need to establish clear criteria of judgment and then explain how the subject meets these criteria. To interpret, you must usually answer, “What does it mean?” You may be asked to explain the symbolism in a piece of literature, examine a point of law, or make sense of a...
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