- Slides: 10
Academic Writing �Academic Writing generally consists of three parts (not always, but mostly): �Assertions �Context �Evidence
Academic Writing: Assertions �Assertions: �Assertions—also called claims, arguments, theses, etc. —are the arguments embedded within academic writing. Sometimes they are implicit, sometimes explicit. Most academic articles you read are argumentative. The authors are trying to make a point.
Academic Writing: Evidence �In academic writing assertions are always backed up with evidence. Always. Evidence comes in all shapes and sizes, but we should think of evidence as being credible and persuasive to the given audience. Some forms of evidence: results of experimentation, textual, observational.
Academic Writing: Evidence �Result of experimentation: An experiment on mice running a maze may provide evidence for the idea of cognitive mapping. The mice conceptualizing the problem of the maze proves, to a certain extent, that mice have the capacity to make mental maps. Taking water to a temperature of 32 degrees F, provides evidence for the assertion that water’s freezing point is 32 degrees F. Etc.
Academic Writing: Evidence �Textual Analyzing dialogue in David Lynch films provides evidence that David Lynch’s screenplays are informed by Freudian psychology. Analyzing poetic meter in Shakespeare plays provides evidence for the assertion that Elizabethan poetry encodes meaning into the rhythm of the language Etc.
Academic Writing: Evidence �Observation Piaget, the developmental psychologist, observed his own children playing and learning, which he provided as evidence for his developmental theories. Through ethnography, anthropologists embed themselves in other cultures and use their observations to support their assertions about those cultures. Biologists in the field observe animal and plant life, which they then use as evidence to support their assertions about characteristics of that life. Climatologists and geophysicists collecting world temperature data provides evidence for the assertion that world temperatures are rising.
Academic Writing: Evidence �It should be noted that when you’re talking with your friends, you can assert just about anything and then provide little evidence other than it’s what you think. Or, your evidence can be sketchy: Modest Mouse is the best band in the world because I think so. While this might fly among friends, in academic writing, your evidence has to be impeccable.
Academic Writing: Context �Context is very important in academic writing. It provides the reasons for thinking the writing is important or relevant. �Context is intimately concerned with the ongoing conversation about any topic. �Context can appear in a variety of forms: history, review of literature, agreements or disagreements with other writers, etc.
Academic Writing �So there you have it: the secret of writing that no one has ever told you before, the formula, the golden ratio. �If you keep A-C-E in mind as you are writing and revising, you’ll be in much better shape than you have ever been!