Friday, 12 December 2008

Drafting an Academic Paper part 2: initial draft

Hi all,

Part two of my academic writing example. Here's the latest draft. It is about 1200 words of actual writing with quotes held in reserve for when I continue with it.

You can now see that I have written the abstract section that contexualises the intent of the paper, and an introduction. The main section has been fleshed out with content. This section is still very rough but is beginning to say what I need to say. It lacks cohesion and clarity that future re-drafts will take care of. The draft ends abruptly due to the time allotted to writing. This is not a flaw nor is it final, just a place from where I shall pick up and continue.

From the comments I've added you can read my thoughts, rationale and future direction. Using the initial structure from my last post I can quickly begin writing again although I know that this will not be until after Christmas (after more reading).

You can see I'm adding my references into the bibliography as I write. This is because I am citing these in the text using the format (SURNAME, YEAR, PAGE(s)) next to a quote or reference. This communicates to the reader that the statement I make, or quote I cite, can be referenced back to source. This is so that the ideas can be traced backwards through the existing scholarly literature. Note how the references are listed. This is using the Harvard referencing system. For a fantastic and easy reference guide visit University of Leeds Library webpage. This will explain things in simple detail for you.

I've mailed this draft to my 3 PhD supervisors for a crit. I have a tutorial meeting with them next Tuesday in Edinburgh and I will post their feedback soon afterwards. I believe it is important to share this with you all so you can appreciate how to structure and write your own research. Please keep sight of the fact that you are at undergraduate level, not postgraduate, and only developing your academic writing. Therefore my writing style will be, by necessity, at a higher level than your own. Use your own 'voice' and Kate can then advise on strategies to help you keep it clear and concise.

Feel free to ask, comment, crit or ignore.

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