VCSEwiki:Writing manual

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Introductory steps

  • You can use prewriting techniques for identifying your theme. Some brainstorming is really useful before you start!
  • For academic writing, a very specific research question needs to be developed.
  • There are several issues to consider when developing your title: a clearly defined title will help make the writing process interesting and manageable. An inappropriate title that is not clear or too broad will make the process difficult.
  • Write a literature review in the introduction of your article. Summarize or evaluate what other scholars have written on your topic.
    • You can use the rules provided for writing annotation here.

Ethical principles

Texts in this Wiki (including your own writing assignments) are published under the same conditions as Wikipedia articles.

When using the ideas, materials or information of other people you have to follow the basic ethical principles of academic writing: respect the copyright of the work you borrow information from. Please consider some additional resources to gain an understanding of the diversity of copyright and your rights and obligations in relation to other authors - see our Ethical code of conduct

Academic writing - rules

Study the following sources, but before doing so, remember these have been written for native English speakers. It is important to note that while we do not expect you as non-native English speakers to write perfect English for this course, you should at least stick to some basic rules. For example, you can choose to write in either British English or American English, but please DON'T use a mixture of both (e.g. autumn vs fall, specialise vs specialize, neighbour vs neighbor, etc). English speakers also use commas between numbers and decimal points to denote numbers less than one, e.g. ($43,000.90) Finally, also note that academic writing needs to be analytical, dispassionate and neutral when advancing an argument using all the facts at your disposal, and therefore you should avoid using the first person, e.g. I feel that..., I am of the opinion that..., etc. Of course you can argue as vehemently as you want in what you believe in, but it has to be based on hard demonstrable facts without reference to "feelings" :) Now here are some resources for you to review:

Citation rules

Proofing and reviewing

  • Revise your text: upgrade your text according to quality criteria.
  • You can start with a text analysis!
  • Offer your article for a peer review process - it is the basis for evaluation.
  • You can find external links and web pages where additional information on the topic is kept.
  • One of the course tutors will be a native English speaker and he or she will revise your articles for correct English usage at the end of the course if it is decided they are good enough for publication :)