Advanced Academic Writing & Information Skills Stage 1v bsc



Download 61,98 Kb.
Date conversion15.09.2018
Size61,98 Kb.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Advanced Academic
  • Writing & Information Skills
  • Stage 1V BSc.
  • 11th Sept. 2008
  • 14.00 –15.50 hrs.
  • 17th Sept. 2008
  • 13.00 –13.50 hrs.
  • Felicity Johnson

Content of Academic Writing Skills Presentation

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Slide 3: Rationale for writing & information skills
  • Slide 4-10: Developing academic literacy
  • Slide 12-20: Rules of academic writing
  • Slide 21-23: Nursing Literature
  • Slide 24-33: Referencing
  • Slide 34-36: Plagiarism
  • Slide 37-54: Structuring an academic essay
  • Slide 45: Title page
  • Slide 46: Introduction
  • Slide 49: Main text
  • Slide 51: Conclusion
  • Slide 52: References List.
  • Slide 55-57 Criteria for assessment
  • Slide 58-65 Writing at 3rd level
  • Slide 66-71 Theoretical marking grid

Why academic writing & library skills?

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • In today’s environment of rapidly changing health care and information technology, nurses require the key skills of information literacy & writing skills, to use and communicate information in an appropriate and effective manner.
  • Writing & information skills are an immensely important & powerful tool in the academic world.

Developing academic literacy

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • As a professional-crucial to write well.
  • Developing an awareness of the epistemology (theory of knowledge of subject).
  • Does not require unique talent/ outstanding ability.
  • Everyone has basic skills necessary to write well

A pyramid of skills-Bloom’s Taxonomy(1956)

  • FJ Sept. 2008

The writing process

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • 5 Ws & H to be considered:
  • Who? Who is this writing intended for?
  • What? What is the intent of the document?
  • When? How soon does it need to be submitted?
  • Why? For what reason is it being written?
  • Where? Where is the document going?
  • How? How will the document be distributed?
  • There are 5 steps in the writing process:
  • Prewriting
  • Drafting
  • Revising
  • Editing
  • Presenting

Writing styles

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Writing clearly & persuasively
  • is a valuable skill
  • Descriptive: Portrayal of the
  • main features: “Describe…………..”
  • Analytical: Stating a point, providing evidence, contrasting this with other evidence, drawing logical conclusions. “Analyse and discuss…………”
  • Anecdotal: Personal experience of self/others.
  • Empirical/evidence-based: Scientifically verified & published.

Writing at 3rd level

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking that
  • graduate level writing means using complex
  • English & long words.
  • e.g.’It is intuitive, therefore, that the fundamental
  • dichotomy in theory and practice is inevitably
  • exacerbated and irrevocably confounded by the
  • underlying quixotic nature of nursing lecturers’. no,no,no!
  • All you are saying, obtusely, is:
  • ‘‘it seems obvious that the theory practice gap is
  • always going to be made worse, and become utterly
  • confused, by nursing lecturers who don’t live in the
  • real nursing world’.
  • Clear, simple writing is best!

Clarity of expression

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Good academic writing = clear English, correct spelling, grammar & punctuation.
  • Your writing style must not be colloquial.
  • E.g. ‘When we done the obs and lots of walking with him, he was well chuffed’.
  • The use of English must be professional:
  • e.g. after performing routine observations for blood pressure and pulse, (to check the patient was not tachycardic or hypotensive), we were able to help the patient to mobilise. He was able to walk for a significant distance and was extremely pleased with his achievement.

Coherence

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Must be logical - make sense.
  • You will be judged on coherence - if it is intelligible & ‘holds together’.
  • Put information down logically, so that the sentences connect together in a way that makes sense.
  • You should spend time rearranging the main points until they are in logical order.
  • Writing a paper is not only a matter of gathering and presenting information, it is an exercise in comprehension and critical analysis.
  • FJ Sept. 2008

Rules of academic writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • An academic text not a narrative-it is an argument.
  • Formal, logical, cautious & unemotional language.
  • No slang, jargon, personal anecdotes, colloquisms, exclamation marks & contractions (‘e.g. can’t’).
  • Clear, succinct writing.
  • Make your claims tentative rather than definite - it’s unlikely that you’ve reached the only possible conclusion! 
  • Words which signal tentativeness include: may; might; possibly; in some instances; often; in many cases
  • A % of the overall mark will be awarded for clear, accurate writing & referencing & the converse also true.

Rules of academic writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Not 1st person (I and my).
  • 3rd person only–
  • ‘this writer’ believes that’…
  • ‘this student’s experience has been’…
  • It is believed…
  • Many researchers have noted…
  • Some writers have stated..
  • The research suggests…
  • The evidence indicates...
  • It will be argued that …
  • This essay will critically examine the process leading to….

Primary & Secondary Sources

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Where possible, use original/primary sources – e.g. Benner (1984)
  • When this is not possible & you are using a secondary source, you should use the term ‘cited by’ in text followed by the reference in which it is quoted e.g.
  • Fraser (1990), cited by Walsh (1998), suggests that there is no empirical evidence to support the ‘activities of living ‘model of nursing.

Rules of academic writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • ‘Times New Roman’ script, size 12 font.
  • Double-spaced between lines.
  • One side of page only & number pages.
  • 3 cm. margins at top, bottom, right & left of page.
  • Word Count: all words from beginning of introduction to end of conclusion.
  • Title Page, References List & Appendices not included in word count.
  • Penalties for under/exceeding word limit.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Assignments must be submitted on/ before stated date, unless a valid, written explanation is given to relevant Module Leader.
  • A late submission form must be completed by the student.
  • If a student is ill, a medical certificate must be provided.
  • Work submitted more than one week late without a negotiated reason, will not receive a mark greater than 50% & may not be processed for the next Examination Board.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • If you omit any words from a quotation, use three spaced dots ... to indicate the omission.
  • If you wish to point out an error in a quotation, follow the error with (sic).
  • Watch your apostrophes!
  • -e.g. The nurse’s role, nurses’ responsibilities.
  • Similar sounding but different meaning:
  • discreet/discrete
  • there/their
  • than/then

Rules of academic writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Critiquing:
  • Usually, your critique follows your summary
  • of the original. The reader can then appreciate your
  • views about the validity of other writers' ideas.
  • Being critical
  • As an academic writer, you are expected to be critical of the sources that you use.
  • This essentially means questioning what you read and not necessarily agreeing with it, just because it has been published.
  • Can require you to identify problems with a writer's arguments/methods, or perhaps to refer to other people's criticisms.
  • Constructive criticism suggests ways in which a piece of research/writing could be improved.

Rules of academic writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Use a dictionary/computer grammar & ‘spellcheck’.
  • Be cautious with your ‘spellchecker’!
  • I have a spelling checker,
  • it came with my PC,
  • it plainly marks four my revue,
  • mistakes I cannot sea,
  • I've run this poem threw it,
  • I'm sure your pleased to no,
  • its letter perfect in it's weigh,
  • my checker tolled me so!
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Proof reading is essential before submitting your assignment.
  • A fresh eye is good – friend/relative.
  • Give yourself enough time to write your assignments. Start as early as you can.
  • . If you are aware that you have difficulties in academic writing, because of dyslexia/any other problem, please approach our support services asap.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Nursing Literature
  • Every assignment must be supported
  • by relevant literature (i.e. evidence based).
  • Preferably within the past decade (10
  • yrs.) unless a seminal work
  • 100s of nursing journals available.
  • 200+ on-line here in School.
  • vast majority have a specialist focus.
  • some aimed at local/national market, others aimed at international market.
  • Other sources of literature:
  • Abstracts
  • Books
  • Case reports
  • Theses/dissertations – MSc. MA, PhD.

Nursing Literature

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Journal articles that undergo peer review/ ‘referee’ process, in which experts examine them for quality & validity - a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Peer reviewed = academic rigour.
  • Examples of scholarly/peer reviewed:
  • Journal of Advanced Nursing
  • Journal of Nursing Scholarship
  • Journal of Continuing Higher Education
  • Examples of non-peer reviewed sources:
  • Nursing Times
  • Nursing Standard
  • World of Irish Nursing
  • Many websites

Literature-showing knowledge & understanding

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Using database & literature searching skills to identify appropriate literature.
  • Able to identify & use a wide range of sources of information.
  • Demonstrate that you have read widely & can provide a good variety of references to support points that you are trying to make.
  • Able to show that you have a sound understanding of the available literature on the subject, by using references to support every piece of theory that you present.

Use of literature & referencing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Provide examples from the literature first
  • & reference these before making your own
  • comments/describing your own reflections.
  • e.g. – poor:
  • ‘Communication in nursing is the most important
  • thing of all. When this student approaches the
  • patients on the ward, she is careful to make
  • sure that she establishes eye contact first and
  • holds their hand to show that she cares about
  • them. Non-verbal communication is just as
  • important as verbal communication’.

Use of literature & referencing (cont.)

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • better:
  • ‘Many authors, such as Burnard (2003) and Kemp & Smith
  • (2004), agree that communication is the most important
  • therapeutic skill in nursing. However, Brown (2005),
  • emphasizes that nurses must appreciate that non-verbal
  • communication, through eye contact and touch particularly, is
  • an essential pre-requisite to establishing a rapport and
  • trusting relationship with patients, before verbal
  • communication commences. In this student’s own
  • experience on her recent placement on a surgical ward, she
  • found that patients responded positively to her (when she
  • wanted to give them information about their operations), if
  • she established eye contact first and also reached out to
  • touch their arm or hold their hand’.

Referencing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Harvard System of Referencing:
  • Alphabetical order – by author’s surname
  • Names & dates cited in the text & then listed at the end.
  • Year of publication in brackets after the author’s name.
  • Titles of books/journal names in italics.

Referencing within the Text

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Give the surname of the author, followed by the year of publication e.g. - One researcher, (Ensign 2006), found that………….
  • Two writers – Holloway & Jones (2005) believe that….
  • Three or more writers - give the surname of the first author followed by et al. e.g. Campbell et al. (2001). All the authors’ names must be given in the reference list.

Referencing a journal article in the References List

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Must include:
  • Author(s) surname, followed by initials.
  • Year of publication, in brackets.
  • Title of the article.
  • Title of the journal, in capitals and in italics.
  • Volume or series number. Edition number - only if each issue is numbered separately.
  • The number of the first and last pages of the article.
  • Ensign J. (2006) Perspectives and experiences of homeless young people. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54, (6) 647-652

Referencing a book in the References List

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Include the following:
  • Author(s)’ surname, followed by initials. Year of publication in brackets.
  • Full title of the book, capitalised, in italics.
  • Edition of work, if more than one edition. Volume number, if more than one volume.
  • Name of publisher.
  • Town/city of publication.
  • e.g.: Burns T. & Sinfield S. (2008) Essential Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success at University. Sage: London
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Quoting in text
  • Froman (2008) believes that nursing is a theory- driven, scientifically based profession, that is actualised through clinical practice (paraphrasing)
  • Page number & double quotation marks when
  • directly quoting e.g. Wynd (2003:251) stated that “today’s profession of nursing is evolving as a
  • valuable public service” (verbatim).
  • Quotations of 2/more lines must be indented &
  • single-spaced:
  • The more skilled the nurse becomes in perceiving and
  • empathising with the lives of others, the more knowledge or
  • understanding will be gained of alternative modes of
  • perceived reality. (Carper 1992: 219).

Use of literature-showing knowledge & understanding

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Direct quotes should be used sparingly, as they involve little mental processing.
  • e.g.
  • According to Johnson (1990), nursing is:
  • …an external regulatory force that acts to
  • preserve the organisation and integration of the
  • patient’s behaviour at the highest possible level under
  • those conditions in which the behaviour constitutes a
  • threat to physical or social health or in which illness is
  • found. (Johnson 1990:29)

Use of literature-showing knowledge & understanding (cont.)

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • A better approach – paraphrasing -involves more interpretation.
  • Choose a linking word between the author
  • you are citing & a summary of what was said:
  • e.g. ‘Jones (2004) defines/explains/
  • believes/suggests/indicates/argues/states…’
  • Simply a statement –’states’, a
  • suggestion- ‘suggests’, personal belief-
  • ’believes’, an argument- ‘maintains’ or ‘argues’.

References List

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Burns T. & Sinfield S. (2008) Essential Study Skills: The Complete
  • Guide to Success at University. Sage: London.
  • Bysshe J. (2006) Guidelines on Academic Writing for Thames
  • Valley University, TVU Press.
  • Campbell T., Draper S., Reid J. & Robinson L. (2001) The
  • management of constipation in people with advanced cancer.
  • International Journal of Palliative Nursing 79, (3), 110-119.
  • Ensign J. (2006) Perspectives and experiences of homeless
  • young people. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54, (6) 647-
  • 652
  • Holloway S. & Jones V. (2005) The importance of skin care
  • and assessment. British Journal of Nursing 14, (22) 1172
  • 1176
  • Johnson A. (2003). Essence of caring for a person dying.
  • Nursing and Health Sciences, 5, 133-138

Plagiarism

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • ‘Literary theft’ & unacceptable.
  • Plagiarism is the use of
  • ideas,
  • quotations,
  • pieces of text,
  • pictures, tables, graphs/other work,
  • without referring to original writer.
  • Contravenes UCD’s examination regulations & regarded as very serious offence.
  • Every piece of course work submitted requires a signed form to confirm that the work is your own.

Plagiarism

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Academic Integrity & Intellectual Property
  • Academic integrity is respect for the intellectual community in which you are participating as a student & the standards governing it.
  • This means that you are accountable for the honesty and the quality of the work that you submit.
  • The rights of intellectual property must be respected by properly acknowledging the original author’s ownership of any words, phrases & ideas that are used in academic writing.
  • Plagiarism in writing is the incorrect use of source material. Whether intentional or not, failing to give credit for words, ideas or concepts that you get from any source, including your own previously submitted work, is plagiarism.

Plagiarism

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • As a student, it is your responsibility to know and
  • understand the University’s policies on academic fraud.
  • The rules apply whether the offence is intentional/not.
  • Plagiarism comes in many forms:
  • Using an author’s words/ideas without proper reference
  • Failing to put quotation marks around words taken from a source.
  • Falsifying/inventing information or data
  • “Cutting and pasting” from the Internet
  • Avoiding plagiarism requires 2 skills:
  • using source material correctly,
  • referencing that material.
  • Any information that you take from another source must be properly referenced, whether it is from a book, a journal or from class notes or lectures.
  • FJ Sept. 2008

Suggested approach

  • FJ Sept. 2008

Words used in assignment titles

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Discuss = Investigate/examine by argument; sift & debate; give reasons for & against.
  • Analyse = distinguish/examine closely the elements of this issue.
  • Criticise = Give your judgement about the merit of theories/opinions & back up your judgement by a discussion of the evidence/reasoning involved.
  • Critically evaluate = A thoughtful, thorough and balanced appraisal, assessing both strengths & limitations.
  • Assess = Estimate the value & importance of this issue.
  • Define = Set down the precise meaning of this issue.
  • Identify = Establish clearly the nature of; list, with examples.
  • Explain = Make plain, interpret, account for, give reasons for.

Words used in assignment titles

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • 'Examine ...' Need to unravel the events that led to a particular set of circumstances or the validity of the reasoning that underlies a particular point of view. Stress the relative importance of the different arguments & relevance to issue under consideration.
  • 'Outline ...' Only a brief description is required. Usually there are follow up parts to this question.
  • 'To what extent ...' This implies there is no definite answer to the question posed. Present both sides of the argument and exercise judgement by stressing the strength of some arguments over others.
  • 'Describe ...' Usually more than a mere description is expected, instead, a critical review of some particular set of circumstances or events is usually expected.
  • 'Distinguish ...' Need to show that they understand the differences between two concepts. Similarities & differences need to be discussed.

How to write an essay

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Identify what the essay question/ title is asking you to write about; check with your module leader that you really understand the question.
  • Divide the task into sub-tasks e.g. library search, planning, making notes, and draw up a timescale for completing these tasks.
  • Brainstorm ideas & make an initial plan for your essay.
  • Search for & select appropriate information; read & make notes.
  • Make first draft of essay. Remember to include an introduction, a well sequenced middle and a conclusion. Remember your tutor has to be able to follow your argument, so put it in a logical order.
  • Read your essay; alter parts you are not happy with; check spelling and grammar; check References List.
  • Write final version, proof read. Submit on time.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Sentences should be short, one idea per sentence.
  • One main theme per paragraph.
  • Section headings are a good idea.
  • Linking carries the meaning forward from one paragraph to another:
  • However………On the other hand………
  • Nevertheless………….Conversely………
  • Have a copy of the Student Guidelines for reference

The paragraph consists of sentences that develop/explain the main idea.

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Through the centuries,
  • rats have survived
  • all mankind’s efforts to
  • destroy them. People have
  • poisoned them and trapped
  • them. They have fumigated,
  • flooded, and burned them.
  • They have tried germ warfare.
  • Some rats even survived
  • atomic bomb tests
  • conducted in the Pacific
  • after World War II.
  • In spite of all these efforts,
  • these enemies of mankind
  • continue to prove that they
  • are the most indestructible of
  • pests.
  • main
  • idea
  • concluding
  • sentence

Assessment Submission Forms (Undergraduate) & Grade Descriptors

  • Example of these forms (on doc. camera)
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Assignments
  • An Assignment Form must be completed & signed (from School Office, 1st Floor).
  • Students must keep a copy of all their work.
  • Must have a title page & be stapled.
  • Top right corner: Student’ name, Course title.
  • Top left corner: Name of Module Leader
  • Centre: Title of assignment,date due, date submitted.
  • Bottom left-hand corner: Word limit for assignment, Actual word count
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Module Leader: Ms. F. Johnson Student: Molly Lynch
  • Module: Nursing 111 Student no. 1234567
  • BSc. Stage I11 (General)
  • Assignment Title:
  • Date for submission:
  • Date submitted:
  • Word limit: 2,000
  • Actual word count: 2,0023
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Structure of an essay:
  • Introduction
  • Main text/body.
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Bibliography (optional)
  • Appendix/Appendices(optional)

Introduction

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Explain topic of interest.
  • Set out clearly what question (s) you aim to answer.
  • Explain structure of paper – answering the questions.
  • e.g. To function effectively in today’s society, people must
  • communicate with one another. Yet, for some individuals,
  • communication experiences are so unrewarding that they either
  • consciously, or unconsciously, avoid situations where communication
  • is required. The term ‘communication apprehension’ (CA) was
  • defined as “an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with
  • either real or anticipated communication with another person or
  • persons” (McCroskey 1984: 68). In the last two decades,
  • communication apprehension and related constructs, such as
  • reticence and unwillingness to communicate, have received
  • extensive research and theoretical attention by scholars in
  • communication and psychology. Overwhelmingly, the underlying
  • theme has been the negative effects that these constructs can
  • have on academic and social success. The focus of this paper is on
  • communication apprehension as a construct and on how it affects
  • the behaviour and lifestyle of an individual.

Introduction

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Your aim should be stated in the first sentence & you should clearly identify what you are trying to achieve in your essay:
  • e.g. The overall aim of this essay is to discuss the implications of using Orem’s Model to deliver nursing care for a patient suffering from a stroke.
  • You then need to clearly state how you intend to achieve this aim, by stating your objectives:
  • e.g. This will be achieved by using the Orem Model as a framework to identify the biopsychosocial needs of an 89 year old patient recovering from a left sided hemiplegia).
  • You should then identify the key issues that you intend to address within your essay: e.g.
  • The key issues that will be explored/investigated/ /discussed/analysed are…

Organisation & coherence

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Identify the key issues that you will be discussing in the essay
  • Provide definitions for the key terms that you introduce, (e.g. the nursing process, accountability etc.)
  • Focus immediately on the exact requirements of the essay. No waffle!
  • There is key knowledge, understanding & insight which are essential in ensuring safe & best practice. Nursing assignments have to be focused on these key issues, because, ultimately, patients’ lives may be at risk if you lack this fundamental knowledge.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Main body
  • Divided into paragraphs, looking at specific aspects of problem (issue).
  • The reader should be able to understand the relevance of each paragraph & how they relate to each other.
  • End a paragraph with a mini conclusion and a link to the next paragraph.
  • Avoid paragraphs that are too short/ong – min. of 4 sentences per paragraph.

Content

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Must follow assessment guidelines - certain key characteristics, e.g. if the essay requires you to write on professional, legal & ethical issues and you choose only to concentrate on professional & ethical, then you miss key content and & lose marks.
  • Also an essential requirement is to apply theory to practice - integration
  • You need to demonstrate that, not only do you understand the theory, but you understand the extra implications /difficulties of implementing this in practice. (e.g., knowing about the dangers of smoking is a different issue to actually empowering a patient to give up smoking for the good of their health).
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Conclusion
  • This should:
  • Be a summary of your main results - what you believe are the most important points.
  • Do not simply write what you have done.
  • Explain the significance of your conclusions & provide suggestions for future research.
  • Leave the reader with a sense that the purpose of
  • the paper as set out in the introduction has been achieved.
  • e.g. ‘In conclusion, this essay examined the needs of a patient with congestive cardiac failure and discussed the Activities of Daily Living Model. The patient had many needs and the model identified, concisely, what these needs were. This study, therefore, has highlighted the importance of using an appropriate nursing model to ensure that the holistic needs of patients are addressed, resulting in optimum nursing care and a good experience for both the patient and the nurse’.

Conclusion

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • ‘The conclusion that can be drawn from the research
  • that has been conducted so far, is that communication is
  • an ongoing process that involves constant changes within
  • the people involved and their environment. When
  • communicating with others, individuals are influenced
  • and affected by many variables and CA may be the
  • result of any number of different causes. The degree
  • of CA that an individual experiences can vary depending
  • on their personality and the context of situation.
  • Nonetheless, the notion that high levels of CA
  • negatively affects an individual’s success both
  • academically and socially appears to be supported by the
  • research’.

Assessment criteria

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Relevance of material to question set.
  • Evidence of understanding.
  • Structure and organisation.
  • Evidence & relevance of background reading.
  • Adequately and correctly referenced .
  • Presentation – spelling & grammar

Assessment Criteria

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Certain minimal requirements for a pass.
  • 1. Have a good standard of written English -correct spelling, grammar & punctuation.
  • 11. Demonstrate evidence of structure (i.e. introduction, main text and conclusion).
  • 111. Be relevant to the theme.
  • 1V. Show evidence that appropriate material was read.
  • V. Be written in student’s own words, with quotations acknowledged.
  • V1. Correct use of Harvard Referencing System.

Assessment Criteria–5 Points

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Analysis: Engagement with question. Focus on relevant points. Use of evidence. Identification of strengths & weaknesses, different viewpoints & research findings. Threads drawn together in conclusion.
  • Content: Enough facts to support analysis. Use of relevant material. Awareness of different schools-of-thought. Use of relevant & up-to-date literature. Avoidance of broad, sweeping statements.
  • Planning: Clear structure. Introduction which shows why topic is important & the key points to be discussed. Sections introduced. Logical sequencing of points. Relevant links made between points. Use of signposts. Drawing threads together in conclusion.
  • Referencing: Suitable material to substantiate ideas & evidence provided. Clear indication of sources. Comprehensive reference list.
  • Literary Style: Objective & accurate writing style. Written in own words (except when directly quoting). Grammatical construction of sentences, consistency of tenses, correct spelling, punctuation, use of paragraphs etc. Avoidance of clichés, abbreviations, slang & jargon.

To recap: Key components of 3rd level writing

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Organisation & coherence.
  • Content.
  • Level of analysis & synthesis.
  • Use of literature & quality of referencing.
  • Clarity of expression.
  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Writing at 3rd Level
  • The rules are clear & support is available.
  • Meet the learning outcomes:
  • - in terms of knowledge, insight & understanding, by the module’ end.
  • The content of essays/assignments must meet these outcomes.
  • Make sure you understand the
  • theoretical marking grid

Analysis & Synthesis

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Synthesis - able to develop your ideas from the information you have found (just like photosynthesis is the development of energy from light).
  • Sometimes, you may be asked in your assignment to use reflection in this process. - you can use personal experiences to help to demonstrate how the theory is applied in reality. (e.g. describing how an individual patient reacted when you first approached him about the need to stop smoking).

Writing at graduate level (cont.)

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Individual issues are explored in depth. (It is essential, therefore, to focus on a few key issues, so that they can be explored in sufficient depth within the word allowance).
  • The student should constantly be trying to find answers in the literature, particularly finding different definitions and interpretations of key issues.
  • Once the literature is presented, the student puts is/her own ‘spin’ (interpretation) on it.
  • Personal thoughts and reflections are always followed up by attempts to find supporting evidence (substantiation) in the literature
  • The complexity of the issue is recognised. Things are not presented, simplistically, as ‘black and white’. Instead, shades of grey are acknowledged.
  • The student’s ‘voice’ is heard throughout, trying to make sense of what he/she has read and comparing it with what he/she has experienced.

Writing at graduate level (cont.)

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • ‘Jones (2005) recently traced the theory practice gap in nursing.
  • He argues that authors such as Brown (2001) and Raymond (1998),
  • had identified the difficulty between the understanding of nursing
  • theory and its actual implementation in clinical areas, as being a
  • divide which had existed from the time of Nightingale’s early
  • interventions in the 1800’s.
  • It seems, therefore, that this is a true dichotomy, a
  • division between what is intended in theory and what actually
  • occurs in practice. Fletcher (2004) argues that a possible source of
  • this dichotomy may be nursing lecturers who retreat into academic
  • environments and lose contact with the real world of the clinical
  • environment. Hamilton (2001: 200) accused these lecturers of
  • being “quixotic”, meaning that they were tilting uselessly at
  • windmills, like the confused hero of the story ‘Don Quixote’. This
  • seems to suggest that these lecturers are actually confusing an
  • already difficult situation by being unrealistic in their expectations
  • and the focus of their attacks on the health system. Indeed,
  • Worthing (2005) argues that a lecturer who does not also actively
  • practice the nursing profession, can make no useful contribution to
  • the reduction of the theory practice gap’.

Writing at graduate level (cont.)

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Now, that is graduate level writing!
  • It has all the essential elements:
  • Careful explanation, showing understanding of the complex terminology used.
  • Extensive use of literature to support the ideas being presented.
  • A linking, ‘conversational’ style, which shows the student’s own interpretation of what she/he has read and how it informs the argument being presented.

Analysis & Synthesis-grad. level

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Bringing together theory & practice - integration.
  • Commenting on the relevance of the theory. Making links with other literature you have read, looking for confirmation in other references, or perhaps finding out where different authors disagree with one another.
  • In this process of integration, you are choosing where you believe the pieces of your academic jigsaw puzzle fit together. In doing so, you are growing your own version of the facts – synthesis - the picture/argument you are making with your interpretation of the facts.
  • The next stage is to evaluate what you have found and make a decision as to what is important.
  • This evaluation is an important part of the conclusion, where you summarise your interpretation of the facts, in your own words and then decide the best way forward, by highlighting key implications for practice or making recommendations..

Analysis & Synthesis

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Analysis - ability to recognize strengths & weaknesses in the information - e.g.
  • ‘diuretics are useful drugs in the treatment of cardiac failure, because they reduce the circulating blood volume and, therefore, strain on the heart, enabling it to operate at a lower pressure.This is the great strength of these drugs in treating heart disease. Their weakness, however, is that they cause the ‘flushing out’ of the body of vital electrolytes, such as potassium which are needed for the efficient contraction of the heart muscle. In nursing, it is possible to find strengths and weaknesses in all our nursing care and in the related psychology, sociology and physiology that supports it’.

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge, understanding,,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • A+
  • A
  • A-
  • 74.44-100
  • 72.22- 74.43
  • 70 - 72.21
  • Excellent:
  • A comprehensive, highly structured, focused and concise
  • response to the assessment task,
  • consistently demonstrating
  • An extensive and detailed knowledge of the subject matter.
  • A highly developed ability to apply this knowledge to the task set.
  • Excellent presentation with
  • minimal or no presentation errors
  • (spelling, grammar, graphical &
  • visual)
  • A deep and systematic engagement
  • with the assessment task, with
  • consistently impressive demonstration
  • of a comprehensive mastery of the
  • subject matter, reflecting:
  • A deep and broad knowledge &
  • critical insight as well as extensive
  • reading.
  • Evidence of extensive
  • reading which demonstrates a critical &
  • comprehensive appreciation of the
  • relevant literature or theoretical,
  • technical or professional framework.
  • An exceptional ability to organise,
  • analyse & present arguments fluently &
  • lucidly, with a high level of critical
  • analysis supported by evidence,
  • citation or quotaon.
  • A highly developed capacity for original, creative & logical thinking.

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge, understanding,,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • B+
  • B
  • B-
  • 67.78 –
  • 69.99
  • 65.56 – 67.77
  • 63.33 –
  • 65.55
  • Very Good: A thorough & well
  • organised response to the
  • assessment task,demonstrating
  • A broad knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Considerable strength in applying that knowledge to the task set.
  • Quality presentation with few presentation errors (spelling, grammar, graphical & visual).
  • A substantial engagement
  • with the assessment task,
  • demonstrating:
  • A thorough familiarity with the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework.
  • Evidence of substantial
  • reading, which demonstrates a well developed capacity to
  • analyse issues, organise
  • material, present arguments
  • clearly and cogently, well
  • supported by evidence,
  • citation or quotation.
  • Some original insights and
  • capacity for creative and
  • logical thinking.

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge,understanding,,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • C+
  • C
  • C-
  • 61.12 – 63.32
  • 58.89-
  • 61.10
  • 56.67-
  • 58.88
  • Good: An adequate & competent response to the assessment task, demonstrating:
  • Adequate, but not complete,
  • knowledge of the subject
  • matter or the appearance of
  • several minor errors.
  • Capacity to apply knowledge
  • appropriately to the task, albeit with
  • some errors.
  • Clear expression with few areas of confusion.
  • Ability to convey meaning, but
  • some lack of clarity & command of
  • vocabulary.
  • Good presentation with some
  • presentation errors (spelling,
  • grammar, graphical & visual).
  • An intellectually competent &
  • factually sound answer with
  • evidence of a reasonable
  • familiarity with:
  • The relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework.
  • Good, developed arguments,
  • but more statements of ideas.
  • Arguments or statements
  • adequately, but not well,
  • supported by evidence,
  • citation or quotation.
  • Some critical awareness and analytical qualities.
  • Some evidence of capacity for original & logical thinking.
  • Good presentation with some presentation errors (spelling, grammar, graphical and visual)

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge,understanding,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • D+
  • D
  • 54.44-56.66
  • 52.22-
  • 54.43
  • Satisfactory: An acceptable response to the assessment task, demonstrating:
  • Basic grasp of the subject
  • matter but somewhat lacking in focus & structure.
  • Main points covered, but insufficient detail.
  • Some effort to apply knowledge, but only basis understanding displayed.
  • Several minor, or one major, error.
  • Satisfactory presentation, with an acceptable level of presentation errors (spelling, grammar, graphical & visual).
  • An acceptable level of intellectual engagement with the assessment, showing:
  • Some familiarity with the relevant literature or theoretical, technical or professional framework.
  • Mostly statements of ideas, with limited development of argument.
  • Limited evidence of critical awareness or original & logical thinking.

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge,understanding,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • D-
  • 50 -52.11
  • Acceptable: The minimum acceptable
  • standard of response to the
  • assessment task.
  • Showing a basic grasp of subject
  • matter, but poorly focused or badly
  • structured or containing irrelevant
  • Materia.
  • Having one major error & some
  • minor errors.
  • Demonstrating the capacity to
  • complete only moderately difficult
  • tasks related to the subject material
  • Displaying minimum acceptable
  • standard of presentation (spelling,
  • grammar, graphical and visual)
  • The minimum, acceptable level
  • of intellectual engagement
  • with the assessment task, with:
  • Minimum, acceptable
  • appreciation of relevant
  • literature/theoretical,technical
  • Professional framework.
  • Ideas largely expressed
  • as statements, with little/no
  • developed/structured
  • argument.
  • Minimal evidence of
  • background reading, citation
  • /quotation.
  • Many references omitted.
  • Little/no evidence of
  • critical awareness/original
  • & logical thinking.

Theoretical Marking Grid

  • FJ Sept. 2008
  • Grade
  • Mark
  • Knowledge,understanding,application
  • Analysis,synthesis,evaluation
  • E+
  • E
  • E-
  • 47.78 – 49.99
  • 45.56-
  • 47.77
  • 43.33 – 45.55
  • Marginal: The assessment fails
  • to meet minimum, acceptable
  • standards, yet:
  • Engages with the subject matter
  • or problem set, despite major
  • deficiencies in structure, relevance
  • or focus.
  • Has two major errors & some
  • minor errors.
  • Demonstrates the capacity to
  • complete only part of, or the
  • simpler elements of, the task, with a
  • minimum standard of presentation
  • (spelling, grammar, graphical & visual).
  • An incomplete/ rushed answer
  • e.g. the use of bullet points through
  • part/all of answer.
  • A factually sound answer,
  • without an acceptable
  • attempt to:
  • Integrate factual
  • knowledge into a broader
  • literature or theoretical,
  • technical or professional
  • framework.
  • Show evidence of background
  • reading to support ideas or
  • arguments with evidence,
  • citation or quotation.
  • Many references omitted.
  • Develop arguments.


The database is protected by copyright ©sckool.org 2016
send message

    Main page