Further information

Further information about what is covered in links we give to each of the five aspects of academic writing.

1. Full Text

The links here contain information about the purpose and overall structure of a full academic text. The annotation will tell you how many, and which academic text types (genres) the website deals with. Also, it will tell you what instruction is provided on the overall structure and stages of the text type.

To make good use of these annotations, you need to know which text type is required by your academic course. The following are the basic types, but there are others.

Essay or Research Essay required in Arts/ Humanities and referred to by different names such as Argument; Exposition/Expository ; Discussion /Discursive ; or Thesis-Argument essay. Main stages in overall structure : Thesis in introduction, supporting Arguments in body.

Report or Research Report required in many disciplines, typically in the sciences. There may be many subtypes but most common are the Science Laboratory report, or Business report. There are more stages than in essay - each specified in a heading.

Review The postgraduate Literature Review and the shorter Critical Review.

Thesis The long doctoral, postgraduate Thesis or Dissertation - differs according to discipline.

Journal Article The academic research article or paper- differs according to purpose, discipline, journal type.

2. Paragraph

The links here contain instruction on the structure of a typical academic paragraph including Topic and Body.

They also instruct about different types of paragraphs with different functions e.g. explaining or comparing.

The links here may also instruct on how information in different sentences is connected to make a paragraph flow. Our annotations will refer to this as cohesion. The different types of cohesion are listed below.

Theme or information focus created by ordering the flow of information in sentences

Conjunction or connecting information in logical relations by links or transition words

Lexical Cohesion or vocabulary links of repetition, synonyms/antonyms , taxonomy

Reference links to information by personal, demonstrative pronouns

Sometimes academic skills websites have a separate unit on paragraphs but do not include work on cohesion. Sometimes websites instruct on paragraph structure, types, function and cohesion in different units.

3. Source Material

The links here contain instruction on how to integrate source material from your reading and research into your written text. The following are some of the ways to do this :

- Referencing or Citing
- Quoting or Reporting
- Paraphrasing, Summarising, Synthesising

Most websites give information about referencing and citing, but our annotations will focus on instruction given about the other more difficult ways.

4. Style

Instruction on this aspect is not often in one unit or section of a website, so our links may be to a number of locations within each website. The links here provide instruction on one or more of the following features of writing which together create academic style.

impersonal - objective, detached
formal - specialised, technical
analytical - logical, taxonomic, complex
critical - cautious, deferential, evaluative

Our annotations will focus on instruction of features which are common to writing in most disciplines, so will not focus on formality where this relies on specialised and technical vocabulary .

Our annotations will focus on analytical and critical writing which are the most difficult features. Instruction on this is often in different sections of a website - either in Full Text instruction on the structure of the research essay (our first aspect) or in instruction on Advanced Grammar (our last aspect).

5. Grammar

The links here will be only to grammar specifcially relevant to academic writing, not to grammar in general.

Links for instruction on basic grammar will include punctuation but will focus on typical sentence structures, typical errors and important grammatical structures like the passive voice.

Instruction on advanced grammar overlaps with instruction on cohesion or logical structure of argument. So, our Grammar links may overlap with Full Text, Paragraph links regarding this aspect. Also, advanced grammar overlaps with analytical or critical writing so our links here may also overlap with Academic Style links.

Our annotations on advanced grammar refer to the following areas among others:

nominalisation
lexical relations - taxonomic
theme patterns
modality, appraisal