Writing from Research

Writing from Research
The Keys to Using Sources in
Academic Writing
What writing have you done in the
Answering questions in class
Informal chatting (IM, Text, Facebook, Twitter)
Writing reflections or responses
Composing journal entries (personal or in
• Email and other forms of correspondence
(Does anyone write letters anymore?)
Reflections, Journals = Informal
Writing = Writing To Learn
• Writing to Learn : A strategy used by many
classroom teachers that encourages students
to use writing to “discover new knowledge—
to sort through previous understandings, draw
connections, and uncover new ideas as they
write” (NWP & Nagin, 2003).
Academic Writing = Formal Writing =
Writing in the Disciplines
• Writing in the Disciplines : The pedagogical
stance that students become better learners,
thinkers, readers, and writers within any given
discipline by working within the forms and
conventions of that discipline. Biology students
become biologists by doing lab reports, Art
students become artists by composing reviews
and artist’s statements, education students
become teachers by writing lesson plans, etc.
Academic Writing Should…
• Focus on writing from sources
• Adhere to the stylistic conventions of each
given discipline
• Use standard formatting (APA, MLA, Chicago,
• Demonstrate an understanding of the
rhetorical situation
• Establish some premise/thesis/hypothesis or
propose a specific path of inquiry
The Secret
• Unlike previous writing you may have done in
school… the secret to college-level academic
writing is that you are encouraged to find
information in any and all reliable sources at
your disposal.
• Find information and use it for your own
purposes. Just be sure to cite it.
The Major Steps for Success in
Writing from Sources
• Conducting Research
• Evaluating Sources
• Composing bibliographic entries and
embedding in-text citations.
• Conducting Literature Reviews / Annotated
Peer Reviewed Sources
• As an academic writer, it is your responsibility
to find and pass on information that is
reliable. Because we are not all experts on
every topic, we need to rely on an intricate
system to be sure our information is reliable.
Colleagues, peer reviewers, editors, factcheckers, researchers, librarians and
publishers make up this network.
Examples of Peer Reviewed Sources
• Peer Reviewed Sources
- Books
- Scholarly journals
- Trade magazines /
- Government Websites
• Other Common Sources
that are NOT reviewed
- Wikipedia
- “.com” websites
- Any source where an
author and place of
publication has not
been identified
Locating Sources
• The JU Library is the best way to secure
reliable sources on campus, either by stopping
by to speak with a librarian or by visiting both
databases and our catalog online:
• http://voyager.ju.edu/
Evaluating Sources
• Diana Hacker established a lengthy set of
source evaluation criteria. These can be
viewed here:
• www.dianahacker.com/resdoc/tips.html
Citing Sources
• Think of citations this way: If all academic
writers are using multiple sources for every
essay/book/article they write, things could get
• In order to ensure consistency and to avoid
potentially ruinous instances of plagiarism,
various academic associations have
established guidelines/standards for
composing essays and citing sources.
MLA Style
• The Modern Language Association has
established a handbook, currently in its 7th
edition, containing criteria for citing sources
primarily in the Arts and Humanities.
• In-text citations focus on the author and page
number since ‘currency’ is less relevant in these
fields: (McCourt 01).
• Bibliographic entries utilize a hanging indent and
are punctuated consistently:
• McCourt, Ed. “Citing Sources in MLA Style.” This
Powerpoint Presentation. JU, 2010.
APA Style
• The American Psychological Society has
established guidelines that are most commonly
used within the Social Sciences, Business, and
• Because date of publication is essential in most of
these fields, in-text citations also include a date:
(McCourt, 2010, p.14).
• APA also has its own formatting for bibliographic
entries (again, emphasizing date):
McCourt, E. (2010). Composing APA citations.
This Powerpoint Presentation, 14-15.
Following Rules (i.e. Cheating)
• No one memorizes the intricacies of APA/MLA
style… though some pick it up through
• Use a source to help you cite properly:
– Microsoft Word (Format Tab)
– www.easybib.com
– www.citationmachine.net
Organizing Research
• Researchers often use both informal & formal
methods to organize their research
• Keeping a research journal is a helpful way to
organize research
• Annotated Bibliographies and Literature
Reviews are formal assignments that also
assist in this process
Annotated Bibliographies
• An annotated bibliography is a formal listing of
all sources consulted, presented in proper
citation style, with each entry accompanied by
annotations that summarize and evaluate
each source.
• Read more about Annotated Bibliographies
• http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/
Literature Review
• Literature Reviews are similar to annotated bibliographies,
but rather than being formalized into a list, they are often
composed as a running narrative.
• Literature reviews should both give an overview of the
available material on any given topic as well as placing the
current project within the context of that work.
• Literature reviews may function as a stand-alone project or
may be incorporated as a section of a larger case study.
• Sources in a literature review should be paraphrased and
cited throughout the narrative.
• For additional Info, please visit this site:
• http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/literature_re
(Thinking about) Embedding Research
• Though this is a topic for another day, please
consider the many ways research can be
embedded in your work:
– Summary (Restating the author’s main ideas in
your own words)
– Paraphrasing (Restating particular points made by
the author in your own words)
– Direct Quotation (Embedding snippets of the
author’s own words within your own)
– All three of these must be cited (McCourt 01)!
Before We Conclude…
• Please watch this clip and think about the way
the author is using sources. Can you identify
direct quotes, paraphrasings, and summaries?
Think of your writing in the same way: We are
constantly introducing evidence to help convince
our readers:
• 20/20 – Freeloaders
• Dateline – Racial Bias
A Word on Plagiarism
• Plagiarism : The use or imitation of the language
or ideas of another having been passed off as
original work, or without clear citations.
• Avoid plagiarism at all costs! You can use
whatever information you’d like… just cite it!
• At JU, plagiarism has serious consequences, from
failing an essay, to failing a course, to expulsion
from the University. Please consult with your
instructors or with our Writing Center!
JU Writing Center: Here to Help
• Visit the Writing Center in Council 105 for help
with any writing-related work (research,
formatting citations, revising/editing, etc.).
Hours are posted on the door (Summer hours
begin next week).
• Visit the Center online as well:
Submit Your Work!
• If you have conducted some research you are
particularly proud of, consult with your
professor and consider submitting to JRAD,
JU’s Peer Reviewed Journal of Research from
Across the Disciplines:
• www.ju.edu/journal

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