Week 5: Using academic vocabulary IV

Report
Week 5
Feb. 16

Reviewing the Literature
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Academic Vocabulary IV
◦ Evaluative Language
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Where in your writing do you cite sources?
◦ Introduction? Methods? Results? Discussion?
◦ All are possible, but it depends on the field and
type of writing
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What are the purposes of citing? (besides
plagiarism!)
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Acknowledge intellectual property rights
Show respect for previous scholars
Give your own arguments greater authority
Help friends and colleagues (increases the “impact
factor” of journals)
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 340)

Tense choice implications are subtle
◦ Can indicate who is the agent or not
◦ Can make no reference to agency
◦ Can indicate the distance of the researcher to our own
opinion or research
◦ Can indicate if the finding should be taken in the context
of the single study or as a larger generalization.
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Look at a journal you brought and find examples
of this.
Now look at your own.
P344-345 HO
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Huang (2007) investigated the causes of airport delays.
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Action (Huang does something)
Developed
Modeled
Conducted
studied
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦
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Saying/thinking (Huang says/thinks something)
Believes
Assumes
Posits
Argues
Opines
Views
Points
Provides…
In Huang’s (2007) investigations, he concludes that…..
Past is often used to indicate a contrast of past belief to current:
◦ Huang (2007) concluded that…, but more recent investigations reveal…

Integrated citations versus parenthetical
citations:
◦ According to Suarez et al. (2010), the causes of business
failure are closely related to the ratio of working capital,
retained earnings, and sales.
◦ Fang’s research shows that reduced working capital and
retained earnings are interrelated (Fang, 2007).
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Why was the first integrated, and the second not?
What are other ways of giving credit?
Under what circumstances are one or the other
preferred?

Why vary citation patterns?

Give it a try
◦ The Origins of the First Scientific Articles

Options for establishing a niche:
Stronger
◦ A: Counter-claiming (something is wrong)
◦ B: Indicating a gap (something is missing)
◦ C: Raising a question or making an inference
(something is unclear)
◦ D: Continuing a tradition (adding something) Weaker
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Look at a journal you brought and find an
how the author(s) established their niche.
Now look at your own. Was it the niche you
intended?
P348-349 HO
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 348)

How to focus/synthesize/organize the previous
finding? (pdf, p27-34 for example)
◦ By possible relationships between the chosen constructs
(e.g., a correlation between communication and
satisfaction and job satisfaction)
◦ By possible mediating (intervening) and/or moderating
variables that influence the relationships between
chosen constructs
◦ By possible differences between groups in chosen
constructs
◦ By possible gaps, inconsistencies, controversies and/or
unanswered questions which form the basis for a new
study
◦ By possible untested hypotheses or propositions in the
chosen constructs
(Kotze, 2007, p 26)

Practical principles that can accomplish good
organization (pdf, p34-40 for examples):
◦ Use a “funnel approach” by starting with the
broader context and then focus in on the specific
topic and issue
◦ Carefully plan headings and subheadings that can
ensure a logical flow of information (mind-maps
can help in planning)
◦ Headings should be descriptive and informative
(more than one word)
◦ Make sure that information under heading is in fact
well related
(Kotze, 2007, p 26)

Practical principles that can accomplish clear
style (pdf, p42-43 for examples):
◦ Write to the level of an intelligent layperson (i.e.,
non-academic, no expertise in the discipline of the
field), such as a 100 level class in your field.
◦ Always define unfamiliar constructs or technical
terms when they are introduced the first time.
◦ Write as though your reader is skeptical about what
you write, and you need to argue your case with
clear evidence and reasons for your choices.
(Kotze, 2007, p 41)

Evaluative Language, when we return

Negative openings for indicating a gap:
◦ “little” + noun
 However, little information…
 Little attention…
 Little work…
◦ “few” + noun
 However, few studies…
 Few investigations…
 Few attempts…
◦ No/none
 No studies/data/calculations to date have…
 None of these studies/findings/calculations have…
P350-51 HO
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 350)

Contrastive statement openings for indicating
a gap:
◦ Research has tended to focus on …, rather than
on…
◦ These studies have emphasized …, as opposed to…
◦ Although considerable research has been devoted
to…, rather less attention has been paid to…
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 352)

Consider the first two paragraphs of an article
from the Journal of Materials Chemistry (PDF)
◦ How many critique/evaluative expressions can you
find?
(write the expressions on your own paper)
◦ Are they strongly negative or slightly negative?
◦ Can you find the language that signaled Move 1
(Establish a Research Territory)?
◦ Can you find the language that signaled Move 2
(Establish a niche)?
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 354)

Consider the introduction in a journal you
brought:
◦ How many critique/evaluative expressions can you find?
(write the expressions on your own paper)
◦ Are they strongly negative or slightly negative?
◦ Can you find the language that signaled Move 1
(Establish a Research Territory)?
◦ Can you find the language that signaled Move 2
(Establish a niche)?

Now consider these same questions for your own
introduction.
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 354)
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…remains elusive despite…
There are however very few analyses….
Yet, the literature has little empirical
evidence…
…is far from sufficient…
Very little research has been done to answer
the crucial question…
Has not been fully answered….

Evaluative language can be used in claims about
your own writing and about others’ writing.
◦ Phrases can weaken and strengthen
P160-161 HO
◦ Distance can weaken and strengthen
◦ Verbs can weaken and strengthen (appear, seem, tend)

Do you prefer to look at models (journals you
brought) or your own writing?
◦ Look for this language in the intro (establishing a niche),
in data commentary (remarking about your data),
discussion (making final claims)
(Swales & Feak, 2012, p 160)
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…can be reasonably confident…
…may be…
…it would be useful to confirm…
It is some concern that…
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Grammar & wording
Literature review
◦ Goes too quickly to the study issue without
situating it in the related research
◦ Insufficient review of the literature, causing the
reviewer to note oversights & misunderstandings
◦ Personal definitions rather than giving attribution
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Analysis & design
◦ Claims about results were problematic for the
research design
◦ Sample size too small for the complexity and claims
◦ Causes and effects in the design not well addressed
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Continue to apply what you’ve learned in
your editing.
Consider staying on contact with your peer
from class or connect with someone else,
both for encouragement and support.
Feel free to see the powerpoints from this
workshop at
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~karaj/gpsc.html

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