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June 16, 2021
Last updated 7/1/2021
Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. The slide says, “Academic Writing for Undergraduate Students,” and the following:
Walden University Writing Center
Audio: Anne: Hello everyone and welcome. This is the Writing Center under excuse me academic writing for undergraduate students webinar, Claire if we can begin if you want to advance the slide.
Visual: The slide changes to Accessibility Notes slide. The slide says, “Accessibility Notes,” and the following:
To turn on: Click CC button, then Show Subtitles
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To turn on: Click Live Transcript, then View Full Transcript
• Pop-out transcript box in a new window
• Pop-out chat box to view both at one time
An edited transcript will be provided with the webinar recording in a follow-up email and in our webinar archive.
Audio: Welcome everyone to academic writing for undergraduate students. Before we jump in today we have a few accessibility notes and other housekeeping items and first I want to say how glad we are that you took time out of your busy schedules to join us today.
So, our webinar in zoom has a few accessibility features closed captions and subtitles are available, and a full transcript is also available. This should be enabled right now so if you navigate to your zoom toolbar and click the little arrow or carrot icon next to the closed caption live transcript button, you'll see an option to show subtitles.
And you'll also see an option for subtitles settings. If you click those settings you can change the font and some other settings for those subtitles.
You can also drag and drop them around your screen, and if you'd like to turn those off you can click that disable subtitle button as well.
For the transcript, you can click on View full transcript, and that will show you the full size transcript, in a separate box or pop up window that you can also pop out of your zoom meeting room if you want to drag that around and move it on your screen.
Note that will also provide a transcript, with the webinar recording in our follow up email, and later in our webinar archive.
Next slide please, Claire.
Visual: The slide changes to Housekeeping slide. The slide says, “Housekeeping,” and the following:
A recording will be available in our webinar archive
Download Slides from the chat box (Zoom desktop); will be shared by email and in webinar archive
Participate in the Chat box throughout the webinar
Use the Reactions to interact
• Use Google Chrome if possible
• Visit https://support.zoom.us
Share your feedback in our survey (at the end)
Audio: So, few other details I mentioned that we are recording the webinar today, and that will be available in our webinar archive next week.
There are slides available to download I will post those to the chat box in just a moment here. Do not that those are all only available if you are on a desktop and not on a mobile device, but we will also share the slides through email and in our webinar archive.
We have a chat going throughout the webinar and thanks to everybody for introducing yourself there already, you can participate in the chat throughout the webinar. If you have questions, and there will be some dedicated chat times for you as well.
In your zoom toolbar, you'll see reactions and you can use these to interact if you'd like throughout the webinar to give us a thumbs up or let us know if you would like, Claire our presenter to speed up or slow down and that sort of reaction.
If you have any technical trouble. We recommend using the Google Chrome browser, if you can. And there's also a lot of support available for you at support that zoom.us.
And lastly, at the end of the webinar will share a link for you. That goes to our feedback survey. It's brief anonymous and we really appreciate your feedback on our webinars to know what you like and what we should think about for future webinars.
Visual: The slide changes to Presenters and Facilitators slide. The has pictures of the presenters and facilitators and says, “Presenters and Facilitators,” and the following:
Presenter: Claire Helakoski
Walden University Writing Center
Facilitator: Kacy Walz
Walden University Writing Center
Facilitator: Anne Shiell
Resource Manager of Student and Faculty Webinars,
Walden University Writing Center
Pronouns: She, her, hers
Audio: Claire Helakoski is our presenter today. She's one of our writing instructors in the Writing Center, and Kasey Walz, another writing instructor, is here with me to facilitate she'll be helping to answer your questions in the chat box.
Both Claire and Kacy, do a lot of different projects at the writing center but one of their main responsibilities is paper reviews, which is an excellent way for you to get one on one feedback on your writing.
So, if you're not familiar with our paper review service.
Please check that out and we'll share some information later in the session about that as well.
And with that I will turn it over to Claire.
Claire: Thanks so much and Hi everyone, as an said I'm Claire Helakoski and I'm excited to be here today I am presenting from Grand Rapids Michigan where the weather is beautiful and very sunny.
And I'm especially excited to do this presentation because I do pay per views, primarily on the undergraduate paper review schedule, we have a separate paper Have you scheduled just for students in their undergraduate programs like all the here.
And so, I spent a lot of my time working with the assignments that you all right and i tailored this presentation, based on what I see a lot in that schedule.
Visual: The slide changes to In This Session We Will slide. The slide says, “In This Session We Well,” and the following:
- Identify how academic writing at Walden is different than other kinds of communication
- Review expectations for organization, using evidence, scholarly voice, and writing style and grammar
- Learn the Writing Center resources available to you
Audio: Alright so, in this session we will identify how academic writing at Walden is different than other kinds of communication. We will review expectations for organization, using evidence scholarly voice, and writing style and grammar, and we will learn about the Writing Center resources that are available to you to support you in your writing for your coursework.
Visual: The slide changes to Navigating Roles, slide. The slide says, “Navigating Roles,” and the following:
You already navigate many types of writing and roles in your daily life
Audio: All right, so I'm going to talk a little bit about navigating roles, you already navigate many types of writing and roles in your daily life. So as a friend and a parent you're navigating different roles and how you communicate with other people, whatever, whatever text messages you're sending, you know, if you're a parent like I am, then you know that kind of your parent mode is different than your friend mode, and how you communicate and what you're looking to communicate and how, in, you know, kind of, out in the world you might be a participant in different events or ideas sharing you might be reporting information from things that you saw or experienced others, and at work you're an employee and an expert in whatever you're communicating about whatever you're talking to people about.
So, you have all these different roles that you are already navigating, and your brain is doing this thing, which is sometimes called coach shifting where you're switching between these different roles without even really thinking about it. In order to convey information and the best way possible to whatever group or role you are working with.
Visual: The slide changes to Types of Writing slide. The slide says, “Types of Writing,” and the following:
Walden students navigate many types of writing
- Writing on the job
- Creative writing
- School (Walden)!
Audio: And you do the same thing with types of writing, so you're navigating many different types of writing and roles that impact that writing, you're writing on the job so you're writing emails for work you're communicating and memos or reports, you're emailing personal email maybe you are using text messages you might engage in creative writing you're taking notes for yourself in meetings or in your courses, and of course you were writing for school so you're writing profiles and how is your writing for Walden assignments, different than other types of writing that you might be doing and can you let me know in the chat box.
Visual: The slide changes to Chat 1 slide. The slides says “Chat 1,” and the following:
How is writing for your Walden assignments different than other kinds of writing?
Audio: So, I just want to start us off thinking about what writing for Walden is like, and how it might differ. And you can just let me know in the chat box really quickly and we'll talk a little bit about that.
Professional and fact based. Scholarly writing will talk about scholarly writing what that means today.
And we need to include sources, which are also sometimes called citations, you have citations for when you use a source.
I’m seeing a lot about APA so that's the formatting, right, that you need to consider.
Right. And just like any other formatting that you're working with, whether it's you know the character limits in a tweet or the formatting but email allows you to do or writing in a spreadsheet APA style is just a style, and it's something you can learn, and will get used to using, and we'll have a lot of resources linked out to help you with that today.
All right, I'm gonna go ahead and move us forward.
Visual: The slide changes to Academic Writing slide. The slide says, “Academic Writing,” and the following:
Writing performed in an academic context such as course papers and discussion posts
- A central claim
- Formal tone
- Clear organization
Audio: Okay so, academic writing is writing performed in academic context, such as your course papers and discussion posts. So, that's what we're talking about here when we talk about academic writing when we talk about writing at Walden and academic writing, as some of you noticed, generally includes evidence, a more formal tone, a more formal organization, and something that no one specifically said in the chat but which is also true of academic writing is that you have a central claim or idea, right in a text or a chat you don't necessarily have a claim or idea.
You wouldn't necessarily need research, or that kind of more formal tone and organization so those are some main ways that academic writing or writing for your courses is going to differ from the different type of writing that you are doing outside of school. That said, depending on your job you may be doing writing that's very similar to what you're going to be using at Walden too. So, it really just depends on what right and you're already engaged in, and you're all engaged in some type of writing. I want to give you confidence that you can learn to navigate this type of writing as well. I promise you're already doing it, and you're just not aware that you're shifting to meet these different expectations and formats, and once you learn Walden’s, you’ll be able to navigate and go into school writing mode and feel confident there.
Visual: The slide changes to Understanding Your Assignment slide. The slide says, “Understanding Your Assignment,” and the following:
Before you begin writing, it’s important to understand not just the writing expectations, but also your assignment itself.
- Visit our website
- Check out our recorded Strategies for Understanding Walden Assignment Prompts webinar
- WriteCast episode: “How to Start Writing”
- Ask your faculty, too!
Audio: Alright so, one of the first things that I recommend when you are getting started when you're thinking about academic writing.
Before you get started. Understand your assignment. Make sure that you don't just understand the writing expectations, like the format and having a thesis statement, we'll talk about those today.
But what are you being asked to do exactly? So, we have a web page that has some information about understanding your assignment that I've linked here and you can get that from the slides, which you can download from the chat box or and we'll send them out at the end of the presentation as well in our follow up email.
So, you can check out our strategies for understanding welding assignment prompts webinar, that's a really really good one, it really uses a lot of examples from real Walden coursework and talks about, you know, kind of how you might organize and use highlighting and kind of break apart the assignment to understand what you really are being asked to do. We also have a great recent right past that's our podcast and actually Kacy and myself are the hosts of that podcast so you can hear my wonderful voice and hear from Kacy who's manning the chat box today in our How to start writing episode.
And if you're unsure of what is being asked, or what you need to do or how much evidence you should include or anything like that. Ask your faculty, your faculty would much rather answer your question.
Then have you do the assignment incorrectly, and need to give you a lower grade than they would otherwise have, right, ask questions if you don't understand what you need to do.
And make sure that you really feel like you understand your assignment and understand the reading before you start writing because if you try and start writing first your writing is going to be a little bit confusing and potentially unfocused and you're gonna have a hard time if you don't fully understand what you're doing, first.
Visual: The slide changes to What About APA slide. The slide says, “What About APA,” and the following:
The level of citation and references required will progress as you go through your program: Be sure to confer with your faculty if you are unsure of their requirements. BUT did you know APA Style is about much more than citing?
APA Style includes having a clear organizational structure with a thesis statement, considering your audience, clear and concise phrasing, and using grammar and style choices that align with Standard Academic English conventions.
The Writing Center has lots of resources to support you as you work on APA Style—both in citing and these other considerations!
Audio: Alright so, I saw a lot of people when we were starting to talk about APA, and I know you're all wondering what about API. So, I will talk about it a little bit here.
The level of citations and references required will progress as you go through your program. Be sure to confer with your faculty If you are unsure how much they expect you to cite if they expect you to have a reference list, etc. But APA style is more than just citations and references.
APA style includes having a clear organizational structure with a thesis statement. Considering your audience, clear and concise phrasing and language, and using grammar and style choices that align with standard academic English conventions and I'm going to talk about all those points throughout this presentation, and the Writing Center has a lot of resources to support you as you work on APA style, both in citing, and these other considerations so I have a link here, And that's to our APA style pages where you can find out more about citation specifics or whatever you're working on.
I saw that some of you know your faculty has specific kind of expectations for the APA and your work and so you know if you're looking at how to reference a website you can go to our, our web pages on that if you're wondering what they mean when they say scholarly voice I'm going to talk a little bit about that today, but you can use those resources that the Writing Center has to really specifically meet the requirements that your faculty may be bringing up, regarding APA, as well.
And I do recommend buying the APA manual. It is wonderful it is very easy to use it has wonderful colorful tabs as you can see in this visual here we were all really excited when the manual came out with tabs in the most recent edition, and it's a lot easier to use and navigate than the old manual.
Visual: The slide changes to Writing Expectations For Your Courses slide. The slide says, “Writing Expectations For Your Courses,” and the following:
- Using evidence
- Scholarly voice
- Writing style & grammar
Audio: Alright, so, writing expectations for your courses, I'm going to talk about these kind of four main topics today, which is organization, which some of you talked about in our chat when we talked about how Walden writing is different.
I'm going to talk about using evidence what that means how to do it. I'm going to talk about scholarly voice, which is kind of that formal academic tone and what that really means and looks like.
I'll highlight a few specific adjustments that you'll probably want to make to your more natural or casual writing voice to achieve that more scholarly voice, and writing style and grammar.
Visual: The slide changes to Organization slide. The slide says, “Organization,” and the following:
Introduction & Conclusion
Paragraphing Sentence structure
Review some sample paragraphs
The introduction paragraph introduces your readers to the overall topic of the paper and explains your specific focus.
The first body paragraph explains your first point or idea.
The second body paragraph explains your second point or idea.
The third body paragraph that explains your third point or idea (and so on).
The conclusion paragraph is similar to an introduction paragraph, but instead of introducing ideas, it recaps ideas. You should not repeat entire sentences or introduce new ideas, but remind the reader of the points you made.
Audio: Alright. So first we'll talk about organization. Organization in your writing courses you're generally going to be expected to have an introduction and a conclusion.
Some paragraph structure, have clear sentences and have a thesis statement or purpose statement.
And here's sort of a very general outline on what that looks like. The introduction paragraph introduces your reader to the overall topic of the paper and explains your specific focus first party paragraph explained your first point, and so on with however many body paragraphs, you might have, and the conclusion paragraph is similar to the introduction, but instead of introducing new ideas, it recaps ideas.
You shouldn't repeat entire sentences or introduce new, new ideas, but remind the reader of the points you made. It's sort of like a summary of what you just talked about above.
And we have very specific resources on both introductions conclusions and paragraphs.
And there's some sample paragraphs here linked on this slide as well. So it's this is more of an overview, right. So, in your organization you're expected to kind of have paragraph structure with an introduction conclusion for your assignments, and I will talk a little bit more about thesis statements next because that might be a new term to some of you.
Visual: The slide changes to Thesis Statement slide. The slide says, “Thesis Statement,” and the following:
What do you want to say about the topic?
What is your overall point?
What is your overall purpose?
= thesis statement
Audio: What's the thesis statement?
So, you want to think about what do you want to say about the topic and or what is your assignment asking you to say about the topic. What is your overall point, what is your overall purpose, and those things will lead to your thesis statement I have a link to our thesis statements web pages here too.
So, that's what I mean when I say thesis statement I mean a statement that clarifies sort of the purpose argument and scope of your work, and in some of your courses depending on which course you're in and which program, you might have your faculty asked you to write a purpose statement. Instead, where you'll say something like the purpose of this paper is that's usually in the beginning level courses, but I've seen some faculty that prefer it all the way until the end of your graduate program.
So, just make sure you're paying attention to what your faculties, asking for. If they don't specifically asked for a purpose statement than write a thesis statement instead.
But they serve the same kind of general purpose which is to let your reader know why am I here. what am I about to read. And what specifics. You know, what specific argument is being made here.
Visual: The slide changes to What is a Thesis Statement slide. The slide says, “What is a Thesis Statement,” and the following:
A thesis statement
- argues for or against something
- is able to be supported with information from sources
- is specific
The rest of the paper builds off of this thesis statement
Audio: Alright, so here's some more detail about that thesis statement, a thesis statement argues for or against something is able to be supported with information from sources, and is specific and the rest of the paper will build off of this thesis statement
So, if my thesis is writing centers are important to student support, then the whole rest of my paper is going to be about ways in which the Writing Center is important to students support and I'm going to use evidence to support that.
Whereas a thesis statement isn't something where I would just say, you know, I think all colleges should have writing centers, I'm going to want to have something more concrete than that, be a little more arguable and deal with something that can be supported with evidence. I think statements are tough to support with evidence so you want to be clear, and firm and really make an argument or purpose statement that lets the reader know, here's what I here's why I'm here.
Here's what this paper is going to be about. And here are the sort of main points that they're going to talk about with evidence in the paper itself.
Visual: The slide changes to Example Thesis slide. The slide says, “Example Thesis,” and the following:
Example Thesis: Too Broad
Mental health treatment plans are important.
Revision 1: Specific but not arguable
The purpose of this paper is to discuss an effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction.
Revision 2: Specific and arguable
An effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction is a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy
Audio: Alright, so here's an example thesis that starting out we're starting out a little bit broad, so we might have something like mental health treatment plans are important, that's a good place to start right we know they're important, we're going to talk about mental health treatment plan so that's good.
We might want to be a little bit more specific though.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss an effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction. So, that's a lot more specific right?
And I see this a lot where your assignment might ask for something like, talk about why mental health treatment plans are important for a specific condition.
And then I will see a thesis statement like, mental health treatment plans are important, but that doesn't tell me which specific condition you have chosen for your paper.
So, that's what we're looking for right is that specificity for your paper, not just the purpose of the assignment in general.
So, in the second one we have something more specific. The purpose of this paper is to discuss an effective treatment plan. And then we can have something that's more arguable instead.
An effective treatment plan for methamphetamine addiction is a combination of pharmacological and cognitive therapy. So, here we are dealing with the really specific topics that we're going to talk about are very specific argument.
Here is what an effective treatment plan is. That's what I'm going to argue improving my paper with evidence, rather than just saying more generally.
I'm going to talk about effective treatment plans you want to tell the reader what to expect, right, not just that you're going to talk about effective treatment, but you can tell them this is what I think is an effective treatment, this is what I'm saying is an effective treatment, and that is what's going to come out in my paper itself.
So, you want it to be specific and arguable.
Visual: Slide changes to Poll slide. The slide says, “Poll,” and the following:
Which thesis statement is strongest?
- Writing centers are important.
- Writing centers are important to student retention and resilience.
- In this paper, I will write about why writing centers are important.
Audio: Alright, so I have a poll for us here I'm gonna pull it up and launch it.
Here we go. So, you should be able to see that pole.
We have three thesis statement examples, and you can go ahead and select which one you think is the strongest here either writing centers are important, writing centers are important to student retention and resilience, or in this paper, I will write about why or why writing centers are important.
Okay, and I'll give you all just a couple minutes here to fill out the pool. and then we'll talk a little bit about it.
Alright I'm seeing the results of kind of stopped coming in so I'm going to go ahead and end the polling.
And we can share those results so most of you said, the strongest one is writing centers are important to student retention and resilience, and that is the strongest thesis statement, and these examples, because we're not only being specific about what we're going to talk about.
We are being arguable and specific so the first one is arguable writing centers are important. The second one is specific and arguable. And the first one is somewhat specific right, I will write about why writing centers are important. So that's sort of specific but it's not arguable, and the middle one is specific and arguable So Good job, everyone.
It's much harder to revise and write your own thesis statements, but I just wanted you to have an overview of kind of different drafts of your thesis statement and you can always come back and revise it you might start out with writing centers are important, right, and that'll get you started with your paper and then you can go in and change it later and make it more specific and concrete.
Visual: The slide changes to Paper Organization Resources slide. The slide says, “Paper Organization and Resources,” and the following:
Once you have your thesis, continue to organize the rest of your paper in paragraphs.
The MEAL plan paragraph structure is really helpful for this! (Main Idea, Evidence, Analysis, Lead Out).
These Writing a Paper webpages may also be helpful as you work on your writing process and learn more about introductions and conclusions.
Audio: Alright, so talk about paper organization resources. So once you have your thesis, continue to organize the rest of your paper in paragraphs, the meal plan paragraph structure is really helpful for this It stands for main idea evidence analysis and lead out and we have a great webinar on it we have tons of resources on the meal plan and paragraph thing. And these writing of paper web pages may also be helpful as you work on your writing process and learn more about introductions and conclusions.
Visual: The slide changes to Using Evidence slide. The slide says, “Using Evidence,” and the following:
- Consider your audience for context
- Establish your authority
- Use sources appropriately
- Include citations
Audio: Alright so now we talked about organization so you're going to want to think about getting everything organized using those paragraphs and the thesis statement.
And next, you're going to want to think about using evidence so this is an expectation as you go through your programs, you'll want to consider your audience for context, establish your authority.
Use sources appropriately, and include citations.
Visual: The slide changes to Consider Your Audience slide. The slide says, “Consider Your Audience,” and the following:
For this assignment, I chose challenges women face today. Women need to be treated equally for medical access.
What assignment? In what way are we discussing medical access? What does that term mean in context here?
Audio: So, first consider your audience.
So, for student writing, you might write something like for this assignment. I chose challenges women face today. Women need to be treated equally for medical access.
So, as a reader I'm reading this and I'm wondering some things I'm wondering, what's the assignment.
In what way are we discussing medical access. What does the term mean in context here so what do we mean by medical access, specifically, what is the assignment?
Remember that your audience should be someone who hasn't read your assignment. Right. You're, you're writing to a reader who isn't in your classroom. Even though your reader will be your faculty in most cases, but we're going to pretend that's not true for the purposes of writing effective clear introductions.
Instead of referencing back to your assignment, have statements that are more clear and specific and about the topic, itself, so that it could stand alone without your classroom.
Visual: The slide changes to Audience Example Revisions slide. The slide says, “Audience Example Revisions,” and the following:
Student writing revision:
Women’s rights to personal control of their own reproductive system are restricted as new advancements are made (Baer, 2002). Restrictions to modern birth control is a new issue that impacts women today in negative ways.
What was added:
Source information Context and specifics
Audio: Right, so some revisions that we might use to help our audience out is women's rights to personal control of their own reproductive system are restricted as new advancements are made restrictions to modern birth control is a new issue that impacts women today in negative ways. So, see how nice and specific we're being here we have some source information to support our claim that women's medical rights are, are in trouble are being challenged.
And then we have some context and specifics about what this document will be about.
We're talking about restriction to birth control, and how it impacts women in negative ways so this is a lot more specific and contextualize, and we've used a source, and that's going to help our audience understand this issue to stand on its own, outside of the bounds of our assignment right, this is an issue. Here's a source that proves it. Here's specifically what we're going to talk about today.
Visual: The slide changes to Establish Your Authority slide. The slide says, “Establish Your Authority,” and the following:
How will people listen to you and believe you?
- Research the topic
- Use sources as evidence to support your thesis statement
- Credit those sources through citations
More knowledge, authority, and credibility as an academic
Audio: Alright so that's one way you can establish your authority is to make that context clear to use sources. Other ways to establish your authority are thinking about how will people listen to you, and believe you when you make statements.
So, you want to research the topic so that you're knowledgeable about it. One is use sources of evidence to support your thesis statement.
You wanna credit those sources through citations, so citing is another way that establishes your authority, it shows that you understand you didn't write this research. And that you're letting the reader know what research you pulled up where they can find out more, acknowledging that you were building on others arguments and research.
So, more knowledge authority and credibility as an academic will build that kind of scholarly voice that we sometimes talk about, and have that clear building evidence and help support your paragraphs using the meal plan structure as well so it's all connected. You want to do research, usually your research will be assigned with the assignment. But it may sometimes require additional research from you as well.
Visual: The slide changes to What Evidence Should I Use? slide. The slide says, “What Evidence Should I Use?” and the following:
Use evidence from books, articles, and some websites:
- Statistics and data
- Studies and experimental evidence
- Facts supported by research
- Anecdotes: “When I was a kid…”
- Your own beliefs or opinions: “I believe that…”
- Emotional pleas
Audio: What evidence should I use. So, you want to support your claims with evidence rate, use evidence from books, articles in some websites. So, statistics and data studies and experimental evidence and facts supported by research are great pieces of evidence to use, you typically want to avoid evidence that our personal anecdotes, such as when I was a kid or, you know, in my experience, you want to typically avoid your own beliefs and opinions I believe that, or emotional please sort of make a, you know, are in crisis everywhere and we have to do something, that type of phrasing is less authoritative less scholarly, although it's very common in like blog posts and posts on a lot of web pages in the internet today so it's in a lot of things that you read outside of your school work.
However, that's a shift to make in your writing for your courses, is to avoid that kind of reliance on personal opinions or evoking an emotional response from your reader.
And that's something that APA talks about in the manual as well. I want to have a caveat here that some course assignments, especially in your foundational courses, and especially in discussion posts will ask you to write about yourself, right, and they'll ask you to say, how did you end up here at Walden. Tell me about you know tell your classmates who you are and why you're here and why you're excited to become a nurse.
Those are places where you should definitely use personal anecdotes and statements like I believe if it's asking for your opinion, asking for you to talk about your own experience, specifically in the assignment, then you should absolutely do that.
If it's not asking for that specifically, then you should typically avoid those.
Visual: The slide changes to Paraphrases & Quotations slide. The slide says, “Paraphrases & Quotations,” and the following:
When you use evidence, give credit to the source.
A citation tells the reader where you got your information.
Basic format for a paraphrase:
Your own words and voice (Author, Year).
Basic format for a quotation: “Someone else’s words” (Author, Year, p. #). Read more about citing basics on our website.
Audio: Alright, so when you're incorporating evidence so we talked about finding pieces of evidence from these great sources, books and journals and, you know, reliable websites not personal blogs and that type of thing.
Then you'll use a citation to tell your reader where you got the information, a basic format for a paraphrase which is where you rewrite the author's words in your own sentence structure and voice is where you have parentheses around the author's name, and a publication here. The basic format for a quotation, which is where you have the exact words from the source within quotation marks, is that you have those quotation marks around the words, and then parentheses for the author, years, and a page or paragraph number. We have a lot more about citing and citation formatting on our website but this is just talking about kind of expectations in your courses and as your courses progress your faculty will expect you just site, more regularly and correctly.
Visual: The slide changes to Scholarly Voice slide. The slide says, “Scholarly Voice,” and the following:
Academic writing is:
- Formal in tone
More about the term “scholarly voice”
Audio: Alright so now I'm going to talk a little bit about scholarly voice, which some of you talked about academic writing or scholarly voice is straightforward, concise and formal.
And you can read more about scholarly voice on our web pages but these are expectations set out by APA as well. So, you want to be as clear and straightforward as possible, which means being concise and formal and specific APA and scholarly writing for Walden is different from other forms of writing that you maybe read written before in that it's based on evidence, it's not emotional and it's not personal.
And that was, that was a hard shift for me, I have an MFA so I have a creative writing background, I, you know, so that was a big shift for me when I started working here at Walden, but you can do it, and you will learn to like appreciate and understand it, I promise. I really do appreciate it. It really helps make evidence based claims really clearly it persuades in a different way that's based on logical connections.
And I think it's really a pure form of expressing you know ideas and building on these conversations based in research which can be really exciting, especially if you're engaged and excited about your field which I know all of you are.
Visual: The slide changes to Avoid Opinion slide. The slide says, “Avoid Opinion,” and the following:
Opinion without example
The high school curriculum at my school is boring and outdated.
Example revision: The high school curriculum at my school does not engage students with recent examples. The current social science textbook, for example, is out of date. It was published in 2010 and thus does not include recent political developments.
Audio: Alright, so first scholarly voice, and we want to avoid opinion.
Here's an example of an opinion without example, the high school curriculum at my school is boring and outdated. An example revision might be something like the high school curriculum at my school does not engage students with recent examples so that's much more specific than boring outdated which is subjective.
The current social science textbook for example is out of date it was published in 2010 and this does not include recent political developments. So here we're being really specific and this is an example assignment like I talked about where the assignments probably asking for your specific opinion right. And I see these all the time in teaching and nursing where they'll talk, they'll ask you to write about something you've experienced in your workplace.
So, this is an example of an assignment where maybe it's asking, you know, what's an example of an issue you've encountered at work.
And this is nice specific revision. So, instead of just kind of expecting the reader to connect with what you're saying is having your opinion.
Without specifics, the reader hasn't been through what you've been through they haven't read what you've read for research. So it's important to have either those personal examples were relevant or have source information to help back up and explain your example, in context.
Visual: The slide changes to Avoid Slang slide. The slide says, “Avoid Slang,” and the following:
AVOID: Idioms, slang, or metaphors
My discussion post this week was a piece of cake.
My discussion post this week was easy.
Audio: You want to avoid slang. So, that includes idioms slang or metaphors example my discussion post this week was a piece of cake. So, Piece of cake is, you know, subjective it's a colloquialism that not everyone will get it's also not always, it doesn't always mean the same thing for every writer or reader. So, you want to be really specific instead and focus on writing in a way that is clear for any reader from all over the world, exactly what you mean, my discussion post this week was easy. That's what you really mean. Right, so this is one of those little adjustments you make first right. It was a piece of cake. And then as you're revising and going back and thinking about, you know, academic writing and scholarly voice.
You can make that small change.
Visual: The slide changes to Chat 2 slide. The slide says, “Chat 2,” and the following:
In the chat box, type your revision for this sentence:
Research can shine a light on this problem.
Audio: All right, in the chat box. I have another interaction for you I know we've been talking for a while and I promise, there is a question slide coming up soon to in this chat box, type your vision for this sentence research can shine a light on this problem.
So, how might we avoid the, you know, phrasing here that's less scholarly and have this be more scholarly and tone, and I'll give you a minute or two to go ahead and type some revisions in the chat box.
I'm seeing some revisions here, a problem can be defined with research, research can add evidence to this problem. Research can allow us to gain more information and insight on this problem, right, so we're going to want to talk specifically about what we mean when we say shine a light on the problem, right, do we mean, you know, define the problem I see somebody talking about that.
Reveal discrepancies. And we're using our imaginations a bit here right because we haven't actually written this if you had written the statements like this in your work, you would know exactly what you meant, more specifically, and could revise it even more effectively to be specifically what you mean but as all of your revisions show, it's not clear right shine a light can mean a lot of different things.
And that's why it's important to be more specific and concrete, and say, you know, research can help solve the discrepancies in this field. Research can help do this specific thing in this specific context.
So, it can be easy to rely on you know metaphor to kind of connect us with our work, because we know what we mean. But you want any reader to know what you mean. And that's kind of one of those little mental shifts to make in your academic writing here at Walden.
Alright, I'm going to go ahead and move forward.
Visual: The slide changes to Avoid Contractions & Questions slide. The slide says, “Avoid Contractions & Questions,” and the following:
The law didn’t go into effect…
The law did not go into effect…
AVOID: Questions or conversations with the reader
Next, you will see why bullying is a problem.
Nearly 20% of high school students are bullied on school grounds (CDC, 2019), making bullying an important education issue.
Audio: So, another thing in academic writing and scholarly voice is to avoid contractions. So instead of the law didn't go into effect. All right, the law did not go into effect.
And you'll notice that in your reading too. So, that's an APA format recommendation and it's a pretty simple one once you get in the habit.
You want to avoid questions or conversations with the reader so in a lot of other forms of writing I know that it's common to address the reader and say what can we do about this problem, or next we'll talk about this.
Next, you'll see why bullying is problem for example here, but in scholarly academic writing you let it stand on its own.
And your reader engages with it separately and that's another reason why you want to be as clear and specific as possible, and use strong research because you're just leaving you're letting it standalone.
And, so, it's a stronger type of writing that a lot of other forms of writing because it does stand on its own, it doesn't rely on holding the readers hand too much and telling them what you're going to talk about next instead you're making these clear concrete statements supported by evidence. So instead of Next you'll see why bullying is a problem, you can write nearly 20% of high school students are bullied on school grounds, making bullying and important education issue.
So, here we're not just saying bullying is an important education issue we're saying why bullying is important education issue, and we're backing that up with research and that's a stronger argument, even though it's not written in that sort of more passionate connecting with the reader language that we're used to in other forms of writing that we might be reading more frequently.
Visual: This slide changes to Avoid Passionate Language slide. The slide says, “Avoid Passionate Language,” and the following:
Emotional and passionate
Doctors must find a cure for cancer! Too many people are dying a slow, painful death.
There is increased need to find a cure for cancer, given the continued growth of cases. In 2015, over 1.5 million new cases of cancer were reported (CDC, 2018).
Audio: Right, we want to avoid that passionate language which I have talked about a little bit. So, here's an example statement, doctors must find a cure for cancer. Too many people are dying a slow painful death.
And, so, while we probably connect with that and emphasize with it as readers. That's not the purpose of academic APA style writing. Instead, we want to focus on finding evidence to support a logical reason why something is true, or why we're arguing for something specifically. So, for example, there is increased need to find a cure for cancer, given the continued growth of cases so we're being more objective here we've taken away the emotion, but we're still making a strong statement and 2015 over 1.5 million use cases of cancer were reported. So, here we're saying cancer keeps growing, which is why we need to find a cure.
And then we prove that cancer keeps growing by having some research.
So, the emotion is a good place to start right, it helps give us the spark to find the research and find those words that are going to make a clear logical argument. But you want to keep that kind of in your brain, and as the fire that fuels you outside of the actual writing itself, or that you kind of take that out as you revise.
Visual: The slide changes to Chat 3 slide. The slide says, “Chat 3,” and the following:
In the chat box, revise the following sentence. What would you add or change?
Nurses today have an unreasonable number of responsibilities that they never had to take on in the past.
Audio: Alright, so I have another interactive chat for us here in the chat box, revise the following sentence. What would you add or change, and you might have to again use your imagination, a little bit here. Nurses today have an unreasonable number of responsibilities that they never had to take on in the past.
And again, I'll just mute and give you all a minute or two to have some responses.
Alright, I'm not seeing any responses so I'm going to go ahead and let's see, okay, there's one, because of the changing demands in the nursing profession, nurses, you are having to take on more responsibility and have increased knowledge of new technologies.
So, that's a really nice specific you know fake citation at the end there where we have some source information right so that's something we want to add to support specifically what we're talking about, increase knowledge of new technologies is a nice specific thing that we would have found in our research, nursing has become a challenging Professor with increased need for knowledge and skills that require additional education so again we're being nice and specific right we're not just saying there's unreasonable responsibilities, they never used to have them that's kind of vague. So, we want to be more specific.
Right? And we want to maybe find some evidence which some of you did here. So here is another example revision.
Visual: The slide changes to Example Chat Revision slide. The slide says, “Example Chat Revision,” and the following:
Nurses today have an unreasonable number of responsibilities that they never had to take on in the past.
Nurses today are faced with complex healthcare delivery systems, heavier workloads, and other responsibilities due to nurse shortages (Felblinger, 2014).
Revision uses and cites research, is specific, and does not use biased language.
Audio: Nurses today are faced with complex healthcare delivery systems have your workloads and other responsibilities do to nurse shortages and then I have a citation here.
So, we have some nice specifics. What we're talking about what's different for nurses specifically and why is it more challenging. So you guys did a great job we want to look for research and we want to use specific language, and we want to make sure we're not biased or overly, passionate, or vague here unreasonable number of responsibilities is a little bit biased to me because that's kind of subjective, depending on who you are.
Alright so now I'm going to pause for questions. Kacy have we had any really relevant questions.
Visual: The slide changes to Questions? slide. The slide says, “Questions?” and the following:
Ask now in the chat box or email us at [email protected]
Audio: Anne: Hi Claire, it’s Anne. Kacy and I have been watching the chat box but we haven't had any questions come in so far so everyone just remember that you're welcome to drop your questions there will also answer them at the end so you'll have another chance but don't hesitate to put any questions in the chat box.
Claire: Great, thanks so much.
Visual: The slide changes to Writing Style & Grammar slide. The slide says, “Writing Style & Grammar,” and the following:
Standard Academic English
- Sentence structure
- Word choice
Also check out this blog post on Standard Academic English for more tips and explanation!
Audio: Alright, so here's our last kind of section that I talked about at the beginning of the presentation which is the writing style and grammar expectations.
So, in general, your papers at Walden are going to expect you to use standard academic English, which is a term that's kind of growing right now. And it is, you know, to acknowledge that there are other forms of writing that are completely valid. There, you know, they are not incorrect they are not wrong. However, just like you want to avoid passionate language. The style expectations and the grammatical structure expectations are going to potentially be different than you write in other forums or outside of Walden, so that includes right that grammatical structure, sentence structure and word choices we have a blog post on standard academic English has a little bit more on that. And we do have some tools to help you.
Visual: The slide changes to Proofread slide. The slide says, “Proofread,” and the following:
Proof carefully for grammar and clarity:
- Read your paper out loud / use software to listen to your paper.
- Read your paper backwards.
- Ask a friend, classmate, or the Writing Center for feedback.
- Automated grammar revision tool accessible from the Writing Center website.
- Free for Walden students.
- Does not “fix” paper; instead, provides instruction that corresponds to errors noted in the writing.
Audio: You can proofread for grammar and clarity, read your paper allowed, that's really, really helpful, because sometimes when we write a little more casually or like we talk will skip words or, you know, have a sentence structure that is actually a little bit confusing when you read it back out loud to yourself.
You can read your paper backwards so sometimes if we separate out the contents and you read, you know the last sentence of your paper from start to finish and then the sentence before that, you can hear or see grammatical issues that your brain kind of skimmed over when you're reading it in order because you're focused on the content, ask a friend or a classmate, or the Writing Center for some feedback on your writing style and grammatical structure.
You can also use Grammarly so this is a free grammar revision tool accessible from the Writing Center website and there's the link there. It's free for Walden students so you'll have to register with your Walden email. It doesn't fix the paper for you. It just highlights issues you might be having and provide some instruction that corresponds to those errors.
So, if you're often forgetting to use an article like, for example, it will highlight that and say you know article use, and then have some information about what articles you might use instead and, and when to use those in your writing based on some patterns that it picks up, it is a program, so it's not foolproof but it can be a helpful extra step.
Visual: The slide changes to Writing Center Resources slide. The slide says, “Writing Center Resources,” and the following:
We have tons of resources to support you and your academic writing here at Walden! Let’s take a look at the website!
Audio: All right, and then we have lots of really great writing center resources for you. We have a wonderful website.
And I'm not going to look through it today because I want to talk about some of the specific resources that we can support with you.
But we will have a tour we do have a writing center tour webinar, and you can also poke around the Writing Center web pages on your own as well. So, our website has, you know, We have paper reviews we have modules we have the podcast we have web pages on scholarly writing APA style.
Lots and lots of resources so go ahead and poke around a little bit.
Visual: The slide changes to Assignment Planner slide. The slide says, “Assignment Planner,” and has an image this is an example assignment planner.
Audio: And I'm going to highlight a few specific resources we have for undergraduate students. So, we have the assignment planner. This is a really helpful, sort of checklist, where we have the due date, thinking about scheduling out time to read time to revise time to get feedback from the Writing Center, and it can really be helpful to kind of see it all mapped out if you're kind of like a visual organization person, like I know I am.
Visual: The slide changes to Writing Feedback Journal slide. The slide says, “Writing Feedback Journal,” and has an image of a sample writing feedback journal.
Audio: We also have a writing feedback journal. And this is a really, really great tool to kind of keep track of the types of feedback you're receiving from your faculty and from the Writing Center on your writing.
So, you know if your faculty is saying your references are incorrect over and over, then you might write that in your feedback log and talk about, you know, submit it to the Writing Center, and we'll let you know that you're italics, or the problem.
So, then you could have that written in your revision journal to double check the italics formatting and your references.
You can also have all kinds of stuff like work on your thesis statement and that can be something that you keep track of.
It's a really nice tool to kind of not only know what types of feedback you're getting, but it can be a really progressive tool so you can see, you know, you used to get feedback on your thesis statements, but then you stopped getting feedback on those and you can shift to focusing more on grammar nuances or something.
Something else that you're getting feedback on.
Visual: The slide changes to Paper Review Appointment slide. The slide says, “Paper Review Appointment,” and has an image of the Paper Reviews: Introduction page from the Walden Writing Center
Audio: Right and then paper review appointments I talked about this at the beginning and so did and, but a pay per view appointment is a great, great resource for all of you, I am on the undergraduate schedule. So, very likely your paper view appointment will be with me, or some of the other staff that we have on there.
But basically, what you'll do is you'll go to the paper review appointment web page, you'll register for a my pass account. If you don't have one already.
And then on our paper schedule, you can just attach a paper, either ahead of time, or if you have a same day appointment, you'll attach it to an open appointment.
And then we will get back to you the day of or day after that appointment on the schedule, and will use track changes so there's no live paper of you will use track changes will provide resources and links to relevant materials and give you feedback and revision suggestions, and then you will get an email that that paper reviews available, and you can download that document with all our feedback in it.
Then you can revise and make the follow up appointment if you want to, you can send us additional questions through our email.
It's a really great resource. And if you're not sure why you're getting serving certain feedback from your faculty, if you're worried about APA, if you just want some reassurance that you're writing is clear. You know and meeting basic expectations then, or you just want to see what we say. Then it's a really great resource to just get some information. See what you know goals you might want to make for your writing. Moving forward and will provide a lot of tailored feedback to specifically what's going on in your work and what resources we might, we think might be particularly helpful to you based on what we're seeing there.
Visual: The slide changes to Other Resources slide. The slide says, “Other Resources,” and the following:
Use these and other resources to support your writing at Walden!
Audio: I and we have loads of other resources, such as our website which I talked about before we even have an undergraduate student page on there. We have loads of webinars on all sorts of topics so if this format appeals to you we have this giant webinar archive, full of wonderful presentations, like this one, we have a blog, which has some great you know a little bit more casual, but very informative posts about all sorts of topics.
We have interactive modules, those of you who were kind of learning, looking to learn APA basics modules are sort of an interactive walkthrough, so those are really helpful for kind of learning those AP basics.
We have those paper reviews, and we have as I mentioned before our right cast podcast we just published our eighth episode, so I'm super excited we have so much on there on just about any topic and if you go to that web page for the podcast.
We also have some categories of different types of episodes there's kind of a paper basics category that would probably be really helpful. For those of you in the undergraduate phase of your work.
Visual: The slide changes to Questions? slide. The slide says, “Questions?” and the following:
Ask now in the chat box or email us at [email protected]
Audio: Alright, so I know that some of these questions, I seen some pop into the chat box that looked great case here and would you like to voice any good ones.
Kacy: Yeah, we've had some great ones and I apologize. I'm not as fast as all of you, if you're sending in these great questions I'm trying to get to them. But one question I think would be really helpful for you to talk about a little bit Claire is a question concerning the process of paper review so if a student is maybe hesitant to create a paper review maybe they're self conscious about their writing or they don't know what stage is appropriate to use for that appointment.
What would your advice be?
Claire: Oh, that's a great question. So, my advice would be to make the appointment, anyway. And that is because we are not, you know, the great thing about the Writing Center is we are not your faculty. We are not here to evaluate you or, you know, tell you what you did wrong.
That's not what we are, what our role is our role is to identify patterns in your writing that you can, you know, choose to work on and provide you the resources and support to help you succeed towards your own writing goals.
We are very kind and supportive and we are not going to make you feel bad about the way that you're you've written your draft we're here to help. We'd love to help. It's what we do. It's why we're all here.
You know I love working on the undergraduate schedule because I get to really help students feel more confident in their writing and I have some students who make two appointments with me a week and have throughout their entire undergraduate program so you know you can have that consistency if you want with the same instructor over and over, or you can switch around.
And you can really bring your paper in at any phase as long as you've written something.
You know I.
If you only have your assignment you haven't started writing yet, then it's much harder to provide feedback because we don't have as much. We don't really have anything to work with yet, but as long as you, you have some kind of draft you can definitely submit it and if you're really nervous and you want to submit something that you already turned in and got your grade for, you know, and just talk about what areas you can work on and whatever you write next we do that too.
So, don't be afraid.
We're very supportive people and we are not scary I promise.
And I see some students, supporting that here so it's not just me saying that because it's my job, other students have had that experience to.
Kacy: Thanks Claire and kind of see what would be another good question. So students are asking about citation generators, what are your feelings on those?
Claire: So, that's a good question. I know APA can be really overwhelming, and it can be very tempting to say hey can't this machine just do it for me.
And the answer is, it can but it's probably going to be wrong, at least some of the time. And that means that since you're in the, you know, in the undergraduate phase and you're just starting your programs, a lot of you probably, I challenge you to try and learn some APA basics yourself. I know it seems really overwhelming and like ridiculous about where you have to put this comma, or that thing, and I felt the same way as an undergraduate, so I totally, I get it.
But it's not as hard to learn as it seems, um, when you're using it all the time. I didn't know APA at all. When I started working at Walden, I have an MLA background.
And I learned it and now that I use it every day.
You know, there's still lots of things that I look up, but you can learn the basics, I promise that you can. And it really just takes some practice and knowing kind of what to look for.
As you're revising or, you know, getting used to the pattern and the formatting we have a really great webinar on it, called. It used to be called method to the madness, but I think it's called something else.
Now, but we have a really great webinar on APA basics, basic formatting, and we have an excellent page on our website called common reference list examples that has visual examples of kind of each type of main reference you might be making in your work. And I love that I'm a very visual person.
So, that's a really great page, I still pull it up when I'm providing feedback on student papers just to double check that I have it correct so don't feel like you have to memorize everything, but do try to learn some of it on your own because I think you'll find that it's less scary and complicated than it seems.
Kacy: Thanks so much, Claire, and I know we're getting towards the end and I want to hand things back off to Anne, but before I do that, I also want to address.
I'm sorry that if I didn't get to your question, there were a lot of them at the same time and I know I probably missed a few, but please email us at that writing support email address and we will be able to respond to your questions directly, you'll receive a real response from a real person. If you send your questions to writing support and really appreciate your patience with me as I'm trying to answer your questions.
So, yeah, thanks Claire so much and I'm going to hand it back over to Anne.
Anne: Thanks Kacy, thanks Claire, and thank you everyone again so much for your time today, and your participation in our chats, and you're really excellent questions and yes as Kacy said please do email us at [email protected] if we didn't get to your question, I think we got to just about all of them but if you have another question or one comes up later, email us there please.
We would love to help you.
I'm going to drop a some text in the chat box now that's for a link to our feedback survey and it doesn't, it doesn't quite show up right so I apologize, you'll, you'll maybe need to copy that whole text the line and paste that into your browser, but
I'll send that out by email, along with the recording link, and the slides. Soon, likely next week, you'll receive that so keep an eye out. And again, we really appreciate your, your feedback in that survey it's pretty quick and it's anonymous and it lets us know what you think of our webinars what you'd like to see more of, if you have ideas for future webinars, and all of that sort of thing.
Let's see. And I'm just checking out the chat box. Yes, thank you, Jennifer I think we do have one more minute and we did have one paraphrasing question that was about how to indicate the start of a paraphrase, if the citation comes at the end, Claire
Do you want to take that one?
Claire: Yes, so great question.
So, the citations don't always have to go at the end, I know I had that in the example just because that's kind of the most common format but there's actually something called a narrative citation, where you can refer to the author's name and text and you probably seen this in your sources that you're reading for your courses so I might say Helakoski and then I'll have the publication year in parentheses.
So, Helakoski (2011) found that writing centers are really beneficial to students.
So, that's called a narrative citation. And depending on you know how you want to make it clear when you're using sources and kind of the flow of your document you might use those sometimes.
And that is covered in the citation basics web page that I've linked to in that slide as well
Anne: Thank you, Claire. Thanks again so much everybody and we hope to see you at our next webinar.