You re ready to start writing your essay?

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1 You re ready to start writing your essay? Before completing your essay here are a few steps you should complete: Drafting process a process to support your essay writing Referencing an essential step to comprehensive essay writing Checking for errors/proofreading. 1

2 The Drafting Process 1 1. Clarify the Task examine the title carefully What is the essay asking you to do - describe, examine, outline? How will you deal with all sections of the question? Balance? What do you feel about the topic now? Note these feelings. Are they useful for your conclusion? 2

3 The Drafting Process 2 2. Collect and Record Information be selective and do not procrastinate by extended and unnecessary reading. Record all information as you go along, e.g. names, titles these can be your reference/bibliography 3. Organize and Plan make rough outlines, use mind maps. Planning helps you think clearly and organize material logically. 3

4 The Drafting Process 3 4. Reflect and Evaluate What have you discovered? Have you clarified an argument? 5. Write an Outline Plan and First Draft you have to start somewhere it is okay to: Start writing with the middle section of the essay (i.e. your main points) Then your conclusion Then your introduction. 4

5 The Drafting Process 4 6. Work on your First Draft Rewrite and adapt your structure Make sure your argument is clear Check that you have provided evidence and examples Write your reference list and bibliography Watch word count. 7. Final Draft Edit and check this until you are happy with it. 5

6 What is referencing? Referencing or citation is needed when you quote or use an idea or material which is not your own It gives details of the author, source and nature of the material which is not your own and which is included in your work It gives the reader directions to find the source of the material. 6

7 What is Plagiarism? Quoting verbatim (exactly as it appears on the page!) from a source without referencing it Taking someone else s thoughts, argument and supporting evidence without showing that they aren t yours Submitting someone else s work, in whatever form, without complete and accurate acknowledgement. 7

8 Turnitin Turnitin is a tool used by UCC to prevent plagiarism. It: compares a student s submitted assignment against a set of already written sources to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works creates opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase works as a deterrent and an educational tool. 8

9 Originality Reports After submission, a report is generated detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources It shows suspected sources of each section of the submitted paper that returns a match It is important to read the report carefully and investigate whether each block of text is properly attributed or referenced. 9

10 Interpreting Scores The overall score indicates the probability that the submitted paper contains matches to existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only. Review papers to see if the matches are properly attributed Scores below 15 percent: These papers typically include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of plagiarism Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material or they include plagiarism. Review these papers to determine if the matching content is properly attributed Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in these papers was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and need to be reviewed for plagiarism. 10

11 Variety is the sh** of life! There are a range of referencing methods 4 main methods used in UCC: Harvard MLA Footnoting APA 11

12 Referencing References must appear in 2 places In the text (in-text referencing) In a list at the end of the work (bibliography) A bibliography is also called Works Cited Works Consulted Reference List References 12

13 Have you proofread your assignment? This is: The final step before submitting your assignment Where you check for omissions and errors of spelling and grammar When you complete and double check referencing When you ensure you have satisfied departmental guidelines i.e. font, spacing, page numbering and cover sheet requirements. 13

14 OK I made mistakes, but HOW do I spot them? Pay attention to red and green lines and other messages from MS Word or similar Word won t pick up every error, i.e. words left out, so read, read and re-read Record your assignment as it s read aloud and listen back i.e. dictaphone or I-phone Use your friends and family to check and proofread your work 14

15 Structure Checklist Have I arranged the material logically? Is there fluency between each paragraph? Have I left out transitions where they are needed? Do I introduce the subject of each paragraph? Does each argument relate to the overall essay plan? Has each argument developed clearly and in enough depth? Have I dealt with all the implications identified in the introduction? 15

16 Evidence Checklist Is there enough evidence? Or too much? Sometimes you may have too much and need to prune unnecessary detail for the word count Is evidence relevant? Is it specific enough? (avoid generalisations or abstract concepts) Do I show rather than tell? 16

17 Starting and Finishing Checklist Do introduction and conclusion relate to each other? Have I avoided raising new issues? Have I delivered on promises made in introduction? Style: Have I removed unnecessary words, sentences and paragraphs? Have I broken up complex sentences enough? Have I replaced long/obscure words with simple ones? Have I removed all unnecessary modifiers in favour of good strong nouns and verbs? 17

18 Checklist Check accuracy of your facts & quotations; otherwise you might lose the reader s trust As you revise your style keep a simple checklist of those things you re looking for Remember, the more you take out the more readable your essay becomes Get someone to read it to you so you can see where the fluency breaks down or where the sequence of ideas seems illogical. 18

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