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Writing essays 24. August 2011 - Eli Støa. Contents What kind of text? What are the characteristics of a good text? –Addressing a question –Using knowledge.

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Presentasjon om: "Writing essays 24. August 2011 - Eli Støa. Contents What kind of text? What are the characteristics of a good text? –Addressing a question –Using knowledge."— Utskrift av presentasjonen:

1 Writing essays 24. August Eli Støa

2 Contents What kind of text? What are the characteristics of a good text? –Addressing a question –Using knowledge – not refering to it About contents and structure About the writing process

3 What kind of texts? Exploring academic texts –Scientific articles and dissertations –Bachelor- or masterthesis –Practice reports –Academic essays Descriptive texts –Reports –Fieldwork notes –Narratives –Project descriptions (architecture) Architectural critique?

4 Academic essays Addresses a question or problem within an academic field or profession –Justifies the relevance of the question raised The focus in an essay is discussion and argumentation –Emphasise on relevant theories and a discussion of these rather then on originality and validity in collection of empirical data. –Free-er form than a scientific text.

5 Academic essay ”Som profesjonell sjanger kan det faglige essayet ha til formål å peke på forhold overfor andre fagfolk og argumentere for en faglig påstand, gjøre oppmerksom på noe som er sannsynlig, og føre gode – om enn ikke uttømmende – argumenter for det” (Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2006:36) ”As a professional genre, the academic essay aims to point at issues for peers and argue for an allegation, call attention to something that is probable, and lead adequate – if not exhaustive – arguments for it” (Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2006:36)

6 What characterises an academic essay? ”Fagtekster skal være logisk strukturert og følge en rød tråd, de skal holde det de lover, og de skal være så entydige som mulig” (Dysthe et al, 2000:111) ”..should be logically structures and follow a red ’thread’, they should keep what they promise, and should be as precise as possible” (Dysthe et al, 2000:111)

7 What characterises an academic essay? Addresses a problem or question –that you want to explore and answer –that arouses the reader’s curiosity –that actuates exploration –that requires some kind of action or change

8 Hva skal man gjøre? beskrive temaet, sette opp (identifisere) problemet og stille spørsmålet som hele essayet forholder seg til nå fram til en forklaring, et svar, en løsning, en konklusjon utvikle et resonnement som ”logisk” fører fra problem, spørsmål osv. Til forklaring, svar, løsning, konklusjon dokumentere alle påstander med faglig aksepterte belegg gjøre framstillingen lett å følge for leseren (Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2006:36)

9 Problem to be addressed High relevance Relates to a problem or a paradox Something you are interested in Indicate the main contents of the text Is possibility to argue about Is possible to answer Is open – start with ’how’ or ’why’ – not with ’what’ Is presicely formulated Is clearly emphasised in the text Is short (Ingvild Folkvord, 2006)

10 What do you want to explore? Examples How may the city centre become a better place for children to grow up? Are compact cities necessarily sustainable? How is it possible to achieve a social diverse urban neighbourhoods? (And what are the main challenges?) How may the architectural design of urban dwellings affect city life? How may appropriate design urban dwellings contribute to more sustainable cities? What may modern ‘gated communities’ be seen as an expression of – and how to they influence city life? Other ideas?

11 Using or refering to knowledge ? Oriented towards an objective rather than towards a topic Exploring and analytic rather then describing Selective rather telling everything the author knows Addresses a problem rather than a topic

12 Contents and structure Norms for structure (Dysthe et al, 2000) –Economizing : Do not include matters which are irrelevant for the problem or question addressed –Organizing: (Over)clarity. Everyone does not read everything. It should be obvious where to find what in the text Alle leser ikke alt – det bør være lett å se hva som står hvor –Distinction: Unambiguity and comprehensibility (provide information – not entertainment)

13 Structure (1) Introduction Method and theory Investigation Discussion Conclusion Perspective (Rienecker & Stray Jørgensen, 2006)

14 Structure (2) Introduction: Short about the background, main question addressed and a justification for the selected topic (included relevant texts and housing project) Theory: What are the main issues / perspectives brought up by the selected texts? Description of the housing project and it’s context Discussion: How could the project be interpreted in light of the theories presented? And how do this analysis / interpretation throw light upon the questions raised? Conclusions / reflections: What is interesting about this? What is problematic? How relevant is the discussion today? Is there something we can learn for future practice from this? Further questions / perspectives?

15 About the writing process Get started! –Writing is a way to think and clarify ideas Make an outline for contents and conclusion as early as possible –Both will have to be changed in the process Get hold of a reader!

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