Cambridge University Research Papers

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If you are not confident about when to use semi-colons [and most of the time, they are not required for proper punctuation], rewrite using shorter sentences or revise the paragraph. Academic Conventions Citing sources in the body of your paper and providing a list of references as either footnotes or endnotes is a very important aspect of academic writing.

It is essential to always acknowledge the source of any ideas, research findings, data, or quoted text that you have used in your paper as a defense against allegations of plagiarism.

Awareness of the words you use is important because words that have almost the same denotation [dictionary definition] can have very different connotations [implied meanings].

This is particularly true in academic writing because words and terminology can evolve a nuanced meaning that describes a particular idea, concept, or phenomenon derived from the epistemological culture of that discipline [e.g., the concept of rational choice in political science].

Equally important, the scholarly convention of citing sources allow readers to identify the resources you used in writing your paper so they can independently verify and assess the quality of findings and conclusions based on your review of the literature.

Examples of other academic conventions to follow include the appropriate use of headings and subheadings, properly spelling out acronyms when first used in the text, avoiding slang or colloquial language, avoiding emotive language or unsupported declarative statements, avoiding contractions, and using first person and second person pronouns only when necessary. Evidence-Based Reasoning Assignments often ask you to express your own point of view about the research problem.However, what is valued in academic writing is that opinions are based on what is often termed, evidence-based reasoning, a sound understanding of the pertinent body of knowledge and academic debates that exist within, and often external to, your discipline.You need to support your opinion with evidence from scholarly sources.Throughout your paper, it is important that you present the arguments of others fairly and with an appropriate narrative tone.When presenting a position or argument that you disagree with, describe this argument accurately and without loaded or biased language.Like specialist languages adopted in other professions, such as, law or medicine, academic writing is designed to convey agreed meaning about complex ideas or concepts for a group of scholarly experts.The accepted form of academic writing in the social sciences can vary considerable depending on the methodological framework and the intended audience.The introduction should include a description of how the rest of the paper is organized II.The Tone The overall tone refers to the attitude conveyed in a piece of writing.Therefore, use concrete words [not general] that convey a specific meaning.If this cannot be done without confusing the reader, then you need to explain what you mean within the context of how that word or phrase is used within a discipline..

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