pp. 2-5 How to write academic papers
pp. 5-8: Avoiding plagiarism
pp. 11-12 Avoiding bias in writing
pp. 14-16: Making sure you paper is organized
Diagramming ideas and making concept maps
- Examples of concept maps
- Two types of simple maps that will help you organize and outline your paper:
(a) problem-solution maps (first map on the page) and
(b) persuasive essay maps (the third maps on the page).
- A simple concept map to get you started writing a persuasive essay
- Concept maps that explain concept mapping
Computer tools for concept mapping and outlining
- Concept mapping tools
- Inspiration software for concept mapping (Inspiration is a commercial product, but you can download and use the software for free for 30 days.)
- Download free concept mapping software
- Bubbl.us (free online tool)
- Wisemapping (a free online tool)
p. 16 Avoiding procrastination
p. 20 Making your computer talk
p. 21-22 Spelling Checkers
- Using Microsoft Word's spelling checker
- Free word-processing programs that are MS Word compatible and have spelling checkers
- "Writer" (from Open Office)
- FocusWriter (free but a 5 dollar tip is suggested)
- Libre Office
- Windows specific word-processing programs
- Free online word-processing programs that are MS Word compatible and have spelling checkers
p. 23 For another useful checklist, download the following pdf from Dan Simons. The pdf contains a lot of wise advice, but the checklist begins on page 7.
p. 24: To understand why you need to use a checklist and why you need to rewrite, see these seven "laws" of communication.
p. 25: To write well, you need to be truthful, relevant, and clear (Kehoe, 2011).
To be truthful, you need to read a fair sample of the literature (not just the literature that supports your point of view), you need to cite that literature, and you need to look at your case like a fair but stern judge would look at it. If you are fair, you will probably find that you may need to may have to add qualifications to your arguments (e.g., you may have to add words like "if," "usually," "except," "but, and "when") as your paper evolves.
To be relevant, you need to have a point and stick to that point. To make all your paper relevant, eliminate the irrelevant parts. Start by eliminating paragraphs that do not fit well with your outline. Then, in the paragraphs you keep, delete sentences that do not fit well with your topic sentences.
To be clear, you need to know what you want to say and how to say it in a way that will be accepted by the audience. In your first drafts, you figure out what you want to say; in your later drafts, you focus on how to say it. To make each draft clearer than the last,
print out the draft;
make an outline from that draft (start by giving each paragraph a short title that could act like a headline for the paragraph, then use those headlines as headings in your outline);
revise that outline of the actual structure of your paper to make an outline of the structure you would like your paper to have;
delete, move, and add paragraphs to make your paper fit the outline of your ideal paper;
help your reader follow the outline of your paper by adding subheadings, topic sentences, and summaries.
help your reader go from paragraph to paragraph by adding transitions (e.g., "As a result," "Consequently," "Therefore");
read your paper aloud from start to finish, rewriting as you read;
wait one day and then run your paper through your computer's grammar checker;
read your paper aloud again, stopping to edit, make comments, and raise questions (if you are having trouble coming up with questions, see our end-of-chapter checklists);
run your paper through your computer's grammar checker again, and then ask a friend to respond to your paper, your comments on your paper, and your questions about your paper.
p. 26 Quotes illustrating key points