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Video Transcripts

Academic Writing for Multilingual Students: Developing Your Arguments With Evidence and Your Own Analysis

Last update 3/13/2020

 

Visual: Screen opens to a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The title Walden University Writing Center and tagline “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears on the screen. The screen changes to show the series title “Academic Writing for Multilingual Students” and the video title “Developing Arguments With Evidence and Your Own Analysis.” 

Audio: Guitar music 

 

Visual: The screen opens to the following: Develop Arguments With Evidence and Your Own Analysis

Expectations may differ from what you are used to because of varying educational backgrounds 

  • Beyond summary 

  • Expected to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize 

Audio: In American Academic English, it is important to develop your arguments with evidence and your own analysis. The norms for how to present arguments and analysis may differ based on your own educational or cultural background. In some educational systems, writers are expected to summarize previous work to demonstrate understanding. In American academic writing, summary is often a part of the expectation, but it is not the end point. Students are usually expected to analyze or evaluate what they’ve read and to bring their own interpretations to the text. Students are also expected to provide evidence for their ideas, and they are expected to synthesize the material. To synthesize is to show how the sources relate to one another: Do the authors agree? Do they disagree? Does one idea further another idea? 

 

Visual: The slide changes to the following:  

Writing centers are beginning to offer students more than one-on-one tutoring services. Hewett (2013) reported that 45% of writing centers are connecting with students via social media, as compared to the 10% Kubista (2007) reported from her 2006 survey. Additionally, Kallman (2014) noted that writing center directors described their writing centers offering a variety of seven kinds of services, including workshops, course development, and websites. This large increase may be due to the increasing familiarity both students and writing center staff have with social media. In conclusion, Hewett and Kallman’s findings show writing centers not only offering other services besides tutoring, but a wide diversity in services. 

Audio: Let’s take a look at an example of a paragraph written in a linear structure that is supported by evidence and the writer’s own analysis. This paragraph follows what we call the “MEAL plan.” The M in the MEAL plan is the main point; the E is the evidence; the A is the Analysis, and the L is the lead out or conclusion.  

In this paragraph, the M, or the Main Point of the paragraph is first, and reads as follows: “Writing centers are beginning to offer students more than one-on-one tutoring services.” The E, or the Evidence, follows: “Hewett (2013) reported that 45% of writing centers are connecting with students via social media, as compared to the 10% Kubista (2007) reported from her 2006 survey. Additionally, Kallman (2014) noted that writing center directors described their writing centers offering a variety of seven kinds of services, including workshops, course development, and websites.” Note that the Evidence is always supported with outside sources, like the examples here, which we can tell from the citations. The A, or the Analysis of the paragraph, reads as follows: “This large increase may be due to the increasing familiarity both students and writing center staff have with social media.” Keep in mind that the Analysis is not just informal thoughts or a reaction to what you read, but instead it is an explanation, commentary, or informed opinion. And, finally, the L or the Lead Out or conclusion of the paragraph: “In conclusion, Hewett and Kallman’s findings show writing centers not only offering other services besides tutoring, but a wide diversity in services.” This sentence provides an overall conclusion—or synthesis—of the ideas in the rest of the paragraph, as well as giving the reader closure to this paragraph. 

If you find that you have trouble including evidence and analysis in your writing, following this general outlining strategy for your paragraphs can help to ensure you have included any of the missing pieces. If you use color coding, like this example paragraph, you can easily see your own paragraph’s organization and know if there is something missing. 

 

Visual: The screen changes to an ending slide a background image with a person typing on a laptop and a notebook and pencil, along with the Walden University Writing Center logo. The email address writingsupport@waldenu.edu appears on the screen.