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Video Transcripts

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

Last update 7/7/2017

 

Visual: Walden logo at bottom of screen along with notepad and pencil background.

Audio: Guitar music.

 

Visual: The video’s title is displayed on a background image of a dictionary page. The screen opens to the following slides: Develop Your 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, it is 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: Example Paragraph

                  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.

The first sentence is in red; the second and third sentences are in blue; the fourth sentence is in green; and the fifth sentence is in purple. As the speaker reads each sentence, it is pointed out on the screen.

Audio: Let’s take a look at an example of a paragraph written in a linear structure that is supported by evidence and 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 in red: “Writing centers are beginning to offer students more than one-on-one tutoring services.” The E, or the Evidence in this paragraph is in blue: “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. The A, or the Analysis of the paragraph is in green: “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 is in purple: “In conclusion, Hewett and Kallman’s findings show writing centers not only offering other services besides tutoring, but a wide diversity in services.”

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 in the example on this slide, you can easily see your own organization and know if there is something missing. In conclusion, remember that American Academic English requires the use of outside evidence and analysis of that evidence.

 

Visual: The screen changes to end with the words “Walden University Writing Center” and “Questions? E-mail writingsupport@waldenu.edu.”