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Webinar Transcripts

Writing at the Graduate Level

Presented September 9, 2020
View the recording

 

 

Visual: The webinar begins with a PowerPoint title slide in the large central panel. A captioning pod, Q&A pod, and files pod are stacked on the right side.

The slide says “Housekeeping” and the following:

  • Recording
    • Will be available online a day or two from now.
  • Interact
    • Polls, files, and links are interactive.
  • Q&A
  • Help
    • Choose “Help” in the upper right hand corner of the webinar room.

Audio: Claire: Hi, everyone. Give me a moment before I go through some housekeeping for you. I want to share a link to the captioning service today. Because our captioning pod is having some technical issues so if you need captioning or like to access it you can go ahead and go to the link I'm going to post to everyone in just a second. So that is posted you should be able to see it at the top of the Q&A box if you would like access to the captioning you can go ahead and open that today during the presentation. The recording will have the captioning in so thank you for your patience with that today.

Before I handed over to our presenter, Michael, I wanted to go over a couple housekeeping notes it looks like my housekeeping slide is right here.  I want to note that the recording of this session will be available online within 24 hours so if you need to leave for any reason or you missed part of the presentation you can go ahead and watch the recording or just review it again later. Throughout the presentation the polls files and links will be interactive so Michael has some interactive elements today for you, some chats and if you want to click on links to any of the resources in the slides you should be able to do so throughout the presentation. If you have any questions during the presentation go ahead and let me know in that Q&A box I'll be standing by for your questions. If you have questions after the presentation or are watching this as a recording coming go ahead and write to us at writingsupport@waldenu.edu

If you need help because of technical issues you can let me know in the Q&A box and I do have a couple tips and tricks that I can try out for you but if you have major issues or I'm not able to assist you I will send you to the Adobe help button at the top right of your screen and that is Adobe Technical Support so they are a great resource if you are having major technical issues. As always you can watch the recording but don't panic if you are having issues of any kind will be able to catch this presentation in the recording archive.  Again just go ahead and review that captioning link that I put in the Q&A box if you need or would like access to captioning today. I'm going to turn it over to our presenter, Michael.

 

 

Visual: Slide Changes to the title of the webinar, “Writing at the Graduate Level” and the speaker’s name and information: Michael Dusek, Writing Instructor, Walden University Writing Center.

Audio: Michael: Hello everyone. Welcome to today's webinar, entitled Writing at the Graduate Level. This webinar is really meant to be an introduction to some of the differences between undergraduate and graduate writing. But before I get into this I just want to reassure you a little bit that the writing that you have done in your undergraduate work is not completely night and today different than the writing you're going to be expected to do at the graduate level. There are some very significant differences but it is not like we need to start from zero here. So don't be too intimidated by this transition from undergraduate to graduate writing in that it is still academic writing it is still writing dealing with the ideas of others so you're going to find some similarities to the work you're already doing here.  As you can see my name is Michael Dusek. I'm a writing instructor here Walden University. There is my awesome first day of school picture there.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Learning Outcomes

You will be able to:

  • Articulate the difference between graduate and undergraduate writing
  • Understand the foundational elements of graduate writing:
    • Arguments and Analysis
    • Paraphrasing
    • Scholarly Voice
    • APA Style

Audio: Learning outcomes for this session. Really we again are going to be discussing the difference between graduate and undergraduate writing and I'm going to touch on a number of elements or foundational elements as the slide says of how undergraduate writing differs from graduate writing. These foundational elements include things like developing an argument and using analysis in your writing. The use of paraphrase instead of may be relying heavily on quotation.  We are going to talk about why maybe paraphrase is more useful and expected at a graduate level. We're going to talk about scholarly voice and lastly I want to touch on APA style but again in the scope of this webinar, I'm not really going to be going into a ton of depth with these foundational elements. We have other resources and other webinars that really dive into these ideas. Again this session is really meant to be an introduction so I'm going to touch on these foundational elements but I'm really not going to be going into a great deal of depth. If that's something you're interested in go ahead and check out our other resources at we're going to offer other resources to you throughout this session as Claire mentioned that will be a helpful follow-up for you. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Graduate Writing

“Scholarly writing is also known as academic writing. It is the genre of writing used in all academic fields. Scholarly writing is not better than journalism, fiction, or poetry; it is just a different category. Because most of us are not used to scholarly writing, it can feel unfamiliar and intimidating, but it is a skill that can be learned by immersing yourself in scholarly literature. During your studies at Walden, you will be reading, discussing, and producing scholarly writing in everything from discussion posts to dissertations.”

Walden University Writing Center. (n.d.). Scholarly Writing: Overview. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/scholarly

Said another way: Another type of writing and thinking

Audio: Graduate writing to get a base definition for everyone. Here is how Walden defines graduate writing: “Scholarly writing is also known as academic writing. It is the genre of writing used in all academic fields. Scholarly writing is not better than journalism, fiction, or poetry; it is just a different category. Because most of us are not used to scholarly writing, it can feel unfamiliar and intimidating, but it is a skill that can be learned by immersing yourself in scholarly literature. During your studies at Walden, you will be reading, discussing, and producing scholarly writing in everything from discussion posts to dissertations.”

A couple important bits I would like to pick out here to talk about. One, this is something that you're going to be doing throughout your program from the discussion posts on the web to larger capstone projects like a dissertation that you're going to be working on. So some elements of scholarly writing they were going to be discussing here today can be applied to every writing project that you are going to be doing whether it be something more informal like a discussion post to something really formal like a dissertation.  The other thing a couple of the things one this is a skill that can be learned. Nobody is born or brought up as an incredible academic writer. It is no one's initial language or first language. So this is something that all people need to learn if this is something you are into. And it can be learned. The last thing is this notion of immersing yourself in scholarly literature can help you with this learning, with this knowledge are gaining this knowledge.  What I think is important about this portion is that it shows the relationship between reading of scholarly works and improving your own scholarly writing. There is a vein of composition research that talks about how important it is to be exposed to scholarly writing as a means to develop as a scholarly writer. And so I wanted to bring that up that when you are reading the work of others you are in a way ingesting some of the elements of their writing and you can take those elements and display them in your own writing.  So it is a working definition there of scholarly writing there is a few important elements that I think can be pulled aside and highlighted.  Said another way to put simply to bring it back to a simple definition it is another type of writing and thinking. Scholarly writing is how we participate in the conversations within our field as scholars. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What’s the difference?

Undergraduate

  • Summary
  • 1 source
  • Understanding content
  • Course readings
  • Textbooks, websites, course handouts

Graduate

  • Analysis
  • 2+ sources (synthesis)
  • Adding to content
  • Research
  • Studies, statistical data

Audio: Some of the differences then: One, when you are in undergraduate writing a lot of times you are summarizing your taking a piece that you've looked at and saying what you took from it. In graduate writing summary is really not enough. You need to work with those ideas offering analysis, working with the ideas of other authors putting them in conversation with one another and really drawing your own conclusions. So again rather than summarizing you are working with the ideas of others to support and -- to support your own ideas. [LAUGHING]. I'm searching for word I could not find.  You are generally using one source commenting honor summarizing one sourcing undergraduate. And graduate writing you will work with multiple sources and bring them together in conversation with one another an idea that we refer to as synthesis in composition communities.  In undergraduate writing were trying to demonstrate that you understand content. You are demonstrating I understood this piece and here is what I understood about it. Graduate writing you are going to be adding to the content you are joining the conversation around a topic or idea and you are adding your own voice. You’re joining this conversation.  In undergraduate writing you are often going to be dealing with course readings. In graduate writing often this is going to be on you to supply the research that develops the points that you are making.  It is that step away from you being provided what you need to form an idea into, you need to go find what you need to inform and support the ideas that you are working with.  In undergraduate writing you often work with textbooks, websites, course handouts that are used as your supporting documents. And graduate writing from your own research you're going to be looking at studies and more statistical data, journal articles being the primary source of where you are finding these studies or the ideas from the studies are expanded upon and statistical data is offered. So again you are not working with a summary of a study. You're going to find the actual study, the writing of the person who specifically looked at an idea and you draw from that rather than from someone else's summary of that particular study. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What’s the difference?

Undergraduate

  • This week, you will examine the characteristics of a successful distance learner.
  • Students will:
    • Explain the effectiveness of instructional interactions in distance learning environments
    • Describe the metaphors for learning as these apply to distance learning environments
    • Identify the attributes of successful distance learning

Graduate

  • This week, you will analyze the characteristics of a successful distance learner.
  • Objectives:
    • Analyze education policies
    • Analyze influence of education policies on roles of educational psychologists
    • Analyze ways to improve education policy effectiveness
    • Develop annotated bibliographies
    • Synthesize education psychology research for literature reviews

 

Audio: In looking at something like an assignment prompt we can see the differences here that I highlighted between undergraduate and graduate writing. As we look at the undergraduate prompt here, “this week you will examine the characteristics of successful distance learning.” So “examine” it is asking you to take a look at it but not really to apply that knowledge. “Students will explain the effectiveness of instructional interactions in distance learning environments. Describe the metaphors for learning. As these apply to distance learning environments. Identify the attributes of successful distance learning.” So “explain,” “describe,” “identify.” This prompt is asking you for summary asking you to say what you saw in there, to describe it, to identify it to explain it.  As opposed to a graduate assignment prompt which is asking for more for more application of those ideas. “This week you will analyze education policy.” Is not enough to just look at you need to critically analyze it and bring your own critical eye to it. In those objectives “analyze education policies,” “analyze the influence of education policies on rules of educational psychologists. Analyze ways to improve education policy effectiveness. Develop an annotated bibliography. Synthesize educational psychology research for literature reviews.” Again these action words are really pointing you towards application of this knowledge. You are analyzing, you're bringing your criticism your own critical eye to this work. You are compiling, developing things, collecting. That is going to be akin to that research bullet point in our previous slide. Is again synthesizing or bringing the sources together. You are not talking about them in isolation. You're talking about sources as they exist as part of a larger conversation. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: What’s the difference?

Graduate:

For the Final Project

• Select a topic of interest to you related to educational psychology. [Choose own topic]

• Research and critique 20–25 scholarly articles related to the selected topic. [Do own research]

• Select 10–12 articles that are most relevant to your topic.

• Create an annotated bibliography by annotating the 10–12 articles you selected.

• Limit each annotation to one paragraph. Each annotation should include the purpose of the study and the findings of each article.

• Write a 1-page introduction to introduce the topic and explain your interest in the topic.

• Comprise a 7- to 10-page literature review. Synthesize arguments and ideas of the scholars who contributed to your topic. [Synthesize sources]

• Write 3–4 pages of annotated bibliography.

Audio: Here is an example of what a final project prompt could look like at a graduate level: “For a final project select a topic of interest to you related to educational psychology.” You have that creative freedom it is not so much like tell me what you think about this one thing. It is find something that interests you and the notion of following your own interest in your own curiosity is really important and comes into play to a large extent when thinking about starting a research project.  “Research and critique 20-25 scholarly articles related to a selected topic.” Again this is more than one article. You are bringing a number of different articles and viewpoints of scholars into conversation with one another.  “Select 10-12 articles most relevant to your topic”. So you are vetting sources, looking for the ones that are most relevant to your research project. “Create an annotated bibliography” so we go on here and towards the end the important part that I think is important is this kind of the meat of the assignment. “Comprise a 7-10 page literature review. Synthesize arguments and ideas of the scholars to contribute to that topic. Write a 3-4 page annotated bibliography.” So again we are taking these views of other scholars bring them together putting them in conversation with one another. We are synthesizing their arguments and commenting on how these arguments agree and disagree. How they may be building off of each other. How one may be contradictory to another or take a different angle of this topic idea.  Again the notion I'm trying to get at here with these assignment prompts is that oftentimes in undergraduate writing you are summarizing and looking to observe and comment on a piece. In graduate writing is really asking you to take this piece, contextualize it in the larger conversation going on around this topic idea and apply this knowledge that you have researched that you have gained to make a point of your own. Is more about application than it is about demonstrating your understanding is really bullet point that I would like to drive home here.  Choosing a topic, doing your own research as I mentioned and synthesizing sources. These are some of the foundational elements of graduate writing. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Graduate Writing

Chat Box: What do you anticipate to be the biggest challenges in graduate-level writing?

Audio: Let's participate in a little chat here. What I'm looking for you to put in the chat box is what do you anticipate to be the biggest challenge in graduate-level writing? I know from the chat box the beginning of the presentation that some of you have some experience with graduate-level writing. What have you experienced as the biggest challenge? Let's take a minute or two here and anticipate or imagine some of the challenges in graduate writing and how that might be different from undergraduate writing. I'm going on mute for a minute or two and give you a chance to participate here. 

[Pause for students typing in chat box]

I'm seeing some awesome responses coming into the chat box. A little bit of venting here perhaps. If you want to participate in this chat I'm going to give you another minute to do so. I see that multiple attendees are typing at the moment but then I'm going to comment on some of the trends I am seeing here. Take another minute if you want to participate in this chat. Go for it.  Thank you for participating I saw a lot of great responses there. A lot of venting which I think is helpful just generally.  A couple trends I am seeing here. First I saw a lot of students mentioning selecting a topic. One student even said feeling paralyzed by the notion of selecting a topic. This is something I can absolutely sympathize with having been in that session myself.  I guess with that I would encourage you to really follow your own curiosity and allow yourself to be taken down some of these topic veins were you can find something that is narrowed enough and is specific enough I guess that would be the same thing, to really fit the requirements of the assignments that you are doing. So follow your own curiosity there. On a more positive note that is one of the real benefits of being a scholar and joining the scholarly community is that it is really up to you what you write on and that can be a little bit freeing in addition to being daunting and paralyzing.  What I'm saying is try to find the balance there.

And the other main theme I saw was the notion of research and there is so much research out there. How can I read all the available research on a topic area? One thing I would say in response to that is having a really narrow topic being appropriate for the scope of your project is really helpful there and knowing that you don't need to read every single thing that's ever been written on a broad topic area. That really need to focus in on a specific conversation is going on within that topic area. That would be one thing I would have to say in response to that.  The other thing I would say to that research anxiety theme that I'm seeing here in the chat box is that you should definitely use your librarians at whatever University go to. I know there are students in here from outside of Walden University. Your research librarians are professional researchers. They give aid to find really good sources for you and to help students as they dive into some of these larger research projects. So definitely take advantage of them. That was one thing in my Masters program that I wish I had done more of because it would've made things easier on me. So I would put a plug in there for librarians everywhere. 

The third theme I'm seeing is about the mechanics of writing using APA, scholarly tone using grammar correctly. To dovetail off this notion that I've not been in school a while so this is something I feel rusty at or have not had as much practice with in the last however many years as I would like.  I would again say this is something that takes practice and that you can really improve with more practice with more reading of scholarly articles with more application of writing elements such as sentence construction, APA citation. These are things that you're going to develop a comfort with over time. So if you are not there at that is totally fine but just know that you are going to become more comfortable using this and with practice you will get better at it.  I'm not trying to minimize any of your anxieties. They are legitimate and I have felt all of those anxieties in my own work. But the show does go on I guess what I'm saying and you will get better at these things. A little encouragement there towards the end.  I'm going to move on.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Transitioning into Graduate Level Writing

Image of progression through Argument and Analysis, Paraphrasing, Scholarly Voice, APA Style

Audio: Transitioning then from graduate-level writing excuse me from undergraduate writing into graduate-level writing. We can take a look at some of these foundational elements of graduate-level writing that make them different. Things like developing an argument and including this analytical piece. Paraphrasing and how that becomes a really favorite method of source usage over something like quotation. If something like scholarly voice that is a little bit of an aloof topic but there are some concrete aspects of scholarly voice that we can really lay a hand on  --  that you can specifically focus on as you work to become a better writer. I'm going to talk about those also. And lastly what seems like everyone's favorite topic: APA style. And using that notation of the social sciences, bringing that uniformity to your piece so you are essentially speaking in the language of your scholarly communities. We are going to look at these foundational elements and pick them apart individually as we go on. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Argument & Analysis

[Image of two women looking at a laptop together.]

Don’t just report what you learned—take part in the conversation!

Audio: Argument and analysis. Don't just report what you learned. Take part in the conversation. Join that conversation.  Yeah the level that you are at is not enough to just say this is what I found in my research. You are going to be as you go on in your program more and more encouraged to join those conversations. To add your own voice and opinion. When I was a graduate student and I heard that that sounded really daunting because I would say to myself things like well who am I to try to join this conversation with the scholars who have been in the field many years and are really well read and articulate their writing? But the fact of it is that your viewpoint is valid and you may have something that people who are writing in this topic area don't have. You may have a fresh perspective on some of these ideas. You bring your own context to your writing in that way and so again I always found that is almost freeing that being yourself and having your own voice can allow you to add to these conversations and add to the wealth of knowledge around a topic. So again starting with an anxiety and trying to turn into something more positive, own that ability to take part in these conversations and trust in your own view and your own experiences and your own context to help you as you develop your own scholarly voice and your own opinions, your own approaches to these topics.  I hope that was clear. That was a little rambling so I apologize but essentially you need to take part in the conversation and I'm always found that empowering that you are invited to do that.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Thesis Statement

Argument & Analysis:

  • Specific and arguable
  • Comes at the end of introduction

Not so great: This paper is about classroom management

Better: Classroom management is an important part of teaching.

Best: All teachers should develop the classroom management skills of authority, individualization, and time management, which are necessary to run effective classrooms.

Audio: Part of making an argument is crafting a thesis statement, right? This is something that is a draw over or holdover from undergraduate writing so if you've had some experience with us before that is awesome, that will only serve to help you. If you've not that's fine we are going to talk about it right here and there is a number of great resources in the Walden writing center as you learn to craft a more effective thesis statement.  A thesis statement is a brief articulation of what your piece is arguing. You are telling the reader the main argument of the piece. Needs to be specific so don't want this to be too broad you want it to speak directly to the point you are making in your piece and it needs to be arguable. somebody needs to be able to argue against you. So in that way you need to avoid crafting a thesis statement that is simply informs the reader. At the graduate-level you really need to be making an argument in your writing.  Generally this comes at the end of an introduction paragraph. At the end of an introduction section with an academic writing. That is where the reader expects to find this.

Let's take a couple looks at some thesis statements here.  Our first example is an example of a not so great thesis statement. This paper is about classroom management. As I take a look at this from a composition writing standpoint the first thing I notice is it is extremely broad. Right? For those of you who have delved into research at all, you will know that typing classroom management into a research search bar is going to return thousands of different articles. So it's very very broad picture you need to first narrow that topic a bit to make it more manageable for you to even approach.

Secondly as I look at this this thesis statement does not make an argument. This is an informative statement. He cannot really argue against “This is about classroom management.” So this is an example of an informative thesis that really is not putting an argument forth for the reader.  Here's a better one: “Classroom management is an important part of teaching.” So again we have this kind of broad notion of classroom management as a composition person I would say that this is really needs to be narrowed still.  But it is making an argument here it is saying that this is important. Is an important part of teaching so someone on the other side could say hey no classroom management is not an important part of teaching. This is a weak argument though because there is been a lot of research published that says that classroom management has some effect and is an important element of teaching in a classroom.  So again this is a little bit better but we are not only way there yet.  Of these three here's the best one and this is what a thesis statement could look like: “All teachers should develop a classroom management skills of authority, individualization, and time management which are necessary to run effective classrooms.” Yeah. So first of all this is specific enough we are talking about specific ideas of authority, of individualization and of time management. These are being elements of classroom management but we are being more specific than we were in our previous two examples. Are not focusing on classroom management as this broad umbrella kind of idea. We are focusing on these three aspects of classroom management. And the argument here being that these are necessary to run an effective classroom.  Someone could argue that there are three other elements necessary to run an effective classroom and on the top of my head and not going to try to make up what those could be but the notion here is that somewhat disagree with you. This is an arguable thesis. Someone could say that there are other more important element than authority, individualization and time management that are more important to have in order to run an effective classroom so again the notion of trying to get across here is that a thesis statement needs to be specific in that it is telling the reader specifically what you are getting at and it has to be arguable, someone has to be able to disagree with you.  To move to the analysis portion of this bullet point you need to use evidence in graduate-level writing.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Evidence

• Supports your central argument throughout your paper

• Demonstrates your credibility

• Each sentence that uses information from a source must include a citation.

• Use credible sources

According to Wilson (2011), 68% of Dallas high school juniors reported chronic boredom in math class.

Audio: Evidence supports your central argument throughout the paper so every piece of evidence you use needs to in some way support that thesis statement and in some way be providing some sort of support for the ark but that you are making.  Doing this including evidence demonstrates your credibility. Absolutely. It shows that you are well researched on this topic and that the argument that you are making makes the most logical sense based on the research that you have read. It shows that you are well read on the topic essentially so in that way it builds your credibility as an author. It makes the reader more likely to believe what they are reading from you. Each sentence that uses information from a source must include a citation. Yeah this is something, there are a few exceptions to this but essentially you need to give credit to the sources you are drawn from. When using someone's idea you need to give them credit for that. In scholarly communities in the world of academe, the ideas that you have are really kind of your it is like you are thing. It's something that lends credibility to you. Is the kind of thing that gets you research grants and promotions. So you need to give credit to the people whose ideas you are drawn from. 

Here's an example of what evidence could look like in academic graduate-level writing: “According to Wilson, citation there, 68% of Dallas high school juniors reported chronic boredom in math classes.” So again using evidence is really important and there are a number of webinars and resources through the Walden library that talk about how to use evidence and the important of evidence. I'm touching on that here today the notion being that graduate level writing uses evidence to support the points being made. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Analysis

Argument & Analysis:

• Your own interpretation of other authors’ ideas

• Act as translator for the reader

• Explain what information means or why it matters

According to Wilson (2011), 68% of Dallas high school juniors reported chronic boredom in math class, suggesting a need to reconsider the math curriculum and invest in teacher training in this district.

Audio: Analysis then is your own interpretation of the authors ideas you are acting as a translator for the reader. Presenting source material as evidence is really good but really is a graduate level writer you need to connect that source material to the main idea of the paragraph which then supports the main argument that you are making.  To do this you use analysis. This tells the reader how those pieces fit together. Put differently it tells the reader why that information matters are why the information is important to consider. In the conversation that you are creating and in the piece that you are writing.

Here’s what analysis can look like. “According to Wilson 2011 68% of Dallas icicle juniors reported chronic boredom in math classes suggesting a need to reconsider the math curriculum and invest in teacher training in this district.” We have source material at the beginning of the sentence is that Wilson paraphrase and saw in our previous slide but just presenting ideas not enough. You need to tell the reader what you in for them to take from that piece of source material. What is the important part of that? What does that demonstrate that is important to building my own argument would be the question that analysis than answers. And in this case this data suggest that we have got to rethink this curriculum because of this chronic boredom issue. [LAUGHING]  You get what I'm saying here. Analysis shows the reader why that source material is important and it connects the dots for the reader so they do not have to guess as to why you included that source material. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: MEAL Plan

• M: Main idea

• E: Evidence

• A: Analysis

• L: Lead-out or concluding sentence

Supervision is one practice in transactional leadership theory that aids with employee retention. Through supervision managers can reward employees for good work, which Duffy (2011) suggested “increases employee retention rates” (p. 48). Improved retention not only contributes to an efficient workplace, but it can promote workplace stability and is a useful strategy in any workplace. Because of its ability to improve both workplace stability and its affect on employee retention, any manager that ascribes to the transactional leadership theory should use supervision.

Audio: One thing that we think of when we think of organizing an academic paragraph this being a body paragraph, one format that we use in the Walden writing center is the meal plan which is an effective format in that it includes the elements that are necessary for an effective academic paper. We are individuals we say things differently so our paragraphs will look different. We bring ideas together different ways but what is really useful to me about the MEAL plan is it has the elements that are necessary in an effective body paragraph. So these elements being one a main idea and this is shown to the reader in a topic sentence.  Think of a topic sentence as being like a thesis statement for a body paragraph. You are telling the reader what the paragraph is about right away so they can see how that idea is then elaborated upon and supported. Had you supported me? I using evidence which is another element that is really necessary and important to include in an academic paragraph.  Evidence being source material some sort of evidentiary support that shows why you are arguing this point. Analysis then connects these two and tells you again why that source material is important and how that fits into this main idea of the paragraph that you are crafting. And lastly you offer some concluding thoughts a concluding sentence or two leading them out. 

Here's what this could look like in a really simple MEAL plan paragraph. “Supervision is one practice in transactional leadership theory that aids with employee retention.”  This paragraph is talking specifically about supervision on a broader notion of this piece that we are using the example from here. The piece is about transactional leadership so in this way this specific paragraph connects back to thesis statements. This is just one practice in transactional leadership that is important.  We have our topic sentence there.

“Through supervision, managers to reward employees for good work which Duffy, 2011, suggests ‘increases employee retention rates’.” We have a paraphrase and a quotation and the analysis piece then, “improved retention not only contribute to the to an efficient workplace but can promote workplace stability and is a useful strategy in any workplace.” This connects the dots for the reader it is translating that piece of source material. Is telling the reader why that piece of source material is in port to consider peer-to-peer.

Lastly we have our lead out: “Because of its ability to improve both workplace stability and its effect on employee retention, any manager that ascribes to the transactional leadership theory should use supervision.”  Again this is a simplistic example of how the meal plan can be carried out or apply to a body paragraph but it has the necessary elements in an effective body paragraph and that's really what I think is useful about the MEAL plan it tells you what you need to include in order to really complete to craft a complete academic paragraph. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Paraphrasing

[Text overlaid on image of man at laptop with pen and notebook]

Explaining ideas, information, or facts you read in a source using your own voice, including sentence structure, phrasing, and vocabulary

Audio: Paraphrasing, yet paraphrasing put simply taking the ideas of another person and putting them into your own words. Put here including your own sentence structure, phrasing and vocabulary. So it's not enough to just substitute a word like big from your source passage with a word like large in your own writing. You need to actually change the structure of the sentence, change the phrasing and change the vocabulary there. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Process

Paraphrasing

  1. Ensure you understand the idea, fact, statistic
  2. Go to a blank screen/page
  3. Imagine you were explaining it to a colleague
  4. Revise paraphrase and check against original
  5. Cite and use!

Audio: Some steps in effective paraphrasing, it is really the favored method of showing the reader source material. It is the favored method of displaying the ideas that you are drawing upon is evidentiary support. So some steps creating an effective paraphrase. One, read the passage and ensure that you fully understand that idea, fact or statistic. An important aspect of paraphrase is that you are keeping the idea in its original context and you are accurately representing the idea of the author. You don't want to take a bit of source material and make it say what you needed to say. To be casual but it. It needs to be fair and accurate to what was actually to the authors actual point.  Two go to a blank page a blank screen and then three imagine you are explaining this piece of source material this passage that you just read to a colleague. I would you put that? Then you can revise this and check it against the original and lastly you need to cite this. Again it's pretty easy to know that when I'm drawing and taking the words from an author that I need to give them credit for those words but at a graduate level you also need to give credit to the author for their ideas. So even though you put it in your own words using your own sentence structure, your own phrasing etc., you need to give the author whose idea that is credit for that idea.  Again this is an effective, a few effective steps that we think about to help you craft a paraphrase that really works and it is a way to double check that, too.
 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Examples

Paraphrasing

Chat Box: Compare the original quote with the sample paraphrase. What are the paraphrase’s strengths and weaknesses?

Original from Smith (2013)
“Students who have a tendency to apply source material without adapting a proper citation and abiding by APA format may be prosecuted for intentional imitation and may be required to modify their material.” 

Paraphrase
Students may be accused of plagiarism and must rewrite their papers if they use outside sources and don’t follow APA rules for citations (Smith, 2013).

Audio: Examples of paraphrase. Let's go ahead and go to our second chat here. We have our original passage here. Paraphrase passage here and then we have excuse me we have our original passage from our Smith 2013 source there. Below we have a paraphrase of that passage. I would like you to compare this original passage to the sample paraphrase and talk about what are the paraphrases strengths and what are some weaknesses of that paraphrase. Again compare the paraphrase example to the original passage and tell me what is doing well and what it could do better. I'm going on mute for a minute to let that happen.

[Pause for responses in chat box]
Thank you for putting some answers some responses in the chat box here. Some of you thought that one of the strengths of this was it use a citation. That is critical you need to give credit to these ideas to the author who presented these ideas. Some of you thought of the tone could've been more accurately reflected from the paraphrase from the original. I guess I would agree with that. I would also say that this is a pretty effective paraphrase in general. It gets the point across that the original source passage is making but as you pointed out the tone was a bit more heavy-handed I think than the original use of the word may versus use of the word must. There is a little bit of a change but in general the student was doing a pretty good job.

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions?

[Image of a street sign with the words:

Questions
Answers]

Audio: I'm going to move forward then.  Claire, do we have any questions from the chat box that would bear an answer at this point? 

Claire: No questions but go ahead and send them to me if you do have any and I will pass them on to Michael at the end of the presentation.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Scholarly Voice

[Image of a word cloud highlighting the following words: scholarly, using, writing, formal, words, language, phrases, tone, meaning, definition]

Audio: Michael: Awesome. So then let's transition and talk about scholarly voice this more amorphous idea that applies to scholarly writing because I say that because it is a bit more difficult to define but there are some really concrete aspects that contribute to scholarly voice.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Goal: Professional and Informed

Scholarly Voice

[Image of three boxes pointing to a circle. In the boxes are the words “Formality,” “Neutrality,” and “Clear, Direct Statements.” In the circle are the words “Scholarly Voice.”

Audio: Formality using formal language is one aspect that contributes to a scholarly voice or tone. You don't want to be too casual. This is not like explaining this to a friend. You are really entering an academic community where formal language is favored. You need to be neutral and this is something that some of you have talked about in our evaluation of that paraphrase. You need to maintain an unbiased tone. The reader senses if they sense you are biased or your neutrality is negatively impacted by some of the things you are saying, they are less likely to believe you to be an unbiased party. They are less likely to believe you so that is an important aspect. Clear, direct statements. That is another aspect of scholarly voice that bears mentioning here. Scholarly voice is direct it says specifically what the author intends it to. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Point of View

Scholarly Voice

Use the first person (I/me/my) as appropriate

This paper will discuss…→ In this paper, I will discuss…

The data will be collected.→ I will collect the data.

The scholar will argue… → I will argue…

Avoid opinion statements like I think/I feel/I believe

Not so great: I think childhood obesity is a major concern.

Better: Childhood obesity is a major concern.

Best: Childhood obesity is a major concern, as 17% of children in America are obese (CDC, 2012).

Audio: Point of view use of the first person in APA style is appropriate and here is some example of how that can be presented. “This paper will…” Instead of saying “this paper will discuss” you could say something like “In this paper, I will discuss” so that we are getting rid of anthropomorphism. You could say “I will collect the data.” You could say “I will argue” so these are appropriate uses of the first person point of view in scholarly writing but this is something that should not be overdone. You need to avoid statements of opinion things like “I think,” “I feel,” “I believe.” Because these are not really effective in scholarly writing. For a couple of reasons.  One, it is your writing, your name is on the piece so it's already implied that was put there is what you think or believe. Two by saying “I think” you are introducing a little bit of doubt into your own writing. It is less strong. It is like saying “it really looks like it is this way but it might not be” is kind of how that introduces doubt. Instead you should just be direct and here's an example of what I mean by that. Instead of saying “I think childhood obesity is a major concern,” be direct: “Childhood obesity is a major concern.” It's implied that you think that. But even better you could add evidence to that. “Childhood obesity is a major concern and 17% of children in America are obese.” You are supporting your point as well as directly stating it without the intrusion of the author and there.  Think specific this is another attribute of scholarly voice.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Specificity

Scholarly Voice

Avoid generalizations
Not so great: Children do not get enough exercise.

Better: Many children do not get enough exercise.

Best: According to the CDC (2012), in 2011, only 29% of high school students received the recommended amount of exercise, defined as at least one hour per day.

Audio: Part of being specific is avoiding generalizations and speaking in generalities. Here's an example of a generality: “Children do not get enough exercise.” Although this is directly stated which is good for our previous point this is a generalization because plainly put, some children do get enough exercise. So by saying this generally you are making a blanket statement that really is not applicable that really does not apply to every child. You could say something like “Many children do not get enough exercise” so it is better you are leaving room for some children that to get enough exercise but it really does not have the level of specificity needed for graduate-level writing.  Instead, tell the reader exactly how many children, use a statistic that supports this notion: “According to the CDC in 2012, in 2011 only 29% of high school students received the recommended amount of exercise defined as at least one hour per day.” Here we have a really specific statement telling the reader not only what percentage of high school students did not leave this regimented amount of exercise but it is telling them what that recommended amount of exercise is. So that portion of the statistic, it is not unknown to the reader. You are telling the reader specifically how much exercise a person needs in order to get the recommended amount, how much the recommended amount is, and what percentage of people in a certain population are not getting that so again you are getting more specific as these examples go on. And we most specific example tells the reader directly the numbers in play here.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Consider Your Audience

Scholarly Voice

[image of empty stadium seats]

Who is your audience?
Outside readers & scholars in your field.
Audio: As always another part of scholarly voices you got to consider your audience. When you are crafting a piece of poetry or explaining an idea to your friends, that is a different audience than a scholarly community. When you are writing any graduate-level you are writing for an audience, readers that are within that scholarly field. You are really writing to an audience of your peers.  That should craft be with you explain ideas and of the way that you, the tone that you use. As you do so. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: APA Style

[Image of APA publication manual, 7th edition]

Audio: Lastly let's move to APA style. Here's a picture of the APA seven publication manual. Yeah. [LAUGHING].

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: APA Style

What is it?

  • Style of citing sources and formatting writing
  • APA Manual (7th ed.)
  • Used by most social science fields, including most of Walden

Audio: APA style, what is it? It is a style of citing sources and formatting your writing. Some of you if you are working in the humanities you might used to MLA style I know I was in my undergraduate experience. Others might be used to something like Chicago style just depending on what field you been working within.  In the social sciences is this slide says, APA style is that preferred notation style so that is really what you need to become comfortable in working with.  In doing so in developing that comfort you are really using the language of the social sciences. And that is important because you want to be showing your work in the same way that the other scholars in the social sciences do is almost a credibility piece. You are showing the reader that I know how to speak any language of the social sciences so that makes the reader more apt again to read what you believe what you are talking about. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: APA Transition Reminder

• Walden University now uses APA 7 instead of APA 6

• Today’s presentation will reflect APA 7, including updated reference, citation, and annotated bibliography formatting

Writing Center Website: APA Resources

APA 7 transition update webpage

APA 6/7 comparison table

APA 7 Transition FAQ

APA Webinars (including a transition webinar)

Audio: There was recently a transition a new version of APA style. Walden University is now working within APA seven rather than APA six and there are some pretty significant changes there. I would put a plug for the APA seven edition by saying that a lot of the changes from 6 to 7 makes sense and go towards streamlining a lot of the aspects that in APA 6 were a little bit more, just more difficult there was more rules that were associated with presenting some sources and things like that.  Without getting into it too much I would just say that APA 7 makes more sense in some cases than APA 6. But I know this is a big transition for a lot of you and on this slide you can find a number of resources that can help you with this transition.  Updated webpage what that looks like, a comparison table, some frequently asked questions about APA 7. These can be helpful resources if this is something you are finding yourself -- also webinars are included in this transition and there were webinars specifically relating to the changes from 6 to 7 so this is something you find yourself causing some anxiety I would encourage you to take a look at some of these resources to smooth that transition. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: APA Style

What does it look like?

• Reference entries

• Fitz, J. (2014). Demographics of online students. Journal of Online Studies, 7(2), 14-34. https://doi.org/xx02482918

• Citations

• (Fitz, 2014) OR Fitz (2014)

Audio: What does it look like we really you had this general formatting of your documents but APA is really applicable when you use sources. Reference entries here's an example of a reference entry here and really what this is meant to show is the kind of information that you are going to be including in a reference entry. This one being for a journal article. Yet the author's last name, first initial there. Following that is the year of publication. After that you have the title of the specific piece. The journal title would be the next element and you see that is italicized. Issue volume number page range and then the last DOI number if there is one. This meant to be an exposure to what this looks like.  And there are a number of other resources that can be useful to you in dealing with different sources and think about what information will publication information needs to be included there.  Citations can look like this we have a couple of different kinds of citations in APA style. First our parenthetical citation within that parenthetical there. That is one option for citing. When using the name of the author in the text of the sentence you should then in that case use a narrative citation witches our second example here. And again that would be appropriate to use when you are using the name of the author in the text of the sentence so something like Fitz, 2014, argued. It would be a narrative citation. These are just examples.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: APA Style

APA Style introduction page

Walden Templates (#1 course paper)

Common Reference List Examples

APA Citations & Style webinars

APA modules

Audio: If you are delving deeper into this if this is something that as I get the sense is something that you would like to work on more or have more resources to draw upon, when you are working with APA style, here are some of those. APA style introduction page ghost more in depth with what I just said about APA style. So that is a good place to start a good jumping off point. If you are unfamiliar with APA style. Walden templates are templates that we offer to help students in formatting their entire document in APA style. It has a preset of formatting for students to then put their writing into. These can be really helpful also.  Common reference list examples is something that I use all the time. I think my colleagues the writing center would echo that this is a really good resource that offers reference examples for a number of different sources. Journal articles or books or webpages or course materials or legal materials, it really has a wide range of common sources and examples of how those would look in a reference list. That would be a page I would recommend bookmarking. APA citations and style webinars. As I mentioned at the beginning of this webinar there are webinars that we put on that deal specifically with APA style, APA citations and references. Goes to be a helpful follow-up to this webinar if that is something you think is applicable to you or something you would like to develop a little more familiarity with. Lastly, APA modules which is more of a test and then check your progress type resource that we offer if that is more your learning style you would like to be tested on some of these things that would be something that would be applicable to you as well.  All of this to say that Walden really offers a number of resources that can be helpful for you if this is something that you struggle with. So do take advantage of those. Absolutely. 

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Recap

  • Use scholarly arguments to join the conversation.
  • Keep your tone formal and neutral and your sentences simple.
  • Paraphrase mindfully and carefully.
  • Use APA style.

Learning the requirements of graduate-level writing is a process!

Audio: To recap then, use scholarly arguments to join a conversation this is what graduate-level writing is all about. Use your own voice. Take your own stance and really contribute to the conversation going on around a topic area. I know this can seem daunting but really it is an opportunity for you to express yourself which I find exciting and I hope if you don't that eventually someday you will.  Keep your tone formal and neutral and your sentences simple. This is a good idea because simple sentences are easier for readers to gain the meaning from.  Formality in your tone is important if you want to use formal language so you are taken seriously in these formal communities. This is something that is favored in academic writing. And neutral tone is important for your own credibility as an author. You don't want the reader to get the sense that you are arguing on one side over the other just because of some inlaid bias of your own. The stance that you take should be supported by strong evidence and my point is this, you want to give the author the impression that you have read enough research on both sides of an argument that the stance you are taking is the one that is most logical to you. Rather than cherry picking articles that support a bias point.  I hope that was clear.  Paraphrase mindfully and carefully. Be cognizant that you are representing the author's ideas accurately and fairly that you are keeping it in its original context. That is important. Lastly use APA style. This is the preferred notation style in the social sciences. Use that language of the social science when participating in conversations about the social sciences.

 

 

Visual: Slide changes to the following: Questions: Ask Now or Later

writingsupport@waldenu.edu •  Live Chat Hours

Learn More:

Building and Organizing Academic Arguments and Life Cycle of a Paper

Make a Paper Review Appointment!
Assist students in becoming better academic writers by providing online, asynchronous feedback by appointment.

Audio: So with that then I will ask again Claire were there any questions that you felt could use a little explanation to the whole group? 

Claire: I did not get any specific questions so I will go ahead and wrap us up here. If you do have additional questions and would like to reach out to us go ahead and let us know via writingsupport@waldenu.edu or visit our live chat hours. I do see a quick question about accessing the PowerPoint. You can download it from the files pot on the bottom right of your screen there you click on the slides and jewel have the download file option pop up for you. And the links are active in that PowerPoint so you should be able to go ahead and go through it. You can also access the PowerPoint if you watch this recording when it is posted later. You'll be able to go to the recording and download the PowerPoint from there. Again this was Writing at the Graduate Level. Thank you, Michael, for presenting today. If you do have questions go ahead and send them to us via that email. So I'm sure somebody has the time to answer you fully and thoroughly and if you would like to learn more, we have webinars multiple times throughout the month. You might enjoy building and organizing academic arguments and/or lifecycle of a paper especially if you're just starting out in your graduate-level program as those really go through some basics that Michael touched on today in more detail. You can also make a paper review appointment and have summary look over your work and give you feedback directly on any questions or topics they would like us to cover in your academic writing. Thank you again for coming in today. And have a wonderful rest of your day.