Writing at 3 rd Level

Advanced Academic
Writing & Information
Stage 1V BSc.
11th Sept. 2008
14.00 –15.50 hrs.
17th Sept. 2008
13.00 –13.50 hrs.
Felicity Johnson
FJ Sept. 2008
Content of Academic Writing Skills Presentation
Slide 3:
Rationale for writing & information skills
Slide 4-10:
Developing academic literacy
Slide 12-20:
Rules of academic writing
Slide 21-23:
Nursing Literature
Slide 24-33:
Slide 34-36:
Slide 37-54:
Structuring an academic essay
Slide 45: Title page
Slide 46: Introduction
Slide 49: Main text
Slide 51: Conclusion
Slide 52: References List.
Slide 55-57
Criteria for assessment
Slide 58-65
Writing at 3rd level
Slide 66-71
Theoretical marking grid
FJ Sept. 2008
Why academic writing & library skills?
• In today’s environment of rapidly
changing health care and information
technology, nurses require the key skills
of information literacy & writing skills,
to use and communicate information in
an appropriate and effective manner.
• Writing & information skills are an
immensely important & powerful tool
in the academic world.
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Developing academic literacy
• As a professional-crucial to write
• Developing an awareness of the
epistemology (theory of knowledge of
• Does not require unique talent/
outstanding ability.
• Everyone has basic skills necessary
to write well
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A pyramid of skills-Bloom’s Taxonomy(1956)
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The writing process
5 Ws & H to be considered:
Who? Who is this writing intended for?
What? What is the intent of the document?
When? How soon does it need to be submitted?
Why? For what reason is it being written?
Where? Where is the document going?
How? How will the document be distributed?
There are 5 steps in the writing process:
• Prewriting
• Drafting
• Revising
• Editing
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• Presenting
Writing styles
Writing clearly & persuasively
is a valuable skill
 Descriptive: Portrayal of the
main features: “Describe…………..”
 Analytical: Stating a point, providing
evidence, contrasting this with other evidence,
drawing logical conclusions. “Analyse and
 Anecdotal: Personal experience of
 Empirical/evidence-based: Scientifically
verified & published.FJ Sept. 2008
Writing at 3rd level
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that
graduate level writing means using complex
English & long words.
e.g.’‘It is intuitive, therefore, that the fundamental
dichotomy in theory and practice is inevitably
exacerbated and irrevocably confounded by the
underlying quixotic nature of nursing lecturers’.
All you are saying, obtusely, is:
‘‘it seems obvious that the theory practice gap is
always going to be made worse, and become utterly
confused, by nursing lecturers who don’t live in the
real nursing world’.
Clear, simple writing is best!
FJ Sept. 2008
Clarity of expression
• Good academic writing = clear English, correct
spelling, grammar & punctuation.
• Your writing style must not be colloquial.
E.g. ‘When we done the obs and lots of walking
with him, he was well chuffed’.
The use of English must be professional:
e.g. after performing routine observations for
blood pressure and pulse, (to check the
patient was not tachycardic or hypotensive),
we were able to help the patient to mobilise.
He was able to walk for a significant distance
and was extremely FJpleased
with his
Sept. 2008
• Must be logical - make sense.
• You will be judged on coherence - if it is intelligible
& ‘holds together’.
• Put information down logically, so that the sentences
connect together in a way that makes sense.
• You should spend time rearranging the main points
until they are in logical order.
• Writing a paper is not only a matter of gathering and
presenting information, it is an exercise in
comprehension and critical analysis.
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FJ Sept. 2008
Rules of academic writing
 An academic text not a narrative-it is an argument.
 Formal, logical, cautious & unemotional language.
 No slang, jargon, personal anecdotes, colloquisms,
exclamation marks & contractions (‘e.g. can’t’).
 Clear, succinct writing.
 Make your claims tentative rather than definite - it’s
unlikely that you’ve reached the only possible
Words which signal tentativeness include: may; might;
possibly; in some instances; often; in many cases
 A % of the overall mark will be awarded for clear,
accurate writing & referencing & the converse also
FJ Sept. 2008
Rules of academic writing
 Not 1st person (I and my).
 3rd person only–
‘this writer’ believes that’…
‘this student’s experience has been’…
It is believed…
Many researchers have noted…
Some writers have stated..
The research suggests…
The evidence indicates...
It will be argued that …
This essay will critically examine the process
leading to….
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Primary & Secondary Sources
• Where possible, use original/primary
sources – e.g. Benner (1984)
• When this is not possible & you are using a
secondary source, you should use the term
‘cited by’ in text followed by the reference
in which it is quoted
Fraser (1990), cited by Walsh (1998),
suggests that there is no empirical evidence
to support the ‘activities of living ‘model of
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Rules of academic writing
‘Times New Roman’ script, size 12 font.
 Double-spaced between lines.
 One side of page only & number pages.
 3 cm. margins at top, bottom, right & left of
Word Count: all words from beginning of
introduction to end of conclusion.
 Title Page, References List & Appendices not
included in word count.
 Penalties for under/exceeding word limit.
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 Assignments must be submitted on/
before stated date, unless a valid, written
explanation is given to relevant Module
 A late submission form must be completed
by the student.
 If a student is ill, a medical certificate
must be provided.
 Work submitted more than one week late
without a negotiated reason, will not
receive a mark greater than 50% & may
not be processed for the next Examination
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• If you omit any words from a quotation, use
three spaced dots ... to indicate the
• If you wish to point out an error in a
quotation, follow the error with (sic).
• Watch your apostrophes!
-e.g. The nurse’s role, nurses’ responsibilities.
• Similar sounding but different meaning:
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Rules of academic writing
Usually, your critique follows your summary
of the original. The reader can then appreciate your
views about the validity of other writers' ideas.
Being critical
• As an academic writer, you are expected to be
critical of the sources that you use.
• This essentially means questioning what you read and
not necessarily agreeing with it, just because it has
been published.
• Can require you to identify problems with a writer's
arguments/methods, or perhaps to refer to other
people's criticisms.
• Constructive criticism suggests ways in which a piece
of research/writing could be improved.
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Rules of academic writing
Use a dictionary/computer grammar &
Be cautious with your ‘spellchecker’!
I have a spelling checker,
it came with my PC,
it plainly marks four my revue,
mistakes I cannot sea,
I've run this poem threw it,
I'm sure your pleased to no,
its letter perfect in it's weigh,
my checker tolled me so!
FJ Sept. 2008
• Proof reading is essential before submitting
your assignment.
A fresh eye is good – friend/relative.
• Give yourself enough time to write your
assignments. Start as early as you can.
• . If you are aware that you have difficulties
in academic writing, because of
dyslexia/any other problem, please approach
our support services asap.
FJ Sept. 2008
Nursing Literature
Every assignment must be supported
by relevant literature (i.e. evidence based).
Preferably within the past decade (10
yrs.) unless a seminal work
100s of nursing journals available.
200+ on-line here in School.
- vast majority have a specialist focus.
- some aimed at local/national market,
others aimed at international market.
 Other sources of literature:
 Abstracts
 Books
 Case reports
 Theses/dissertations – MSc. MA, PhD.
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Nursing Literature
• Journal articles that undergo peer review/
‘referee’ process, in which experts
examine them for quality & validity - a
peer-reviewed journal.
Peer reviewed = academic rigour.
Examples of scholarly/peer reviewed:
• Journal of Advanced Nursing
• Journal of Nursing Scholarship
• Journal of Continuing Higher Education
Examples of non-peer reviewed sources:
Nursing Times
Nursing Standard
World of Irish Nursing
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Many websites
Literature-showing knowledge &
• Using database & literature searching skills to
identify appropriate literature.
• Able to identify & use a wide range of sources of
• Demonstrate that you have read widely & can
provide a good variety of references to support
points that you are trying to make.
• Able to show that you have a sound understanding
of the available literature on the subject, by using
references to support every piece of theory that
you present.
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Use of literature & referencing
Provide examples from the literature first
& reference these before making your own
comments/describing your own reflections.
e.g. – poor:
‘Communication in nursing is the most important
thing of all. When this student approaches the
patients on the ward, she is careful to make
sure that she establishes eye contact first and
holds their hand to show that she cares about
them. Non-verbal communication is just as
important as verbal communication’.
FJ Sept. 2008
Use of literature & referencing
‘Many authors, such as Burnard (2003) and Kemp & Smith
(2004), agree that communication is the most important
therapeutic skill in nursing. However, Brown (2005),
emphasizes that nurses must appreciate that non-verbal
communication, through eye contact and touch particularly, is
an essential pre-requisite to establishing a rapport and
trusting relationship with patients, before verbal
communication commences. In this student’s own
experience on her recent placement on a surgical ward, she
found that patients responded positively to her (when she
wanted to give them information about their operations), if
she established eye contact first and also reached out to
touch their arm or hold their hand’.
FJ Sept. 2008
Harvard System of Referencing:
Alphabetical order – by author’s
 Names & dates cited in the text &
then listed at the end.
 Year of publication in brackets after
the author’s name.
 Titles of books/journal names in
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Referencing within the Text
• Give the surname of the author, followed
by the year of publication e.g. - One
researcher, (Ensign 2006), found
• Two writers – Holloway & Jones (2005)
believe that….
• Three or more writers - give the surname
of the first author followed by et al. e.g.
Campbell et al. (2001). All the authors’
names must be given in the reference list.
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Referencing a journal article in the
References List
Must include:
• Author(s) surname, followed by initials.
• Year of publication, in brackets.
• Title of the article.
• Title of the journal, in capitals and in italics.
• Volume or series number. Edition number only if each issue is numbered separately.
• The number of the first and last pages of the
Ensign J. (2006) Perspectives and experiences of
homeless young people. Journal of Advanced
Nursing, 54, (6) 647-652
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Referencing a book in the References List
Include the following:
• Author(s)’ surname, followed by initials. Year
of publication in brackets.
• Full title of the book, capitalised, in italics.
• Edition of work, if more than one edition.
Volume number, if more than one volume.
• Name of publisher.
• Town/city of publication.
e.g.: Burns T. & Sinfield S. (2008) Essential
Study Skills: The Complete Guide to Success
at University. Sage: London
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Quoting in text
 Froman (2008) believes that nursing is a theorydriven, scientifically based profession, that is
actualised through clinical practice (paraphrasing)
 Page number & double quotation marks when
directly quoting e.g. Wynd (2003:251) stated
that “today’s profession of nursing is evolving as a
valuable public service” (verbatim).
 Quotations of 2/more lines must be indented &
The more skilled the nurse becomes in perceiving and
empathising with the lives of others, the more knowledge or
understanding will be gained of alternative modes of
perceived reality.
(Carper 1992: 219). 30
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Use of literature-showing knowledge &
• Direct quotes should be used sparingly, as
they involve little mental processing.
According to Johnson (1990), nursing is:
…an external regulatory force that acts to
preserve the organisation and integration of the
patient’s behaviour at the highest possible level under
those conditions in which the behaviour constitutes a
threat to physical or social health or in which illness is
(Johnson 1990:29)
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Use of literature-showing knowledge &
understanding (cont.)
• A better approach – paraphrasing involves more interpretation.
Choose a linking word between the author
you are citing & a summary of what was said:
e.g. ‘Jones (2004) defines/explains/
• Simply a statement –’states’, a
suggestion- ‘suggests’, personal belief’believes’, an argument- ‘maintains’ or ‘argues’.
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References List
Burns T. & Sinfield S. (2008) Essential Study Skills: The Complete
Guide to Success at University. Sage: London.
Bysshe J. (2006) Guidelines on Academic Writing for Thames
Valley University, TVU Press.
Campbell T., Draper S., Reid J. & Robinson L. (2001) The
management of constipation in people with advanced cancer.
International Journal of Palliative Nursing 79, (3), 110-119.
Ensign J. (2006) Perspectives and experiences of homeless
young people. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 54, (6) 647652
Holloway S. & Jones V. (2005) The importance of skin care
and assessment. British Journal of Nursing 14, (22) 1172
Johnson A. (2003). Essence of caring for a person dying.
Nursing and Health Sciences,
FJ Sept.5,
 ‘Literary theft’ & unacceptable.
Plagiarism is the use of
pieces of text,
pictures, tables, graphs/other work,
without referring to original writer.
 Contravenes UCD’s examination regulations
& regarded as very serious offence.
 Every piece of course work submitted
requires a signed form to confirm that the
work is your own. FJ Sept. 2008
Academic Integrity & Intellectual Property
• Academic integrity is respect for the intellectual
community in which you are participating as a student
& the standards governing it.
• This means that you are accountable for the honesty
and the quality of the work that you submit.
• The rights of intellectual property must be respected
by properly acknowledging the original author’s
ownership of any words, phrases & ideas that are
used in academic writing.
• Plagiarism in writing is the incorrect use of source
material. Whether intentional or not, failing to give
credit for words, ideas or concepts that you get from
any source, including your own previously submitted
work, is plagiarism. FJ Sept. 2008
As a student, it is your responsibility to know and
understand the University’s policies on academic fraud.
The rules apply whether the offence is intentional/not.
Plagiarism comes in many forms:
• Using an author’s words/ideas without proper
• Failing to put quotation marks around words taken
from a source.
• Falsifying/inventing information or data
• “Cutting and pasting” from the Internet
Avoiding plagiarism requires 2 skills:
1) using source material correctly,
2) referencing that material.
• Any information that you take from another source
must be properly referenced, whether it is from a
book, a journal or fromFJ class
notes or lectures.
Sept. 2008
FJ Sept. 2008
Suggested approach
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Words used in assignment titles
• Discuss = Investigate/examine by argument; sift &
debate; give reasons for & against.
• Analyse = distinguish/examine closely the elements of
this issue.
• Criticise = Give your judgement about the merit of
theories/opinions & back up your judgement by a
discussion of the evidence/reasoning involved.
• Critically evaluate = A thoughtful, thorough and
balanced appraisal, assessing both strengths &
• Assess = Estimate the value & importance of this issue.
• Define = Set down the precise meaning of this issue.
• Identify = Establish clearly the nature of; list, with
FJ Sept. 2008account for, give
• Explain = Make plain, interpret,
reasons for.
'Examine ...'
Need to unravel the events that led to a particular set of
circumstances or the validity of the reasoning that underlies a
particular point of view. Stress the relative importance of the
different arguments & relevance to issue under consideration.
• 'Outline ...'
Only a brief description is required. Usually there are follow up
parts to this question.
• 'To what extent ...'
This implies there is no definite answer to the question posed.
Present both sides of the argument and exercise judgement by
stressing the strength of some arguments over others.
• 'Describe ...'
Usually more than a mere description is expected, instead, a
critical review of some particular set of circumstances or events
is usually expected.
• 'Distinguish ...'
Need to show that they understand the differences between
two concepts. Similarities FJ
& differences
need to be discussed.
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How to write an essay
Identify what the essay question/ title is asking you to
write about; check with your module leader that you really
understand the question.
Divide the task into sub-tasks e.g. library search,
planning, making notes, and draw up a timescale for
completing these tasks.
Brainstorm ideas & make an initial plan for your essay.
Search for & select appropriate information; read & make
Make first draft of essay. Remember to include an
introduction, a well sequenced middle and a conclusion.
Remember your tutor has to be able to follow your
argument, so put it in a logical order.
Read your essay; alter parts you are not happy with; check
spelling and grammar; check References List.
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Write final version, proof
read. Submit on time.
• Sentences should be short, one idea
per sentence.
• One main theme per paragraph.
• Section headings are a good idea.
• Linking carries the meaning forward
from one paragraph to another:
However………On the other hand………
Have a copy of the Student
Guidelines for reference
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The paragraph consists of sentences that
develop/explain the main idea.
Through the centuries,
rats have survived
all mankind’s efforts to
destroy them. People have
poisoned them and trapped
them. They have fumigated,
flooded, and burned them.
They have tried germ warfare.
Some rats even survived
atomic bomb tests
conducted in the Pacific
after World War II.
In spite of all these efforts,
these enemies of mankind
continue to prove that they
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are the most indestructible of
Assessment Submission Forms
(Undergraduate) & Grade
Example of these forms
(on doc. camera)
FJ Sept. 2008
• An Assignment Form must be completed & signed
(from School Office, 1st Floor).
• Students must keep a copy of all their work.
• Must have a title page & be
• Top right corner: Student’ name, Course title.
• Top left corner: Name of Module Leader
• Centre: Title of assignment,date due, date submitted.
• Bottom left-hand corner: Word limit for assignment, Actual
word count
FJ Sept. 2008
Module Leader: Ms. F. Johnson
Module: Nursing 111
Student: Molly Lynch
Student no. 1234567
BSc. Stage I11 (General)
Assignment Title:
Date for submission:
Date submitted:
Word limit: 2,000
Actual word count: 2,0023
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Structure of an essay:
 Introduction
 Main text/body.
 Conclusion
 References
• Bibliography (optional)
• Appendix/Appendices(optional)
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• Explain topic of interest.
• Set out clearly what question (s) you aim to answer.
• Explain structure of paper – answering the questions.
e.g. To function effectively in today’s society, people must
communicate with one another. Yet, for some individuals,
communication experiences are so unrewarding that they either
consciously, or unconsciously, avoid situations where communication
is required. The term ‘communication apprehension’ (CA) was
defined as “an individual’s level of fear or anxiety associated with
either real or anticipated communication with another person or
persons” (McCroskey 1984: 68). In the last two decades,
communication apprehension and related constructs, such as
reticence and unwillingness to communicate, have received
extensive research and theoretical attention by scholars in
communication and psychology. Overwhelmingly, the underlying
theme has been the negative effects that these constructs can
have on academic and social success. The focus of this paper is on
communication apprehension as a construct and on how it affects
the behaviour and lifestyle ofFJan
• Your aim should be stated in the first sentence &
you should clearly identify what you are trying to
achieve in your essay:
e.g. The overall aim of this essay is to discuss the
implications of using Orem’s Model to deliver nursing
care for a patient suffering from a stroke.
• You then need to clearly state how you intend to
achieve this aim, by stating your objectives:
e.g. This will be achieved by using the Orem Model as
a framework to identify the biopsychosocial needs of
an 89 year old patient recovering from a left sided
• You should then identify the key issues that you
intend to address within your essay: e.g.
The key issues that will be
FJ Sept. 2008
Organisation & coherence
• Identify the key issues that you will be
discussing in the essay
• Provide definitions for the key terms that
you introduce, (e.g. the nursing process,
accountability etc.)
• Focus immediately on the exact
requirements of the essay. No waffle!
There is key knowledge, understanding &
insight which are essential in ensuring
safe & best practice. Nursing
assignments have to be focused on
these key issues,FJ because,
Sept. 2008
patients’ lives may be at risk if you lack
Main body
• Divided into paragraphs, looking at specific
aspects of problem (issue).
• The reader should be able to understand the
relevance of each paragraph & how they
relate to each other.
• End a paragraph with a mini conclusion and a
link to the next paragraph.
• Avoid paragraphs that are too short/ong –
min. of 4 sentences per paragraph.
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• Must follow assessment guidelines - certain
key characteristics, e.g. if the essay requires
you to write on professional, legal & ethical
issues and you choose only to concentrate on
professional & ethical, then you miss key
content and & lose marks.
• Also an essential requirement is to apply
theory to practice - integration
You need to demonstrate that, not only do you
understand the theory, but you understand
the extra implications /difficulties of
implementing this in practice. (e.g., knowing
about the dangers of smoking is a different
issue to actually empowering a patient to give
Sept. 2008
up smoking for the FJgood
of their health).
This should:
• Be a summary of your main results
are the most important points.
- what you believe
• Do not simply write what you have done
• Explain the significance of your conclusions & provide
suggestions for future research.
• Leave the reader with a sense that the purpose of
• the paper as set out in the introduction has been
• e.g. ‘In conclusion, this essay examined the needs of a patient
with congestive cardiac failure and discussed the Activities of
Daily Living Model. The patient had many needs and the model
identified, concisely, what these needs were. This study,
therefore, has highlighted the importance of using an
appropriate nursing model to ensure that the holistic needs of
patients are addressed, resulting in optimum nursing care and a
FJ Sept. 2008
good experience for both the
patient and the nurse’.
‘The conclusion that can be drawn from the research
that has been conducted so far, is that communication is
an ongoing process that involves constant changes within
the people involved and their environment. When
communicating with others, individuals are influenced
and affected by many variables and CA may be the
result of any number of different causes. The degree
of CA that an individual experiences can vary depending
on their personality and the context of situation.
Nonetheless, the notion that high levels of CA
negatively affects an individual’s success both
academically and socially appears to be supported by the
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Assessment criteria
Relevance of material to question set.
Evidence of understanding.
Structure and organisation.
Evidence & relevance of background
5. Adequately and correctly referenced .
6. Presentation – spelling & grammar
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Assessment Criteria
Certain minimal requirements for a pass.
• 1. Have a good standard of written English correct spelling, grammar & punctuation.
• 11. Demonstrate evidence of structure (i.e.
introduction, main text and conclusion).
• 111. Be relevant to the theme.
• 1V. Show evidence that appropriate material
was read.
• V. Be written in student’s own words, with
quotations acknowledged.
• V1. Correct use of Harvard
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Assessment Criteria–5 Points
• Analysis: Engagement with question. Focus on relevant
points. Use of evidence. Identification of strengths &
weaknesses, different viewpoints & research findings.
Threads drawn together in conclusion.
• Content: Enough facts to support analysis. Use of
relevant material. Awareness of different schools-ofthought. Use of relevant & up-to-date literature.
Avoidance of broad, sweeping statements.
• Planning: Clear structure. Introduction which shows
why topic is important & the key points to be discussed.
Sections introduced. Logical sequencing of points.
Relevant links made between points. Use of signposts.
Drawing threads together in conclusion.
• Referencing: Suitable material to substantiate ideas &
evidence provided. Clear indication of sources.
Comprehensive reference list.
• Literary Style: Objective & accurate writing style.
Written in own words (except when directly quoting).
Grammatical construction of sentences, consistency of
tenses, correct spelling, punctuation, use of paragraphs
etc. Avoidance of clichés,
slang & jargon. 57
FJ Sept.
To recap: Key components of 3rd level
Organisation & coherence.
Level of analysis & synthesis.
Use of literature & quality of
• Clarity of expression.
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Writing at 3rd Level
• The rules are clear & support is
• Meet the learning outcomes:
- in terms of knowledge, insight &
understanding, by the module’ end.
The content of essays/assignments
must meet these outcomes.
• Make sure you understand the
theoretical marking grid
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Analysis & Synthesis
• Synthesis
- able to develop your ideas
from the information you have found (just
like photosynthesis is the development of
energy from light).
• Sometimes, you may be asked in your
assignment to use reflection in this
process. - you can use personal experiences
to help to demonstrate how the theory is
applied in reality. (e.g. describing how an
individual patient reacted when you first
approached him about the need to stop
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Writing at graduate level (cont.)
• Individual issues are explored in depth. (It is essential,
therefore, to focus on a few key issues, so that they can be
explored in sufficient depth within the word allowance).
• The student should constantly be trying to find answers in the
literature, particularly finding different definitions and
interpretations of key issues.
• Once the literature is presented, the student puts is/her own
‘spin’ (interpretation) on it.
• Personal thoughts and reflections are always followed up by
attempts to find supporting evidence (substantiation) in the
• The complexity of the issue is recognised. Things are not
presented, simplistically, as ‘black and white’. Instead, shades
of grey are acknowledged.
• The student’s ‘voice’ is heard throughout, trying to make sense
FJ Sept.
of what he/she has read and
it with what he/she has61
Writing at graduate level (cont.)
‘Jones (2005) recently traced the theory practice gap in nursing.
He argues that authors such as Brown (2001) and Raymond (1998),
had identified the difficulty between the understanding of nursing
theory and its actual implementation in clinical areas, as being a
divide which had existed from the time of Nightingale’s early
interventions in the 1800’s.
It seems, therefore, that this is a true dichotomy, a
division between what is intended in theory and what actually
occurs in practice. Fletcher (2004) argues that a possible source of
this dichotomy may be nursing lecturers who retreat into academic
environments and lose contact with the real world of the clinical
environment. Hamilton (2001: 200) accused these lecturers of
being “quixotic”, meaning that they were tilting uselessly at
windmills, like the confused hero of the story ‘Don Quixote’. This
seems to suggest that these lecturers are actually confusing an
already difficult situation by being unrealistic in their expectations
and the focus of their attacks on the health system. Indeed,
Worthing (2005) argues that a lecturer who does not also actively
practice the nursing profession, can make no useful contribution to
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the reduction of the theory practice gap’.
Writing at graduate level (cont.)
• Now, that is graduate level writing!
It has all the essential elements:
• Careful explanation, showing understanding
of the complex terminology used.
• Extensive use of literature to support the
ideas being presented.
• A linking, ‘conversational’ style, which shows
the student’s own interpretation of what
she/he has read and how it informs the
argument being presented.
FJ Sept. 2008
Analysis & Synthesis-grad. level
• Bringing together theory & practice - integration.
• Commenting on the relevance of the theory.
Making links with other literature you have read,
looking for confirmation in other references, or
perhaps finding out where different authors disagree
with one another.
• In this process of integration, you are choosing where
you believe the pieces of your academic jigsaw puzzle
fit together.
In doing so, you are
growing your own version of the facts – synthesis the picture/argument you are making with your
interpretation of the facts.
• The next stage is to evaluate what you have found
and make a decision as to what is important.
• This evaluation is an important part of the
conclusion, where you summarise your interpretation
of the facts, in your own words and then decide the
best way forward, by highlighting
key implications for64
FJ Sept. 2008
practice or making recommendations..
Analysis & Synthesis
• Analysis - ability to recognize strengths &
weaknesses in the information - e.g.
‘diuretics are useful drugs in the treatment of
cardiac failure, because they reduce the
circulating blood volume and, therefore,
strain on the heart, enabling it to operate at a
lower pressure.This is the great strength of
these drugs in treating heart disease. Their
weakness, however, is that they cause the
‘flushing out’ of the body of vital electrolytes,
such as potassium which are needed for the
efficient contraction of the heart muscle.
In nursing, it is possible to find strengths and
weaknesses in all our nursing care and in the
related psychology, sociology and physiology
that supports it’.
FJ Sept. 2008
Theoretical Marking Grid
Knowledge, understanding,,application
A deep and systematic engagement
with the assessment task, with
consistently impressive demonstration
of a comprehensive mastery of the
subject matter, reflecting:
• A deep and broad knowledge &
critical insight as well as extensive
• Evidence of extensive
reading which demonstrates a critical &
comprehensive appreciation of the
relevant literature or theoretical,
technical or professional framework.
• An exceptional ability to organise,
analyse & present arguments fluently &
lucidly, with a high level of critical
analysis supported by evidence,
citation or quotaon.
• A highly developed capacity for
original, creative & logical thinking.
A comprehensive, highly
structured, focused and concise
response to the assessment task,
consistently demonstrating
 An extensive and detailed
72.22- knowledge of the subject matter.
74.43  A highly developed ability to
apply this knowledge to the task
 Excellent presentation with
minimal or no presentation errors
(spelling, grammar, graphical &
70 72.21
FJ Sept. 2008
Theoretical Marking Grid
Knowledge, understanding,,application
Very Good: A thorough & well
organised response to the
assessment task,demonstrating
 A broad knowledge of the
subject matter.
 Considerable strength in
applying that knowledge to the
task set.
Quality presentation with
few presentation errors
(spelling, grammar, graphical &
A substantial engagement
with the assessment task,
• A thorough familiarity with
the relevant literature or
theoretical, technical or
professional framework.
• Evidence of substantial
reading, which demonstrates a
well developed capacity to
analyse issues, organise
material, present arguments
clearly and cogently, well
supported by evidence,
citation or quotation.
•Some original insights and
capacity for creative and
logical thinking.
FJ Sept. 2008
Theoretical Marking Grid
Good: An adequate & competent
response to the assessment task,
• Adequate, but not complete,
knowledge of the subject
matter or the appearance of
several minor errors.
• Capacity to apply knowledge
appropriately to the task, albeit with
some errors.
• Clear expression with few areas of
• Ability to convey meaning, but
some lack of clarity & command of
• Good presentation with some
presentation errors (spelling,
FJ Sept. 2008
grammar, graphical & visual).
An intellectually competent &
factually sound answer with
evidence of a reasonable
familiarity with:
• The relevant literature or
theoretical, technical or
professional framework.
• Good, developed arguments,
but more statements of ideas.
• Arguments or statements
adequately, but not well,
supported by evidence,
citation or quotation.
• Some critical awareness
and analytical qualities.
• Some evidence of capacity
for original & logical thinking.
Theoretical Marking Grid
54.44 Satisfactory: An acceptable
response to the assessment task,
56.66 demonstrating:
• Basic grasp of the subject
matter but somewhat lacking in focus
& structure.
• Main points covered, but insufficient
• Some effort to apply knowledge, but
only basis understanding displayed.
• Several minor, or one major, error.
• Satisfactory presentation, with an
acceptable level of presentation errors
(spelling, grammar, graphical & visual).
FJ Sept. 2008
An acceptable level of
intellectual engagement with
the assessment, showing:
• Some familiarity with the
relevant literature or
theoretical, technical or
professional framework.
• Mostly statements of
ideas, with limited
development of argument.
• Limited evidence of
critical awareness or
original & logical thinking.
Theoretical Marking Grid
50 52.11
Acceptable: The minimum acceptable
standard of response to the
assessment task.
•Showing a basic grasp of subject
matter, but poorly focused or badly
structured or containing irrelevant
•Having one major error & some
minor errors.
•Demonstrating the capacity to
complete only moderately difficult
tasks related to the subject material
•Displaying minimum acceptable
standard of presentation (spelling,
grammar, graphical and visual)
The minimum, acceptable level
of intellectual engagement
with the assessment task, with:
•Minimum, acceptable
appreciation of relevant
Professional framework.
•Ideas largely expressed
as statements, with little/no
•Minimal evidence of
background reading, citation
•Many references omitted.
•Little/no evidence of
critical awareness/original
FJ Sept. 2008
& logical thinking.
Theoretical Marking Grid
Marginal: The assessment fails
A factually sound answer,
without an acceptable
attempt to:
•Integrate factual
knowledge into a broader
literature or theoretical,
technical or professional
Show evidence of background
reading to support ideas or
arguments with evidence,
citation or quotation.
•Many references omitted.
•Develop arguments.
to meet minimum, acceptable
standards, yet:
•Engages with the subject matter
or problem set, despite major
deficiencies in structure, relevance
or focus.
•Has two major errors & some
minor errors.
•Demonstrates the capacity to
complete only part of, or the
simpler elements of, the task, with a
minimum standard of presentation
(spelling, grammar, graphical & visual).
•An incomplete/ rushed answer
e.g. the use of bullet points through
part/all of answer.
FJ Sept. 2008