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Useful Phrases for Longer Summaries

In longer summaries, it is advisable to remind a reader that you are summarizing. For this purpose, you may use the following patterns also adding some logical connectors (such as further, also, in addition, furthermore, moreover, etc.) and using, if necessary, reporting verbs. E.g.:

In the third chapter of the book, the author (or his name) presents

The author (or his name) (also) argues/believes/claims/describes/claims/ states that

The author continues/goes on to say…

The author (further) states that…

The author (or his name) concludes that…

In longer summaries, the author's name is usually mentioned at least 3 times – at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. Although some reporting verbs have an evaluative meaning, they are used in summaries.

If we divide the story into much longer parts, it may become evident that some parts of the summary text are irrelevant. So, in the end, while going through the summary again, it’s advisable to see if there are any statements which go together, or if there are some ways of combining the points into one statement, or the order of statements should be changed.

In short, summary making takes 5 stages:

1. Vocabulary study

2. Source identifying

3. Event defining

4. Paragraph summarizing

5. Message discussion

 

Research Paper

A research paper (article) (Ukr. íàóêîâà ñòàòòÿ) may be defined as a relatively short piece of research usually published in a journal or a volume. The features of research papers considerably vary across disciplines: for example, an essay in literary criticism would essentially differ from a paper, say, in mathematics. Also, theoretically oriented articles are different from those reporting the results and findings of a concrete investigation. We will consider the organizational pattern of a paper of the latter type. Such popular kinds of papers usually have a format comprising Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion or some variant of it. Typically, the structure of such paper would be as follows:

1. Author's name

2. Title

3. Abstract

4. Key words

5. Introduction

6. Methods

7. Results

8. Discussion

9. Conclusions

10. Acknowledgements

11. References

12. Appendix/ices

Key words are significant words (or word-combinations consisting of more than one word) from a paper or document used as an index to the contents. When listed in the databases, they help to provide efficient indexing, search and retrieval mechanisms thus enabling the reader to quickly find texts on the topic of interest. Key words are usually placed after the abstract before the main body of a text. The number of key words to be provided is in most cases determined by particular editorial requirements.

The purpose of the Introduction is to acquaint the reader with the topic of the paper and to attract interest to it. The Introduction is an important section of the paper insofar as it is responsible for the first impression the paper produces. Introductions in English papers tend to follow a certain pattern of organization of their content. It usually consists of such steps (obligatory and optional):



1. Showing that the general research area is important, interesting, problematic or relevant in some way (optional).

2. Reviewing previous research in the area.

3. Indicating a gap in the previous research, or counterclaiming, or raising a question, or continuing a tradition.

4. Outlining purposes or nature of the present research.

5. Announcing principal findings (optional).

6. Outlining the structure of the research paper (optional).

Nevertheless, there can be much variation in introducing research, and it is not always easy to draw distinct boundaries between the enumerated steps. The structure and features of Introductions (as well as other parts of research papers) may be influenced by the following factors: the disciplinary area itself; the nature of the research described in a paper; the type and editorial requirements of a particular journal; the individual rhetorical and stylistic preferences of a writer. Also, the length of the steps may be different, ranging from one sentence to several paragraphs.

 

There exist useful phrases to begin the Introduction with which you may learn and use in your writing. They include evaluative language that emphasizes the interesting, important character of the research area. Below is a list of the most widespread phrases.

 

Useful Phrases for Steps 1-2 (Establishing a Research Territory):

It is now generally accepted/recognized that … In recent years, researches have become increasingly interested in … Recently, there has been an increase of interest in … Many recent studies have focused on … Recently, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on …   Over the last decade, research on … has increasingly demonstrated that … The development of … has led to … The relationship between … has been investigated/explored by many researches. The … has been extensively studied in recent years.

Step 3 justifies the research by pointing at the gaps/weaknesses/unsolved issues of the previous research and thus preparing a space for a new investigation. The following standard phrases may be recommended here.

 

Useful phrases for Step 3 (Establishing a Niche):

Although considerable amount of research has been devoted to …, few attempts have been made to investigate … Despite the importance/significance of …, little attention has been paid to … However, few investigations have been focused on … However, little is known about the … However, little research has been undertaken to study the problem of … Further investigations are needed to … It remains unclear whether …

 

In the majority of cases filling the gap specified in the previous investigations is done by outlining the purpose or nature of the present research. The typical phrases include reference to the paper itself (in other words, text about one's own text) and, quite often, personal pronouns (I, we). Another typical linguistic feature of this part is the use of the present tense which helps to emphasize a novel character of the research. Below are some useful phrases, which you may find useful for your writing.

 

Useful Phrases for Step 4 (occupying the Niche):

In this paper, I discuss … In this study, we present the preliminary results of … In this paper, we report on … The major task of this study is to provide … The paper examines … The present study analyzes … The purpose of this paper is to give … This paper focuses on … This paper addresses the above questions from the perspective of … The study seeks to understand …

 

Methods

The Methods section provides description of methods, procedures, materials, and subjects used in a study. The characteristics of this part of a research paper vary across fields.

In specific scientific meaning methods are ways of finding, collecting, describing new language facts. Method, in its turn, is a system of approaches used to study phenomena and regularities of nature, society, and thinking, to reach any definite results in practice, to organize and systematize theoretical and practical results obtained in investigation.

There exist 2 groups of methods usually applied to linguistic research. These are general scientific methods and specific ones. The former are used in any sphere of human knowledge. The latter play an extraordinary important role in the development of a certain branch of science.

Among general scientific methods we distinguish between induction, deduction, analysis, and synthesis.

Induction is a means of investigation with the help of which a general conclusion about the whole class of phenomena is made on the basis of conclusions about separate phenomena of the class. It is the generalization of results of a separate investigation.

Deduction is a means of investigation when a general idea makes it possible to give conclusions about separate members of the class. It is based on the following axiom: everything which is true about the whole class is true about the separate phenomena of the class. With deduction the notion of hypothesis is connected. Hypothesis is the method of investigation when one of the possible answers to the question is formed before the research is carried out.

Analysis is a theoretical or practical division of the whole entity into parts and the research of each element separately. The reverse process is called synthesis. It is a process of joining the parts together and the investigation of the whole entity.

Specifically linguistic methods of language investigation comprise descriptive, comparative, structural, etc.

Descriptive method is the investigation of the language units and the explanation of their building and function on the definite stage of language development that is synchronically.

Comparative method is the number of methods of language research and description through its systematic comparison with other languages with the aim to reveal its specificities. It deals with modern languages. The method researches the structure of the languages on the plane of their similarity or difference, independently of their genetic nature.

Structural method analyses the language phenomena taking into consideration only relations and connections between the language elements. This method appeared in the 20s of the 20th century. It is aimed to study language as the whole structure, the elements and parts of which are interrelated and are connected with the system of linguistic relations.

Distributive analysis is the methodology of investigating language by studying the surrounding of a particular unit in the text.

Componential analysis is the system of techniques of linguistic study of the meaning of the words. It is aimed at dividing the meaning into elementary components, which are called semes or markers.

The usage of mathematic methods in the linguistics has been known for a long period of time. The active usage of the mathematic methods began in the middle of the 20th century. The quantitative methods sum up usage frequency of the language units. Statistic methods presuppose the usage of different formulae in studying the rules of the language unit division.

Results

The Results section reports on data or information obtained in the course of a study. In this part of the research paper, writers put forward their new knowledge claims through the demonstration, explanation, and interpretation of their findings.

The presentation of results is typically followed by the Discussion section, although the division between these two sections is not rigid, and they may appear together as one structural part of a research paper. Even if the Results section is formally separated from the Discussion, it often contains some comments on the data. The purpose of such comments is to provide a timely response to the critical remarks or questions about results or methods that the author of a paper is likely to anticipate.

The possible model for the Results section may consist of three steps, or elements of information:

1. Indicating the location of the data to be discussed. Useful phrases: The major results are given in Table 1; As can be seen from the data, …; As can be seen in/from Table 1; As it has been proved in Chapter 1, …; For more explanations, see Chapter 1…; Table (figure, graph) 1 demonstrates/indicates/shows/suggests (that)… The present tense is preferable.

2. Stating the most important findings. Useful phrases: According to the results of the survey, 70 per cent of the students experienced serious problems with listening comprehension in English; The main difference between X and Y is that …; Both X and Y are/have… . The past tense is preferable.

3. Commenting on the results. Useful phrases: The results of the experiment question/undermine the previous research; The results have failed to explain…; This particular result may be attributed to the influence of …; The errors may be due to …; The findings of the study need to be treated with certain caution, since …; The quantitative data support the initial hypothesis… Instances of cautious style of writing should be observed.

This is, however, an ideal model, which is not very frequently found in its pure form. In fact, stating the most important findings is the only obligatory element in the Results section.

Discussion Sections

The Discussion section interprets the results and their relationship to the research problem and hypothesis. As mentioned above, division between the Discussion and the Results sections is not rigid; furthermore, it is not always easy to distinguish between the Discussion and the Conclusions sections.

The Discussion sections of research articles are organized as certain logical sequences of steps. These steps are as follows:

- statement of results;

- (un)expected results;

- reference to previous research (comparison);

- explanation of unsatisfactory result(s);

- exemplification;

- recommendation;

- justification.

Usually, Discussion sections contain some of the above steps (not necessarily all). The number and place of steps in a sequence depends on how neatly the discussed results fit those expected.

Conclusions

The difference between Discussion and Conclusions sections is largely conventional depending on traditions in particular fields and journals. Quite often, Discussions and Conclusions appear as one (and the final) part of a research paper.

If the Conclusions section appears as a separate part, it usually consists of the following steps:

- summary of the results;

- implications (theoretical and/or practical);

- plans for future research or possible further research in the area.

Useful phrases which you may use when writing the Discussion and Conclusions sections of your papers:

In general, this research/analysis/investigation/description shows …

This paper showed/explored/investigated …

These results are consistent with …

With one exception, the experimental data confirm …

However, the results/findings described are fairly general …

The appearance of errors in our study could be explained by …

We are not yet in a position to offer explanations for …

Further research is needed to verify …

Further research is suggested to determine …

We advocate further research on …

 

Citations

Citations play an important role in academic texts. They are used to demonstrate the familiarity of the citing author with the field of investigation, to provide support for his/her research claims or criticism. Giving credit to cited sources is called documentation. There are two main methods of documenting. The first one, numeric, involves putting a number near the reference (usually in square brackets), e.g.:

On the whole, understanding text as a polyfunctional sign allows plurality of meaning-projections of its contents [4].

In [5] the authors give an interesting numerical account of the advantages and disadvantages of the BV-formulation for the image restoration problem.

The full reference is given then in the bibliography at the end of the text – in numerical sequence, or as a footnote at the bottom of the page.

The second procedure of documenting, which is probably more popular, consists in putting a short reference in the text itself. Normally, it includes the author’s (authors’) last name(s) and the year of publication and page numbers in parentheses (separated/not separated by a comma or a colon, rather often depending on the journal requirements to the authors), e.g.: (Crystal 1995, 29), or (Crystal 1995: 29). If a reference is made to the whole work, the page numbers are usually not given: (Drakeford, 1998).

Failure to provide the appropriate documentation may lead to the accusation of plagiarism. Plagiarism is conscious copying from the work of others. In Anglo-American academic culture, plagiarism is treated as a serious offense.

Need to Document No Need to Document
When you are using or referring to somebody else’s words or ideas from a magazine, book, newspaper, song, TV program, movie, Web page, computer program, letter, advertisement, or any other medium When you are using "common knowledge" — folklore, common sense observations, shared information within your field of study or cultural group When you are compiling generally accepted facts When you are writing up your own experimental results

The words or phrases of other authors used (quoted) in academic writing are called quotations. Quotations may be direct or indirect. Quotations are direct if the author’s words in quotation marks (double in American and Ukrainian usage and single as in British) are incorporated into the text and separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma (or, if necessary, by a question mark, or an exclamation point):

It can be argued that “the acquisition of phonological competence and discourse competence go hand-in-hand” (Pennington, 1990, p. 549).

As Morley (1979) has noted, “Sentence stresses are the strong parts in the rhythm of the sentence” (p. 38).

Quotations may be indirect, that is integrated into the text as paraphrase (meaning restatement of the meaning in other words):

In a more recent article, Pennington (1995:706) says that

In a recent state-of-the-art discussion, Morley (1991, pp. 492-495) reviewed some of the major shifts in instructional focus in the pronunciation component.

You don’t need to document in case you refer to the material known as “common knowledge”. Material in probably common knowledge if:

- you find the same information undocumented in at least five other sources;

- you think it is information that your readers will already know;

- you think a person could easily find the information with general reference sources.

While writing a research paper in English, remember, that although the suggested steps reflect certain prominent tendencies characteristic of English academic writing, you are not obliged to strictly follow them in all cases.

 


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 198


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