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Strategies in writing

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Academic Skills
TIP: Use a process to produce work
1. Determine the task type
What type of writing is it? What is the structure? What am I expected to do?
2. Carefully analyse the task Highlight key information
Lit Review
TIP: Make sure this highlighted language appears in your response

The goal: critically assess the effectiveness of various Machine Learning classification algorithms on the problem of determining a tweeter’s location, and to express the knowledge that you have gained in a technical report.
Anonymised report of 2000 words in length (+/-10%), including in-text references Introduction: short problem description and data set, and the research question
Literature review: a short summary of some related (relevant) literature, including the data set reference and at least two additional relevant research papers of your choice
Method: Identify the newly engineered feature(s), and the rationale behind including them Results: in terms of evaluation metric(s) and examples
Discussion / Critical Analysis: 2 areas – Contextualise the system’s behavior, i.e. reasons for the relative performance of different methods & Discuss any ethical issues
Conclusion: demonstrate identified knowledge
Bibliography: incl. Blodgett et al. (2016) + other related work (min. 2) – APA 7 recommended
What do others say?
How did I do this? Why?
What did I find?
What does it mean?
What do I now know?

Strategies in writing
Academic Skills
3. Plan / organise ideas
Based on analysis generate a ‘sectioned plan’ On your computer
Allocate word counts
TIP: method, results, discussion are substantive 4. Research
Find info and read it
As you read, put bullet points in your plan
– Definition of blah (Williams p44) –
– Good idea (Long p15) –
– Great thought (Ng p1) –
– Possible idea (Ng p3) –
TIP: Research using https://unimelb.libguides.com/

Strategies in writing
Academic Skills
5. Draft – start writing
Start anywhere in the body
Start where you feel confident
TIP: write Intro / Conclusion last (5% of words)
6. Finalise then submit
Do final check on hard copy Read out loud
– Definition of Blah (Williams p44) –
– Good idea (Long p15) –
– Great thought (Ng p1) –
– Possible idea (Ng p3) –

Academic Skills

Two key elements to critical literacy
2. An interpretive / response element: The ‘dialogue’
You interpret and respond to what you have read – critically engage with the readings and the topic
1. Areporting/describingelement:
You find information about the topic and report, describe
what it says, what they did, found, claim etc.
This frames the second part: important but don’t stop here
The ‘catalogue’

Cohesion – linking
2 types of language in writing:
Content – from reading and learning, e.g. tweet, machine, baseline, Functional – cohesive-linking-highlighting
Therefore, however, first, next, for example, though, and, which
This is important because … This shows that… This tells us …
https://m.eliteediting.com.au/50-linking-words-to-use-in-academic-writing/ http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/

Interpretive language
This shows* that … (*suggests / implies / gives the impression that …) This is important / significant because…
This is worth noting as / because it …
This calls attention to …
This can be illustrated by …
What this means* is … (*shows / tells us / reveals / highlights / points to / implies) … tells us that …
… importantly* suggests that … (*crucially, significantly)
… which points to / suggests the need for …
… which is vital / crucial as it …
… which shows / illustrates that …
… which is significant as it …
… is illustrative because it …
… meaning that …
… illustrating / pointing to the need for …
In doing so, it points to … / In so doing, tells us that …
Use this language! It moves your thinking from the descriptive to the interpretive

Report writing Tips
Be on task – show you are doing so with key language
This paper explores / examines / identifies… (intent / position) – TIP
frame this in present simple
This suggested that… (discussion / analysis)
Having carried out … we conclude / find that … (concluding)
Use numbered headings
Be aware of the functionality of the report sections
Be interpretive and analytical, not just descriptive, of both text and data Clear graphics – simple is best; refer to the graphics

Report writing Tips
Edit before submitting
Formal language: full forms (didn’t vs did not); avoid emotive language
‘frustrating’, ‘disappointing’, ‘obvious’, ‘good’, ‘bad’
Be aware of tense : time … a second experiment is was performed.
Tense use TIPs:
Past tense for finished action; did, found, discovered, proved, showed
Present simple for fact, current observation or current feeling; ‘… it refers to … it signals that … we can see that … it shows…
Lee (2010) proposes that this is …

Cohesion – consider link & transition between ideas
Short, join:
A majority class baseline was used for this experiment. It is based on the ‘Zero Rule’. This rule classifies all tweets according to labels with the greatest training set ratio.
A majority class baseline was used for this experiment which is based on the ‘Zero Rule’ classifying all tweets according to labels with the greatest training set ratio. (28w) OR
The majority class baseline used for this experiment was based on the ‘Zero Rule’ classifying all tweets according to labels with the greatest training set ratio. (26w)
Long; cut:
By analysing the training set, it was somewhat surprising to find a number of feature values equal to 0, especially as many samples have 0-value for all their attributes, which means that none of the feature terms ever occurs in them. (41w)
Analysing the training set, we found a somewhat surprising number of feature values equal to 0, especially as many samples have 0-value for all their attributes. This means that none of the feature terms ever occurs in them. (26w & 12w)

The impact of sentence length
If the sentences are short and related, then join them
If the sentence is +40 words (not a list), consider breaking it up

Key sequence points
Think about how information is ordered within a paragraph How does each sentence link to the one before it and after it
– how are you showing this? Is the sequence logical?
Same for paragraphs – how does the paragraph relate to the next one?

Make time to edit
Editing attitude: task focus – Do I/we need it? Is it relevant? No? get rid of it Big edits: Possible removal of whole sections, paragraphs or sentences
Small edits: word, sentence, text level
Compression editing:
… which enabled us to make clear recommendations (7 words) vs … which enabled clear recommendations … (4 words) OR
… enabling clear recommendations (3 words)
Edit when fresh – get distance from paper Final edit on hard copy Read aloud – you or MS Word Read Aloud function
Reflexive repetition: removal of unnecessary repetition
This was evidence of the program’s three features. These features address … vs This evidenced the program’s three features which address …

APA In text – choices
Academic Skills
“Direct quotations” – Author’s exact words – do not overuse
Cheng et al. (2010) proposed a framework, “based purely on the content
of the user’s tweets, even in the any other geospatial cues” (p. 759).
user location
absence of
Paraphrasing (Indirect quoting) or summarising
– present the idea in your words – still need to cite
TIP: More of this
A framework was proposed whereby location of the user was estimated solely on tweet content even where geospatial data is not present (Cheng et al., 2010).
Author vs idea focus in citations
Citation is a writing skill; making a Reference list is a technical skill

Always need the year with the author(s) in text, not the initials (that’s for the Ref List)
Avoid starting or finishing a paragraph with a citation – try to start and finish on your words Et al. (three or more authors, shortened from the first citation)
– always takes a full stop in or out of the brackets
– always a plural; it means ‘and others’, e.g. Letts et al. (2015) argue that … (not ‘argues’)
– Don’t possess et al.
Cheng et al.’s (2010) paper proposed … VS … the paper by Cheng et al. (2010) proposed … Always comment on direct quotes, e.g.
… part of the data set” (Lee, 2017, p. 5). The implications of this are …

Stage II task
Write 200-400 words total per review, responding to three ’questions’:
• Briefly summarise what the author has done in one paragraph (50-100 words)
• Indicate what you think that the author has done well, and why in one paragraph
(100-200 words)
The strengths of the writing to me are … What is clear about the paper is …
You have … and this is evident in the way you … because …
• Indicate what you think could have been improved, and why in one paragraph (50- 100 words)
The writing could improve in the following areas … You could … It needs more … You could try to …Think about having more of … / less of…
What could we look for?
Message clarity / language / content / citation & Ref List / link / flow / accuracy / headings / relevance / critique / interpretation / use of data / figures / charts

Semester planners: Any library or Stop 1 or https://students.unimelb.edu.au/academic-skills/explore-our-resources/time-management/semester-planner
Finalise Stage 1
Read Write
Submit Stage 1
Submit Stage 2
Finalise Stage 2

Writing resources
Developing a research question

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