Templates for Academic Writing

Broekhoff, Marna
December 2008
Nawa: Journal of Language & Communication;2008, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p129
Academic Journal
The classic writing center image of the Burkean parlor can be applied to all academic writing, both quantitative and qualitative. Yet most student writers, particularly those with linguistic, cultural, and academic diversity, so common in southern Africa, have great difficulties entering any intellectual debate because they cannot generate or even understand the rhetorical patterns of academic prose. Templates (specific words and phrases) provide accessible ways for academic writers to generate the sections of a research paper, from a "bottom-up," or inductive perspective; and at the same time to grasp the "moves," or basic sections of a research paper, from a "top-down," or deductive perspective. As a corollary to facilitating writing, templates also enhance skills in reading academic prose and in all-important critical thinking. Although academic writing pivots on the "They say/I say" paradigm, templates also help generate summarizing, paraphrasing, quoting, and other functions of academic discourse.


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