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Structured abstractsStructured abstracts For many years, we have for S&G adopted structured abstracts for Ready-To-Use Games (RTUGs).It is time to extend this to (almost) all articles.

Pls use a structured abstract if at all possible How to Write a Paper. Mike Ashby. Engineering Department, University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 6rd Edition, April 2005   will read it? How will the reader use it? The answers help you decide the length, the level of detail, the style. The Concept. Good writing starts with a plan. Writers have   Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK..Pls use a structured abstract if at all possible.

In many cases, an ordinary abstract can be made into, or written directly as, a structured abstract.Structered abstracts have a number of advantages over traditinal abstracts, including: Faster and easier access by the reader; Greater clarity for both reader and writer; Greater likelihood of the article appearing in a database search; Greater consistency; Etc.(More advantages in the documents below.) Below, you will find a number of articles, from various sources, that outline the why, what and how of writing structured abstracts.

Permission to reproduce here is pending on some items, but their source is indicated.For S&G, pls use a structured abstract whenever possible, which will be for the majority of articles.Adapt the structure of the abstract to your type of article and to you article.An experimental article will have a structure that is different from a conceptual article.

Your conceptual article may have a different structure from another conceptual article.

Think of the reader; you the writer are unimportant!.The abstract is designed for at least two main things: It gets your article to appear in online datebase searches; It helps the potential reader to know if they would like, indeed need, to read it beyond the abstract - and thus cite it in their publications.The format of your structured abstract should follow a pattern that is suited to (a) the objectives and (b) the type of article.Below you will find extracts from various web sites that give advice on structured abstracts.

You should select the structure and items from among those below, or supply your own, in a manner that makes the content immediately accessible to readers.You will need to strike a happy a balance between succintness and completeness.Rememebr that you, the writer, are not important; the reader is! Italicize headings (not bold), JEP.) You may use a different structure, reflecting the struture of your article, and adapted to your ms, its aims and your projected audience.Previous research withcontexts.This research indicated that such abstracts are more informative Aim.The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesisappropriatefor both sets of abstracts, and 48 authors rated their clarity.The structured abstracts were significantly longersignificantly structured abstracts wherever appropriate Also consult the documents reproduced below./ /Structured abstract A structured abstract is a commonly-used form of scientific communication used to report research findings to the scientific community.The structured abstract can be used in librarianship.The format is widely-used in biomedicine, allied health and health librarianship to present research quickly and concisely.Structured abstracts typically follow a standard boilerplate design where the goals and objectives of the research are listed, the methods that were used to carry out the investigation and brief sections on discussing the findings of the research (and, in a conclusion, their implications).

Structured abstracts help authors to organize their ideas, and to present them with clarity and in an organized manner.Parts of a structured abstract Here are nine (9) possible sections of a structured abstract which can be adapted for your purposes and research: Abstract - a short summary of the article Keywords - words that describe key aspects of the article Introduction and statement of problem - identifies the need for the research question.In rigorous research, may include a hypothesis which is supported or refuted accordingly Review of the literature - places the work in context Methodology - explains the methods so others can replicate the study Data collection - describes the process and points out potential omissions Analysis - examines data by qualitative or quantitative means, states whether research question or hypothesis was proven or disproven Conclusions and recommendations for further research - accounts for results, suggests explanations, points out things that may have been overlooked, and suggests areas for futher research References - a list of research consulted.Health librarians' research A summary of the advantages of structured abstracts appeared in a Summer 2001 issue of Hypothesis, and by Bayley and Eldredge in 2003.The evidence to demonstrate the value of structured abstracts clearly points to advantages for searching and quickly extracting needed information from summaries, regardless of the exact headings used by a abstracting and indexing service.

A 2003 MLA Annual Meeting strongly recommended the use of structured abstracts for members wishing to present papers or posters at MLA Annual Meetings.At their most basic form, structured abstracts organize and summarize a paper; here are some of the more commonly-used sections: OBJECTIVE /Authors/guidelines page 5.html Use of structured abstracts ensures that better information is supplied and that there is more consistency across the journals and database.Ultimately, readers and researchers searching the database are more likely to access the paper when the abstract provides useful information.In the past, author-written abstracts were very variable both in terms of content and quality.

Structured abstracts ensure we no longer have this problem.In an electronic environment, abstracts are more important that they have ever been.Sometimes this “snippet” is the only thing a reader or researcher will see and it is the one chance we have of persuading them to download the full text of the paper.To produce a structured abstract for the journal and Emerald database, please complete the following fields about your paper.There are four fields which are obligatory (Purpose, Design, Findings and Value); the other three (Research limitations/implications, Practical implications and Social Implications) may be omitted if they are not applicable to your paper.

Abstracts should contain no more than 250 words.The abstract should reflect only what appears in the original paper.Purpose of this paper Design/methodology/approach How are the objectives achieved? Include the main method(s) used for the research.What is the approach to the topic and what is the theoretical or subject scope of the paper? Findings What was found in the course of the work? This will refer to analysis, discussion, or results.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable) If research is reported on in the paper this section must be completed and should include suggestions for future research and any identified limitations in the research process.Practical implications (if applicable) What outcomes and implications for practice, applications and consequences are identified? Not all papers will have practical implications but most will.What changes to practice should be made as a result of this research/paper? Social Implications (if applicable) What will be the impact on society of this research? How will it influence public attitudes? How will it influence (corporate) social responsibility or environmental issues? How could it inform public or industry policy? How might it affect quality of life? What is original/value of paper What is new in the paper? State the value of the paper and to whom.A sample structured abstract Author(s): Jan Tucker and Bari Courts Journal: Foresight Year: 2010 Volume: 12 Issue: 1 Page: 45 Purpose – The purpose of this article is to assess the concept of grade inflation in higher education institutions in an effort to determine its prevalence, causes, and strategies which can be implemented to curtail it.Design/methodology/approach – A literature review of the problem is presented along with several strategies as possible solutions to restraining the problem of escalating grades in the college classroom.

Findings – The problem of grade inflation has been a topic of concern for over a century and there are no quick fixes or simple methods of reversing this trend but there are several alternatives presented which could help curtail this trend.Research limitations/implications – Most of the research is based on anecdotal research.Very little has been written on how to fix this problem.Practical implications – This paper brings this issue to the forefront in an effort to engage the reader, college administrators and educators.

Social Implications – This paper is the building block for future research on this topic.

The culture of the college classroom, teaching and learning could be affected by this issue.The hiring, training and evaluation of college instructors could be impacted if colleges and universities choose to investigate the issue of grade inflation at their institutions.Originality/value – The paper begins with an overview of previous research in this area and then moves on to what is currently being implemented to curb grade inflation.

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The authors then propose several methods and possible solutions which could be implemented to deal with this problem.Why write a structured abstract? Structured abstracts act like signposts, they provide: 1.

Speed to any literature search – therefore saves time 4 writing postgraduate assignments University of Edinburgh.Speed to any literature search – therefore saves time 4.

A format where it is easy to isolate sections and therefore read about the key elements of a paper 5.A unique approach which sets Emerald abstracts apart from others 6 There will inevitably be some overlap between each of the three parts: for example, the introduction section of the empirical paper may partly be condensed from the   You can model it on papers in any mainstream peer-reviewed clinical psychology journal, e.g. the British Journal of Clinical Psychology or the Journal of  .A unique approach which sets Emerald abstracts apart from others 6.Real support when seeking academic support materials depending on the identified needs e There will inevitably be some overlap between each of the three parts: for example, the introduction section of the empirical paper may partly be condensed from the   You can model it on papers in any mainstream peer-reviewed clinical psychology journal, e.g. the British Journal of Clinical Psychology or the Journal of  .

Real support when seeking academic support materials depending on the identified needs e.

research papers employing particular types of research methods 7 dunstablemarket.co.uk/presentation/need-to-buy-an-functional-analysis-presentation-30-days-premium-single-spaced-without-plagiarism.research papers employing particular types of research methods 7.Useful information in libraries – identifying texts for library users or directing them to Emerald 8.More efficient evaluation of papers at the abstract level 9.Transparency of the valuable content of the database acting as a clearer shop window 10.

Particular benefits for practitioners – being able to select quickly those papers with explicit practical implications 12.Benefits for researchers – being able to select quickly those papers that may help them design their own research agenda and see what has already been done 13.A major benefit in that one can pick out quickly the new angle/value of a paper 14.Best practice from the medical and scientific fields but adapted for our readers' and researchers' needs within the management and business field 15.

A clear framework for extracting, summarising and emphasising pertinent information for people in management 16.Encouragement and a requirement for authors and researchers to provide stronger links between research and practice – something that both government and other funding bodies support Structured abstracts will help the Editor in their preliminary review of a paper and will certainly help the journal reviewers get an overview of a paper even before conducting the review.Previous research with structured abstracts has taken place in mainly medical contexts.This research indicated that such abstracts are more informative, more readable, and more appreciated by readers than are traditional abstracts.

The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that structured abstracts might also be appropriate for a particular psychology journal.24 traditional abstracts from the Journal of Educational Psychology were re-written in a structured form.Measures of word length, information content and readability were made for both sets of abstracts, and 48 authors rated their clarity.

The structured abstracts were significantly longer than the original ones, but they were also significantly more informative and readable, and judged significantly clearer by these academic authors.These findings support the notion that structured abstracts could be profitably introduced into psychology journals.Keywords: abstracts; structured writing; information clarity; readability Readers of this article will have already noted that the abstract that precedes it is set in a different way from that normally used in Science Communication (and, indeed, in many other journals in the social sciences).

The abstract for this article is written in what is called a structured format.Such structured abstracts typically contain sub-headings - such as background, aim(s), method(s), results and conclusions - and provide more detail than traditional ones.It is the contention of this paper that structured abstracts represent an improvement over traditional abstracts because not only is there more information presented but also their format requires their authors to organise and present their information in a systematic way - one which aids rapid search and information retrieval when looking through abstract databases ( Hartley, Sydes and Blurton, 1996).The growth of structured abstracts in the medical sciences has been phenomenal (Harbourt, Knecht and Humphries, 1995) and they are now commonplace in almost all medical research journals.Furthermore, their use is growing in other scientific areas, and indeed, in psychology itself.

In January 1997, for instance, the British Psychological Society (BPS) introduced structured abstracts into four of their eight journals (the British Journal of Clinical Psychology, the British Journal of Educational Psychology, the British Journal of Health Psychology, and Legal and Criminological Psychology).In addition, since January 2000, the BPS has required authors to send conference submissions in this structured format, and it has dispensed with the need for the three-four page summaries previously required.These structured abstracts are published in the Conference Proceedings (e.The case for using structured abstracts in scientific journals has been bolstered by research, most of which has taken place in a medical or a psychological context.The main findings suggest that, compared with traditional ones, structured abstracts: sometimes have confusing typographic layouts (Hartley, 2000a); and Some authors - and editors too - complain that the formats for structured abstracts are too rigid and that they present them with a straightjacket that is inappropriate for all journal articles.Undoubtedly this may be true in some circumstances but it is in fact remarkable how the sub-headings used in the abstract for this article can cover a variety of research styles.Most articles - even theoretical and review ones - can be summarised under these five sub-headings.

Furthermore, if readers care to examine current practice in the BPS journals and in their Conference Proceedings, and elsewhere, they will find that although the sub-headings used in this present paper are typical, they are not rigidly adhered to.

Editors normally allow their authors some leeway in the headings that they wish to use.In this paper I report the results of a study designed to see whether or not it might be helpful to use structured abstracts in one particular social science journal, namely the Journal of Educational Psychology (JEP).Here the abstracts are typically longer and more informative than those presented in Science Communication, and the authors are told that the abstracts for empirical articles should describe the problem under investigation; the participants or subjects, specifying pertinent characteristics such as number, type, and age; the experimental method, including the data gathering procedures and test names; the findings, including statistical significance levels; and the conclusions and implications or applications.) And all of this is to be done in 120 words! Method Choosing and creating the abstracts 24 traditional abstracts were chosen (with permission of the authors) from Volume 92 (2000) of the JEP by selecting every fourth one available.

22 of these abstracts reported the results from typical empirical studies, and two reported the findings from research reviews.Three of the empirical abstracts contained the results from two or more separate studies.Structured versions of these 24 abstracts were then prepared by the present author.This entailed re-formatting the originals, and including the necessary additional information obtained from the article to complete the text for five sub-headings (background, aim(s), method(s), results and conclusions).And, because structured abstracts are typically longer than traditional ones, a word limit of 200 words was imposed (as opposed to the 120 words specified by the APA's Publication Manual, 5th edition).

Figure 1 provides an example of the effects of applying these procedures to the abstract of a review paper.A traditional (top) and a structured abstract (bottom) for a review paper.(Traditional abstract reproduced with permission of the author and the American Psychological Association.) Incidental and informal methods of learning to spell should replace more traditional and direct instructional procedures, according to advocates of the natural learning approach.

This proposition is based on 2 assumptions: (a) Spelling competence can be acquired without instruction and (b) reading and writing are the primary vehicles for learning to spell.There is only partial support for these assumptions.First, very young children who receive little or no spelling instruction do as well as their counterparts in more 'traditional spelling programs; but the continued effects of no instruction beyond first grade are unknown.Second, reading and writing contribute to spelling development, but their overall impact is relatively modest.Consequently, there is little support for replacing traditional spelling instruction with the natural learning approach.

Advocates of the 'natural learning' approach propose that incidental and informal methods of learning to spell should replace more traditional and direct instructional procedures.The aim of this article is to review the evidence for and against this proposition, which is based on two assumptions: (a) spelling competence can be acquired without instruction, and (b) reading and writing are the primary vehicles for learning to spell.A narrative literature review was carried out of over 50 studies related to these topics with school students, students with special needs, and older students.The data suggest that there is only partial support for these assumptions.First, very young children who receive little or no spelling instruction do as well as their counterparts in more traditional spelling programs, but the continued effects of no instruction beyond the first grade are unknown.

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Second, reading and writing contribute to spelling development, but their overall impact is relatively modest.

There is little support for replacing traditional spelling instruction with the natural learning approach.Measures Two sets of objective computer-based measures, and two different subjective reader-based measures were then made using these two sets of abstracts Jump to Should i buy a custom information sciences presentation british 68 nbsp -   apa us letter size business Who can help me with my lab report anthropology 54 pages / 14850 words; Who can do a psychology lab report ph d a4 british european single nbsp; How to write an laboratory report engineering 100%..Measures Two sets of objective computer-based measures, and two different subjective reader-based measures were then made using these two sets of abstracts.

The two sets of computer-based measures were derived from (i) MicroSoft's package, Office 97, and (ii) Pennebaker's Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) (Pennebaker, Francis and Booth, 2001).Office 97 provides a number of statistics on various aspects of written text How to write better essays nobody does introductions properly nbsp.

Office 97 provides a number of statistics on various aspects of written text.

LIWC counts the percentage of words in 71 different categories (e.(Note: when making these computer-based measures the sub-headings were removed from structured versions of the abstracts.) The two reader-based measures were (i) the average scores on ratings of the presence or absence of information in the abstracts; and (ii) the average scores on ratings of the clarity of the abstracts given by authors of other articles in the JEP.

The items used for rating the information content are shown in Appendix 1.It can be seen that respondents have to record a 'Yes' response (or not) to each of 14 questions.Each abstract was awarded a total score based on the number of 'Yes' decisions recorded.In this study two raters independently made these ratings for the traditional abstracts, and then met to agree their scores.The ratings for the structured abstracts were then made by adding in points for the extra information used in their creation.

The ratings of abstract clarity were made independently by 46 authors of articles in the JEP from the year 2000 (and by 2 more authors of articles in other educational journals).Each author was asked (by letter or e-mail) to rate one traditional and one structured abstract for clarity (on a scale of 0-10, where 10 was the highest score possible).To avoid bias, none of these authors were personally known to the investigator, and none were the authors of the abstracts used in this enquiry.48 separate pairs of abstracts were created, each with a traditional version of one abstract, and a structured version of a different one.

24 of these pairs had the traditional abstracts first, and 24 the structured ones.

The fact that the abstracts in each pair were on different topics was deliberate.This was done to ensure that no order effects would arise from reading different versions of the same abstract (as has been reported in previous studies, e.The 48 pairs of abstracts were created by pairing each one in turn with the next one in the list, with the exception of the ones for the two research reviews that were paired together.

Results Table 1 shows the main results of this enquiry.It can be seen, except for the average number of passives used, that the structured abstracts were significantly different from the traditional ones on all of the measures reported here.TABLE 1: The Average Scores (M) and Standard Deviations (SD) for the Traditional and the Structured Abstracts on the Main Measures Used in This StudyDiscussion To some extent these results speak for themselves and, in terms of this paper, provide strong support for structured abstracts.But there are some qualifications to consider.Abstract length The structured abstracts were, as expected, longer than the traditional ones.

Indeed, they were approximately 30% longer, which is 10% more than the average 20% increase in length reported by Hartley (2002) for nine studies.It is interesting to note, however, that the average length of the traditional abstracts was also longer than the 120 words specified by the APA., 75%) of the 24 authors of the traditional abstracts exceeded the stipulated length.

Hartley (2002) argued that the extra space required by introducing structured abstracts was a trivial amount for most journals, amounting at the most to three or four lines of text.In many journals new articles begin on right-hand pages, and few articles finish exactly at the bottom of the previous left-hand one.In other journals, such as Science Communication, new articles begin on the first left- or right-hand page available, but even here articles rarely finish at the bottom of the previous page.(Indeed, inspecting the pages in this issue of this journal will probably show that the few extra lines required by structured abstracts can be easily accommodated).Such concerns, of course, do not arise for electronic journals and databases.

More importantly, in this section, we need to consider cost-effectiveness, rather than just cost.With the extra lines comes extra information.It may be that more informative abstracts might encourage wider readership, greater citation rates and higher journal impact factors - all of which authors and editors might think desirable.( 1999) suggest that both the information content and the clarity of structured abstracts can still be higher than that obtained in traditional abstracts even if they are restricted to the length of traditional ones.

Abstract readability Table 1 shows the Flesch Reading Ease scores for the traditional and the structured abstracts obtained in this enquiry.Readers unfamiliar with Flesch scores might like to note that they range from 0-100, and are sub-divided as follows: 0-29 college graduate level; 30-49 13-16th grade (i., and that they are based on a formula that combines with a constant measures of sentence lengths and numbers of syllables per word (Flesch, 1948; Klare, 1963).Of course it is possible that the finding of a significant difference in favour of the Flesch scores for the structured abstracts in this study reflects the fact that fact that the present author wrote all of the structured abstracts.However, since this finding has also occurred in other studies where the abstracts have been written by different authors (e., see Hartley and Sydes, 1997, Hartley and Benjamin, 1998) this finding is a relatively stable one.The Flesch Reading Ease score is of course a crude - as well as dated - measure, and it ignores factors affecting readability such as type-size, type-face, line-length, and the effects of sub-headings and paragraphs, as well as readers' prior knowledge.Nonetheless, it is a useful measure for comparing different versions of the same texts, and Flesch scores have been quite widely used - along with other measures - for assessing the readability of journal abstracts (e., see Dronberger and Kowitz, 1975, Hartley, 1994, Hartley and Benjamin, 1998; Roberts, Fletcher and Fletcher, 1994; Tenopir and Jacso, 1993).

The gain in readability scores found for the structured abstracts in this study came, no doubt, from the fact that the abstracts had significantly shorter sentences and, as the LIWC data showed, made a greater use of shorter words.The LIWC data also showed that the structured abstracts contained significantly more common words and made a significantly greater use of the present tense.These findings seem to suggest that it is easier to provide information when writing under sub-headings than it is when writing in a continuous paragraph.Such gains in readability should not be dismissed lightly, for a number of studies have shown that traditional abstracts are difficult to read.Tenopir and Jacso (1993) for instance reported a mean Flesch score of 19 for over 300 abstracts published in APA journals.

(The abstract to this article has a Flesch score of 26 when the sub-headings are excluded.) Interestingly enough, there were no significant differences in the percentage of passives used in the two forms of abstracts studied in this paper.This finding is similar to one that we found when looking at the readability of well-known and less well-known articles in psychology (Hartley, Sotto and Pennebaker, 2002).The view that scientific writing involves a greater use of passives, the third person and the past tense is perhaps more of a myth than many people suspect (see, e.

, Kirkman, 2001; Riggle, 1998; Swales and Feak, 1994).Indeed the APA Publication Manual (2001) states, "Verbs are vigorous, direct communicators.Use the active rather than the passive voice, and select tense or mood carefully".) Information content The scores on the information checklist showed that the structured abstracts contained significantly more information than did the traditional ones.

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This is hardly surprising, given the nature of structured abstracts, but it is important.Analyses of the information gains showed that most of the increases occurred on questions 1 (50%), 3 (83%), 5 (63%) and 12 (63%).Thus it appears that in these abstracts more information was given on the reasons for making the study, where the participants came from, the sex distributions of these participants, and on the final conclusions drawn Appendix A Letters consent forms and debriefing letters A1 ORCA.Thus it appears that in these abstracts more information was given on the reasons for making the study, where the participants came from, the sex distributions of these participants, and on the final conclusions drawn.

These findings reflect the fact that few authors in American journals seem to realise that not all of their readers will be American, and that all readers need to know the general context in which a study takes place in order to assess its relevance for their needs.

Stating the actual age group of participants is also helpful because different countries use different conventions for describing people of different ages .Stating the actual age group of participants is also helpful because different countries use different conventions for describing people of different ages.The word 'student', for instance, usually refers to someone studying in tertiary education in the UK, whereas the same word is used for very young children in the USA .The word 'student', for instance, usually refers to someone studying in tertiary education in the UK, whereas the same word is used for very young children in the USA.Although the checklist is a simple measure (giving equal weight to each item, and is inappropriate for review papers), it is nonetheless clear from the results that the structured abstracts contained significantly more information than the original ones and that this can be regarded as an advantage for such abstracts.Advances in 'text mining', 'research profiling' and computer-based document retrieval will be assisted by the use of such more informative abstracts (Blair and Kimbrough, 2002; Pinto and Lancaster, 1999; Porter, Kongthon and Lu, 2002; Wilczynski, Walker, McKibbon and Haynes, 1995) .Advances in 'text mining', 'research profiling' and computer-based document retrieval will be assisted by the use of such more informative abstracts (Blair and Kimbrough, 2002; Pinto and Lancaster, 1999; Porter, Kongthon and Lu, 2002; Wilczynski, Walker, McKibbon and Haynes, 1995).Abstract clarity In previous studies of the clarity of abstracts (e.

, Hartley 1999a; Hartley and Ganier, 2000) the word 'clarity' was not defined and respondents were allowed to respond as they thought fit.In this present study the participants were asked to 'rate each of these of abstracts out of 10 for clarity (with a higher score meaning greater clarity)'.This was followed by the explanation: 'If you have difficulty with what I mean by 'clarity', the kinds of words I have in mind are: 'readable', 'well-organized', 'clear', and 'informative'.(This phraseology was based on wording used by a respondent in a previous study who had explained what she had meant by 'clarity' in her ratings.

) Also in this present study - as noted above - the participants were asked to rate different abstracts rather than the same abstract in the different formats.However, the mean ratings obtained here of 6.4 for the traditional abstracts and the structured ones respectively closely match the results of 6.Nonetheless, because the current results are based on abstracts in general rather than on different versions of the same abstract, these findings offer more convincing evidence for the superiority of structured abstracts in this respect.Finally, in this section, we should note that several of the respondents took the opportunity to comment on the abstracts that they were asked to judge.Table 2 contains a selection from these remarks.TABLE 2: Some Comments Made by Judges on the Clarity of the Pairs of Abstracts that They Were Asked to Judge Preferences for the traditional abstracts My ratings are 2 for the structured abstract and 1 for the traditional one.

I have read the two abstracts that you sent for my judgement.I found the first one (traditional) clearer than the second (structured) one.I would give the first about 9 and the second about 8.Please note, however, that I believe that my response is affected more by the writing style and content of the abstracts than by their organization.

I would have felt more comfortable comparing the two abstracts if they were on the same topic.The first (structured) one was well organized, and the reader can go to the section of interest, but the meaning of the abstract is broken up (I give it 8).The second (traditional) abstract flowed more clearly and was more conceptual (I give it 10).I rate the first (structured) abstract as a 7 and the second (traditional) one as an 8.I prefer the second as it flows better and entices the reader to read the article more than the first, although I understand the purpose of the first to 'mimic' the structure of an article, and hence this should add to clarity.

No clear preference for either format Both abstracts were clear and well organized.The format was different but both told me the information I wanted to know.I found each of the abstracts in this pair to be very clear and without ambiguity.The structured abstract gives the explicit purposes and conclusions, whereas the traditional one does not, but I believe that those are unrelated to 'clarity' as you are defining and intending it - for me they represent a different dimension.

I would give both abstracts a rating of 9.I did what you wanted me to do, and I did not come up with a clear preference.My rating for the structured abstract was 9 compared to a rating of 8 for the traditional one.Preferences for the structured abstracts Overall I thought that the structured abstract was more explicit and clearer than the traditional one.

I would give 7 to the structured one and 5 to the traditional one.

I would rate the second (structured) abstract with a higher clarity (perhaps 9) and the first (traditional) one with a lower score (perhaps 4), but not necessarily due to the structured/unstructured nature of the two paragraphs.The structured abstract was longer, and more detailed (with information on sample size, etc.If the unstructured abstract were of equal length and had sample information to the same degree as the structured abstract, they may have been equally clear.My preference for the structured abstract (10) is strongly influenced by the fact that I could easily reproduce the content of the abstract with a high degree of accuracy, compared to the traditional abstract (which I give 6).

I was actually quite impressed by the different 'feel' of the two formats.I would give the traditional one 4 and the structured one 8.You inspired me to look up my own recent JEP article's abstract.I would give it 5 - of course an unbiased opinion! I rated the traditional abstract 3 for clarity, and the structured abstract 7.In general the traditional abstract sacrificed clarity for brevity and the structured one was a touch verbose.

In general I prefer the structured layout.I have read many articles in health journals that use this type of format and I find the insertion of the organizer words a very simple, yet powerful way to organize the information.The bold-faced headings for the structured abstract do serve an organizational function, and would probably be appreciated by students.Overall I think that the structured format is good and I hope that the JEP will seriously consider adopting it.

Concluding remarks Abstracts in journal articles are an intriguing genre.They encapsulate, in a brief text, the essence of the article that follows.And, according to the APA Publication Manual (2001), "A well-prepared abstract can be the most important paragraph in your article… The abstract needs to be dense with information but also readable, well organized, brief and self-contained".) In point of fact the nature of abstracts in scientific journals has been changing over the years as more and more research articles compete for their readers' attention.Berkenkotter and Huckin (1995) have described how the physical format of journal papers has altered in order to facilitate searching and reading, and how abstracts in scientific journal articles have been getting both longer and more informative (p.The current move towards adopting structured abstracts might thus be seen as part of a more general move towards the use of more clearly defined structures in academic writing.Indeed, whilst preparing this paper, I have come across references to structured content pages (as in Contemporary Psychology and the Journal of Social Psychology and Personality), structured literature reviews (Ottenbacher, 1983; Sugarman, McCrory, and Hubal, 1998), structured articles (Goldmann, 1997; Hartley, 1999b; Kircz, 1998) and even structured book reviews (in the Medical Education Review).

These wider issues, however, are beyond the scope of this particular paper.Here I have merely reported the findings from comparing traditional abstracts with their equivalent structured versions in one particular context.

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My aim, however, has been to illustrate in general how structured abstracts might make a positive contribution to scientific communication.Notes James Hartley is Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Keele in Staffordshire, England.His main interests lie in written communication and in teaching and learning in higher education Who can do a psychology report American Standard Rewriting MLA.

His main interests lie in written communication and in teaching and learning in higher education.

He is the author of Designing Instructional Text (3rd ed., 1994) and Learning and Studying: A Research Perspective (1998) Jump to Thesis quotquotcustom writing servicequotquot research paper nbsp - Page 5 psychology), or 'apparatus' (for example, if you have used an fMRI scanner, you might want to describe its We do not expect you to follow APA style to the letter Overall I think that the structured format is good and I hope that  ., 1994) and Learning and Studying: A Research Perspective (1998).Originally published in Science Communication, 2003, Vol 24, 3, 366-379, copyright: Sage Publications Jump to Thesis quotquotcustom writing servicequotquot research paper nbsp - Page 5 psychology), or 'apparatus' (for example, if you have used an fMRI scanner, you might want to describe its We do not expect you to follow APA style to the letter Overall I think that the structured format is good and I hope that  .Originally published in Science Communication, 2003, Vol 24, 3, 366-379, copyright: Sage Publications.I am grateful to Geoff Luck for scoring the abstract checklist, James Pennebaker for the LIWC data, and colleagues from the Journal of Educational Psychology who either gave permission for me to use their abstracts, or took part in this enquiry.Department of Psychology, Keele University, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK; phone: 011 44 1782 583383; fax: 011 44 1782 583387; e-mail: [email protected] ; Web site: /depts/ps/ References Berkenkotter, C.Genre knowledge in disciplinary communication.Exemplary documents: A foundation for information retrieval design.Information Processing and Management 38:363-379.The value of structured abstracts in information retrieval from MEDLINE.Health Library Review British Psychological Society.Journal of the American Society for Information Science 26:108-111.Journal of Applied Psychology Guidelines for Writing and Presenting the Thesis Guidelines for Writing and Presenting the Thesis The DClinPsy thesis has two volumes.The major research project forms Volume 1; Volume 2 contains the four case reports and the service-related research report.These guidelines describe what goes into each part of the thesis and how it all fits together.

They mostly focus on Volume 1, which is covered in the following section; the later section on layout and formatting covers both volumes.What goes in Volume 1 Volume 1, the research component of the thesis, has a three-part structure, consisting of a literature review paper, an empirical paper and a critical appraisal.In addition, from June 2018 onwards, UCL regulations stipulate that the thesis should contain a brief (≤500 words) Impact Statement, explaining how the work in the thesis could be put to beneficial use inside and outside of academia.The first two parts (the literature review and the empirical paper) are in the form of papers that might be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal; the third part (the critical appraisal) is not intended for publication, but aims to give you an opportunity to reflect critically on the research that you carried out.There will inevitably be some overlap between each of the three parts: for example, the introduction section of the empirical paper may partly be condensed from the literature review paper, and the critical appraisal may address in greater detail some of the issues raised in the discussion section of the empirical paper.However, overlap should generally be minimal, and the same sentences should not normally be repeated in different parts of the thesis.The regulations state that the length of the research thesis shall be approximately 25,000 words, with a maximum of 40,000 words; there is no minimum word count.We suggest that you aim for about 20,000 to 25,000 words.Conciseness of expression is greatly valued by the examiners, who may require overly wordy theses to be shortened.

We strongly encourage you to start writing drafts of your thesis early on, as this is an essential way to clarify your thoughts.It is a bad idea to leave a lot of the writing until late in the project, since this usually leads to a rushed, poor quality thesis.Review paper The review paper (of approximately 8,000 words not including tables and references) is a focused review of a body of literature relevant to the research topic.It is not necessary to address the literature for every aspect of your empirical study (the introduction section of your empirical paper will provide the necessary background).

The review paper should be a stand-alone paper in its own right.It should pose a question and then systematically examine the empirical literature that addresses that question.The structure is as follows: A structured Abstract (of about 200 words), with headings of Aims, Method, Results, Conclusions.It should specify the number of papers reviewed.The Introduction gives the background to the topic and ends with a clearly specified question that the review will address.

The Method section specifies the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the studies to be reviewed and the search strategy for locating them.The latter should indicate which databases you used, with which search terms, and specify other search limits, e.You should also describe how you narrowed down the studies from the initial (usually large) number of hits generated by the search to the final set of studies that you focus on.

The steps in the narrowing down process are usually illustrated by a flowchart.The Results section reviews the assembled studies.It is usually helpful to include a table listing their important characteristics and findings.The review should not be simply descriptive; it should weigh up the evidence, taking into account the methodological soundness of the studies, and take a critical perspective on the evidence base as a whole.It is often helpful to use a structured critical appraisal checklist -- there are several in the literature (see the list on Moodle).

The Discussion section addresses what can be concluded from the body of studies reviewed.It should draw on the methodological critique of the studies in order to evaluate the quality of the evidence.It should also address the limitations of the review, draw any clinical implications and make suggestions for further research (that may, by remarkable coincidence, bear considerable similarity to the empirical project reported in the second part of the thesis).One model for the general style of this part of the thesis is articles in Clinical Psychology Review.

You could also look at any theoretical or review article in other clinical psychology journals.However, these published review papers, particularly those in prestigious journals, are usually much more ambitious in terms of quantity, scope and method than is possible within the constraints of the DClinPsy.Empirical paper The empirical paper (of approximately 8,000 words not including tables and references) reports on your study.Its structure follows the usual research article format, although the length of each section will vary according to the nature of the project, and additional detail may need to be provided in the Method or Results sections (or in an Appendix).

You can model it on papers in any mainstream peer-reviewed clinical psychology journal, e.the British Journal of Clinical Psychology or the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, or a specialist journal in your particular research area.As a rough guide, each of the four main sections is usually in the range of about 1,500 to 2,500 words, with the Results section usually being longer than the other three.The structure is as follows: A structured Abstract (of about 200 words), with headings of Aims, Method, Results, Conclusions.

A brief review of the literature, which shows the flow of ideas leading to your research questions.The rationale for the study should be clearly articulated.The Introduction ends with your research questions or hypotheses.A description of participants, procedures, design and measures.

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The methods should be described in sufficient detail to enable the reader to understand what was done and potentially to be able to replicate the study.For quantitative studies, the statistical power analysis should normally be reported.Descriptions of measures need to include sample items, response options, scoring methods and psychometric properties For example, when we say that the title should be fewer than 12 words, the world will not end if your title is 13 words. So, please use your common sense. In case you do not have any, the snail of sense will appear to give you some advice. Format of a Laboratory Report. There are several sections to a lab report: → Title..Descriptions of measures need to include sample items, response options, scoring methods and psychometric properties.

There will also be a section on ethics, saying where approval was obtained and discussing any ethical issues in the study.

For confidentiality reasons, no names of services where participants were recruited should be given A previous version of this paper was authored by Robert C. Calfee and Richard R.   edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.   Are they in APA Style? If not, the author is not using. APA publication format. • Scan the tables and figures. Do they portray the information clearly? Can they..For confidentiality reasons, no names of services where participants were recruited should be given.The findings and any statistical analyses should be presented with the aid of tables and, if necessary, figures.It should be possible for the reader to evaluate the data from which your conclusions are drawn.Qualitative papers will include quotes to illustrate each of the themes.

An examination of the research questions in the light of the results obtained and the methods used.It will interpret the findings in the context of the research questions and the wider theoretical context in which the work was carried out, including a consideration of alternative explanations, methodological limitations and reasons for unexpected results.It will conclude with a discussion of the scientific and professional implications of the findings.Critical appraisal The final part of the thesis (of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 words not including tables and references) is intended to encourage critical reflection on the whole process of doing the research.Its structure and content are more flexible than those of the other two parts.You could, for example, discuss how your previous experiences or theoretical orientation might have influenced how you set about the study, how the process of doing the research might have modified your views (it is often helpful to draw on your research journal here), how you dealt with any dilemmas or methodological choices that arose during the course of the study, and what you might have done differently and why.

You could also include an expanded discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the study, its clinical and scientific implications, and future directions for research (depending on how extensively each of these areas is covered in the discussion section of the empirical paper).It is essential, however, to ensure that all important points are mentioned in your empirical paper first – this is not the place to introduce significant limitations of the study or different ways of interpreting the findings.Whilst it is less formal than the other two parts, the critical appraisal should not be overly personal; it should ideally be addressed to an audience of fellow researchers who might benefit from your considered thoughts about conducting the research.Appendices All appendices are placed at the end of Volume 1.Include here any additional material related to the empirical study, or to the other two parts if needed.

Essential material to append includes: the official letter giving ethical approval, sample letters to participants, participant information sheet, informed consent form, instruction sheets, questionnaires, interview schedules and any measures not in common use.Measures that are sensitive or copyrighted will eventually need to be removed when the thesis is hard bound -- see the section below on hard binding.Raw data and computer printouts are not normally needed.However, for qualitative studies, examples of the procedures of analysis should be included.Confidentiality and privacy Once your thesis is completed it will effectively become a public document, available on the internet via the UCL's e-thesis repository (UCL Discovery).

Therefore it is essential when presenting your work that your participants' right to confidentiality and privacy be upheld.In particular, students writing up small-N and qualitative studies should be especially careful to ensure that no participants are identifiable from the thesis.Layout and formatting General The text should be double-spaced on plain, white A4 paper.Both sides of the paper may be used - you can choose whether to print the thesis single-sided or double-sided.

Margins at the binding edge should be 4cm.

top, bottom and unbound side) should be 2.Remember, if you include a table or figure that uses a landscape page setup then the margins need to be adjusted accordingly, i.

Number pages on the bottom right or bottom centre of the page.Page 1 is the title page (although it looks tidier if you suppress the page numbering for that page only).Volumes 1 and 2 have separate tables of contents and are separately paginated (i.

For general guidance on formatting, follow APA style, as set out in the APA Publication Manual (6th edition).It is essential to use APA citation and referencing style (see the course document on Moodle), and also to lay out tables in APA format.Heading formats can depart slightly from APA style (e.

you can use italicised headings, or adopt a numbering system if you wish): what is important is to adopt a systematic hierarchy of headings within each part of the thesis.Look at recent theses for models of layout and formatting (ask your UCL supervisor to recommend one or two).Pay meticulous attention to spelling, grammar, punctuation and format: poorly presented theses give an impression of carelessness and will be referred for revision.The thesis is more easily readable if you left justify the text and use a standard font.

We recommend Times New Roman 12 point or Arial 11point for the main body of the text, although tables and figures can be set in a smaller font size if necessary, as long as they are readable.In accordance with APA style, the best way to indicate a new paragraph in double-spaced text is to indent its first word; there is then no need to leave a blank line between paragraphs.Tables and figures are numbered (Table 1 etc.) and usually placed on their own separate pages, although smaller ones can be embedded in the text, usually just below the paragraph that first refers to them (in contrast to APA format for submitted journal articles, where the tables and figures are at the end of the paper).Volume 1 the Title Page gives the title (usually the same as that of the empirical paper), your name, and lower down on the page, the words " .

thesis (Volume 1), year of submission " and on the line below "University College London".You can use a slightly larger font if you wish.a Signed Declaration that the work presented is your own.The professional doctorate regulations specify that this be inserted right after the title page of the thesis There is a declaration form on the course website.

an Overview (up to 250 words), giving a summary of the contents of all three parts of the thesis.(Note that this will ultimately be used by the library to catalogue your thesis, and it will form part of the meta-data that will be seen first by people searching for your thesis.) an Impact Statement that describes, in no more than 500 words, how the expertise, knowledge, analysis, discovery or insight presented in your thesis could be put to a beneficial use.Please see guidance from the UCL Doctoral School on this.the Table of Contents covers all three parts of Volume 1, including the appendices, and gives a separate list of tables and figures.

the Acknowledgements page mentions everyone whose contribution to the work you wish to recognise.Part 1 (the literature review) with a title page and abstract (both on separate pages) and references.The title page should say “Part 1: Literature Review” and then give the title of the review paper on a separate line.Part 2 (the empirical paper) with a title page and abstract (both on separate pages) and references.The title page should say “Part 2: Empirical Paper” and then give the title of the empirical paper on a separate line.

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The text of the main body of the paper should run continuously: the main sections (Methods, Results, Discussion) should not start on new pages.Tables and figures should be numbered afresh for the empirical paper, so the first table in the empirical paper is Table 1, even if there is also a Table 1 in the literature review.Part 3 (the critical appraisal) with a title page (just saying “Part 3: Critical Appraisal”), and references How to Write a Paper Mechanics Materials and Design University nbsp.Part 3 (the critical appraisal) with a title page (just saying “Part 3: Critical Appraisal”), and references.

the Appendices, each with their own title page.(There’s no need to number the pages within the appendices if this is fiddly.

) There is only one set of appendices for all of Volume 1, placed at the end of the volume.They are numbered in the order in which they appear in the thesis dunstablemarket.co.uk/research-proposal/help-me-do-an-macro-economics-research-proposal-harvard-american-premium.They are numbered in the order in which they appear in the thesis.(If there is only one appendix, just call it Appendix, with no number.) If your research is part of a joint project (e.

with another trainee or with a PhD student), you must state this in the Overview and in the Method section of your empirical paper, and include an Appendix setting out each person’s contribution to the project.Please see the course document on submission of joint theses.Volume 2 Volume 2 begins with a title page, which says “Case Reports and Service-Related Research Project”, then lists on separate lines your name, “ .thesis (Volume 2), year of submission ” and “University College London”.On the next page there is the table of contents, giving the full title, as below; there is no need to list tables and appendices.

Then follows each of the four case reports and the service-related research report, in the order in which each was submitted.For case reports, the title page gives the submission number, your own title and the type of case report, e., Case report 4: “An angry young man” (Completed Clinical Intervention).For the service-related research it has the words “Service Related Research Report (submitted as Case Report x)”; the title of the report is then listed on a new line.

Word counts and trainee code numbers should be omitted.After the title page comes the body of the report, its references, and then any appendices pertaining to that report.Each case report is a stand-alone entity, so tables and appendices are numbered afresh (i.As described above, Volume 2 is separately paginated.Handing in before the viva Soft binding Volume 1.You will need to submit two copies of Volume 1 in a temporary, soft binding.These should be submitted to the Research Administrator, in the General Office (i.

The two copies of Volume 1 will be sent out to the examiners.Soft binding consists of a clear plastic cover and solid spine (not ring binding); it comes under a variety of names at various printers.It can be done at The London Student Print Centre at ULU (where it is known as “heat binding” -- there is a limit of 180 pages), the local branch of Call Print, 163-169 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PD (020 7580 7122020 7580 7122), CATS Solutions (020 7246 1514020 7246 1514, [email protected] ) on campus (who refer to it as “tape binding” -- note that they send it off-site, so there is a delay) or at Collis, Bird & Withey (where it is called “simple binding”).

You will need your own copy (which can be unbound) to bring to the viva.You also need to submit an electronic version of Volume 1 in pdf format.Send it to the Research Administrator via the UCL Drop Box with a file name of Thesis submission volume1 yourlastname (e.Volume 2 is submitted in electronic format only, in exactly the same way as Volume 1, with a file name of Thesis submission volume2 yourlastname .Running Volume 1 through Turnitin In addition to the procedures outlined above for submission of the thesis, we require that Volume 1 of the thesis be submitted via Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection programme.Please note – you do not need to submit Volume 2 of the thesis to Turnitin.As with case reports, submission of Volume 1 of the thesis to Turnitin is done via Moodle.The link for thesis submission on your Moodle homepage is called ‘2015 Thesis Volume 1 Submission’.

When uploading Volume 1 please call the file ‘Volume 1 First name Family name ’.For example, ‘Volume 1 Ed Miliband’ or ‘Volume 1 Nicola Sturgeon’.You should upload your full Volume 1 (as outlined in the section above called ‘Volume 1’) as a word document.Turnitin is being used to promote good academic practice, not to catch students out.For this reason the system has been configured so that you can submit your Volume 1, look at the Turnitin report to identify any sections where there may be potential plagiarism, delete the submission and submit a revised report.

00 on the day on which theses are due, although in practice it is strongly recommended that Turnitin submissions are made well before then: it will be important to leave yourself time to submit to Turnitin before you send your final version of Volume 1 to the printer for soft binding.Also, please note that Turnitin only allows one submission every 24 hours, so you will need to factor this in to any plans for checking and resubmission.How to judge the Turnitin report to decide whether the thesis needs to be amended? Turnitin will give your Volume 1 an originality score, but this tells you very little about whether there are any problems with plagiarism in your thesis.That is because theses contain copies of measures, participant information sheets, references and so on, which inflate the Turnitin originality score.

Trainees need to use their own judgement to decide whether they should amend their thesis because of inadvertent plagiarism.The key principle is that ideas and quotations are appropriately referenced.Please look at the guidance about plagiarism on the UCL website, which is also reproduced in Section 23 of the Training Handbook.If you have any queries about using Turnitin as part of the thesis submission, please contact Oxana Brigden, the Research Administrator, in the first instance.

After the viva Ongoing access to UCL library resources All DClinPsy students continue to have access to UCL library resources after the viva, whilst they work on any required thesis revisions.

Once you have have completed any revisions, had them approved and handed in the hard bound thesis, your access to the library as a UCL student will come to an end.However, the good news is that UCL alumni are entitled to library access after they complete their studies.You just need to re-register, following the instructions given on the UCL library website.Hard binding After all revisions have been made and the thesis has been passed by the examiners, it will need to be prepared for final submission.Some psychological tests or questionnaires may need to be removed from the appendices before the thesis is hard bound (although they need to be included in the soft bound version so that the examiners can fully understand your project).

Firstly, tests should be removed if their validity would be harmed if they were freely available.Refer to the APA statement on security of test materials for guidance on this issue.Secondly, any copyrighted test materials should also be removed.Two hard-bound copies of Volume 1 are required (one for the University and one for the Department).You will also probably need extra copies, e.

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for your supervisors and for yourself, although these need not have hard covers.The thesis is bound in a hard blue cover with gold lettering.It must specify "Volume 1" on the spine Academic Essay Writing for Postgraduates is designed to help you plan, draft and   write short answers. The best way to use these materials is with another student, with whom you can share ideas and argue. You will find our answers to the tasks -   for permission to adapt their World Englishes paper for use in this course..It must specify "Volume 1" on the spine.

The following binderies are familiar with the University hard-binding format: The London Student Print Centre at ULU (the University of London Union), Malet Street, WC1.

Collis, Bird & Withey, 1 Drayton Park, N5 1NU (020 7607 1116),Structured abstracts.Collis, Bird & Withey, 1 Drayton Park, N5 1NU (020 7607 1116), .Wyvern Bindery, 56-58 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5PX (020 7490 7899).UCL also have a list of potential binders and printers (although these have not been approved by the course or by UCL).You also need to submit two electronic copies of Volume 1 in pdf format: 1.One e-copy to the Research Administrator with a filename of Thesis final volume1 yourlastname 2.

One e-copy to UCL's e-thesis repository (UCL Discovery) via the Research Publication Service.The library have produced a useful document (available on the Project Support Moodle site) outlining the e-thesis submission procedure.Once the Research Administrator has received the hard-bound copies plus the e-thesis version of Volume 1 (and assuming that you have completed all other components of the course), they will inform the HCPC that you have satisfied all the course requirements.However, before the Research Administrator can report to UCL that you have completed the course, you also need to have submitted the e-thesis copy to UCL Discovery.Once this is done, you will get a letter from the Course Directors confirming that you have passed the DClinPsy.

Always look out for flaws in arguments – and that includes your own.Photograph: Alamy As the government begins its crackdown on essay mill websites, it’s easy to see just how much pressure students are under to get top grades for their coursework these days.But writing a high-scoring paper doesn’t need to be complicated.We spoke to experts to get some simple techniques that will raise your writing game.Tim Squirrell is a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, and is teaching for the first time this year.

When he was asked to deliver sessions on the art of essay-writing, he decided to publish a comprehensive (and brilliant) blog on the topic, offering wisdom gleaned from turning out two or three essays a week for his own undergraduate degree.“It took me until my second or third year at Cambridge to work it out.No one tells you how to put together an argument and push yourself from a 60 to a 70, but once you to get grips with how you’re meant to construct them, it’s simple.” 'I felt guilty when I got my results': your stories of buying essays | Guardian readers and Sarah Marsh Read more Poke holes The goal of writing any essay is to show that you can think critically about the material at hand (whatever it may be).

This means going beyond regurgitating what you’ve read; if you’re just repeating other people’s arguments, you’re never going to trouble the upper end of the marking scale.“You need to be using your higher cognitive abilities,” says Bryan Greetham, author of the bestselling How to Write Better Essays.“You’re not just showing understanding and recall, but analysing and synthesising ideas from different sources, then critically evaluating them.” But what does critical evaluation actually look like? According to Squirrell, it’s simple: you need to “poke holes” in the texts you’re exploring and work out the ways in which “the authors aren’t perfect”.

“That can be an intimidating idea,” he says.“You’re reading something that someone has probably spent their career studying, so how can you, as an undergraduate, critique it? “The answer is that you’re not going to discover some gaping flaw in Foucault’s History of Sexuality Volume 3, but you are going to be able to say: ‘There are issues with these certain accounts, here is how you might resolve those’.That’s the difference between a 60-something essay and a 70-something essay.” Critique your own arguments Once you’ve cast a critical eye over the texts, you should turn it back on your own arguments.This may feel like going against the grain of what you’ve learned about writing academic essays, but it’s the key to drawing out developed points.

“We’re taught at an early age to present both sides of the argument,” Squirrell continues.“Then you get to university and you’re told to present one side of the argument and sustain it throughout the piece.But that’s not quite it: you need to figure out what the strongest objections to your own argument would be.Write them and try to respond to them, so you become aware of flaws in your reasoning.

Every argument has its limits and if you can try and explore those, the markers will often reward that.

” Applying to university? It's time to narrow your choices down to two Read more Fine, use Wikipedia then The use of Wikipedia for research is a controversial topic among academics, with many advising their students to stay away from the site altogether.“I genuinely disagree,” says Squirrell.“Those on the other side say that you can’t know who has written it, what they had in mind, what their biases are.But if you’re just trying to get a handle on a subject, or you want to find a scattering of secondary sources, it can be quite useful.I would only recommend it as either a primer or a last resort, but it does have its place.

” Focus your reading Reading lists can be a hindrance as well as a help.They should be your first port of call for guidance, but they aren’t to-do lists.A book may be listed, but that doesn’t mean you need to absorb the whole thing.Squirrell advises reading the introduction and conclusion and a relevant chapter but no more.“Otherwise you won’t actually get anything out of it because you’re trying to plough your way through a 300-page monograph,” he says.

You also need to store the information you’re gathering in a helpful, systematic way.Bryan Greetham recommends a digital update of his old-school “project box” approach.“I have a box to catch all of those small things – a figure, a quotation, something interesting someone says – I’ll write them down and put them in the box so I don’t lose them.Then when I come to write, I have all of my material.” There are a plenty of online offerings to help with this, such as the project management app Scrivener and referencing tool Zotero, and, for the procrastinators, there are productivity programmes like Self Control, which allow users to block certain websites from their computers for a set period.

Essays for sale: the booming online industry in writing academic work to order Read more Look beyond the reading list “This is comparatively easy to do,” says Squirrell.“Look at the citations used in the text, put them in Google Scholar, read the abstracts and decide whether they’re worth reading.Then you can look on Google Scholar at other papers that have cited the work you’re writing about – some of those will be useful.” And finally, the introduction The old trick of dealing with your introduction last is common knowledge, but it seems few have really mastered the art of writing an effective opener.

“Introductions are the easiest things in the world to get right and nobody does it properly,” Squirrel says.“It should be ‘Here is the argument I am going to make, I am going to substantiate this with three or four strands of argumentation, drawing upon these theorists, who say these things, and I will conclude with some thoughts on this area and how it might clarify our understanding of this phenomenon.’ You should be able to encapsulate it in 100 words or so.” Keep up with the latest on Guardian Students: follow us on Twitter at @GdnStudents – and become a member to receive exclusive benefits and our weekly newsletter.