Task One


Click on the questions below that you want to find the answers to.





Task Two - Understanding a Writer’s Viewpoint


If you interpret authors’ viewpoints correctly, you can discuss your subject more knowledgeably and use the work/research of others to support your own arguments. Look at the following examples and answer the questions.
  1. Johnson (2007) suggests that people who see themselves as lucky are in fact lucky, because they take advantage of more opportunities.
  2. Johnson (2007) discusses whether people who see themselves as lucky are in fact lucky, because they take advantage of more opportunities.
  3. Johnson (2007) argues that people who see themselves as lucky are in fact lucky, because they take advantage of more opportunities.
  4. Johnson (2007) states that people who see themselves as lucky are in fact lucky, because they take advantage of more opportunities.



Task Three


So far you have learned that:
  1. Some reporting verbs show that an author believes strongly in what they say. These are called strong reporting verbs.
  2. There is a group of verbs that writers use to show that they may believe something, but they still wish to be hesitant. These are called tentative reporting verbs.
  3. A third group of verbs is used to describe or report what a writer says as a statement of fact. These are called neutral reporting verbs.
Label the following reporting verbs as S (Strong), N (Neutral) or T (Tentative) .


Task Four


This task will help you understand better the differences in meaning among reporting verbs. Read the following article – “Why do we believe in luck?” – and decide whether you think the reporting verbs indicate strong or tentative beliefs, or do they simply report information factually and objectively. Answer the questions that follow the paragraphs and choose the correct verb in each case.

BBC News Magazine
6th April, 2011

Why do we believe in luck?

Reprinted with permission from the BBC News

Task Five


Different reporting verbs use different grammatical patterns. Students sometimes make mistakes by mixing the patterns up. Look at the sentences below and choose the ones that contain no errors by clicking on the radio buttons on the right.



5.According to Aitkin (2011), luck is fascinating when considered part of risk and chance.
6.As Aitkin (2011) points out, “Luck is a really interesting aspect of risk and chance”.
8.Aitkin (2011) states that “Luck is a really interesting aspect of risk and chance”.


Hide answer.



Three Common Patterns

These three patterns are common in academic writing. Try to memorise them so that you can use them in your own writing.

According to Author (Year) + COMMA Subject + Verb

As Author (Year) reporting verb + COMMA Subject + Verb

Author (Year) reporting verb + THAT Subject + Verb



A Word about Tense

Very often in academic writing reporting is done in the present tense, so remember to put the final ‘s’ on the verb when the subject is ‘he’ or ‘she’. Number 4 in the previous exercise should therefore be:


Aitkin (2011) believes that “Luck is a really interesting aspect of risk and chance”.


However, there are at least three cases where you would use the past tense.

1.

If you are a Science student, you are usually required to use the past tense when reporting findings.

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2011, concluded that the prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.

2.

Use the past tense also when reporting on a methodology that has been completed.

In Sanderson’s control group the patients received either no drug or a different drug.

3.

Use the past tense when reporting information that was once believed to be true, but has now been disproved.

Once estimated at 176,000 pounds, Sellers and his team now suggest that the brachiosaurus in reality weighed little more than 51,000 pounds.




Task Six

Each sentence below contains an error. Decide what you think the error is and then click on ‘Answer’ to see if you are right.
  1. Reid (1993) defines reflection “a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice.”

    Reid (1993) defines reflection as “a process of reviewing an experience of practice in order to describe, analyse, evaluate and so inform learning about practice.”


    Hide answer.

  2. According to Grant (2002) points out that advertisements do not generally reflect how men and women actually behave in real life.

    According to Grant (2002), points out that advertisements do not generally reflect how men and women actually behave in real life.


    Hide answer.

  3. In his latest research, McQueen (2004) discuss the limitations of natural selection.

    In his latest research, McQueen (2004) discusses the limitations of natural selection.


    Hide answer.

  4. As Bennett (2009) states that it is “just about impossible to keep up with all the latest innovations in online social networking”.

    As Bennett (2009) states that it is “just about impossible to keep up with all the latest innovations in online social networking”. OR
    As Bennett (2009) states, that it is “just about impossible to keep up with all the latest innovations in online social networking”.


    Hide answer.

  5. Luck, according to Aitkin, is fascinating when considered part of risk and chance.

    Luck, according to Aitkin (2011), is fascinating when considered part of risk and chance.


    Hide answer.

  6. In their latest study on herbal approaches, Green and Sharpe (2008) are propose some possible solutions to cardiac problems.

    In their latest study on herbal approaches, Green and Sharpe (2008) are propose some possible solutions to cardiac problems.


    Hide answer.

  7. Gardner (1999) reports “The quickest and most effective way to improve one’s foreign language skills is through social and linguistic immersion in the country where the language is spoken”.

    Gardner (1999) reports that “The quickest and most effective way to improve one’s foreign language skills is through social and linguistic immersion in the country where the language is spoken”.


    Hide answer.



Task Seven


  1. Grant (2002) argues that advertisements do not generally reflect how men and women actually behave in real life.
  2. In her latest study on herbal approaches, Sharpe (2008) proposes some possible solutions to cardiac problems.
  3. Gardner (1999) emphasises that “The quickest and most effective way to improve one’s foreign language skills is through social and linguistic immersion in the country where the language is spoken”.
  4. Aitkin (2011) believes luck is fascinating when considered part of risk and chance.
  5. Davies (2008) examines the role of pro-anorexia websites in teenage eating disorders.
  6. a


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