UnnoOne of the challenges of writing papers in the humanities is that coursesand instructors have different requirements and expectations.
Nevertheless,there are certain things that tend to be consistent across the curriculum,such as focus and simplicity, basic forms of argument, documentation,and writing as a craft.
Writing a conclusion - university of warwick
That is because you will begin to understand that they are like variationson a theme In the humanities, theses average 50-75 pages in length and consist of two or or the challenges of urban poverty, you've studied topics in college that really .
As you master these variations, your repertoire will increase,and you will become like a master musician on paper, freely able to movebetween genres and styles.
Focus and SimplicityStarting with a good focus will help you to keep your paper manageable. If you start with a narrow focus, you can always expand the range of yourtopic later in the paper.
If, however, you begin with a large topic, youmay find that you have taken on too much to cover within the suggestedpage length. For example, it is easier to write a focused paper on "ChuangTzu's View of Illusion in the Butterfly Dream" than "Chuang Tzu's Viewof Reality.
" These topics are related in such a way that the former hasimplications for the latter but need not cover every aspect of Chuang Tzu'sview of reality. Taking one idea, one passage, or one image from the textas your main focus can provide a very good focus for your paper.
Keeping your prose simple will help you to communicate your ideas directlyand effectively. As a rule, write natural English, don't make your sentencestoo long, limit the number of ideas per sentence, and don't use too manydifficult words.
Some people have the impression that academic prose issupposed to be difficult and convoluted - not true! Use natural Englishin which your ideas flow in an unforced manner. There are times to usecomplex sentence constructions and technical terminology, but your useof them will be much more effective if you keep your writing simple andstraightforward.
Forms of Argument: Thesis, Evidence/Counter-evidence,ConclusionThe most basic form of argument in the humanities paper is to presenta thesis, to back up your thesis with evidence (usually textual) whiletaking counter-evidence into account, and to bring the paper to a conclusion.
You present the thesis in the introductory or thesisparagraph 12 Aug 2015 - There is no guide to writing a humanities thesis, but this MA grad walks I'd give the same guidance to a senior in college embarking on an .
Sometimes the thesis is presented in logical form.
Guidelines for dissertations - college of humanities intranet
The first example below is a thesis paragraph presentedvery logically. The second example is an introductory paragraph that statesits case more indirectly.
(The two paragraphs make very different arguments. ) In Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris arguesthat the significance of the Western plains has been largely overlooked.
She bases her views on two fundamental ideas: The plains have a uniqueplace in the United States both geographically and culturally, and theyare an indispensable part of the larger interrelated whole called "America. "In this paper, I argue that she is right in some respects but wrong inothers.
She is right to identify the characteristics of plains cultureand life and to try to relate it to the larger life of the nation. However,she tends to overemphasize the impact that a greater awareness of the plainscan have for all Americans.
In Dakota-A Spiritual Geography, Kathleen Norris writes abouther life on the Western plains of the United States. She describes it asa kind of monastic world in which she has come in contact with her spiritualroots through the lives of the people there, the land, and the solitudeof her own inner life.
She does not falsely idealize life on the plainsas some kind of paradise away from the urban jungle. In fact, she is criticalof the insularity and pettiness of the small towns in which she lives andworks.
Rather than detracting from the positive sense of her life there,however, her critical perspectives make her work more real and lead thereader to want to get to know her and the plains better. In order to present the actual argumentor ideas of the thesis/introductory paragraph, one needs evidence, andin most courses, this takes the form of textual evidence.
In some ways,one is like a lawyer who presents a case in a criminal proceeding.
Honors theses - the writing center
His argument will be more convincing the more evidence he is able to collect,but his narrative will be even more compelling if he is also able to takeinto account counter-evidence.
This doesn't necessarily imply a rigid argument,counter-argument structure 6.5 MA DISSERTATIONS. The Dissertation project is the culmination of your Master's programme. The ability to conceive, plan, research and write-up an .
Sometimes, counter-evidence is presented subtlyin the form of alternative interpretations and multiple perspectives: "Anotherpossibility is . " Sometimes, the evidence is cited in detail - one might quote a journalentry, for example; other times, only a page reference is provided.
Similarlyin an academic paper, one might quote a paragraph or simply provide a pagereference depending on what is needed. One place where a legal case differsfrom the academic paper is that, in the former, the introduction of massiveamounts of evidence is often used to confuse or attack a position.
In theacademic paper, you want to do the opposite: Use an appropriate amountof evidence to tell your story in a compact, concise manner Writing a dissertation, long essay or thesis as part of an undergraduate or master's level degree programme (for the remainder of this handbook, we will adopt .
As statedearlier, simple, focused prose is the most effective.
Four keys to writing in the humanities - university of oregon
The conclusion brings your story/argument to a close.
It may contain some summary of your findings, but it should not merelyreiterate your introductory or thesis paragraph. First, since the reader will have gained knowledge fromreading the body of your paper, you can state your findings in a more finelynuanced manner than you did at the beginning. Second, there may still besome questions that remain, or your paper may have uncovered additionalquestions that show the significance of having proposed the thesis in theway you did.
In this sense, it can be effective to end your paper withsome insightful questions. Thesis or introductory paragraph; evidence/counter-evidence; conclusion-- these are the most essential elements of a paper.
There are twists andsubtleties you can introduce to make it like a four- or even five-partpaper, but most successful papers contain these elements. Visualizing yourpaper in various ways can help you construct this sequence of thesis, evidence/counter-evidence,and conclusion: a legal case, a three-act play, or even a three-part symphonycan help you to gain a sense of the logical flow and rhythm of the storythat is your paper.
Documentation: Intellectual Property and the Boundary of IdeasDocumentation, that is, providing quotations, page references, and footnotes,is essential to the academic paper. The importance of documentation asa source of evidence is discussed above.
There are two other reasons forproper footnoting: 1) proper attribution of intellectual property, and2) defining the boundary between your ideas and someone else's. 1) One needs to use textual evidence in craftingthe argument or narrative of a paper. This textual evidence comes fromother people's books, articles, and the like, so it is very important thatyou document the source of your ideas if they are not your own.
Ideas belongto people just like material objects; it took effort to create and renderthese ideas on paper, and one must give due recognition to one's sources.
2) Proper documentation also facilitates somethingelse 17 Mar 2018 - I had 2 months to write my proposal and I struggled for weeks. Previously, in English and History classes in college, I had been given a I have coached students in the humanities and social sciences as well, and they .
When you provide footnotes, you clearly delineate the boundary betweensomeone else's ideas and your own. You can agree or disagree with someoneelse's ideas or interpret them in your own way, but if you don't providereferences, then not only are you dishonest, but your paper is likely tobe confusing, and the reader may not be able to tell where the originalsource's ideas end and yours begin.
When you are exploring an idea, youwant to represent it accurately first, and then interpret orcriticize it next. If someone else made the cake but you presentit as your own, then of course this is dishonest. Suppose you buy a birthday cake and decorate it with your friend'sname before the party. If someone asks if you made the cake, then it wouldbe dishonest to say that you made the whole thing, but you can take creditfor the decoration.
Footnotes in a paper help to identify which part ofthe cake you made. If the reader cannot tell which is which, then the paperis unacceptable.
I usually provide samplefootnote formats for the readings in a course.
Otherwise, use published,established formats such as are found in Kate Turabian's Manual forWriters or the MLA Handbook. 1They provide fairly straightforward rules to cover a wide range of complexcases; don't reinvent the wheel. Writing as a CraftSome people assume that writing a college-level academic paper is anatural act like walking or eating, but it is actually one of the mostdifficult, learned skills that you will acquire during your four yearsin college.
For the majority of students, the process of mastering theacademic paper represents one of the most challenging tasks no matter howthorough the high school preparation.
In a musical performance or an athleticcompetition, you can use your whole being - body, mind, and heart - toshow others the results of your efforts 2 Jun 2017 - What are the typical ingredients in a conclusion? 2. What are the differences between writing conclusions to essays and to dissertations/theses .
In an academic paper, however,you are trying to convey something that comes from deep within your understandingthrough the indirect, intellectual medium of writing. As Stephen Pinkerstates, Expository writing requires language to express far more complextrains of thought than it was biologically designed to do.
Inconsistenciescaused by limitations of short-term memory and planning, unnoticed in conversation,are not as tolerable when preserved on a page that is to be perused moreleisurely. Also, unlike a conversational partner, a reader will rarelyshare enough background assumptions to interpolate all the missing premisesthat make language comprehensive.
Overcoming one's natural egocentrismand trying to anticipate the knowledge state of a generic reader at everystage of the exposition is one of the most important tasks in writing well. All this makes writing a difficult craft that must be mastered throughpractice, instruction, feedback, and--probably most important--intensiveexposure to good examples.
A banal but universally acknowledgedkey to good writing is to revise extensively.
Good writers go through anywherefrom two to twenty drafts before releasing a paper. Anyone who does notappreciate this necessity is going to be a bad writer.
In order to master the craft of writing, there are, in addition to thethings discussed above, two other factors that must be taken into account:grammar and style. If you want to play basketball,you have to know the rules.
There are obvious rules: You cannot double-dribbleor go out-of-bounds.
7 rules you must violate to finish writing your thesis
Rules sometimes may seem restrictive, but actually, they free you to playthe game or write the paper.
Unless you follow the rules, you aren't evenin the game -- writing the paper 12 Nov 2014 - 1: Hit the ground running. Most graduate programs will state in their handbooks that writing the dissertation begins in the third or even fourth .
At the same time, there are ways to breakthe rules appropriately. If a player expects you to pass, you can fakeand go in for the score.
Likewise in writing, there are times when youcan skillfully break grammatical rules, involving, for example, commas. However, it takes a very high skill level to break the rules on commasso that it enhances your paper.
That is because the reader must see thatthat is what you are doing. If the opposing player doesn't think you cango in for the score, the faked pass isn't going to work at all.
Style develops out of the way that you use grammar, vocabulary, andthe like. Style sometimes receives short shrift as if it's lipstick onthe face of a magazine model, but it's much more than that.
A musical performance can be technicallyaccurate but horrible to listen to if it doesn't have style.
Likewise,a paper can be technically competent but still read as a stilted, unimaginativework. The deeper you go into writing, the more your own style emerges asthe means of self-expression. As Jake Gaskins states, Early on I approached writing as primarily a matter of wording.
Like the beginning pianist who focuses on the notes rather than the music,I thought of writing as a matter of choosing and arranging words in sucha way as to sound impressive, or intelligent, or amusing, or touching.
6.5 ma dissertations - college of humanities intranet - university of
Nor had I developed an appreciation for themystery of life One of the challenges of writing papers in the humanities is that courses and in the humanities paper is to present a thesis, to back up your thesis with evidence Some people assume that writing a college-level academic paper is a natural .
It was not that I lacked life- experience -- I lackedreverence for experience.
Papers in the humanities involve imagination, capturing the nuances ofemotion as well as of logic which often come through between the linesmore than through explicit arguments. The way that you use words and therules of grammar define the style in which you craft your paper.
Thereare no set rules for style, just as you can't tell someone in merely logicalterms how to interpret a Mozart piano concerto. You have to read a greatdeal of good writing, think about the writing as you read, and practice,practice, practice.