(Be aware that the links to the Learning Objects described below require RAVEN authentication)
Plagiarism and how to avoid it
A central principle in academia is that the originators of ideas should receive credit for them. Sometimes, however, students plagiarise others' ideas or language and present them as their own. This can have serious consequences.
This learning object aims to improve students’ understanding of plagiarism and to help them avoid it in their academic writing. First, it examines the University of Cambridge Statement on Plagiarism and explores different types of plagiarism. Then Cambridge academics discuss plagiarism in their subject or country of origin, and a former Senior Proctor talks about how suspected cases of plagiarism are investigated. Finally, an exercise illustrates some examples of plagiarism in students’ writing, based on a sample text from an academic journal.
The Language of Argumentation
The Language of Argumentation is the sister learning object to ‘What is Argumentation?’ which we recommend you look at first (see below).
In the Language of Argumentation we concentrate more specifically on your awareness of the language used in argumentation and on ways in which you can practise and develop your own ability to use it. Although for the purposes of study it is necessary to attempt to separate out the constituents of the language of argumentation, we are at all times aware that it is the dynamic combination of these that characterizes argumentation. For this reason we group together under the heading of Voice a number of constituents rarely found separately.
What is Argumentation?
The aim of this Learning Object is to elucidate some of the most important aspects of ‘argument’ and ‘argumentation’ and do this in a very practical way. We focus on argumentation strategies and conventions and the analyses of texts and the supporting exercises you will find here are designed to enable you to compare and reflect on your own approaches and practice in writing. Ultimately we want to provide you with the means to enable you to reflect and think critically about argumentation and a toolkit to help you write.
This is one of two learning objects on Argumentation, the other being entitled The Language of Argumentation (see above).
Study Block, Procrastination and Perfectionism
Do you find yourself struggling to sit down and start writing your essay? Are you putting off revising for forthcoming exams? Do you feel that, in spite of your best efforts, your coursework is never quite good enough? If so, you are likely to be experiencing study block, procrastination or perfectionism. This learning object explores what lies behind these three themes, and offers a range of reflective activities, guidance and tips on how to overcome them.
What is Academic English?
Academic English is a vast subject and there are many different ideas about what exactly good academic English is. In this Learning Object we focus mainly on written academic English from the point of view of strategies, structure and style.
The main aim is to invite you to think. This Learning Object is designed to help you explore questions about what the essential characteristics of good academic English are. We do not attempt to cover every last detail. Rather we focus on those areas which, from long experience, we have found to be the most productive and thought-provoking for international postgraduate students coming to start work in Cambridge.
Achieving Clarity in English
Achieving clarity in writing is not just about what’s written on the page – that is merely the final stage in a long and complex process. It actually starts with the interpretation of the question…
From a linguistic perspective writing is actually rather straightforward, but the clarity of the ‘end product’, particularly in academic writing, is very much dependent on the clarity of all the stages that precede it.
This module examines this process and explores strategies to help you improve the clarity of your writing.
Writing Introductions analyses the structure and strategies used in a model introduction and identifies and practises a number of key linguistic features common to all introductions. Included are also sections comparing the strategies and styles of academic introductions with those of journalistic writing and also identifying key linguistic features found in literature reviews.
Writing Conclusions takes a model conclusion and analyses it in terms of structure and strategy and supports this by providing language practice exercises focusing on functional language, vocabulary, tentative language and style. A further section is provided on scientific conclusions which compares a range of approaches found in scientific papers.
Approaches to Editing
Approaches to Editing focuses, in a very practical way on the middle phase of the editing process, that of improving the quality of communication and style. After an introduction to editing, the learning object guides you through two editing techniques: 1) Paragraph Splitting and 2) Screen reading vs Reading aloud.
Writing a Literature Review
Writing a Literature Review is devoted to one of the most challenging sections of an extended piece of academic work: the literature review. The process of writing, revising and editing a literature review frequently involves more time and effort than any other section of a dissertation, report or thesis. Here we aim to address some of the key questions concerning what a literature review is, what it should and should not contain and what characterises a particularly good one. We look at the strategies, the structure and the language and analyse these with the help of two very good models of literature review from different fields. Our overall aim is to provide you with a series of criteria to inform the planning of your literature review.
Writing Abstracts aims to guide students through the strategies, structure and language used in writing an abstract. The first section introduces different types of abstract and analyses the structure of abstracts from the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities in terms of typical ‘moves’. The second section examines a range of examples and provides commentaries on each of them. The final section contains exercises on language and includes an opportunity to practise writing an abstract.
Self-Study Toolkit is aimed at students embarking on undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Cambridge. As demonstrated in the ADTIS learning object Passport to Study in the UK and at Cambridge , the ethos of UK higher education (HE) is to create autonomous, self-motivated learners. Therefore, the responsibility for learning and planning your studies lies with you. This learning object will explain the significance of self-study in the UK HE context, and will clarify what it requires of you. Most importantly, it will equip you with 5 essential 'tools' for your self-study toolkit, each of which will help you make the most of your learning experience at Cambridge.
Passport to Study in the UK and at Cambridge
This learning object is designed especially for international students at the pre-arrival stage. It aims to guide you in what to expect from academic study in UK higher education (HE) and at Cambridge, and to help you get the very best out of your time as a student here. Each section of this learning object features activities, audio clips and videos, and offers notes on UK HE and the University of Cambridge, its history, culture and conventions.
Studying in English
Many of you will have developed excellent academic skills and strategies already. Going to study in another country, another culture and through another language, particularly in a place like Cambridge, can, however, still be a daunting prospect.
The aims of this Learning object are to suggest questions about the transition process for you to consider and, above all, to equip you with a range of practical strategies which can help make the study process more efficient and rewarding. We look at the things students have to do in their working lives here in Cambridge and have asked both students and academics to contribute. You will read and hear their views on a wide range of matters central to successful studying in English. We hope that this will help you prepare for your studies here and will be of use to you during them too.