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Quick Fix Guide to Academic Writing: How to Avoid Big Mistakes and Small Errors

by Phillip Shon SAGE Publications Ltd
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Pbk 152 pages
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Whether you’re writing a paper, essay, assignment, or dissertation, this short and punchy book helps you improve your writing skills through minimal effort.  


Providing you with a quick set of writing rules to follow, this tried and tested guide uses a unique and easy to follow grid-based system. Packed with advice on understanding (big and little) common errors made in academic writing, it helps you identify patterns in your own writing and demonstrates how to reshape or re-evaluate them - and raise your writing game in any academic context.   


How-to tutorials include: •Synthesizing and critiquing literature – and using your coding sheet to develop critical arguments   •Shaping abstracts, introductions, discussions, and conclusions – to improve the logic and structure of your writing  •Applying lessons-learned to future projects, whatever format of academic writing.   Save time and improve your grades, with this essential quick fix guide!

Chapter 1: Understanding the “Biga and “Littlea Errors in Your Paper
“Biga Errors
“Littlea Errors
Chapter 2: What Am I Supposed to Do In My Paper?
The Lone Wolf Claim
Formulating a Research Question
Types of Writing Assignments
Chapter 3: How to Synthesize the Literature
Organizing your own RCOS
Interpreting RCOS: A Student Example
The Infiniteness of Synthesis
Chapter 4: How to Develop a Critique of Previous Literature
Critiquing Ice Cream, Hamburger, and a Movie
Three Questions that Lead to an Appropriate Critique of Previous Literature
A Haven for CPLs and GAPs
Chapter 5: How to Produce a Claim
Differentiating between ROF and ROA
The Citationality of the ROF and ROA
Building an Argument and Creating Main Sections
The Scope of Claims in Non-empirical Papers
Chapter 6: How to Write an Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion
How to Write an Abstract
How to Write an Introduction
How to Write a Discussion
How to Write a Conclusion
A Note on Data and Methods
Chapter 7: Conclusion: A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Model of Social Science Writing

This is an easy to read book with a valuable insight into the structure and content of academic writing...I certainly found it valuable in developing my ability to write particular sections of social science papers. And, as a marker, the ‘big’ and ‘small’ errors code sheets enabled me to provide a more detailed feedback to students.

Phillip C. Shon received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the University of Illinois (Chicago); he also holds an M.A. in linguistics and a B.A. in philosophy from Northeastern Illinois University (Chicago). He is currently a Professor of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology where he teaches courses in homicide and criminological theory.

He is the author of How to Read Journal Articles in the Social Sciences (2nd ed.). London: Sage, 2015;
Language and Demeanor in Police-Citizen Encounters. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2008; Respect, Defense, and Self-Identity: Profiling Parricide in Nineteenth-Century America, 1852-1899. New York: Peter Lang, 2014. He is a co-editor (with Dragan Milovanovic) of Serial Killers: Understanding Lust Murders. (eds). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2006.

Phil grew up in Chicago. He no longer hides the shame of being a Cubs fan, and has completely forgotten Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series. He is patiently awaiting the Chicago Bears to come up with a sequel to the “Super Bowl Shuffle?? before they return once more to the Promised Land.