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章节1

论文写作的基本知识

我们为什么要写论文呢?

对于每一个大学毕业生来说,毕业论文是必须的一个过程。

通过写这篇毕业论文,我们可以得到一些的经验,还可以为更深层次的理论深造和研究打下一定的基础,还能够获得的处理相应问题的技能。

论文是大学生在学校学习研究的一种反应。

是否有能力去写好一篇论文或者能够处理好他所在的专业领域中的问题是能不能接受它的关键基础。

那么我们需要多久的时间来准备写这一篇毕业论文呢?大概用一年时间。

当我们要写一篇毕业论文的时候,我们需要做什么呢?

首先,对于绝大多数的主修英语的学生来说,论文的英文的知识和运用能力是你们语言的技巧的基础,特别是写作技能和语法知识。

第二,论文写作的方法也是很重要的。

一个好的题目,定一个好的思想来支持论文主题,正确的语言和标准格式是我们写作论文的时候所必须的。

Chapter 1

Basic Knowledge for thesis Writing

Why should we write the thesis?

To write a thesis before graduation is a must for every university graduate.

By writing a thesis, we may get some experience and some basic methods for further theoretical study and research and the ability to solve problems.

It is the reflection of a student’s study in college.

Whether a student has such an ability to write a thesis or to solve problems in his/her field is one basis for a unit to accept him/her or not.

How long should we prepare for writing a thesis?One year or so

What do we need when we write a thesis?

Firstly, for English major, most important of all, it is English knowledge and ability that based on your language skills, especially writing skill and grammar knowledge.

Secondly, the way of writing is also important.

A good title, some good ideas to support thesis statement, right language and standard format are what we need.

the language style is something that we should pay much attention to, for example:

Wording: we prefer big word to small one;

Sentence: Long sentences are quite expectable.

How do we write a thesis? How many steps should we follow?

Generally speaking, when we write a thesis, we follow 10 steps:

1. Choose a subject: that is, what you are going to

write about. For English major, we may apply:

2. Choose a title/Title a paper;

3. Collect materials for reference in writing;

4. Analyze the collected materials;

5. Sort out the data and arguments;

6. List references;

7. Make up an outline;

8. 1—3 drafts;

9. Proofread;

10. the last version.

What subjects may we choose to write?

English and American Literature

the Practice and Theory of Translation

English Language

English Linguistics

English Grammar

English Phonetics

English Lexicology

English Rhetoric

Language and Culture

ELT Methodology

Teaching English in Middle School

English Teaching Research and Survey

the History of… (All mentioned above)

Chapter 2 Subject and Title

How to Choose a Suitable Subject

Whenever you plan and write a paper, you should keep these questions in mind:

What is my subject and what do I know about it?

Choose a subject that you care about and know about (or can find out about).

Who is my audience?

What you say about your subject depends GREatly on who reads it. You must choose a subject that will interest your audience and try to present it interestingly.

What is my purpose?

You always communicate for a purpose—either to inform, to persuade, or to entertain.

What must You Write in a thesis?

In the limited space of a thesis, you can’t say everything, so you must settle on the most important, most relevant, and most interesting.

Factors Influencing the Choice:

there are several factors which will influence your decision on which subject you are going to write about:

Interest

Experience

Science value

Ability

Scope of knowledge

Purpose…

How to Get a Title?

We have two ways to get a title:

Given by teachers

Designed by yourself

they both have their advantages. For the former, you will have a definite direction to guide you to the end, while, for the latter, it can be more flexible for you and everything depends on yourself.

What Is a Good Title?

A good title, usually created after some paragraphs or a theme is written, does two things:

1. It suggests what the subject of the thesis will be;

2. It sparks the reader’s interest

Some Basic Kinds of Titles

No-nonsense descriptive title: E.g.:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimedia Teaching

Two-part titles E.g.:

Sugar: the Hidden Drug

Rhetorical question. then answer the question in your theme. E.g.:

What can be done about CET-4?

Some Basic Kinds of Titles

Relate the title to the method of development used :

Descriptive: Portrait of a Teacher

Illustration: Three Roles I Play

Comparison: Crazy English: the New All

Physical Response Approach

Contrast: Pleasures and Problems of Owning

a Computer

Definition: A Definition of CLT

Persuasion: the Need for Discipline in

University

Classification: Three Types of Education

Process: How to Teach Young Children

English

How long should a title usually be?

A title is usually four to five words long and is rarely an entire sentence. (1—10 words is more practical.)

Notice:We can’t write anything with the title “On…”, because this small “on” is too big for us.

Notice:the title is centered on the page above the body of the thesis and separated from it by one inch.

A puzzle

What is “make a fuss over a trifle”?

That is a principle for us when we write a thesis: Write as much as possible on a small title. When we write a thesis, we must make a full consideration of whether the possibility to choose a

“big” or a “small” topic comparatively.

Disadvantages for a “Big” Topic

A big topic needs collecting more materials. So it is more difficult for beginners.

Hard to control. If there are too many sides in a thesis for us to make clear, the chance to be successful is very slim.

Hard to make clear about the statement within limited words (about 6000 words). Everything will stay on the surface.

Time problem (2-3months)

Notice

Remember: to see a student’s standard of writing isn’t by how “big” his or her topic is, but by his or her ability to find problems, analyze problems and solve problems.

Titling

Commonly, we can divide titling into four levels, for example:

Subject: ELT Methodology

Limited subject: Modern English

Teaching Methods

Initial topic: CLT : A Modern

Teaching Method

Topic: CLT in Grammar Teaching

Assignment

Choose a subject that you would be likely to write about and try to title your paper.

Consideration:

When we make a title of a thesis, what factors should we consider?

Chapters 3 Materials and References

How to collect materials?

Collect ample materials

Collect the original or first-hand materials

Collecting materials is a process, a process of researching

Notice

We should also be careful with the following points:

1) It is wrong and impossible to try collecting all the materials that have little to do with what you are writing.

It is most important of all to collect

the most important and most typical materials that you need.

2)Don’t be afraid that you can’t collect enough materials.

You can get materials by many channels:

A. Library

B. Reading room

C. Internet

D. Bookstore

E. Teachers

F. Friends

3) Understand your materials completely and make good use of the materials. Don’t cut the meanings in the materials into broken pieces without any relations.

4) Not only collect the materials that support your arguments, but also collect the materials that don’t support your arguments. Only in this way can your writing be proved to be scientific, and your arguments can hold water.

What should we write down when we collect and read materials?

While we are collecting and reading materials, try to form the habit of taking notes, including: the author, title, edition, press, publishing place and time, page, etc. for a book; magazine, volume, page, author, title and publishing place and time for a magazine, or else.

A Puzzle

“the Scissors--paste Trick” is a very popular way among some people

to produce papers.

Notice:After we’ve got enough materials, we should sort out and analyze the materials carefully and consider whether what you are going to write

about is scientific and valuable or not, and whether it is possible for you to write yours, and then you may decide the title of your thesis after you have read enough materials and decided on the theme. Now it will be clear what you are going to write about and next is to read for the arguments to support your statement.

(Adopted from Foreign Language Teaching and

Research: 2/2004, Page 143)

Chapter 4 Shape an Outline

All the process in which we have taken GREat efforts to collect materials is to “write”.

What should we do first before we begin writing?

Make up an outline

Shape a Framework

In this stage, we should make a framework first:

That is to decide from which sides to write and how many parts we are going to write, and how many smaller parts are going to be written in each part. the key is to use the logical way to make each part organize together and each of them can’t be reversed and each of them can’t be cut off, and each part should be entered on the theme.

Write an Outline

make an outline: That is to write out the framework. Generally speaking, an outline contains three levels:

----------------------------------------------------

Title

Introduction →1-2 paragraphs

↗ Part 1 →facts and details

Body → Part 2 →facts and details

↘ Part 3 →facts and details

Conclusion →1-2 paragraphs

-------------------------------------------------------

More about Outline

In the body, we can also illustrate as below:

-----------------------------------------------------

↗Argument →facts and details

theme → Argument →facts and details

↘Argument →facts and details

------------------------------------------------------

Why is it necessary to write an outline before we write a thesis?

It can help the writer:

combine the separate materials into a whole body and consider the logical relationship of the materials

find out what the writer still don’t know clearly about and what materials are still needed to collect and to think about.

decide which materials will be used and which materials will be left out.

Which is better, a brief outline, or a detailed outline?

the more detailed the outline is, the easier the writing could be controlled.

So, sometimes, a good outline is made up of all of the topic sentences of each part.

Deductive Method & Inductive Method

What is deductive method and what is inductive method?

Remember to make good use of the two methods to develop the process of raising arguments in thesis writing to make the statement more logically and persuasive.

Deductive method: Arguments before facts

Inductive method: Facts before arguments

Chapter 5 the First Draft

Is it good to write the first draft fast or slowly? Suggestion:

Write it fast

Make the trains of thought clearly

Arrange details and generality properly

Make a clear and exact statement, not in the topic but all through the thesis

Set forth your statement in the instruction directly

Use direct quotations properly

Put it aside for one or two days

Write a sound conclusion

Proper Use of Space

Arrange the space in the first draft properly

Leave enough space between lines so that you can add content.

Stick or paste your notes or valuable materials in the empty space between lines, if possible.

Leave enough margins to write down “the original place and the author” of the materials

Chapter 6

Quotation, Instruction and Conclusion

Quotation

It is not good to use so many direct quotations in your writing. And we mainly have two ways to quote something to help us to support our statement.

Direct Quotation:

Sayings

Proverbs

Anecdotes

Illustrations

Indirect quotation Use what others say in your own words to support your statement.

Introduction

Where should we place the thesis statement in the instruction?

At the beginning

At the end

Functions of Introduction

An introduction has two functions:

Contain the thesis statement, which should be placed at the beginning or at the end of the instruction so that the readers can be able to spot the statement easily.

Interest the reader enough so that he or she will want to continue reading the paper.

Notice

there is no best way to introduce a thesis, but you should certainly avoid beginning your work with “I’m going to discuss…” or “This theme is about…” You needn’t tell the reader you are about to begin; just begin!

Seven Basic Methods for Beginning

Begin with a single-sentence thesis statement.

E.g. Final examination should be abolished.

Begin with an illustration.

Begin with a rhetorical question.

E.g. Just what skills should an effective reader have?

Begin with a surprising fact or idea.

Begin with a contradiction.

Begin with a general idea and then pass on a specific thesis statement.

Begin with a direct quotation.

Other Ways to Introduce

Definitions, comparisons, or any other kinds of devices you have already studied can make good instructions.

Just make sure the reader knows which sentence is your

thesis statement.

Conclusion

A conclusion also has two functions. What are they?

A conclusion signals the end of the essay and leaves the reader with a final thought.

Notice

Like introductions, conclusions can take many forms, and the right one for your essay depends on how you wish to complete your paper, with what thought you wish to leave the reader. However, never conclude your paper with “as I said in the beginning,” and try to avoid the overused “in conclusion” or “in summary”. Don’t end by saying you are going to end; just end!

Three Ways to Conclude:

End with a call to action. the call to action says that, in views of the facts and ideas in the essay, the reader should do something. For example:

Unite, all the workers in the world!

End with a final point. the final point can tie together with all the other ideas in the essay; it provides the reader with the sense that the entire essay has been leading up to this final point.

End with a question. By ending with a question, you leave the reader with a final problem that you wish him or her to think about.

Other Ways to Conclude:

And to conclude in the ways of the subject’s significance, the

solution to the problem, quotation, or recommendation can be also effective.

Homework

Read the course book.

Write an instruction, using one of the seven methods.

Chapter 7 Narrowing the Topic

Writing the Thesis Statement

the thesis statement further focuses the subject because it must clearly state in sentence form, the writer’s central point: the main idea or opinion that the rest of the essay will support and discuss.

the thesis statement should be as specific as possible. By writing a specific thesis statement, you focus on your subject and give yourself and your reader a clearer idea of what will follow in the body of the essay.

Writing the Thesis Statement

there are many ways to make vague thesis statement more specific. As a general rule, replace vague words with more exact words and replace vague ideas with more complete information. E.g.:

Vague:

My recent trip to Beijing was really bad.

Revised:

My recent trip to Beijing was disappointing because the whether upset my sightseeing plans.

Planning and Ordering the Body

the thesis statement sets forth the main idea of the entire essay, but it is the body of the essay that must fully support and discuss that thesis

statement.

Planning the Body

In composing the thesis statement, the writer has already given some thought to what the body will contain. Now, he or she should make a plan that includes:

two to four main ideas to support the thesis statement

two to four topic sentences stating these ideas

a plan for each paragraph in the body

a logical order in which to present these paragraphs

Planning the Body

Different writers create such plans in different ways. Here are two approaches that many writers use. Some writers brainstorm/jot down ideas and then final paragraph groups. Others first write topic sentences and then plan paragraphs.

What kind of writer do you belong to?

Jot down ideas and then final paragraphs

Having written the thesis statement, some writers brainstorm—they jot down any ideas that develop the thesis statement, including main ideas, specific details, and examples, all jumbled together. Only after creating a long list do they go back over it, drop any ideas that do not support the thesis statement, and than look for “paragraph groups.”

By brainstorming and then dropping ideas that do not relate, you will eventually produce a list…

Now read over the list, looking for groups of ideas that might become paragraphs. Some ideas might become topic sentences; others might be used to support a topic sentence.

Write topic sentences and then plan paragraphs

Sometimes a writer can compose topic sentences directly from the thesis statement without jotting first. This is especially true if the thesis statement itself shows how the body will be divided or organized. Such a thesis statement matches the work of planning paragraphs easy because the writer has already broken down the subject into supporting ideas or parts, e.g.:

Because the student canteen has many problems, the university should hire a new administrator to see that it is properly managed in the future.

Question: How many main ideas does this statement contain?

This thesis statement contains two main ideas:

the first states the problems and the second offers a solution.

Ordering the Paragraphs within the Essay

It is important that the paragraphs in your plan, and later in your essay, follow a logical order. The rule for writing is this: use your common sense and plan ahead. Do not leave the order of your paragraphs to chance.

How many types of order can be used in thesis writing?

What are they?

Ordering the Paragraphs within the Essay

the types of order often used in single paragraphs— time order, space order, and order of climax— can sometimes be used to arrange paragraphs within an essay. Essays about subjects that can be broken into stages, with each step discussed in one paragraph, should be arranged according to time. Space order is used occasionally in descriptive essays. A writer who wishes to save the most important or convincing paragraph for last would use order of climax. Or he or she might wish to reverse this order and put the most important paragraph first.

Very often, however, the writer simply arranges paragraphs in whatever order makes sense in that particular essay.

Expanding the One-paragraph Plan

An essay is like an expanded paragraph.For this reason, any plan for developing a paragraph can also be used to develop an entire essay. It is up to the careful writer to choose the pattern that is best suited to

his or her purpose and to the kind of essay required.

Linking Paragraphs within the Body

Just as the sentence within a paragraph should flow smoothly, so the paragraphs within an essay should be clearly linked one to the next. As you write your essay, do not make illogical jumps from one paragraph to another. Instead, guide your reader. Link the first sentence of each new paragraph to the thesis statement or to the paragraph before.

Here are four ways to link paragraphs:

Linking Paragraphs within the Body

Repeat key words or ideas from the thesis statement.

Refer to words or ideas from preceding paragraph. Link the first sentence of a new paragraph to the paragraph before, especially by referring to words or ideas near the end of that paragraph.

Use transitional expressions

Use transitional sentences

Use all four methods of linking paragraphs as you write your essay.

Checklist

Narrow the topic to one that you can discuss fully and well in an essay.

Write a clear statement.

Brainstorm ideas to support your statement.

Choose some main ideas to support the thesis statement.

Write a topic sentence that expresses each idea.

Decide on a logical order in which to present the paragraphs in the body.

Plan the body of each paragraph, using paragraph development.

Write the first draft of your essay, linking paragraphs clearly to each other.

Check for unity, logic, and coherence; revise and rewrite as necessary.

Proofread for errors in grammar, sentence, structure, spelling, and mechanics.

Three Types of Common Errors:

Language

Ideas

Format

Consideration: How many kinds of specific errors you are likely to make in your writing? How to avoid them?

Chapter 8

Revision, Polishing and the Final Draft

How should we revise the first or the second draft?

Whether a beginner or a professional, every writer must revise, that is, go back over the first draft or the second draft of a thesis, rewriting unclear sentences, adding details or examples, crossing out unnecessary words or ideas, and perhaps rearranging parts. In other words, never hand in the first version of any paragraph or essay, but revise then rewrite, creating the best paper of which you are capable.

Brainstorm Reasons for Revision

Features of Effective Sentences

1.Unity is the first quality of an effective sentence. A unified sentence expresses a single complete thought. E.g. :

Faulty: Du Fu was one of the GREatest poets.

Revised: Du Fu was one of the GREatest poets of the Tang period.

2.Coherence means clear and reasonable connection between parts. E.g. :

Faulty: A man is judged not only by what he says but also by his deeds.

Revised: A man is judged not only by what he says but also by what he does.

3.Conciseness: A sentence should contain no unnecessary words.

4.Emphasis: When there is an important idea, it should be expressed with emphasis.

5.Variety is essential to good writing. (short: long; simple: compound and complex; statement: question, command or exclamation; periodic: loose…)

6.Consistency: All good writing is consistent. That is, each sentence and each paragraph in the final draft should move along smoothly, without confusing shifts in tense, number, person, or discourse. E.g. :

Faulty: We stroll down Bourbon Street as the jazz bands began to play.

Revised: We strolled down Bourbon Street as the jazz bands began to play.

Revision

After you have taken a break, you can criticize and make changes on the first draft.

You might notice these problems:

the beginning of the paragraph isn’t very lively.

the wording in several sentences sounds too informal or even babyish.

the relationship between ideas could be clearer

More details could be added in a few spots or taken out in others.

there are a few spelling or punctuation errors.

Suggestions

Go back to revise your first draft one or more times. It may necessary to rewrite the paper after you’ve made changes on the original version, and then to make further changes on the rewritten version. At various stages in the revising process, read your paper aloud – and read the final version to someone else if possible.

the Final Draft

After you feel satisfied with your revisions, you can then make a clean copy of the final draft according to the format your instructor recommends. That, basically, is how the writing process works. First, you discover and begin to organize your ideas. Next, you write a first draft. And finally, you revise it as many times as necessary to make it clear, lively, logical, and legible.

Summary

In the writing process, you should

consider your subject, your audience, and your purpose;

discover your ideas by putting them into words;

decide what to include and how to organize it;

write a first draft (and don’t worry about making it perfect);

take a break, then criticize and revise the first draft (making changes on the original if you wish);

read your paper aloud, preferably to another person;

proofread the final draft for spelling errors, repeated words, or words left out.

Polishing

Recopy your final draft, and then proofread it for words left out, words repeated, spelling errors, and punctuation errors.

Homework

Read the special topics in accordance with your interest.

Chapter 9 the Format of Thesis

How many kinds of formats do you know in thesis writing?

Generally speaking, 3 kinds. they are:

Chicago Manual -- the Chicago Manual of Style

MLA -- the Modern Language Association Style

APA -- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association

1.the Format of Quotation

1) Direct Quotation:

Use quotation marks to tell your readers that you are borrowing someone else’s exact words. Short works (less than 40 words) or no more than two lines of a poem, which may be quoted within the paragraph.

2) Indirect Quotation:

For a long section, change for another paragraph and remember to condense the space (5 spaces). Directly after this indirect quotation, it should be followed with author, year and page. ( Harris 1995: 45-47)

2.the Format of References

Surname, Given name. Year. Title. Place: Press.

E.g.

Arnold, J. 1999. Affect in Language learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Bolinger, D. L. 1957. Interrogative Structures of American English. Alabama: the University of Alabama Press.

Xiang Maoying. 2001. Cultural Barriers to the application of Communicative Approach. Teaching English in China 24/2: 29-31.

Zhang Zhendong. 1997. Psychology of Primary School Students. Hangzhou: Zhejiang Education Press.

3.the Structure and Format of a Thesis

Front cover

P2: Contents (English)

P3: Abstracts and key words (Both English and Chinese. Abstract: less than 250 words; key words: 3-5 words)

Text (6000- 7000 words, 4-5 spaces in the first sentence of each paragraph)

References

P.S.

Leave one line space between two parts.

the final version: No “第 稿”.

Text: Small 4 size.

References: [ 1 ] Author. Title. Press. Time

4.Opening Report

Title of the thesis.

the purpose of the study of the subject.

Researching situations both at home and abroad.

the cause and meaning of researching the subject.

Main viewpoints, contents, important point and

difficult points of the subject.

the writing structure of the subject, including:

introduction /statement/conclusion/references

Researching basis.

Researching methods.

Writing stages:

1st draft: time; 2nd draft: time; 3rd draft: time

the final version (Thesis defense: time)

Remember: Read through the thesis writing course book carefully.

Choose a subject, collect enough materials and prepare well enough for writing the thesis for graduation.



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