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ENGL 112: March 6, 2013

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ENGL 112
Peter Mahon

ENGL 112: Strategies in University Writing March 6, 2013 Orchestrating Scholarly Voices: Academic writers should never cite sources they have not read or viewed directly; it is also rare for an academic writer to enter into dialogue with only one other writer. Because your essay makes uses of summaries of other people's work, you must therefore orchestrate a scholarly conversation - in other words, bring different voices together. In their introductions to academic papers, writers cite other writers to construct the state of knowledge (also known as a literature review): that is, they provide a snapshot of research on a given subject. However, such citations are not confined to introductions an can occur throughout academic papers. The simplest form of citation often takes the following form: A wrote something and B responds to it (for example, Diana Baumrind's critique of Stanely Milgram's experiment). For obvious reasons, these are the easiest voices to report: they share the same objects, questions and concepts. In other cases, however, the relations between sources may not be so obvious or immediate. For example, even though two authors might be exploring similar objects and asking similar questions, they may not refer directly to each other. In such cases, the academic writer must bring these authors together by focusing on their similarities: their shared concepts or sources: differences are thus set aside in favour of common ground. For example, one author might explore the portrayal of a female character in Grimm's "Little Red Cap," while another might explore the portrayal of female characters in "Little Briar Rose." Even though they do not cite each other's work, both authors can be brought together on the basis of the concepts of gender and European fairy tales. (pg. 112-113) In still other cases, researchers may not even share the same research objects: nevertheless, these authors can still be brought together on the basis of the key terms or concepts they share: for example, researchers may try to examine certain historical events - such as the Holocaust or the war in Iraq - using the psychological concept of obedience to authority; in the same way, researchers may use concepts from work done on folklore to examine video games. (pg. 113- 117) However, a reader needs to be notified when a source does not directly address the research question. In the following example an ethnographic study is introduced into a psychological study (on pg. 116-117) The importance of belonging to process of self-definition has been noted by scholars working in other research traditions, confirming Korpela's claim that it is a central feature of place identity …. Orchestrating "Non-Scholarly" Sources: ENGL 112: Strategies in University Writing Very often, older scholarly sources or non scholarly sources are introduced into academic papers. In such cases, an academic writers should note the "peculiarities" of these sources for the reader: for example the writer might note the date a source was produced; how they obsess over issues that could seem odd to modern readers; how they may be bias reporters; or how they make assumptions or repeat unfounded allegations about things they lack data on. (pg. 121-122) Another area to be careful with is textbooks, which construct the reader as "not knowing," rather t
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