Demonstrating Your Knowledge
Demonstrating you have a good understanding of your topic is vital to academic writing. An introduction or background section of an assignment or research paper functions as a condensed review of the key literature. This is generally in the form of an overview of the most recognised or relevant scholarly studies. The more specific the topic, the more narrow and focused the literature selected can be.
In this way you are engaging in research at a basic level right at the start of your tertiary study. This is because research, at its simplest level, is a form of inquiry – finding something out about a specific topic or question. Engaging in research requires you to carry out the following tasks:
- You will be required to write as if you are entering into public dialogue, even if the paper is for your lecturer’s eyes only.
- You will need to draw upon what others have written on a topic – this is essential to entering into this public space.
- You will need to follow academic codes and conventions (referencing, reporting on what you find in your own words, and writing in a formal way).
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