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Developmental Stages in the Integration of Literature into Academic Writing Skills

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Wilson (1997) suggests there are four developmental stages in the continuum of learning academic writing:
Repetition, Patching, Plagiaphrasing, and Appropriate Citation.
These are defined as:

developmental stages

*According to Wilson, entry into this third stage, plagiaphrasing, shows that students are beginning to speak with their own voices, and it is an important stage on the way to developing the appropriate academic writing style demonstrated in Stage Four.

Some students will go directly from Stage One to Stage Three. Other students may get stuck at Stage Two.

Reference

Wilson, K. (1997, July). Wording it up: Plagiarism in the interdiscourse of international students. Proceedings of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Adelaide, Australia.

 

Examples of the stages students might go through learning to write in an appropriate academic style

Original work Student writing Comments

Nutrition for everyone
These days, a wealth of nutrition information is at your fingertips. From diet books to newspaper articles, everyone seems to have an opinion about what you should be eating. It's no secret that good nutrition plays an essential role in maintaining health.

While
you already know it is important to eat a healthy diet, you may find it more difficult to sort through all of the information about nutrition and food choices. CDC has compiled a variety of resources to help you start healthier eating habits:
http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/
everyone/

 

It is no secret that good nutrition plays an essential role in maintaining health. While a person already knows it is important to eat a healthy diet, they may find it more difficult to sort through all of the information about nutrition and food choices.

This student writing is at stage 1, repetition. This is unacceptable.

There is extensive copying. It is unacceptable to copy someone’s words and just change or add one or two words.

There is no citation (reference). This is an example of plagiarism.

 

Original work Student writing Comments

Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity.
http://www.who.int/topics/
nutrition/en/

Nutrition
Good nutrition, along with physical activity, is a key ingredient for a healthy life.
http://www.health.govt.nz/your- health/healthy-living/food-and-
physical-activity/nutrition

 

According to the World Health Organisation web site (“Nutrition,” n.d.) “Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition – an adequate, well balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health” (para. 1). The Ministry of Health web site (“Nutrition,” 2013) agrees and says “Good nutrition, along with physical activity, is a key ingredient for a healthy life” (para. 1).

This is an example of patching. The student has correctly referenced both the sources (so this is not plagiarism) but there is too much quoting. Quotes make up more than 70% of the words in this paragraph. Sometimes students will do this to prove to the tutor they have consulted sources. As a guide, quoting should not make up more than 10% of a student’s work. Some tutors prefer students not to quote at all.

References

Nutrition. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/food-and-physical-activity/nutrition

Nutrition. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/topics/nutrition/en/

Nutrition for everyone. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/

Original Work Student Writing Comments

For nearly two decades, the U.S. government distilled its nutrition advice into pyramids. These efforts didn’t accurately show people what makes up a healthy diet. Why? Their recommendations were based on out-of-date science and influenced by people with business interests in the messages the icons sent. This year, the U.S. government scrapped its MyPyramid icon in favor of the fruit-and-vegetable rich MyPlate—an improvement, yet one that still doesn’t go far enough to show people how to make the healthiest choices.
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/
nutritionsource/what-should-
you-eat/pyramid/

 

For nearly 20 years the American government has used the food pyramid to show people what makes up a healthy diet. Unfortunately, their recommendations were based on “out-of-date science” (“Healthy Eating Plate,” n.d., para. 1). In addition, in creating the food pyramid the government could have been influenced by people with business interests. The food pyramid has now been done away with and replaced with a plate full of fruit and vegetables.

This is an example of plagiaphrasing.

Parts of the passage have been written in the student’s own words. There is a correctly quoted phrase in this writing but other phrases have been copied from the original without acknowledgement. The student has retained the structure of the original paragraph.

Original work Student writing Comments

By teaching your children healthy eating habits, and modeling these behaviors in yourself, you can help your children maintain a healthy weight and normal growth. Also, the eating habits your children pick up when they are young will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle when they are adults.

Your child's health care provider can evaluate your child's weight and growth and let you know if your child needs to lose or gain weight or if any dietary changes need to be made. 

http://www.webmd.com/children/
guide/kids-healthy-eating-habits

 

Healthy eating habits developed at an early age are likely to promote good health in adulthood (“Healthy Eating Habits,” n.d.). Parents and caregivers should model and teach good eating habits. Professional advice can be sought to check whether a child is growing normally or if the child’s diet needs to be adjusted to bring about change in their weight.

This passage has been written in the student’s own words. It is correctly referenced. Paragraphs and sentences have been restructured.

Note that part of the aim of academic writing is for the student to show the tutor that they understand the work.

References

Healthy eating habits for your child. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://children.webmd.com/guide/kids-healthy-eating-habits

Healthy eating plate and healthy eating pyramid. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/pyramid/

 

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Quoting, Paraphrasing and Summarising

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