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Academic Voice - Essay Example

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The tone of academic writing is determined by the degree of openness and objectivity in the text. To communicate open mindedness requires that the writer report the ideas of others, even when they conflict with their own opinions (Demetriou et al., 2000)…
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Academic Voice
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Download file to see previous pages Hence, it is critical that each student's "academic voice" come across in their writings. Voice can be defined as the way in which an argument is presented, supported, evaluated and conclusions drawn from it for practical applications (Demetriou, Goalen & Rudduck, 2000). This begins with the way in which a topic is introduced, and then the structure of the student's interpretation of the topic and accompanying supportive data to justify their point of view. It is important to distinguish academic voice from paraphrasing and direct quoting of other authors, which is used as the evidence to support the writer's conclusions (Brearly, 2000). It is clear that academic voice is essential to the concept of analyzing other writer's non-fiction text.
This paper will critically review the use of academic voice with regard to mature age students taking psychology courses. Firstly, academic voice will be more fully described. Secondly, how academic voice can be used will be outlined, with reference to mature aged psychology students. Finally, a conclusion shall synthesize the main points of the paper to demonstrate the important benefits of cultivating academic voice and the contributions of mature aged students to the discipline of psychology.
Describing Academic Voice
Voice can be classified into three general forms; 1) audible voice, as in how much a reader will "hear" the text; 2) dramatic voice, to determine what type of writer is implied by the text; and 3) one's own voice, which is the relationship of the text to the actual writer of the text (Eisner, 1998). It is evident that the written word is more likely to be heard when the writer's syntax, rhythms and word-choices are characteristic of their own speech patterns. Textual cues, for example, simple sentences that are not wordy, and those which communicate a sense of mental activity, will draw the reader's attention to the audibility of the material. A dramatic element of a text can be cultivated from the former audible voice. As to a writer's own voice, it is comprised of three key elements; there is a distinctive recognizable tone; the impression of actually "having a voice" or "having the authority to speak"; and the "authentic voice" which is the resonance or meaningful relationships between the text and the actual writer of the material, in contrast to the implied author (Demetriou et al., 2000). So that a writer who is aware of the persona or image of themselves that is projected in their writing will be able to practice promoting and muting this voice, depending on the context of their composition.
In general, new writers who are inexperienced are not aware that they can create their own persona within their writings (Demetriou et al., 2000). Often, due to their lack of experience new writers will use an inappropriate voice, for example using lengthy sentences comprised of jingoism in an attempt to portray themselves as knowing more about a topic than what they actually do. Sometimes, their writings may be overly casual, which is usually completely inappropriate for academic writing, and subsequently their text is not taken seriously by the reader, and so respect and authority is not fostered by their compositions. By way of learning about academic voice a student writer can develops an understanding of the different types of voice, becoming aware of their own voice and of techniques that can be used to change their voice.
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