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Responsible and Honest Academic Writing

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Responsible and Honest Academic Writing

My assignment is based on Responsible and Honest Academic writing. I will be defining the role players in academic writing, identifying and describing what honest academic writing is, how I would go about writing a responsible essay in Sociology and I will conclude with what I recommend honest and responsible academic writing is.

Who are the role players in academic writing?

According to Gosisk (2004) the role players in academic writing would be scholars who are in their tertiary education. These scholars can use academic writing as a source to help them when writing their thesis or essays. Lecturers at universities play a big role in academic writing. Some of them will use academic writing as a source when doing research. Lecturer's also playing a part in publishing academic writing in academic journals. Researchers may also use academic writing to help them collect information on their research topic.

Academic writing can be broken down into a number of steps to ensure that that your writing is responsible and honest.

Step1: This step involves collecting information. Henning, Gravett and Van Rensburg (2005:27) state that the library of an academic institution is a good place to start looking for information on your topic of research. It is important to know how to use the library catalogues if you want to get the full use out of the library. The library of an academic institution will usually have an electronic database. The database will enable you to find academic sources. As Henning et al (2005: 28) points out Encyclopaedias, dictionaries, academic books and journals are all good resources to use when finding information related to your topic. Dictionaries are especially useful when referencing (E. Henning et al 2005:28). The academic books that you find should be written by top authors in the specific field. According to Henning et al (2005:29) academic journals are great sources of information. According to Murray (2007:50) Academic journals have certain standards and therefore not just anyone can publish information in the journals. Journals can also assist in finding other author's related to the field of study. The internet can also be a good source when looking up information.

Step 2: Involves the locating and choosing of relevant sources: It is important to find sources that are relevant and trustworthy (E. Henning et al 2005:26). According to Henning et al (2005: 26) this is not an easy task because you need to know how to find your information, your boundaries when finding sources and you need to find sources that relate to your topic. Henning et al says, "You need to know how to evaluate your sources according to relevancy and authoritativeness" (2005:26). You can use people who are more experienced, example, lecturers and friends to help you find good author's in a specific field. Encyclopaedias are also good sources with regards to authorship because they contain researchers in a specific field of study (E .Henning et al 2005:28). You can find relevant authors in encyclopaedias and look articles and books that have been written by the respective author's. We must not use books that are popular because it is hard not to base your work on the author's ideas. Henning et al (2005: 29) believes that students should have an inquiry mind when looking for sources and should always discuss their findings with their lectures. The internet although been a good source of information, should be approached with a great deal of concern.

Almost all in sundry can create a web-page and therefore the information given could be incorrect. According to Henning et al (2005:29) the information given on the web-pages has not been approved for their quality. Therefore information from the internet should only be used if you can find another source to back up what the author has said. Articles on the internet can be trusted if they have been referred by academic journals (E. Henning et al 2005:29). According to Henning et al (2005:29) journals usually contain information from well known authors in a specific field of study.

There are a few questions that you can ask yourself when deciding on whether a source is valid or not: What is the main idea of the web site? Who is the website directed at? Are the names of the authors given on the webpage? Are there references on the page which show the sources that were used? Did the author acknowledge the sources that he/she used? (E. Henning et al 2005:29-30). Therefore you should visit the websites of academic institutions if you want to ensure that your sources are valid. These websites contain very good search engines that will guide you in your search for academic sources.

Step 3: Acknowledging Sources: You should always keep information on your sources because you will need it for you bibliography or if you need to find the source at a later stage.

According to Henning et al (2005:31) the most important reason for creating a bibliography is to show your reader that you acknowledge the



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