Is your voice being heard?
- The first sentence is called a topic sentence and sets the tone for the paragraph's main point. It should therefore reflect your voice and ideas. It’s usually not a good idea to begin a paragraph with someone else’s ideas. For example, you shouldn’t start with a quote.
- After you've written a topic sentence that states your point for the paragraph, you can now explain further. The resources you have found should be used as evidence to support your argument. The resources you are using to support your arguments and topic sentence must be relevant, as well as of high academic quality. Use the Library Guides in your subject area to direct you to academic databases and strategies rather than just relying on Google!
- Make sure to link this argument back to the main topic to bring it all together. You need to make it clear how your point is relevant to the overarching topic. Explain how your evidence supports your point, argument, or explanation.
- The dominant voice in each paragraph should be yours. You need to show that you are interpreting the research not just regurgitating it. If you start and end each paragraph with your points and ideas, you make your voice clearer.
- Quoting should not be overused, as it shows the least amount of interpretation. If you do use quotes, make sure to explain them and what their relevance to your argument is.
- Paraphrasing means you express the author’s ideas in your own words. It does not count if you copy over the quote and then change a few of the words to synonyms! Paraphrasing should demonstrate your understanding of what the author is saying. Writing out key ideas in your own words makes it less likely you will plagiarise and helps develop your own academic voice as well.
- Summarising involves reducing the amount of words used by the author but still expressing their main points. You can add your own comments to provide analysis.