Dr. Sheila Simpkins, assistant professor at the faculty of languages and translation, delivered a webinar titled “Academic Writing”, at an event organized by the scientific research committee on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
Dr. Simpkins started her presentation by explaining some basic assumptions about English writing that EFL students are unaware of. Most EFL students will say that writing is about grammar. Dr. Simpkins says that academic writing is all about ideas. Grammar is important in the sense that we need to write in a way that the reader can understand our ideas. She maintains that the goal of academic writing is to persuade. “You as a writer have an idea, and your goal is to persuade the reader that your idea is correct,” said Dr. Simpkins.
She further explained that there are certain patterns in English writing that ensure the writing will be unified, cohesive, coherent, and therefore will persuade the audience. One of the important patterns she referred to is within the body paragraph: T SEE SEE SEE C. The body paragraph has a topic sentence, supporting sentences, explain/example sentences, and a conclusion sentence. Each of these sentences has a specific job to do in the paragraph. She went on to explain the role of each of the sentences.
Dr. Simpkins understands that this may seem formulaic, however, the veracity of the pattern holds whether students are beginners just learning to write a standalone paragraph or are advanced and writing a longer piece of work. Knowing this basic pattern/rule is essential for EFL students to write strong academic papers.
The webinar was highly informative and comprehensive, with a well-structured presentation. It was attended by faculty members and MA students who took part in the discussion.