The resources available in this section provide the user with the materials that they would need to hold a writing workshop for graduate students. While these resources do not target a particular kind of writing (e.g., writing for courses, writing for publication, or writing thesis and dissertations), it does provide the needed structure act as a sort of graduate student writing workshop-in-a-box.
Last Edited: 2014-06-10 09:06:54
About This Handout
Although each discipline has its own conventions for what articles, research reports, dissertations, and other types of scholarly writing should look like, academic writing shares some general characteristics across each field. One area of similarity is the introduction section. This handout provides strategies for revising introductions.
CARS (Creating a Research Space)
John Swales’ CARS model for introductions is based on his study of articles across a range of disciplines. He identified the following moves as common among most articles:
Move 1: Establishing a territory
Step 1 Claiming importance and/or
Step 2 Making topic generalizations and/or
Step 3 Reviewing items of previous research
Move 2: Establishing a niche
Step 1a Counter-claiming or
Step 1b Indicating a gap or
Step 1c Question-raising or
Step 1d Continuing a tradition
Move 3: Occupying the niche
Step 1a Outlining purposes or
Step 1b Announcing present research
Step 2 Announcing principle findings
Step 3 Indicating article structure
Writers can use these moves as a guide for revising their own writing, or for helping others.
Questions for Revision
Does the introduction to the piece of writing you are working with…
A topic outline is a fast and easy way to analyze whether an introduction is effectively organized. According to Pyrczak and Bruce, a topic outline can help show the flow of an introduction to ensure it moves from a general introduction of the problem or gap to a specific discussion of the current research (33). The topic outline can be combined with the CARS model to improve your introduction or to offer advice to a peer.
Topic Outline Exercise
Pyrczak, Fred and Randall R. Bruce. Writing Empirical Research Reports: A Basic Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 2000. Print.
Swales, John. Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings. 1990. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008. Print.