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They believe that this will help in the development of vaccines for the plague, one of which has begun clinical trials. In parts of Africa drug-resistant strains of the disease have evolved, which gives added importance to the work, as does the threat that the plague might be used as an agent of bacteriological warfare.

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Note-Making Effective note-making is a key writing skill, with a number of practical uses. Good note-making techniques lead to accurate essays. Although you are the only person who will read your notes, clarity and organisation are still important. What are the main reasons for note-making? Add to the ideas below. Effective note-making is part of a sequence.

What comes before and after?

You find the following article in a magazine called Science South, volume 27 The author is J. Read the text key points in italic and make notes. The British introduced sheep farming, but since this became less profitable after the s the islanders have been forced to pay more attention to the contents of the island waters. These waters are rich in squid, and the sale of fishing licences for this harvest has funded research to allow the stocks to be managed efficiently. The latter was found to breed at two periods in the year; one season is May to July and the other is October and November.

This second period, which is summer in the South Atlantic, coincides with the local penguin breeding season and makes the baby squid more vulnerable. As a result, the scientists suggested that the fishing season for Loligo should be postponed for a few months to allow the stock to recover, and when this was done the fishermen found that they had a better catch than before. The other squid, Illex, was found to have a different pattern, swimming south from Brazil to the Falklands in summer, and then back north again. To deal with a species that migrates through the waters of several countries it has been necessary to set up an agreement between the governments concerned to restrict the fishing season in order to allow squid numbers to build up.

Linguistics, Style and Writing in the 21st Century - with Steven Pinker

Reading and Note-Making 19 4. A set of notes for your essay might look like this: Source: Doyle, J. You need to develop your own style for note-making, as you will have to read them later. Do not abbreviate too much, or you may find the notes impossible to understand in the future. Make notes on the whole text in the box below. The deadly strains have established themselves in South East Asia and South America, and have recently begun to spread across India and Africa. Formerly under control in many areas, the disease now threatens two billion people living in more than countries.

In Africa alone the disease kills one million children each year. Several factors are responsible for this disturbing development. Spreading world poverty has deprived nations of funds for sanitation, so that many health projects have been stopped, while increased movements of migrant workers and tourists have carried infections more rapidly from one country to another.

At the same time, the overuse of drugs, especially antibiotics, has led to the establishment of resistant strains of diseases. However, a malaria vaccine is now undergoing human trials and may be available for use if proved successful. The text below is taken from page of a book called Volcanic Disasters by E. Pitnam, published in Underline the relevant points and make notes.


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One of the greatest explosions in modern history occurred in , when an Indonesian volcano called Mt. Tambora blew up. The eruption involved about cubic kilometres of material being blown into the sky, with huge loss of life both on land and sea. Large quantities of volcanic dust were ejected into the atmosphere, and this dust gradually spread around the world, causing alarming events on the other side of the world. Much of the harvest was lost due to repeated waves of frost and snow in the middle of summer.

The same pattern was recorded in Europe, where agriculture was still suffering the effects of the Napoleonic Wars.

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In France wheat prices reached their highest point of the century in As European demand for food rose, prices doubled in America. Although some profited from the shortages, others were driven to emigrate into the unexplored lands to the west. Reading and Note-Making 21 7. Paraphrasing Paraphrasing involves changing a text so that it is quite dissimilar to the source yet retains all the meaning.

This skill is useful in several areas of academic work, but this unit focuses on using paraphrasing in note-making and summary writing. Effective paraphrasing is vital in academic writing to avoid the risk of plagiarism. Although paraphrasing techniques are used in summary writing, paraphrasing does not aim to shorten the length of a text, merely to restate the text. For example, Evidence of a lost civilisation has been found off the coast of China. A good paraphrase is significantly different from the wording of the original, without altering the meaning at all.

Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers

Read the text below and then decide which is the best paraphrase, a or b. Ancient Egypt collapsed in about BC. Studies conducted of the mud from the River Nile showed that at this time the mountainous regions which feed the Nile suffered from a prolonged drought. This would have had a devastating effect on the ability of Egyptian society to feed itself.

Without the regular river flooding there would not have been enough food. Egyptian adj. Find synonyms for the words in italic. Example: Sleep researchers have found that established cures for insomnia, for instance counting sheep, do not work. Change the word class of the words in italic, and then re-write the sentences. Example: A third group was not specially instructed about going to sleep.

Change the word order of the following sentences.

Example: Research into insomnia has many practical applications. Combine all these techniques to paraphrase the paragraph as fully as possible. Sleep scientists have found that traditional remedies for insomnia, such as counting sheep, are ineffective. Instead, they have found that imagining a pleasant scene is likely to send you to sleep quickly.


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  6. The research team divided 50 insomnia sufferers into three groups. One group imagined watching a waterfall, while another group tried sheep counting. A third group was given no special instructions about going to sleep. It was found that the group thinking of waterfalls fell asleep 20 minutes quicker.

    Science and Technical Writing: A Manual of Style (Routledge Study Guides) | Translate This Website

    Mechanical tasks like counting sheep are apparently too boring to make people sleepy. There are many practical applications for research into insomnia. About one in ten people are thought to suffer from severe insomnia. Use the same techniques to paraphrase the following text. Before the last century no humans had visited Antarctica, and even today the vast continent has a winter population of less than people. However, a recent report from a New Zealand government agency outlines the scale of the pollution problem in the ice and snow. Although untouched compared with other regions in the world, the bitter cold of Antarctica means that the normal process of decay is prevented.

    Despite popular belief, the polar continent is really a desert, with less precipitation than the Sahara. In the past, snowfall slowly covered the waste left behind, like beer cans or dead ponies, but now, possibly due to global warming, the ice is thinning and these are being exposed. Over 10 years ago the countries using Antarctica agreed a treaty on waste disposal, under which everything is to be taken home, and this is slowly improving the situation. However, the scientists do not want everything removed. The remains of very early expeditions at the beginning of the twentieth century have acquired historical value and will be preserved.

    Making summaries is a common activity in everyday life. If a friend asks us about a book we are reading, we do not tell them about everything in the book. Instead, we make a summary of the most interesting and important aspects. The same principle applies to summarising in academic writing. Choose four of the topics below and write summaries in no more than twelve words each.

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    Example: Birmingham is a large industrial city in the English West Midlands. What are the features of a successful summary?

    Science and Technical Writing: A Manual of Style (Routledge Study Guides)

    Summary writing is an important skill in academic work. Different kinds of summaries are needed in different situations. List as many study uses for summary writing as you can think of. In essay writing students often have to summarise part of a book or journal article. The summary may be just one or two sentences, to explain the main idea of the article, and perhaps compare it with another summarised text, or it might be necessary to include much more detail. At first students need to follow a series of steps to summarise successfully.

    With practice the number of steps may be reduced, as the process becomes more automatic. Complete the list of stages in a successful summary. Reading and Note-Making 23 8. Summary Writing Read the following text and compare the summaries. Decide which is best, giving reasons. Researchers in France and the United States have recently reported that baboons are able to think abstractly. It has been known for some time that chimpanzees are capable of abstract thought, but baboons are a more distant relation to mankind.