Monday, February 13, 2017

IELTS Review: What You Should Know about Academic Discourse

Are you one of those who dream of pursuing undergraduate studies, or higher, in a university in London? How about one of those who seek professional registration in Australia? Regardless of where you want to study or work, if it is in an English-speaking nation, you must present an IELTS certification as a proof of your English language proficiency.

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Prior to training, instructors in IELTS review centers in Baguio clarify with the students regarding their purpose of moving abroad to identify which IELTS type they must take. Should it be one of the reasons stated above, then they should prepare for the IELTS Academic exam.

The IELTS Academic exam is more difficult compared with the General Training. It aims to assess a test taker’s ability to use the English language in daily situations involving the workplace. It also looks into the test taker’s capability to utilize the language in academic situations. Meanwhile, the General Training assesses a test taker’s ability to communicate using the language in everyday circumstances.

In a nutshell, the IELTS Academic exam gauges an individual’s capacity to communicate in an academic or a professional environment. It requires a test taker to:

•    interpret visual information
•    express his/her opinion
•    read academic texts
•    listen to recordings of native English speakers
•    talk about a topic at a certain length

If you are one of those who prefer reading graphic novels to broadsheets, you might want to reconsider and try to develop a liking for scholarly journals. Doing so can greatly help you get a good band score in the IELTS Academic exam.  Remember, exposure is key, and mentors in IELTS review Philippines cannot emphasize this enough.

You probably have heard and read about the term “academic” a couple of times. But what does it mean when people say “academic discourse”?

An academic discourse refers to an exposition or an argumentative type of text. It attempts to explain a certain phenomenon or to argue about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of its impact(s). Sometimes it presents an individual’s insights (e.g., a critique) regarding a concept or method in a scholarly way.

The structure of academic discourse varies, depending on the author’s preference or the style guide he/she is subscribing to. Here is a general format when writing an academic discourse:

•    Introduction – This is where the writer presents an overview or a background of an issue he/she wants to discuss. He/She also specifies the significance of the topic and the issues that need to be addressed. This is also where he/she enumerates the objectives of the discourse and how it may be beneficial to a particular field or community.

•    Body – This is where the writer discusses the methods he/she has conducted to gather information or the theories he/she has applied to examine a text or to analyze behavior patterns. He/She presents the findings and interprets them. Moreover, he/she formulates arguments and supports them with evidence.

•    Conclusion – This is where the writer reiterates his/her claims and asserts his/her stand. He/She may include insights and recommendations for further studies relevant to the discourse, what has been explored and what still needs to be addressed.



The most important thing to consider when writing an academic discourse, aside from the format, is the style.  An academic discourse is usually written in a formal style and in a third-person point of view to maintain objectivity. It does not contain figures of speech or idiomatic expressions and avoids biased or stereotyped and sexist language. Its examples include essays, journals, book reviews, literature reviews and research, among others.

In the IELTS Academic Writing exam, when asked to interpret a chart, diagram or table and to express an opinion, consider the characteristics of an academic discourse mentioned above in constructing your answer.

If the thought of writing frightens you, it is recommended that you avail the services of IELTS review centers in Baguio as they provide writing exercises and feedback sessions.

Exposing yourself to various types of texts does not only broaden your vocabulary but also your perspectives. Doing so allows to you become familiar with various development patterns and critical approaches that can be helpful even after you take the IELTS exam.


References:
  • Hadley, Gregory S. "Written Discourse Analysis: Investigation and Implications." Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.nuis.ac.jp/~hadley/publication/nuwritnanlysis/writtenanalysis.htm.
  • Nordquist, Richard. "What Is the Meaning of 'Discourse'?" About.com Education. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://grammar.about.com/od/d/g/discourseterm.htm.
  • "Chapter 6: Analysis: Distinguishing Types Of Discourse." McGraw Hill Higher Education. Accessed January 17, 2017. http://www.mhhe.com/socscience/philosophy/reichenbach/m5_chap06studyguide.html

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