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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Phd Advanced Research Methodology - Standard Style Scholarly Writing Resource

Following are the Standard Style Guides for Scholarly Writing in Specific Disciplines. While preparing the list I have considered only those disciplines of the PhD course participants.

Coghill, Anne M., and Lorrin R. Garson, eds. The ACS Style Guide:Effective Communication of Scientific Information. 3rd ed. Washington: Amer. Chemical Soc., 2006. Print.
2. Online resource for ACS style from University of Wisconsin

Harvard Law Review Association. The Bluebook: A Uniform System of  Citation. 19th ed. Cambridge: Harvard Law Rev. Assn., 2005. Print.

American Institute of Physics. AIP Style Manual. 4th ed. New York: Amer. Inst. of Physics, 1990. Print, Web.
1. Download the AIP Style Manual. 4th ed from American Institute of Physics (Pdf document)
2.  AIP Style Manual resource from Gustavus Adolphus College.

American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 6th ed. Washington: Amer. Psychological Assn., 2009. Print. 
Council of Science Editors. Style Manual Committee. Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers. 7th ed. Reston: Council of Science Eds., 2006. Print. 

Phd Advanced Research Methodology MLA Guidelines for Scholarly Writing

Dear PhD Scholars,
If you have any questions or comments or supporting ideas to share regarding the various issues discussed yesterday Academic writing do post them in the comment section below this post.

I will put up links to some of the issues discussed there including links to the Citation styles for science and law streams.

I enjoyed the time I spent with you. Thank you for the wonderful experience.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

MPhil General Research Methodology Oct 2010 - Academic Writing

Dear MPhil Scholars,

Shortly I will give links to resourceful websites on various issues I discussed on Academic Writing. Keep checking this page for updates.

In the meantime, feel free to give your feedback on the Academic Writing classes.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MPhil General Research Methodology Oct 2010 - Academic Writing MLA Stylesheet

MPhil General Research Methodology Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Presentation

MPhil General Research Methodology 25 Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Classnotes

Notes by Madhushree S Bhat, MPhil. English Studies.
  • Works Cited, Reference and Bibliography are commonly used words while writing a thesis.
  • Works Cited and Reference mean one and the same. Reference is the term used in the APA (American Psychology Association).
  • Bibliography: This is a list of books which may have helped you in writing the thesis directly or indirectly. It also contains works cited.
  • While writing a thesis we lay down our arguments on certain strong foundations. If half of the thesis is based on that has already gone into the field of research, the other half is built referring to the work already done.
  • During research we have to be careful not to plagiarize. If a thought or ideas is taken from another author and you try to pass it off as your own without giving credit to the original author it is plagiarism. The word plagiarism comes from the Greek word-plagiarius meaning to kidnap. The consequences of plagiarism are many. The chances of plagiarism detection are higher with UGC is requesting all universities to put all the thesis submitted to them on INFLIBNET
  •  Plagiarism may be intentional or unintentional.
  • Avoid unintentional plagiarism.
  • Presenting someone else’s idea as your own or paraphrasing it and then, presenting it as your own also constitutes plagiarism. 
“The lack of distribution of food grains caused Bengal famine”-Amartya Sen.
If it is reproduced as “In fact the main reason for the great Bengal famine was lack of proper distribution of food grain,” It amounts to plagiarism.

To avoid plagiarism the same idea could be presented thus giving credit to the writer. E.g. “According to Amartya Sen the main reason for the great Bengal famine was lack of proper distribution of food grain.”
If it is exact words then use quotes“     ”. E.g. According to Amartya Sen “The lack of distribution of food grains caused Bengal famine.”
  • The principle of Citation is: Move the idea forward with minimum distraction and maximum precision.
  • One should never plagiarize as it is injustice to the person who formulated the idea. Apart from that one’s thinking as well as his/her personality remains unexposed.
Work Cited
Pinto, Anil. "Plagiarism and Citation Styles." Christ University,          Bangalore. 25 Oct. 2010. Lecture.  

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Management Training and IT Training - Learning Tree International

Management Training and IT Training - Learning Tree International

MPhil General Research Methodology 19 Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Classnotes

Notes by Sreyashi Dhar, MPhil. English Studies. 

In the fourth session of academic writing the following areas were touched upon and discussed in detail.

1) Chapters
2) Timeline/Duration of Proposal
3) Writing Titles
4) Visual Structure of the Dissertation
5) Collaborative Writing
6) Synopsis
These class discussions have been provided in detail in the following paragraphs.

Literature review is the second chapter of the dissertation. Literature review is the chapter which needs to be written first and introduction is to be written last. Second, if it is a quantitative study, one needs to work on Research Design and Methodology chapter. Then one needs to deal with the Analysis and then the Conclusion chapter. One should keep working on the Bibliography from the very beginning. Never think that you will be able to do it at last.
Whenever you read any book for your dissertation, immediately take down the name of the author, title of the work (including the subtitle), place of publication, publisher, year of publication and page no(s). Third page of any book is the publisher’s information page.
If it is a journal, you need to even take down the volume and issue nos. Cutting-edge journals have not more than three issues in a year.
In case of online journals, you need to take down the date of access. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, in case of online information, the data can always change. Secondly, sometimes your mentioned date will help someone to access previous date’s data. E.g. Google dox backup date or wikipedia entries.

Timeline/duration of the proposal:
Time is provided to the scholars for data collection, analysis and writing. In a qualitative dissertation, primarily its textual analysis, so one needs time to think, and then only one can start writing.

While writing titles, few things need to be kept in mind.
  1. Area of study----E. g., if the major area is psychology, one needs to specify whether its child psychology or developmental psychology or social psychology and so on.
  2. The key elements--- main focus in your research.
  3. Methodology/Approach
(The above mentioned guidelines are mostly for quantitative research)
Conceptual Shift: What is your research on/ problem of your research. This angle is in regard to qualitative research. The title should contain the key words. Type the key elements in the research. If you are using one particular theorist, then his/her name should appear in the title.
E.g.1) “Freud, Return to Freud and the Feminist Turn”. Here turn denotes deconstruction. Post-structuralism has turns, not shifts. ‘Return to Freud’ here indicates Jacques Lacan, who revisited Freud in his psychoanalytic study.
Your titles need to sound these things.
2) “Masks of Conquest: Literary Study and British Rule in India ”. This title is given by Gauri Vishwanathan for her published PhD work.
It is important to state the problem in your title.
We can even coin new words and concepts. E.g. Lacan’s gaze concept, orientalism as a concept. Many times one’s entire academic word is just one word, but that’s a big deal.
Marx’s concept is ‘labour’, Freud’s concept is ‘unconscious’, Derrida’s concept is ‘turn’, Jung’s concept is ‘archetype’ and so on.

Visual Structure of the Dissertation:
Politics and Censorship in Persian Translation: A Study
(Bold 18-22, you can choose between these font size, font type, Times New Roman. This is for the cover page of your dissertation

(Details of this are put up on Mr. Pinto’s blog. Please refer to it.)

CHAPTER II (Capital letters and bold)
Next line: small letters and bold (font times new roman,12)
Double space between lines.
First paragraph of a chapter begins at the margin.
Either you give a tab for the next paragraph, or you give an extra line space and start at the margin.

Books for writing style:
Law: Blue Book
English: MLA Handbook, 7th ed.
Sociology, Social Work, Education: APA (2009)
Harvard style: business schools
Chicago style
All these styles have come from the US.
You need to print your dissertation in Executive Bond or A4 size paper.
Page nos.- Insert page no- options
All punctuation marks matter a lot.
Double quotes should be used when you are quoting someone exactly.
Single quote should be used to quote a special concept. Don’t do it repeatedly. Do not transfer your spoken English into academic writing.

Collaborative Writing:
When more than one person writes a work then it is called collaborative writing. You cannot do it in your dissertation because it is considered unethical. It is very necessary that analysis, and interpretation and report are written by you.
Someone/ guide gives dimension to your ideas, so he/she is the second author of your work. But the person who really wrote it is the first author. He/she needs to be given the first credit.
Collaborative writing has taken new turn because of internet. Different people are writing on the same page at the same time. Social sciences have to take this route in the future. Ideas are emerging only through collaborative work. There is collaboration of different disciplines.
You can create a document and use the button ‘share’ in Gmail.

Summary or gist is synopsis. It has multiple standards and multiple vocabularies.
Proposal= Synopsys.
Synopsys is what you give your guide after first draft of the dissertation. This is to find out whether you can go ahead with your final draft or not. It is a 2 page write-up (summary) of your entire dissertation.
Synopsys can be just the title and then complete two pages of text. It might not have any headings. A lot of IITs demand synopsis (1000-4000 words) after your dissertations. You can’t quote from your dissertation or lift from your dissertation in it.
Proposal format holds good for synopsis format too. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

MPhil General Research Methodology 18 Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Classnotes

Notes by Sumitha Nair, MPhil. English Studies.

Topics covered
  1. Thesis Statement.
  2. Structure of Dissertation.
  3. Preview. 
A Proposal has to be submitted within a year of admission to the course. If a proposal is not accepted, it has to be re written. It is important to mention the duration of the proposal. A Proposal can either be accepted, accepted with corrections, re written or rejected.
Dissertation is a document given to a university for the award of degree presenting your study and results. Structure of a dissertation might vary depending on the discipline and university and sometimes the guide.

Simple Proposal (1 ½ pages)
  • Heading (E.g. Proposal for M. Phil. English Studies dissertation).
  • Tentative Title
  • Objectives
  • Methodology. (Analytical, what are the theories used to prove a phenomenon).
  • Chapter Divisio:         
    • Chapter 1: Introduction
    • Chapter 2: Literature Review
    • Chapter 3:  Research Design and Methodology. (Crucial for Qualitative Research. Must mention why one has chosen this sample or this particular phenomenon. Tools and testing techniques have to be established.)
    • Chapter 4: Findings / Deduction / Analysis
    • Chapter 5: Conclusion.
    • Works cited/reference
    • Appendix/ces
  • Limitations: Time cannot be a part of the limitations
  • Selected Bibliography: Works that are crucial for your research. Key texts crucial for the formulation of your research questions should be mentioned especially recent works.
Detailed proposal
  • Heading
  • Title
  • Abstract (Summary of the entire proposal. 150 -350 words.)
  • Introduction (State Research problem. Give the context of the research problem and then evolve the major issues of your research and then come to a specific issue. E.g. This research will find out….)
  • Need for the study
  • Methodology (Research background. Quantitative research will include the hypothesis which one must prove or disapprove. Qualitative Research will include Thesis which is normally one line. Research questions and objectives are also a part of methodology)
  • Chapter division.
  • Budget (If it is a funded research)
 Work Cited
Pinto, Anil. "Structure of Academic Writing." Christ University,          Bangalore. 18 Oct. 2010. Lecture.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Feminism is not a singular ideological viewpoint. Rather it is a collective term for a set of ideas and theories that pay special attention to women's rights and women's position in society. Many theorists talk of many 'Feminisms' as these theories engage with a various other areas such as linguistics, psychoanalysis, Marxism, poststructuralism, cultural studies, postcolonial theory, queer theory and gender studies. In the context of our syllabus, we focus on two major kinds of feminism, namely Pre-poststructuralist Feminism and Poststructuralist Feminism.

Pre-poststructuralist Feminism

  • One of the most important works of this strand of feminism is Mad Woman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar.
  • In this work, they examine the Western literary tradition and say that the word 'woman' in connection with 'writer'.
  • Gilbert and Gubar talk of a metaphorical connection between 'pen' and 'penis' that seems to have created such a tradition and limited women writers.
  • They explore different possible causes for this: (1) it could be because of the anxiety created by unsure paternity (not knowing whether they are really biologically related to their children) or (2) it might be a reaction to the threat of castration.
  • Works of such feminists radically altered the way we think about women and literature. As a result, today works of many women writers have been raised to a canonical stature.

Poststructuralist Feminism

  • Though Gilbert and Gubar questioned male dominance in literature, they did not question writing itself.
  • Important theorists of this strand of feminism are Helen Cixous, Luce Irigaray and Julia Kristeva (French Feminists); Judith Butler and Dona Haraway (American).
  • There are also some Indian women who have contributed to the feminist theory by pointing at the gaps of Western theories.
  • Mary E. John, Tejaswini Niranjan, Sussie Tharu and others argue that Western theories do not fully explain the Indian scenario. So, they seek to fill the gaps so we might be able to get a holistic view.

Helen Cixous

  • Cixous picks up Lacan's idea that women and men enter the Symbolic order differently.
  • She talks about Western cultural structures as 'Phallogocentric' meaning a system composed of binaries such as man/woman, day/night, culture/nature, etc. and the concepts on the left side of the slash are preferred more.
  • It is a combination of two concepts namely Phallic (Freud) and Logocentric (Derrida).
  • Then, Cixous gives a metaphor of the theatre where men are closer to the centre and women are on the periphery.
  • So, it is easier for the women to escape the authority of the centre or Phallus.
  • Men on the other hand suffer because of they do not have the possibility of escape. They do not have access to their own sexuality because it is defined in limiting terms.
  • Cixous further says that most women write from a masculine position because they are caught in the phallogocentric system.
  • Therefore, she talks of the concept of l'ecriture feminine as feminine writing. This according to Cixous is possible only in poetry because it does not rely on stable signifiers.
  • She further talks about the concept of jouissance.
  • She says that women must find their own sexuality, one that is rooted in their own bodies and write about that pleasure, which she calls jouissance.
  • She does not want to define such feminine writing because that goes back to the idea of stable signifiers.
  • Cixous favours poetry because it allows for such feminine writing. Novel on the other hand is more direct and based on stable signifiers.
  • 'The Laugh of the Medusa' is one of Cixous' most important works where she looks at the myth of Medusa,a woman with snakes for hair and whose stare can turn men into stone.
  • She argues that snakes represent a lot of phallus which is fearful to men.
  • She upturns the Freudian idea of female sexuality that is defined be a sense of lack or absence. She characterizes female sexuality as complete and not as an absence of phallus.

Luce Irigaray

  • Irigaray carries forward some of Cixous' arguments specifically finding a link between language and bodies.
  • In her essay 'The Sex Which Is Not One', she argues that female sexuality has always been defined in male terms.
  • She points out that this is flawed because we are focused on finding one single female sexual organ and the visual is given more preference over the other senses. So, vagina is seen as absence.
  • Irigaray further says that a woman's sexuality is based on touch and she is complete unlike the man.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

MPhil General Research Methodology 12 Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Classnotes

Notes by Arul Gasper, MPhil. English Studies.
What is writing?
Writing is a representation of language in textual medium.

Difference between Academic writing and other writing
Academic writing is critical and it is for the informed audience. To start any academic writing, one has to learn concepts. Any writing that occurs outside this type of writing is called other writing.

Features of Academic writing
Objective: It is to show the foundation of argument and upon which you build your thesis. A specific methodology is followed.
Significance: You are here to show how important your argument is. It is demonstrated through literature reviews or studies: why your study is so important.
Adequate details – Statistical values, data and data analysis are provided to support your stand.

Types of academic Writings
Abstract: It’s a summary of your entire thesis, what you have exactly done. The summary will introduce the area of enquiry. It will have the problem statement. In the summary, you have to show what methodology you will use followed by conclusion.

Research paper: It has a topic, authors, and abstract at the beginning, entire paper, literature reviews, methodology and conclusion. Word limit for a science paper can be around 1000 but any social science papers will range from 3000 to 6000 words.

Dissertation: It means a piece of written work that reports on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation and is undertaken in accordance with the regulations for an honors or first masters’ degree Word limit will range between 6000 and 20000

Thesis: Word limit would be around 50000 words
Proposal: refers to your area of enquiry, significance: why is it so important, methodology you choose, resources, budget in case of longer researches, duration and names of the investigators
Reader:  It is a collection of seminal essays in a particular area.
Book: If you are passionate about a certain area of study, you read books in that particular area.
Chapter: Sections

Collaborative writing – two or more people together doing a research on a particular area of study
Digital writing -   online writing and so on   

Work Cited
Pinto, Anil. "Academic Writing." Christ University,          Bangalore. 12 Oct. 2010. Lecture.  

National Symposium on Thinking Subjectivities - Call for papers

Department on English, Christ University, is organising a National Symposium on Thinking Subjectivities, in early February 2011.

This symposium aims to explore ambiguities and ambivalence in our perceptions of the ‘self’- the experiences and the increasing sense of fragmentation and chaos this ‘self’ experiences.

This is a call for papers. Philosophers, linguists, social and political scientists, psychologists and therapists, media professionals and interested scholars are invited to send in abstracts, for presentation. Please see the attached PDF file for more information.

Last date for submission of abstracts - 30 November, 2010
Last date for submission of papers - 10 January, 2011

Mail in abstracts and other queries to subjectivityseminar AT eng DOT christuniversity DOT in

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Howl - Allen Ginsberg

There is a Movie in reference to HOWL by Allen Ginsberg

Link to Poem



William Gibson - Neuromancer -ebook

William Gibson - Neuromancer - EBOOK

To download click on the image below

American Literature Material

Here are the links to material on some of the poems of American Literature syllabus. This post is in response to the request made on this blog for reference material. Apologies for the delay.

Why I am Not a Painter - O'Hara
1. From Modern American Poetry

Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself - Wallace Stevens
1. From Poem Hunter
2. From Poem talk   ( Please scroll down to second half of the page to read the commentary)
3. From A Mirror Floating on Water

Portrait of a Motor Car - Carl Sandburg
1. From this blog discussion (Please go to the comments section for the discussion on this poem) 

Armies of the Night - Norman Mailer
1. From Wikipedia
2. From the greatest works of all times 
3. From New York Times

On Imagination Phillis Wheatley
1.  Notes by Shruti from II JPEng
2. Click here for the annotated text

Howl -Allen Ginsberg
1. From Wikipedia
2. Gradesaver Summary

All the very best!
(P.S.:I only wish at least a few of my friends in the class regularly uploaded on this blog the lecture notes they had taken down. It would have helped a lot of students.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

MPhil General Research Methodology 11 Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Classnotes

Notes by Binoy C.U., MPhil. Psychology
  • A Research becomes a research only when it is published
  • The most important idea of research is not reading or writing but providing matter for Academic Debate for further building on of knowledge
  • 1904 Einstein came out with five papers and four of them redefined physics (the spirit of real research)
  • The structure of academic writing we see today is only Fifty years old
  • Looking in to the history – during the times of Socrates and Plato there was constant citing.  But Aristotle did not cite Plato but quoted him
  • The first secular university was established only in 1810 at Berlin
  • Wars have given rise to most of research break-through
  • Many disciplines took birth due to war. A lot of psychometric tests in psychology came in the context of wars, like Vietnam War.  In ELT communicative English method is said to have emerged from the Vietnam War.  Anthropology is a colonial discipline. The discipline of English literature is also a product of colonialism and First World War.
  • Research building is always a  community activity not an individual activity
  • Only when others comment on your knowledge you can build up knowledge
  • Research really means debate with an established system
  • Knowledge has no escape from the debate
  • In a research your first and foremost duty is to find out ‘when, where and who’ of a statement.  Then establish why you differ from it
  • Three approaches to research or theory - 1. Prove it wrong based on researcher’s own arguments in the articles 2. Agree it is right 3. Modify or build on
Academics & Research
  • One should not mix these two
  • What is an academy – it is an institution where we have formal rules, regulations, protocols
  • It is useful to make a distinction between academics and research as two separate domains.
  • Every research should push human understanding further
  • One should question and crack actual theory and establish something new
  • Research is not re-searching  
Work Cited
Pinto, Anil. "Introduction to Academic Writing" Christ University,          Bangalore. 11 Oct. 2010. Lecture.  

MPhil General Research Methodology Oct 2010 - Academic Writing Course Plan

(Following is the syllabus/course plan that I developed for the section on Academic Writing in the General Research Methodology Course for the MPhil Students of Christ University. The course is taught from 11 to 26 Oct 2010 in 6 sessions of two hours each

You can download a pdf version of the syllabus by clicking here or here. To access other syllabi developed by me, please click here)

Course Instructor: Anil Pinto, Dept of Media Studies

1.     Introduction to Academic Writing (Sessions 1 and 2)
a.     Research and writing - Issues
b.     Difference between academic writing and other forms of writing
c.      Kinds of academic writings, abstract, research paper, thesis, dissertation, book review, synopsis, proposal, book

2.     Structure of Academic Writing (Sessions 3 and 4)
a.     Thesis statement, Introduction, body, conclusion, paragraphs, topic sentence
b.     Literature Review, summary, paraphrasing  
c.      Visual structuring of the report: Page layout, font, line space, highlighting
d.     Collaborative writing
e.      Structures of a research paper and dissertation

3.     Reading for Research     (Session 4)
a.     Identifying the thesis statement, argument and evidence building, counter argument, finding gaps, conclusion

4.     Academic Styles   (Session 5)
a.     MLA and APA
b.     In text citation
c.      Citing works used: single author, multiple authors,  journal, book, online, digital,  audio, video, lectures, painting, photograph, and performances
d.     Footnote/endnotes

5.     Plagiarism (Session 6)
a.     Issues, consequences, types
b.     How to avoid plagiarism

6.     Publication (Sessions 6)
a.     Print: refereed, non-refereed
b.     Digital: digital repositories
c.      Copyright issues, open access
d.     Impact factor
e.      Self-publication

7.     Online Resources (Sessions 6)
a.     Writing labs, websites
b.     Citation tools

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dear III JPEng and III PSEngites,
If you have any questions regarding the Literary Theory course taught by me, please post your questions here. Will respond to them after 6 Oct.

All the best for your exams

Attention: II JPEng and II CEP American Literature Course

Dear II JPEng and II CEPites,
If you have any questions regarding the American Literature course taught by me, please post your questions here. Will respond to them after 6 Oct.

All the best for your exams

Attention: I MA English Students - Western Aesthetics Course

Dear All
Should you have any questions regarding the Western Aesthetics course essays or regarding the course examination, please post your questions here. I will respond to the after 6 Oct.