The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Student Learning
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Student LearningAcademic Texts > FASS introductions
Staff + Student Login

Arts and Social Science introductions

Theme: Natural disasters in New Zealand

Write an essay comparing natural disasters in the majority world and the minority world. Use the work of disaster theorists to inform your essay and indicate why there are differences between the two 'worlds'. (From a 300 level geography paper, 1500 words.)
About this excerpt:

Achieving a balanced introduction. It seems as if this student wanted this introduction to be as efficient as possible, but the result is an introduction that is imbalanced with not enough information for the length of the assignment.

Notice also the vocabulary and sentence structures that this student uses. In her introduction she says "It is argued that...". This is a passive sentence - it does not inform the reader who makes that argument.

Take this opportunity to reflect on the usefulness of the passive and other language features. Sometimes a passive construction like this one is useful, and sometimes it is better to state actively that this assignment argues something, or that you intend to argue it. What is the convention in your discipline for using personal pronouns in academic writing? Do you know what each of your lecturers prefers?

What to do
  • First, use the buttons on the right to guide you through the lesson. Read the excerpt and look at the notes provided.
  • Complete the short activity.
  • Finally, feel welcome to contact Student Learning either personally, or via the Moodle writing forum to discuss your writing (University of Waikato students only).