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Logical Assumptions with Modal Verbs in Academic Writing

August 28th, 2015 No comments

queue in data structureMore often than not, logical assumptions are used in academic writing. This article is dedicated to the using of modal verbs for deduction, certainty and probability. When the question is about “deduction”, it means using all information that is available to draw certain conclusions on these or that facts.

Depending on what kind of information you have, you may be more assured that all of your conclusions are related to real life, or less assured that your conclusions are valid – and we make use of various modal verbs in order to define the degree of your certainty.

Deductions about the present

When you are going to make some deductions about the present, make sure to use “must” if you’re 100% sure that something is true and “can’t” in case you’re absolutely sure that something is impossible. For instance, if you see a guy, you may say “He must be a policeman” if you’re very certain about that because of his uniform. And “He can’t be a painter” since we’re certain he is NOT a painter.

Certainty about the days that have gone

When we take into account some present evidence and provide reasonably certain conclusions about the events that took place in the past, it is required to use “must have” and “couldn’t have” together with the verb in the past participle form. The “must have + past participle” example regarding the conclusions about something that did happen: “Ronda got a tan. She must have spent a lot of time on the beach”. As for the “must not have + past participle” construction (when we give the conclusions that something didn’t happen, the example will sound as:  “The mail box is still empty. James must not have sent the letter yet”.  And finally, the construction “couldn’t have + past participle” example: “George couldn’t have taken your purse; he wasn’t even in a room yesterday”.

Certainty about the days to come

When we are making deductions on the future, it’s the same as when we made predictions. Just like you have been told about the future tenses during the school lessons, one can use “going to” or “will” in order to say what we believe is going to happen in the future.  When an individual is 100% sure that his predictions are correct, he can add the word “definitely” in order to put emphasis on his certainty. For instance, “Mike’s definitely going to love this movie – it’s with his favourite Hollywood actor”.

Make sure to take into consideration the following slightly more formal expressions that one can make use of in order to talk about the future with certainty. This is what we use to state that something “is certain to” happen or when something “is sure to” happen. For example, “Sociology experts are certain to provide the results of the surveys even faster than before” or “The country is sure to take part in this global arrangement”.

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Hedging: a Tool to Make Your Essay Academic

August 14th, 2015 No comments

academic writingAcademic writing has a variety of linguistic means and today we are going to examine one of them in detail. There are times when the writer has to use a so called tentative language which is per se an unassertive way of making claims and interpreting ideas so to say. This way the author sounds less categorical regarding borrowed opinions and general facts. This linguistic tool is called hedging and is applied in academic writing in order to distance oneself from stating uncorroborated facts. As a result, besides its formality, hedging is an impersonal construction devoid of pronouns “you”, “we”, “I” etc. It is rather significant for it has several types and can be widely used.

Hedging with verbs

The verbs “to appear” and “to seem” are put to use whenever it is necessary to relieve oneself of responsibility for the stated words.

It seems that people finally understand the problem of global pollution and start to take action.
It appears that the news reports are talking about the same thing today.

The profit of the company seems to be growing.

The cyclone appears to be changing.

This way the assumptions sound quite dependable because they create the impression of being based on trustworthy sources. However, they don’t seem too absolute in case they turn up to be wrong.

You could also use the modal verb “would” to make everything even more distant.

It would seem that his siblings also claim an interest in property.

It would appear that officials haven’t made a decision yet.

The joint-stock company would seem to be preparing for selling its shares.

They would appear to have troubles with paying taxes.

Hedging with noun phrases

It is natural that noun phrases with a tentative meaning are applied in this kind of hedging because they have the same purpose as the previous type of the academic writing tool..

There is little chance that this candidate will win this year elections.

There is some doubt on the subject of educational reforms as it is a very serious step.

There is no evidence that this politician has committed a crime.

There is a substantial percentage of people who take medication without prescription.

Hedging with the passive

The passive voice is a well-known means of reporting with a distinct pragmatic meaning. It is the perfect construction to hedge in academic papers.

It is widely recognized that the future depends on the Net generation.

It is believed that the cause of the fire wasn’t accidental.

It is not known if the judge has made his decision in favour of the accused.

It has been shown that the findings of the research are very crucial for the science world.

Obviously, all the above mentioned ways of hedging make writing academically “decorated” and they are to be used when it is essential to render facts in an ambiguous perspective.

The Big Brother Is Watching You or Essay on Anti-Utopia

August 14th, 2015 No comments

big brotherIn the broad sense the concept of anti-utopia the key word that defines the roots of this notion is “utopia” because the appearance of the former is directly dependable upon the existence of the latter. Under these circumstances it is not relevant to discuss one without the reference to the other.

Utopia emerged in the nineteenth century as the result of people’s fierce strive for a perfect society and men could not help but succumb to these lofty ideas of social improvement. Consequently, through this period of time there appeared a number of literary works where an in-depth depiction of a non-existent “heaven” impelled and inspired human nature to wait and hope. However, wise and shrewd leaders of socialistic ideology did not miss the opportunity to gain advantage of human natural credulity and created a kind of “religion”, the ultimate purpose of which was the accomplishment of this ephemeral utopia. Nevertheless, there have always been the titans of thought throughout the history and that period of formation and development was not an exception. That is how a new genre of literature and a new type of contemplation broke out by means of words and books.

Anti-Utopia was a furious answer to the attempts of the government to produce a collective consciousness and frame it according to the benefits of policy changes and state governance. It denied all the principles and values previously stated in the utopia and affirmed that “perfect” was permanently surrounded by hidden reefs and consequences. I consider this genre of literature as one of the most controversial and thought-provoking in the whole literary process and in my view it should be regarded only through the prism of the best illustrations which can demonstrate the full range of its existential meaning.

“1984” by George Orwell is one of the representative novels, which resolutely display the paradigm of anti-utopian characteristic features. This book is the prediction of undesirable future with the main character, Winston, who seeks the way to oppose the acting power. The main peculiarities of anti-utopia are the representation of certain society and government organization in the future and the conflict between the authority and its opponent. Winston lives in Oceania, the superstate which is at permanent war either with Eastasia or Eurasia. The residents of this country are raised in the environment where people do not think. They are “programmed” to unquestionably follow the statute of the Party. The book draws a distinct picture of negative occurrences in the life of socialistic society and class ideology, strong depiction of human degradation and identity annihilation. In addition, the image of a totalitarian regime finalizes the anti-utopian concept of the “perfect” world , thus, brightly exposes the main features of this literary genre.

Overall, it is necessary to point out that nowadays anti-utopia is a strong tool of exposure of the absurd utopian dream and the reality of inevitable government control. It is becoming more and more popular among authors and, subsequently, among readers. The most vivid and best-selling books of this genre are “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, “The Divergent” by Veronica Roth, “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner and others. They are filmed and broadcasted throughout the world gaining unimaginable popularity and the only question that appears is “Why?”. People are likely to project everything they perceive and comprehend on themselves. So, perhaps the modern world is living in its own Oceania and the Big Brother is definitely watching you.

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Why Do I Write an Essay?

August 14th, 2015 No comments

writing“Why do I have to write an essay? Why is it an essay? Why me?
sounds familiar, does it? Essay writing has always been a kind of challenging and tiresome assignment for the students of all academic levels. Taking into account the fact that usually the essays are used as an easy-to-apply method to test students’ analytical and writing skills, fluency with the written language, as well as literacy, the task usually causes unrest in the college masses. Moreover, for the students, who are having difficulties with just a simple constructing of a small paragraph, the essay writing turns into a real disaster. As a rule, these students don’t have the slightest idea of what they are actually doing. They consider an essay as a part of the academic torture that the tutor has invented for them personally. In other words, they write with zero purpose.

The Essay Purpose – What Is it for?

When the focus is on the essay purpose, it is usually defined as a solid reason why you’re writing the paper. Discovering the essay purpose is one of the basic challenges you will have to handle. Most often, there is one or more of the following essay purposes: to entertain, to inform, to analyze, to call the target audience to action, to argue, to recommend, to change certain attitudes, to persuade, etc. Knowing the right purpose of your essay is a tricky thing. However, you may be lucky enough if your instructor specifies what kind of project she’s expecting from you. But when you’re facing the freedom to work on the essay of any type, you may have difficulties while identifying the right purpose. The tips listed below will guide you through the process and help you to come up with the essay purpose.

Purpose #1: to Inform

When your essay must inform you readers on a certain matter, you have to provide your readers with information that they do not have. Thus, your number one task is to name the facts, not provide your personal viewpoints on the subject. As an example of the informative essay, one may name the paper that is focused on how to buy a house. If you’re going to perform an essay research, make sure to take information from the trustworthy resources only.

Purpose #2: to Persuade

Are you writing to persuade? In such case your aim is to make your readers take an action (or have a strong desire to take it) – based exclusively on what you have written. For instance, you may persuade your readers to vote for your campaign in your essay.

Purpose #3: to Explain

When you are required to write in order to explain, your task is to help your target audience get an idea of a situation or a process. As an example of the essay of this type one can name the essay on how to organize a birthday party for a kid. However, if you’re asked to provide explanations on any issue, make sure to choose the one that you’re well aware of.

Purpose #4: to Entertain

This is a great chance to give your reader a stunning emotional experience. Among the most successful essays written for an entertaining purpose the ones dedicated to the most embarrassing moment in your life or the most unusual journey you have ever had. Knowing the purpose of the essay will make your path less rough.

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