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Section 1. GUIDELINES FOR ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION

A dissertation defense

Instruction: These are some guidelines and tips to be taken into account at the defense procedure — the final part of your graduate study. This is an adaptation of S. Joseph Levine’s text placed in the Internet without copyright limitations. You are sure to realize that, no matter how much you have done in the preparation of your dissertation, it will be indispensable for you to finish your degree requirements. On reading and understanding the following text your purpose will be to verify what you know about the standard guidelines of a dissertation defense procedure. This will be useful for you as a competitor for the candidate degree. However, at this stage your goal as an examinee is to get ready to present these guidelines employing the vocabulary that you acquire in this section at your English candidate exam.

It’s not a war. It seems to suggest some sort of war that you’re trying to win. And, of course, with 10 or 12 of them and only one of you it sounds like they may have won the war before the first battle is held. I wish they had called it a dissertation seminar or professional symposium. I think the name would have brought forward a much better picture of what should be expected at this meeting.

Try to remember that the purpose of the meeting is for you to show everyone how well you have done in the conducting of your research study and the preparation of your dissertation. In addition there should be a seminar atmosphere where the exchange of ideas is valued. You are clearly the most knowledgeable person at this meeting when it comes to your subject. And, the members of your committee are there to hear from you and to help you better understand the very research that you have invested so much of yourself in for the past weeks. Their purpose is to help you finish your degree requirements.

You are not alone. It’s important that you have the feeling when entering your defense that you aren’t doing it alone. As was mentioned earlier, your major professor should be seen as an ally to you and «in your corner» at the defense. Don’t forget, if you embarrass yourself at the defense you will also be embarrassing your dissertation director. So, give both of you a chance to guarantee there is no embarrassment. Meet together ahead of time and discuss the strategy you should use at the defense. Identify any possible problems that may occur and discuss ways that they should be dealt with. Try and make the defense more of a team effort.

Don’t be defensive at your defense (this sounds confusing!). This is easy to say but sometimes hard to fulfill. You’ve just spent a considerable amount of time on your research and there is a strong tendency for YOU to want to defend everything you’ve done.

However, the committee members bring a new perspective and may have some very good thoughts to share. Probably the easiest way to deal with new input is to say something like «Thank you so much for your idea. I will be giving it a lot of consideration.» There, you’ve managed to diffuse a potentially explosive

situation and not backed yourself or the committee member into a corner. Plus, you’ve not promised anything. Try and be politically astute at this time. Don’t forget that your ultimate goal is to successfully complete your degree.

Presentation. The student prepares a 20-25 minute presentation that reviews the entire study. This is done through the help of a series of 10-12 large pieces of paper, wall charts that have been posted sequentially around the walls of the room. Each piece of paper contains key words regarding each of the different aspects of the study. Some pieces of paper contain information about the study setting, questions and methodology.

Other pieces of paper present findings and finally there are those pieces that present the conclusions and implications. By preparing these wall charts ahead of time the student is able to relax during the presentation and use the pieces of paper as if they were a road map toward the goal. The wall charts stay up for everyone to see and to help focus attention.

The committee. Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions, but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall charts and the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are present at the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow along and understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.

Enjoy it. Well that about does it. By following the above suggestions and ideas I hope it will be possible for you to finish your graduate degree program in a most timely and enjoyable manner. By looking ahead to the different aspects of this final part of your graduate study it becomes clear that you can do a number of things to insure your success. Good luck!

(Based on «Writing and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation» by S. Joseph Levine, Ph.D. Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan USA.

Answer the following questions:

Do you agree that the defense procedure is not a war, nor are members of the defense committee hostile?

Do you agree that you are clearly the most knowledgeable person at the

defense when it comes to your subject?

Is the approach to defense different or the same in Ukraine?

In your opinion, what tips will be useful for you?

Are you going to enjoy your defense?

Prepare a 2 minute story about the framework of a good defense procedure.

Section 2. GUIDELINES FOR GRAMMAR TEST

Items involving misplaced modifiers

A misplaced modifier is a participial phrase or other modifier that comes before the subject, but does NOT refer to the subject. Look at this sentence:

Driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of Liza’s car. (INCORRECT;)

This sentence is incorrect because it seems to say that a herd of sheep— rather than Liza—was driving down the road. The participial phrase is misplaced. The sentence could be corrected as shown:

As Liza was driving down the road, a herd of sheep suddenly crossed the road in front of her. (CORRECT),

This sentence now correctly has Liza in the driver’s seat instead of the sheep. The following sentence structures are often misplaced.

Present participle.Walking along the beach, the ship was spotted by the men. Correction: Walking along the beach, the men spotted the ship.

Past participle. Based on this study, the scientist could make several conclusions.

Correction: Based on this study, several conclusions could be made by the scientist.

Appositive. A resort city in Arkansas, the population of Hot Springs is about 35,000.

Correction: A resort city in Arkansas, Hot Springs has a population of about 35,000.

Reduced adjective clause. While peeling onions, his eyes began to water. Correction: While he was peeling onions, his eyes began to water.

Adjective phrases. Warm and mild, everyone enjoys the climate of the Virgin Islands.

Correction: Everyone enjoys the warm, mild climate of the Virgin Islands.

Expressions with like or unlike. Like most cities, parking is a problem in San Francisco.

Correction: Like most cities, San Francisco has a parking problem

Structure items with misplaced modifiers are usually easy to spot. They generally consist of a modifying element at the beginning of the sentence followed by a comma, with the rest or most of the rest of the sentence missing. The answer choices tend to be long. To find the answer, you must decide what subject the modifier correctly refers to.

Examples:

Using a device called a cloud chamber,

a) experimental proof for the atomic theory was found by Robert Millikin.

b) Robert Millikin’s experimental proof for the atomic theory was found.

c) Robert Millikin found experimental proof for the atomic theory.

d) there was experimental proof found for the atomic theory by Robert Millikin.

Choices (A) and (B) are incorrect because the modifier (Using a device called a cloud chamber) could not logically refer to the subjects (experimental proof and RobertMiWikin’s experimental proof). (D) is incorrect because a modifier can never properly refer to the introductory words there or it.

Fearing economic hardship,

a) many Ukrainians emigrated to other countries in the 1990s.

b) emigration from Ukraine to other countries took place in the 1990s.

c) it was in the 1990s that many Ukrainians emigrated to other countries.

d) an emigration took place in the 1990s from Ukraine to other countries.

2. Rich and distinctive in flavor,

a) there is in the United States a very important nut crop, the pecan

b) the most important nut crop in the United States, the pecan

c) farmers in the United States raise pecans, a very important nut crop

d) pecans are the most important nut crop in the United States

orbiting from 2.7 to 3.6 billion miles from the sun.

a) The astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930

b) Pluto was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930

c) It was in 1930 that the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto

d) The discovery of Pluto was made by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930

A popular instrument, .

a) only a limited role has been available to the accordion in classical music.

b) there is only a limited role for the accordion in popular music.

c) classical music provides only a limited role for the accordion.

d) the accordion has played only a limited role in classical music.

Missing or incomplete comparisons

Many sentences contain comparisons, some of these involve the comparative forms of adjectives.

Examples:

Sea bass freshwater bass.

a) are larger than (correct)

b) are larger the

c) are as large

d) are larger

On the average, the Pacific Ocean is deeper than the Atlantic. Rhonda is a more experienced performer than Theresa.

This show is less interesting than the one we watched last night. Be sure that the sentence compares similar things or concepts.

The ears of African elephants are bigger than Indian elephants. (INCORRECT) The ears of African elephants are bigger than those of Indian elephants. (CORRECT)

The first sentence above is incorrect because it compares two dissimilar things: an African elephant’s ears and an Indian elephant. In the second, the word those refers to ears, so the comparison is between similar things.

Another type of comparison involves the phrase as...as; not so…as.

Examples:

The lab lasted as long as the class did.

There weren’t as many people at the meeting as I had thought there would be. Wild strawberries are as cultivated strawberries.

a) not so sweet (correct)

b) not as sweet

c) less sweeter

d) not as sweeter

The words like/alike and unlike/not alike can also be used to express comparison:

Like A, B, …; A, like B, …; A is like B; A and B are alike.

Unlike X, Y, …; X, unlike Y…;. X is unlike Y; X and Y are not alike

In these sentences, similar-looking words such as likely, likewise, dislike, and

unlikely may appear as distractors.

Other phrases can be used in making comparisons:

A is the same as B; A and B are the same; A is similar to B.

X is different from Y; X and Y are different; X differs from Y.

A special kind of comparison is called a proportional statement. A proportional statement follows this pattern: The more A...the more B.

Example:

The higher the humidity, the more uncomfortable people feel.

Mini-test

Identify and correct errors involving misplaced modifiers

air pollution is a big problem in Simferopol.

a) Like in most Ukrainian cities

b) Like most Ukrainian cities

c) Alike most Ukrainian cities

d) As most Ukrainian cities

, everyone wants to be friends with John.

a) Kind and cooperative

b) As he is kind and cooperative

c) Being kind and cooperative (D)

d) Also kind and cooperative

for his exam his computer broke.

a) While sitting

b) While he was sitting

c) On sitting

d) He was sitting

is constantly growing

a) The center of the Crimea, the population of Simferopol

b) In Simferopol, the center of the Crimea, the population

c) The center of the Crimea, Simferopol, the population

d) Simferopol, the center of the Crimea, the population

he decided to drop his research.

a) Resulting in a failure

b) Resulting in a failure of his research

c) As his research resulted in a failure

d) Because a failure

a car accident happened.

a) Walking down the street

b) When I was walking down the street

c) I was walking down the street

d) Walked down the street

can help assess the water resources of the Pacific coral islands

a) Mapping the salinity distribution of the island’s groundwater this analy-

b) This analysis of mapping the salinity distribution of the island’s groundsis

c) Mapping this analysis of the salinity distribution of the island’s groundwater

d) When mapping the salinity distribution of the island’s groundwater this analysis

1 that family enterprises aim at humane objectives 2 and at financial objectives _3_ than non-family enterprises 4

1

a) Based on the hypothesis

b) Basing on the hypothesis

c) It is based on the hypothesis

d) There is based on the hypothesis

2

a) to a greater extent

b) on a greater extent

c) with a greater extent

d) at a greater extent

3

a) to a lesser extent

b) on a lesser extent

c) with a lesser extent

d) at a lesser extent

4

a) the results of an empirical study for the region Upper-Austria are presented.

b) are presented the results of an empirical study for the region UpperAustria.

c) an empirical study for the region Upper-Austria the results of are presented.

d) the results are presented of an empirical study for the region UpperAustria.

Tips for tactics in finding grammar errors

Skim each sentence, looking for obvious errors.

If you haven’t found the error, read the sentence again carefully, concentrating on the underlined parts. Go through a mental checklist of the most common types of errors (those involving word form, word choice, parallelism, verbs, pronouns, and singular/plural nouns) to see if any of the underlined expressions seem to fall into those categories.

If you are still unable to find an error, try eliminating options that seem to be correct.

Usually, a person’s eyes move very quickly over «little words» like

rticles and prepositions because these words don’t contain much information. However, these expressions may be used incorrectly. You can train your eyes to move «slowly and pronounce the sentences in your mind exactly as if you were speaking them.

If you haven’t identified the error after a careful reading of the sentence, go through a mental checklist of the six most common errors: word form,

word choice, verb error, parallelism, pronoun errors, and singular/plural noun errors. Do the underlined expressions seem to fit into any of these categories?

If you still can’t find an error, eliminate expressions that seem to be used correctly, then make a list from any items that remain.

Usually, a person’s eyes move very quickly over «little words» like

rticles and prepositions because these words don’t contain much information. However, these expressions may be used incorrectly. You can train your eyes to move «slowly and pronounce the sentences in your mind exactly as if you were speaking them.

If you haven’t identified the error after a careful reading of the sentence, go through a mental checklist of the six most common errors: word form,

word choice, verb error, parallelism, pronoun errors, and singular/plural noun errors. Do the underlined expressions seem to fit into any of these categories?

If you still can’t find an error, eliminate expressions that seem to be used correctly, then make a list from any items that remain.


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