In revising this piece, one of the main aspects that needs to be addressed is the choice of language used. In a piece of academic writing, it is essential to use formal language. In this piece the student has, at times, used colloquial language. An example of this is the line, “The cinematography followed the look established in Batman Begins by using subdued colours, lots of darkness and a more restrained visual style than the one seen in the late 80s and 90s”. Instead of the words ‘lots of,’ the student should have used something more formal, for example ‘many’. This would have been much more an appropriate choice of language for an academic piece.
Furthermore, on the subject of language, an academic essay should avoid the use of the second person. It should be written in third person only. In this piece, the student repeatedly uses the word “you”, as if speaking directly to his readers. An example of this is the following line: “I hope that you have enjoyed this paper and take the opportunity to see the movie soon”. In certain types of writing, the use of second person is perfectly acceptable. However, in academic writing, it is not.
Another aspect requiring attention is the author’s use of referencing and in-text citations. The first line of the essay reads “The Dark Knight was the most popular film of 2008”. As he has presented this statement as if a fact, he needs to back it up with evidence of some kind. In doing this he would need to use appropriate APA in text citation style to inform readers of where he found this information. He would also need to ensure he uses the appropriate referencing for use when paraphrasing. On the other hand, if the line was lifted directly from another source, then it would need to be presented as a direct quote.
Later on in the piece, the author appears to quote directly from Wikipedia, but fails to use quotation marks or the appropriate in text referencing that is required for an essay in APA format. He writes,
“Wikipedia wrote the following about the film: It was greeted with positive reviews upon release, and became only the second film to earn more than $500 million at the North American box office, setting numerous other records in the process.”
The quote should have been within quotation marks, and after the end of the quote he needed to cite (Author, date, page).
In revising this piece, time needs to be spent on grammar. The author of this piece has struggled with the correct use of the word “it’s”. An example is the following sentence:
“Ultimately that honor was not bestowed on the film, but it’s popularity and ability to elevate the comic book film, which is rarely associated with quality storytelling, remain”.
The word “it’s”, should have been “its” as it speaks of possession, and therefore there should be no apostrophe. This kind of mistake, although common, is unacceptable in academic writing.
Finally, the conclusion needs some reworking. The author has ended the piece pleasantly, enough, but a conclusion should really summarise, in a few sentences, the whole essay. It should also end by leaving the readers something to think about.
When studying on a course, students are constantly engaging with ideas belonging to other people. In lectures, textbooks, journals, and many other ways, students are actively encouraged to read and be influenced by other people’s ideas. Therefore it can be easy to accidentally plagiarise when writing about the same subjects.
To avoid plagiarism, the student should have paid more attention to giving credit to other people or sources, when using their ideas. In order to keep an essay free of plagiarism, any idea, opinion or theory of another person’s must be acknowledged and correctly referenced. The same rule applies to any facts or piece of information that isn’t common knowledge. Whether using directly quoting or paraphrasing another person’s spoken or written words, it is vital to reference appropriately.
When using another source, the student needs to significantly change the wording of the paragraph they are using for their own essay. Then, if he has paraphrased, he must reference at the end of the section. If, however, he hasn’t rephrased the paragraph and has lifted the words directly, he must put the quoted section inside quotation marks and then reference the source after the quotation marks have closed. In this case, as the essay was supposed to be written in APA format, the student would have to write as follows: “direct quote” (author, date, page). If this were done, around the Wikipedia quote for example, then the section would not have been flagged up as plagiarised.
If the student had used Plagiarism Checker, some of his plagiarism issues may have been avoidable. The Checker would have scanned his essay and produced a report highlighting any sections that appear elsewhere on the web. Therefore, the student could have gone through the report and would have then known which parts of his essay needed to be reworded, or referenced more fully.