MHS Training Team Course: Using technology to enhance your research – places available!

When: Tuesday 2 November from 9.30am-12pm
Where: Room 4.2, Roscoe Building
How to book: please visit the Training Team website at

Information and Communications Technologies are changing the way in which people work, communicate and collaborate. Powerful technologies such as web 2.0 now make it possible for anyone to communicate on global scale. During this highly interactive workshop you will be introduced to web 2.0 technologies that can benefit your research and raise your research profile. In particular it will highlight how communications technologies are currently being used by the academic community and how you can raise your research profile. These will include:

  • Using Twitter and blogs to virtually extend research conferences and seminars
  • Using RSS feeds to manage your incoming information and help keep on top of the literature in your field
  • Using virtual learning communities to discuss journal articles
  • Using online file sharing tools to facilitate research collaboration

Need help with your writing?

If so, you should log-on to the Postgraduate Online Writing Clinic.  This is a forum which gives postgraduate students the chance to ask questions about any aspect of academic writing.

The live writing clinic is an online, cross-faculty resource for postgraduate students at the University of Manchester. It is a ‘drop in’ facility which allows you to ask any questions you might have regarding academic writing.

The first few minutes of each clinic will be a brief review of the main points of one topic from the Blackboard writing materials. The clinic will then be open for questions on any topic related to academic writing.

To access the on-line clinic, follow the link below on the dates and times indicated (you will need to run the ‘setup wizard’ the first time you use the clinic):

Select the icon ‘Online Writing Clinic’. This will take you into the Wimba classroom and you should then select ‘Participant Login’.
Please note: you will need headphones to listen to the clinic.

The clinics will take place between 12.30pm-1.30pm on Wednesdays.
There will be a clinic each Wednesday from 13th October until Wednesday 15th December (except Wednesday 27th October).

Please be aware of the following:

  • Questions will be answered in the order that they are posted.
  • The clinic will end at 1.30pm. Questions will be accepted up to 1.25pm.
  • This is a University-wide resource and so the guidance and feedback given will be generic and not subject/School specific.
  • This is not an online proofreading service.

If you have any questions regarding the online clinic, please email:

Session 1 – Recognising language functions ANSWERS


Matching exercise

See if you can you match the functional headings below with the textual extracts on the following pages (some of the texts have more than one function):

a) Function: comparison/contrast
b) Function: describing a process
c) Function: defining a term with ref. to literature
d) Function: reporting results in a table and comparing them
e) Function: exemplifying (giving examples of autoimmune diseases)
f) Function: giving background
g) Function: cause and effect (causes which affect lung function)
h) Function: describing a process/procedure
i) Function: classification
j) Function: literature review
k) Function: future work
l) Function: knowledge gap

Session 1 – Recognising language functions

1. Matching exercise

See if you can you match the functional headings below with the textual extracts on the following pages (some of the texts have more than one function):

• giving relevant background

• describing a process

• reporting results in a table

• reviewing the literature

• identifying a knowledge gap

• defining a term

• comparing and contrasting

• describing cause and effect

• classifying

• exemplifying

• suggesting future work

Recent statistics show significant differences between men and women in survival following a heart attack. For example, 42 percent of women who have heart attacks die within 1 year compared with 24 percent of men. The reasons for these differences are not well understood. We know that women tend to get heart disease about 10 years later in life than men, and they are more likely to have coexisting chronic conditions. Research also has shown that women may not be diagnosed or treated as aggressively as men, and their symptoms may be very different from those of men who are having a heart attack.

From: Agency for Healthcare research and Quality (2006) Research on Cardiovascular Disease in Women
(Correct on 14th Septemebr, 2006)


The precipitated gutta percha is dried to constant weight in a desiccator. The chloroform-insoluble precipitate is washed with acetone and dried to constant weight. The dried residue is then washed with hydrochloric acid, separating the insoluble heavy metal salts (mainly barium sulphate) from the soluble zinc oxide. The insoluble salts are washed with distilled water and acetone and dried to constant weight.

The percentage of zinc oxide is then calculated on the difference between the original known weight, and the sum of the measured weights of gutta percha, waxes/resins, and heavy metal salts.

From: Al-Eid (1994) Efficacy of Quantec rotary instruments for gutta-percha removal Unpublished PhD Thesis School of Dentistry, Manchester.


Roxithromycin (14), an oxime derivative of erythromycin, is an acid-stable orally administered antibacterial macrolide. The conformational studies have established that the drug exists as a single conformer in solution (Gharbi-Benarous et al., 1990; Gharbi-Benarous et al., 1991). Roxithromycin is active against Gram-positive and Gram-negative cocci, Gram-positive bacilli and some Gram-negative bacilli. Atypical pathogens like Mycobacterium avium and Helicobacter pylori are also affected but it has no significant effect on the predominant faecal flora (Bryskier, 1998).

From: Pranab, B.K. (2003) “Erythromycin B: An Old Drug For The New Millennium”. Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manchester.


Table 3 shows a comparison of patients clustered by DNA analysis to those nonclustered according to various demographic and clinical characteristics. Factors significantly associated with clustering were HIV infection and birth in the United States. There was no difference in proportion clustered by year. Patients with histories of prior treatment and Asian patients were significantly less likely (odds ratio [OR] = 0.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.17 to 0.98 and OR=0.18, 95% CI-0.06 to 0.53, respectively) to be in a cluster. Patients in clusters were 3 times more likely to have epidemiologic links than those not in clusters. In a subanalysis that included only non-U.S.-born patients who had a known date of entry to the United States, clustering was significantly associated (OR=1.09, 95% CI=1.02, l.16; p=0.01) with longer time of residence in the United States.

From: Munsiff, S., Bassoff, T., Nivin, B., Li, J., Sharma, A., Bifani, P., Mathema, B., Driscoll, J. and Barry N. Kreiswirth, B., (2002) “Molecular Epidemiology of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis, New York City, 1995–1997”. Emerging Infectious Diseases. (accessed on 14th September , 2006)


There are many different autoimmune diseases, and they can each affect the body in different ways. For example, the autoimmune reaction is directed against the brain in multiple sclerosis and the gut in Crohn’s disease. In other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), affected tissues and organs may vary among individuals with the same disease. One person with lupus may have affected skin and joints whereas another may have affected skin, kidney, and lungs. Ultimately, damage to certain tissues by the immune system may be permanent, as with destruction of insulin-producing cells of the pancreas in Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

From: Shoman, M. (2006) “Understanding Autoimmune Diseases, Including Autoimmune Thyroid Conditions” (accessed on 13th September 2006).


Initially LiF:Mg,Cu,P was developed and used in powder form until 1986 when Wang et al24 at the Central Research Laboratory in Bejing, China produced the first LiF:Mg,Cu,P chips called GR-200A. Now it is possible to produce the TLD in a variety of forms such as polycrystalline hot pressed chips, sintered chips, accurately machined, optically transparent disks, rods, cubes, chips, as single crystals and as thin films on kapton substrates as well as in powder form. There have been several papers published in which the composition of the TLD and the manufacturing procedures have been discussed in great detail5

From: Boardman, J. (2004) “Patient Dose Evaluation and Optimisation in Orthodontic Radiology”. Unpublished MSc Thesis, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, Manchester.


Ambient temperature has also been shown to affect lung function. When investigating the effects of various environmental factors on children’s lung function, Kagawa and Toyama demonstrated that ambient temperature highly affected respiratory function tests (Kagawa and Toyama, 1975). An increase in temperature was related to an increase in airway resistance. One explanation for their findings might relate to the effects of ozone which correlates highly with air temperature. In our study change in air temperature confounded the relationship between FVC (Forced vital capacity) and change in NO2 but was not significant itself. No effect of O3 on FVC was observed when the analysis was performed for those 217 children where O3 measurements were available.

From: Frischer et al. (1993) “The effects of ambient NO2 on lung function in primary children”, Environmental Research, 62: 179-188.


Standard protocol AP radiographs were taken of all patients who were in the supine position and slightly turned to the image side (20°), with the arm in external rotation and palm facing forward.23 The film focus distance was measured at 115 cm, and a 15° craniocaudal tilt was used to project the undersurface of the acromion perpendicular. This created a true AP projection 90° toward the shoulder (Fig 1). All radiographs were taken in a clinical setting in the presence of the principal investigator (MS) who controlled for image quality and positioning.29

From: Van de Sande, M. A. J, Stoel, B. C., and Rozing P. M , (2006) “Subacromial Space Measurement: A Reliable Method Indicating Fatty Infiltration in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis Responses to Drug and alcohol related problems in Dublin”, Clinical Orthopaedics And Related Research. 0:1-7.


Although it is often thought of as a single disease diabetes can in fact be subdivided into two main diseases. Traditionally diabetes has been classified into IDDM or Insulin Dependent Diabetes and NIDDM for Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Although this classification has been in use for many years it is not the most correct as many people that suffer from what was known as NIDDM are also dependent on insulin for survival and management of their disease. This has led to a recent re-classification of the disease into type 1 (previously IDDM) and type 2 diabetes (previously NIDDM). Type 1 is mainly a disease of young age of onset, and is due to the destruction by the immune system of the insulin secreting ß-cells in the pancreas …… ……. Type 2 diabetes is the most common of these two diseases accounting for 90-95% of all diabetes cases diagnosed worldwide. It is mainly characterised by …..

From: Sanger Institute (2006) “Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes: Major Public Health Threats” (accessed on 13th September, 2006).


In the literature there is good evidence of an association between various sports and postural deviations. Among athletes who experience asymmetrical load on the trunks and the shoulders, such as tennis players (Sward et al., 1990), hurling players (Watson, 1983), javelin throwers (Helstrom et al., 1990) and rowers (Woynarowska and Bojanowska, 1979), scoliosis has been detected. Becker (1986) reported the results of a study carried out by Krahl and Steinbruk between 1974 and 1978 on 571 top athletes, in which they found a 33.5% incidence of functional scoliosis and a 1.6% incidence of idiopathic scoliosis.

From: Rajabi, R (2002) “An investigation into Sagittal Thoracic Curvature in Cyclists and Non-cyclists”, Unpublished PhD thesis (Musculoskeletal Research Group, Manchester).


A number of possible future studies using the same experimental set up are apparent. It would be interesting to assess the effects of mood altering drugs such as alcohol, amphetamine and cocaine on performance and brain activation patterns of subjects playing Pac-Man. Furthermore, it would be interesting to compare the results of subjects who were playing for a performance-related financial reward with the results of subjects playing the game under normal conditions.

From: White, T. (2003) “Using a computer game paradigm to investigate the neural basis of reward: an fMRI study. Unpublished MSc Thesis, School of Bioliological Sciences, Manchester.


There is no published data in Western Australia to indicate on what demographic basis doctor dispensing licences have been granted. Further, there is no research to indicate whether residents of towns receiving pharmaceutical care through the doctor are receiving the same level of service as residents with access to a pharmacy in their town. Nor is there any data as to the level of patronage of doctor dispensing services relative to pharmacy services in rural areas.

From: V Bruce Sunderland, V.B., Burrows, S.D. and Joyce, A.W. (2006) “A comparative evaluation of pharmacy services in single and no pharmacy towns”. Australia and New Zealand Health Policy. 2006; 3: 8.


2. Language Study
Now try to show how the communicative function of each extract is related to the words/phrases used. Underline the relevant words/phrases and structures.

Course Outline for Academic Writing in English for International Postgraduate students in the Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences

Day: Wednesday
Time: 14.00-15.30
Building: Room 3A, Simon Building
Tutor: Maureen Finn

This course is designed to give you practice in writing clear, grammatically accurate and well-organised academic and scientific English. A major focus of the course will be on the language used to express the main communicative functions used at all levels of academic discourse. In addition, some lessons will concentrate on certain obligatory discourse features of the research report. Examples of different types of text and the language used in them will be examined and discussed, and you will have a chance to practise a series of writing tasks, both individually, and co-operatively, in groups.

Semester 1: Wednesday 13 October – Wednesday 13 December, 2010

13 Oct 10

– Introduction to the course
– Identifying language functions in academic text

20 Oct 09

– Academic style

27 Oct 10

– Structuring information

03 Nov 10

– Reporting the literature

10 Nov 10

– Writing introductions and conclusions

17 Nov 10

– Writing definitions and giving examples

24 Nov 10

– Writing definitions and giving examples; writing workshop-

01 Dec 10

– Describing cause and effect

08 Dec 10

– Interpreting and commenting on non-verbal data

15 Dec 10
– Interpreting and commenting on non-verbal data: writing workshop

Semester 2: Wednesday 02 February – Wednesday 06 April, 2010

02 February 11

– Achieving cohesion and using discourse markers

09 Feb 11

– Error correction: writing workshop

16 Feb 11

– Paraphrasing and summarising

23 Feb 11

– Being critical

02 March 11

– Writing a dissertation: aims and objectives

09 March 11

– Writing a dissertation: overview

16 March 11

– Writing a dissertation: reviewing the literature

23 March 11
– Writing a dissertation: reviewing the literature
– Writing workshop

30 March 11
– Writing a dissertation: describing methods and results

06 April 11
– Writing a dissertation: discussions and conclusions