Academic Writing and Critical Enquiry

Subject PHTY90075 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 28 hours in lectures and tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

80 hours of self-directed learning

108 hours in total





Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:




Melbourne School of Health Sciences

The University of Melbourne

Level 1, 200 Berkeley St

Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA

T: +61 3 13 MELB

F: +61 3 8344 4188



Subject Overview:

Academic writing and critical enquiry forms a key component of all research and postgraduate study. This subject will provide students with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the skills in professional academic writing including critical analysis of physiotherapy practice and research. In addition, students will be introduced to the important role of ethics in acdemic activities of writing and research and more generally the role of ethics clinical practice.

Topics will include:

  • Key features of academic writing such as common formats, conventions and purposes
  • Processes of academic writing
  • Techniques for critical evaluation of all aspects of published research relevant to the physiotherapy profession.
  • Distinguishing structural features of and preparation necessary for essays, assignments, case studies, grant applications and research papers
  • Literature searching and retrieving
  • Referencing styles and conventions
  • Ethics in research
  • Ethics in clinical practice

Students who successfully complete this subject will have had the opportunity to:

  • Learn how to effectively search computerised medical literature databases
  • Recongnise the key features and components of academic writing
  • Critique different styles of academic writing and distinguish between purposes, structure and characteristics
  • Develop skills in writing using established academic styles
  • Identify the ethical dimensions of conducting clinical huma research
  • Examine and critique ethical issues relevant to clinical physiotherapy practice
  • Understand the process involved in practicing evidence-based physiotherapy
  • Analyse clinimetric properties when choosing measurement tools in physiotherapy practice
  • Critically appraise experimental research studies for the validity of their conclusions to contemporary physiotherapy clinical practice
  • Synthesise evidence from experimental clinical research studies into physiotherapy practice
  • 3,000 word clinical ethics narrative and literature essay (50%). due end of semester
  • Written assignment: Critical appraisal of research paper, 1,400 words (40%), due mid semester
  • Mid semester quiz on research methods, 30 minutes (10%), equivalent to 500 words, due mid semester
Prescribed Texts:
  • Herbert, R., Jamtvedt, G., Mead, J., & Hagen, K B. (2005). Practical evidence-based physiotherapy. New York: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Guillemin, M. and L. Gillam (2006). Telling Moments: Everyday Ethics in Health care. Melbourne, IP Communications
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will have had the opportunity to:

  • Develop an appreciation of the importance good written and verbal communication skills to articulate knowledge in professional writing and clinical practice
  • Build on their ability to analyse and synthesise research and professional literature, and apply this informtion to a range of academic tasks
  • Have a greater awareness of ethics as it applies to physiotherapy practice
Related Course(s): Master of Physiotherapy
Master of Physiotherapy (Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy)

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