All entries for Thursday 09 August 2012

August 09, 2012

Final Entry on Developing Your Critical Thinking at Masters Level

Original Action Points

  1. To increase the amount of material I read whilst balancing my time using the filtering techniques described.
  2. To not take data for granted as fact and try to critically engage with it, always asking why?
  3. To remember that there is always more than one side to any argument and this continuum is important to understand and can be applied to strengthen the position of my own arguments in work and life.

Having completed all the remaining written assignments for my other modules I can now focus my attentions on my dissertation. In doing so, the amount of material I read has increased and I always try to follow up articles cited within the articles I read, as long as I can add them to my reference list, highlighting the extended reading. Alongside this I continue to critically engage the points raised in the literature I read and believe I have addressed these initial action points well.

I have still yet to reach the chapter in my dissertation where I can go into greater detail about the different sides of the cost-benefit analysis which have to be considered when pursuing vaccine candidates however, I remain mindful of this action point and try to add such thoughts where appropriate, for example when considering the science behind the success of new vaccine design rationales.

Overall, this workshop was particularly interesting and engaging and I believe I have addressed all of my initial action points, or at least remained mindful of them and will continue to apply them as I finish writing my dissertation.


Final Entry on an Introduction to Academic Writing at Masters Level

Original Action Points

  1. I will remember to remain passive in my writing style to display an evaluative and critical approach to my arguments in essays.
  2. I will include more precise, articulate language and avoid vague, broad vocabulary such as 'interesting' and 'good' to maintain an accurate and concise academic style.
  3. I will try to critically re-read and revise work if necessary and include a wider perspective or purpose for the work in my conclusions.

Attending this workshop helped to confirm the majority of my understanding concerning academic writing which was useful to me after taking a gap year away from any formal study or writing. In terms of my first original action point I have definitely been successful in remaining passive in my writing style and I'm continuing to work through and apply the learning from the Academic Writing programme webpages mentioned in the comments on the previous blog.

As I continue to write my dissertation, I'm paying careful attention to structure and the use of articulate language. Although I have 15,000 words to play with, introducing the immunology relevant to vaccinations for example, in a so called 'brief' review has already stretched to 2000 words, so I need to remain aware of word counts to balance the writing across all aspects of my dissertation - from introductions to conclusions. Avoiding broad wide sweeping statements is also something I always try to keep in mind when presenting my arguments as this definitely helps me to engage more critically with the work and articulate findings more precisely.

Having completed all of my other written module assignments I can now focus all of my attention onto my dissertation. In the remaining weeks I hope to complete a chapter per week, meaning that over the weekend I can spend time re-reading and revising the work if necessary. Finally, being mindful of the wider, real world perspectives and purpose of my research into vaccines has continued to help me draw effective conclusions in my work and is one of the more valuable points I gained from this workshop. Overall, the workshop and the reflection on my initial action points has been important to me, keeping me aware of what is expected and keeping my writing focused.


August 2012

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  • Dear Gwyn Thank you for your final entry, it has been a pleasure reading your blogs and it is great … by Samena Rashid on this entry
  • Thank you for this final blog. It's good to hear that you have been able to put much of what we cove… by on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn I have enjoyed reading your blogs. You have clearly demonstrated that you have embraced a cr… by Austin Griffiths on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn – thank you for your final entry. You have clearly benefitted from attending the workshop an… by Trudy Hillier on this entry
  • Hi Gwyn, I think it is always a good idea to have a tight focus for a dissertation. It means you can… by Austin Griffiths on this entry

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