August 09, 2012

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.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Thank you for this final blog. It’s good to hear that you have been able to put much of what we covered into practice. Well done too for following up on the further resources from the Academic Writing programme. The plan you outline for your dissertation sounds sensible. It’s likely that you may end up over the word count and will need to cut back. But that’s to be expected. One approach that can be effective in reducing words is to think about ways to rephrase each sentence more concisely, as well as considering cutting out longer sections. At this stage the Academic Writing Checklist (available on the Warwick Academic Writing programme webpages as a pdf) could be a useful tool.

    Good luck and well done. You’ve now fulfilled the criteria for this workshop for the WSPA.


    13 Aug 2012, 10:50

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