April 13, 2012

Follow up on an Introduction to Academic Writing at Masters Level

Here's a summary of how I've been getting on with my 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.

Although at Masters level we are asked to present our own original analysis and interpretation of the information we present it is still important to remain passive. Therefore, through a conscious effort to do so I believe this has helped to improve the quality of my work and writing style as reflected in my feedback, such as 'a mature and comprehensive review.' 

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.

This is particularly important to me as I often have tight word limits in which I have to provide a detailed discussion sometimes on a broad topic, whilst avoiding being too superficial. Through using articulate language and precise vocabulary this has helped to keep my word counts down whilst still effectively presenting my arguments, or critically commenting on scientific findings where the phrase 'good' would be too vague. Therefore, I will continue to make a conscious effort to apply this to my work.

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.

To get around time restraints which may prevent me from fully re-reading and revising my work after I have finished an initial draft, I try to incorporate this into my work as I progress. Re-reading and revising paragraphs as the essay builds helps to keep each paragraph relevant and also means I have read through the entire essay several times to ensure it flows and the reader can follow easily. Including a final wider perspective or purpose to my conclusions was also an important point I found really useful when finishing essays, as it gives me the opportunity to summarise my own opinions, providing further evidence of the originality and understanding needed, as well as reiterate the arguments presented.  

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  1. Hello again,

    It’s been a long while since your first blog entry, so it’s good to hear from you again. Your action points were sensible and it appears you’ve been working hard on their implementation. I’m pleased to see that you’ve received positive feedback on your writing and that you’re developing a system of drafting and revising which works for you. One thing to remember with being critical is that the passivity you’re describing does definitely apply in a grammatical sense and relates to the tentative and objective language you’ve been trying to use. Obviously though you don’t want this passivity to extend to your thinking, which should be active and engaged at all times! Are there other areas of your writing which you might now turn your attention towards?

    23 Apr 2012, 11:51


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