All entries for December 2011

December 22, 2011

First Entry on an Introduction to Academic Writing at Masters Level

Workshop tutor: Laura Davies

Date: 15-Dec-2011


In this workshop we covered the structure and critical and evaluative approach that is expected in our writing at masters level. We covered the basic approach that should be applied to all of our work, beginning with brainstorming, selecting appropriate material for support of an argument and critically reading and revising to further support our answer.

Following exercises to demonstrate our understanding of the types of question we are often presented with such as exploratory, discursive, argumentative and evaluative. We then discussed a step by step guide, to the widely accepted, correct way to structure an academic piece of writing. Beginning with:

  • An Introduction - outlining the thesis statement, summary/context/background and possibly an abstract if required before this.
  • Main body - demonstrating the arguments with supporting evidence, expansion, concluding and linking sentences between paragraphs to aid the flow of the writing style. (Point, evidence, explanation)
  • Conclusion - the final summary with a wider perspective to add purpose to the writing.

Furthermore, we then went on to define common terms which can often be confused such as paraphrasing, citations, footnotes and endnotes. Plus, advice on the style, language and vocabulary we should use throughout our writing and some further advice on plagiarism.

I attended this workshop to hopefully confirm my understanding and clarify certain terminology despite having had a year away from study and I am pleased that this is case. Overall I am pleased with what I gained from this workshop, refreshing my memory and approach to my academic writing and I hope to carry this through to my future assignments.

Action Points

  1. I will remember to remain passive and less personal in my writing style to display an evaluative and critical approach to my arguments. For example, replace the phrase - "I will seek..." with "this essay will cover..."
  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 to strengthen my arguments, command my references and include a wider perspective or purpose for the work in my conclusions.

December 2011

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