July 21, 2014

Final entry on Introduction to Academic Writing

Workshop Tutor: Dr.Emma Smith

Well here i am, writing my final entry for the academic writing workshop!

Dr. Emma Smith, I want you to know that undertaking this module has helped me a lot as far as my writing skills are concerned. It helped me identify my mistakes and common errors in my writing which usually went unnoticed to me.

I am sure that undertaking this workshop has provided me the foundation needed for practical real word writing scenarios.I was too easily confused as far as the location of "comma" was concerned. Through this workshop, i understood the significance of developing an outline of your work before commencing it.

Currently, i undertake the practise of writing the important points to be covered in a paragraph initially and then go about expanding it and structuring it properly which in a way helps because it lets me focus on the point of interest rather than deviating away from it and thus keeping my work organised and clearly structured. A common mistake of using inflated sentences seems to be a thing of the past now.

Furthermore,I understood the importance of doing a spelling and grammer check before submitting my work so as to maximise my chances of scoring higher in my work. I also understood the significance of using several words that mean differently and thus avoid repetition in my work.

Last but not the least, i would like to thank you with all my heart for the effort that you have put in for organising the workshop and helping us identify our mistakes and improve upon them. I am very grateful to the entire team at WSPA for thinking out of the box and planning and executing workshops which target at the most common weaknesses of students and help them improve for the better.

Thank you!

June 26, 2014

Follow–up on Introduction to Academic Writing

Workshop Tutor: Dr Emma Smith

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

Thank you for your last blog comments and i hope this blog will meet your requirements on reflective writing.

It took me quite a while to figure out where i used to go wrong. I looked up at all my past assignments and literature reviews and after having read the feedback and having analysed some common mistakes as far as my writing is concerned, are highlighted below.

One of the most common mistakes i make is while using the apostrophes. I have a habit of being impatient which leads to these errors. One of the common mistakes that i have made in the past is writing it is as its wherein it should have been it's, and writing does'nt as doesnt in a hurry.

Secondly, flat writing and big sentences in certain cases have been highlighted by my reviewers. I will have to learn to give my sentences a proper depth and texture to make it interesting for the reader. Basically, the sentences i put up convey the same meaning but since they are huge sentences the interest of the reader in reading them decreases.Thus this is another aspect of my writing which i will have to take great care of in my disseration.

Thirdly, where to put in commas is a big thinker for me. I specially make a lot of mistakes in this regard which i can clearly see in my past work. Sometimes i forget putting in a single comma and on the other hand sometimes i put loads of them into my text which is wrong. I need to learn how to properly phrase my sentences and put the commas in appropriate places so as to make the text interesting and give a better impact on the reader with properly defined pauses.

Lastly, i have a habit of exaggerating things. Since i am a science student i cannot afford excessive exaggeration of things and provide greater detailed facts for that matter, but i am very prone to exaggeration which leads to big sentences.

These are some of the common writing errors that i have noticed with some of my past work which i believe can be sorted out and overcome provided i read my work atlease twice or thrice before submitting. Since i have my thesis and disseration due soon i will definately have a deadline of getting rid of most of these mistakes as soon as i can, so as to improvise and get better marks for my literary work in the future.

May 30, 2014

Follow–up on Introduction to Academic Writing

Workshop Tutor: Dr Emma Smith

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

Academic Writing is the very heart of our academic life. Expressing ones ideas and sharing of thoughts through writing is indeed a difficult task because the perceptions of the writer and the reader do not match. Thus to percieve our ideas into the mind of the other person is quite a task i believe.

After thorough reading and speculation of my previous works, I have discovered some SMART action points about which i will focus in my future endeavours.

Firstly, I have noticed that proper structuring of your work is very important. The work that you present should be neat, concise and clear. There is no point is giving the best work without a proper structure as it wont arouse the interest of the reader. Thus for a good report, a well defined Introduction followed by a main body and then the conclusion followed by references is very important as it helps the reader to focus on specific aspects of the report. A small significant introduction helps the reader identify the topic areas covered in the article and hence is very important.

Secondly, punctuation plays a very important role in effective writing. Good punctuation makes the relationship between the words in the sentences clear and easy to understand for the readers perspective. Misusing or inappropriate punctuation can cause a possible obscuring of the intended message contained in the sentence.

Thirdly, reasoning your work, grammer, punctuation and structure can help you in preparing a perfect draft to match the expectations of the reader. Each sentence should have a proper element of reasoning to it to help keep the interest of the reader intact. Be clear about what we intend to say and thus put it in a simple and easily able to understand manner so as to develop a lasting impression on the reader.

Lastly, reviewing your work is very important as it helps us identify the areas of error and helps us correct it. A good writer always reviews his work over and over again to help construct the next to ideal article. Reviewing helps us find a better way of constructing a sentence, making a long sentence smaller and adding more detail to a specific sentence. Thus the above list of some of the SMART action points that i will keep in mind in all my future works will help me present my work in a better and more efficient manner.

January 30, 2014

First entry on Introduction to Academic Writing

Workshop Tutor: Dr Emma Smith


One of the most significant things essentially required during the Master's course is good acadmic writing because of the number of assignments, reports, dissertations, etc that we have to write during the lenght of the course. Thus, the main reason of attending this workshop was to improve on my literary skills and the workshop tutor Dr. Emma Smith full with restless vitality and confidence made sure that the workshop turned out to be attractive and informative at the same time.

Academic Writing as such requires a lot of research work that has to be put up into the report with careful reading and finding the relevant information and making sure you note down the key points and not forgetting to add in the references as you are reading and writing.

Furthermore, being critical and evaluative, i belive is one of the significant factors that contribute towards a successful well written document. Criticality arises from the fact that the writer can think up of something new which is obtained from current resources and thus put in and explain something better in his own words which is already present in some article. Secondly, i believe interpreting the question correctly and understanding the indepth meaning of the things that are being questioned in the question can sometimes help you not to deviate from the topic.

I would also like to add one of the other things that i learnt from this workshop was the importance of a well structured introduction and a conclusion. I was under the impression that conclusion doesnt matter much and the main body is where we should focus on, but after this workshop i am very clear about lucid and clear conclusions and introductions.

The use of proper academic style is also some of the important things covered in this workshop which will help me for my future work.

Well, by concluding the use of reviewing what you have written i believe is something that i am going to start off with as one of the most significant action points learnt from this workshop in order to avoid making common mistakes that we dont come up with while writing an article. I would try and space some time out for this from my very next assigment due next week and i am sure that by using this practise it will benefit me a lot.

Thank You


  1. Reviewing Academic Work

  2. Being Critical and Evaluative

  3. Academic style

  4. Well structured introduction and conclusion

To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog

First entry on Effective seminar participation

Workshop Tutor: Mary Sage


To begin with, the purpose of joining this particular workshop was to enhance and grow my seminar participation skills.

I wanted to learn how to communicate and deliver effectively within a group of say 8-10 people and to maintain a good balance between what i speak and what others speak and thus not be over dominant over others to prove my point, but to patiently listen and interpret the points that are raised out by other people and then put my point of view forward whether or not i agree to that particular way of thinking and to promote active participation within the group.

Well, at the start of the workshop, we were seated in groups of four and had to introduce ourselves and the departments that we come from and this i think is one of the integral parts of attending a seminar wherein initially you introduce yourselves to fellow colleagues, which is the standard practise that goes across all the seminars that are conducted all over the world.

Some of the action points that i have set myself after this workshop are that for the future seminars that i may attend i will be more prepared and thorough with the things to expect at that particular seminar and the kind of information and data that is going to be discussed at that point in time so that i have my own relevant and important points to raise during the time of the seminar and if i get the opportunity to host a seminar i'l try and get everyone involved in the seminar in order to get the best out of everyone present at the seminar.

Secondly, i would also like to point out that actively listening to someones talks and positively appreciating the thoughts that they intend to deliver can really boost the confidence and well being of a person and inturn can harness the best out of them during the seminar.

Thirdly, having a positve body language also has a great impact on the speaker and the audience. If the speaker himself is not having a positive frame of mind, even the most attentive and concentrated audience wont have any interest in the talk. Hence maintaining proper posture, eye contact and being well dressed i believe are some of the important factors that can contribute to delivering a good seminar.

Last but not the least, Critical thinking is an action point which i believe holds a lot of importance in the kind of career prospects that i will be having in the near future. Hence developing those thinking abilities would also be something that i will broadly focus on.



  1. Well Prepared

  2. Active Listening

  3. Positive body language

  4. Critical thinking

To write a follow up, go to http://go.warwick.ac.uk/skills//blog

January 17, 2014

Follow–up on Effective learning strategies

Workshop Tutor: Gillian Marriot

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. Positive state of mind

    In the past days i have noticed that how significant an effect having a positive state of mind have on our overall personality. Having a positive state of mind with enough sleep can help you perform at your maximum efficiency particularly during exam times and when there are a lot of assignments and reports to submit during the busy days of the term. Thus this particular action point helps me a lot in getting away with the peer pressure of submissions and work deadlines and helps me focus on my work better.

  2. Self awareness

    The lectures at wspa paricularly also focus on better and greater self awareness that an individual should have towards himself and his surroundings. Being self aware helps you to understand your needs and requirements better and helps you integrate with the society around you without much fear or shyness. Being self aware and having the confidence in you can help you stand and deliver your thoughts and ideas in front of multiple other people without the fear of rejection and being laughed up at. Thus being more self aware is helping me a lot with my academics and i am noticing a positive change and an upward trend in the amount of confidence and faith that i am having in myself nowadays conpared to earlier days when i had just joined the university and it was a strangers land for me, now i can get along better with my class mates and can ocassionally hang out with them because of this particular action point

  3. Reflective

    Adopting some of the actions points at wspa and working along and implementing the action points in day to day life at the university has helped and continues to help me a great deal in my studies and academics at the univesity. Being time bound and setting up priorities i beleive is one of the most important action point that i always implement in my day to day life because that helps me to plan my work better and in turn work more efficiently towards a particular deadline and hence avoid the frustration and the peer pressure of the less amount of time that i have to finish off the work.

  4. Time management

    Wspa particularly also focusses on better time management and how to improve our time management skills while at the university and beyond. I definately beleive one of the most important aspects in our time at the university is time management. Better time management skills which thanks to wspa, i have learnt in these past few months have given me the composure and calmness with which i can approach a huge number of assignments and test wich are due soon. Thus setting up my priorities with the amount of work and the date by which the work has to be done by gives me better work handling capabilities and thus helps me to get rid of nervousness and last minute panic attacks.

Follow–up on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. Academic skills

    Here i would like to point out that i primarily think that because of warwick skills and portfolio classes that i had attended i have noticed that i am more and more better off with my studies.

    Now, i can concentrate better on my studies which is being reflected on my marks and my overall development.

    Improving academic skills is a very significant point as far as overall experience at warwick is concerned and i am noticing a positive change in my marks and my attitude towards academics.

  2. Motivation

    Motivation keeps you going and its one of the significant factors needed to help you work and study at the university. Being away from home and friends can sometimes have their effect as a demotivating factor and hence can have an adverse effect on our studies as well as time management. Thus by wspa, i realised the importance of identifying my time stealers and be more confident and dedicated and hence i am noticing a positive change in my marks and my personality as a whole

  3. Setting priorities

    Attending wspa classes helped me a great deal with one of the most essential things needed during my course at the university and that is setting up priorities and setting them up as according to deadlines and the amount of work that needs to be specifically done.

    Just after the christmas vacations in january saw a huge rise in the amount of assignments and tests to be done and setting up my tasks and the subjects to focus on a particular day in advance helped me a great deal to cope up with the busy time at the university

  4. Measurable

    Once again, the word measurable today has a big significance in my life. It was because classes and lectures at wspa emphasized a lot on quantities that were measurable as in the amount of chapters that are needed to be done from a particular book or the amount of questions that are to be done from a particular assignment. Thus by measuring things and assigning them a set priority based on their measure helped me a lot with my academic studies and submissions during the busy first two weeks of january at the university. I would definately continue using all these action points in the future as i can see a positive change in my attitude towards things and the way i handle a lot of study pressure at the university

December 16, 2013

Final entry on Organising yourself and your time

Workshop Tutor: Lisa Faulkner

Time management is one of the key things in our modern day lives to avoid tension and fatigue. Throughout this workshop and the time since the workshop i have tried to stick to my action points and i have noticed that effective time management doesnt mean that you work for more number of hours, it just means that you focus on a set of predetermined tasks in order of priority and the tasks that matter and are urgent and that makes the difference. Managing time effeciently is the need of the hour.

Besides, I have even noticed that being 'Time bound' and approaching towards a set goal with a set amount of time for completion will help you feel more relaxed, focussed and in control. In time management skills its always the quality of work that matters, quantity is secondary!

The use of the GANTT chart for my daily chores has also made a huge difference because now i exactly know the amount of work to be done and the amount of time i need to dedicate to each task in order to complete my work on time.

Better identification of time stealers such as social networking and socialising a lot with friends has also made a diiference and to avoid wasting huge amounts of time i have a dedicated time frame set for social networking and socialising with my friends so that it doesnt interfere with my day to day important tasks and plans.

Finally, to conclude this workshop has been particularly helpful for me in managing my time and my schedules better and i have noticed the positive change in my attitude towards planning and prioritising things and organising and managing myself better.

Thank you and i highly appreciate all your efforts to create an awareness of how we can save a lot of our time by avoiding simple things and planning things well in advance!

December 02, 2013

Follow–up on Organising yourself and your time

Workshop Tutor: Lisa Faulkner

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. Being Motivated

    Being motivated is one of the crucial action points that i have set up for myself. The reason being i am away from my family and friends and hence sometimes i get to morally and emotionally demotivated and spend an entire day just in thinking about my past life and experiences.

  2. Setting up priorities

    Setting up priorities is like finishing your tasks midway. We dont waste time in doin gmultiple tasks at the same time and hence finish up each task at their set time more productively and efficiently.

  3. Reflective

    By being reflective i can analyze and evaluate from my past experiences in life and thus avoid similar instances in the future. For eg, i started off with an assignment late in time and had a tough time finishing it off by the deadline, hence being reflective i will avoid similar situations in the future.

  4. Activeness

    The weather in England is very lazy and lousy to work and you feel sleepy at all times in the day. Hence i make sure that i am active at most times of the day by taking long walks regularly around the universities campus and exercising and breathing in fresh oxygen so that i can concentrate better on my academics.

Follow–up on Getting started on skills development and the Warwick Skills Portfolio

Workshop Tutor: Amanda Randall

Heres a summary of how I've been getting on with my action points

  1. Academic skills

    Improving on my academic skills is a major action point. I believe knowledge is endless and the more you can gain the better. Thus to gain better skills i have made an action plan that every week i'll read a new book issued from the library from any genre. This will help me broaden my horizons in all directions and i wont particularly be a person who just has the knowledge of science and maths. My aim now is to make the most of my time at warwick and its library and learn the most out of it in all possible directions.

  2. Priorities tasks

    I have noticed that prioritising things in the way it should be completed gets your task half done. The month of November saw a rise in the number of assignments and tests and submissions. Thus planning things in the way it should be completed one after the other thus helped me successfully to complete and submit my assignments on time.

  3. Self promote

    Leadership skills i believe is something that opens you up. Hence recently we had a MATLAB exam and i had done MATLAB in my undergraduate studies. Hence i got an opportunity to self promote myself in front of my friends and teach them from scratch. Thus it was a very interesting time i had while teaching everyone and thus we got to know each other better since then.

  4. Being Motivated

    I have noticed that one of the most significant action points that i should set for myself is being motivated because over here i am all alone without my family members and friends and hence some times it becomes to morally and emotionally demotivating to spend an entire day thinking about your past life and the times you had back home. Hence this is a key action point for me!

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  • Dear Fahad, Thank you for your final post and for your positive comments about the workshop: it is r… by on this entry
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