January 18, 2013

First entry on Academic writing for arts and social science students

Workshop Tutor: Laura Davies

Introduction

My experience with the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award has been outstanding so far. I have assisted some great workshops that have pushed me to work on my personal and professional skills. And even though I started this process with some doubts about its actual benefits, I now see clearly the great advantages of the reflective writing process.

So here it goes again, starting with the blogging process expecting to take as much advantage as possible of the content discussed in the workshop. The reason I chose the Academic writing at Masters Level at this point is because I have been struggling with my first assignment. Ever since I broke a leg my life seems to have been put on hold: you can’t move, hence you can’t do, think or live. It has been a very hard process both physically and psychologically, and I have just started trying to get life back to normal.

Unfortunately this incident happened before I had the chance to turn in my first assignment. This meant that for more than a month I wasn’t able to do any work and hence I had to get an extension. In theory this sounds really good, but the problem resides in the fact that even now I have been having problems getting back in track with my work. And what is worst is that it is my responsibility to set the new assignment’s due date, and I am currently a bit lost about when would be a feasible date.

Actions

  1. So as my first action point, I wish to take advantage of the structure provided in the workshop to carry out the process of academic writing to be able to set a deadline for my assignment. This workshop was like a great checklist that gave me a complete idea of how to get along with my writing assignments in an easy way. So for my first action point I will assess at what point I am currently at with the development of my assignment. This way I will also be able to objectively say how long it will take me to get my assignment ready to turn in. This process will help me stop procrastinating and stick to an actual deadline to start getting work out. To make this action smart, I will say that by the end of this weekend I need to know when my deadline is going to be, so I can meet with my personal tutor on monday and tell him.

  2. My second action point will be regarding the critical and evaluative aspects of academic writing. I had never before thought about writing as a clash of ideas to create something new and in that way generate new knowledge. But is one of the things that struck me the most in the seminar, because it shows your ability to be critical and evaluative while writing. However a problem I usually encounter is that ideas seem to make perfect sense in my head, but then not so much outside of it. Which is why I want to excersice myself in the ability to keep a diary for my creative-critical thoughts around different subjects. I will start writing my thoughts to express them in a clear simple way, with the best words posible. My goal is to write at least during 30 minutes every night.

  3. And my third action point will be to work on my tendency to be over generalize and simplify when I am making an explanation. This workshop made me realize that in academic writing there is no point in being melodramatic to try and create a bigger deal of what you are writing. So you need to be confident enough that what you are saying and the way you are saying it is creative and critical with out falling to the temptation of saying that your work can accomplish more than it actualy can. If your are not measured in your writing then you will never be able to support what you are saying which may descredit a very good research and development. So to work on this, I will put to the test every statement I am making to see if I can give a couple of examples of this behavioiur before asuming it as true. This way I will try to keep my statements very succint and concise.

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


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Thank you for this first blog entry. It sounds as if things have been very difficult but that you are now feeling more confident about getting back on track. The action points that you outline seem sensible, and achievable. Your goal of 30 minutes a night of writing in a diary I think could be very helpful indeed. It can take a while to form and stick to a new habit (some suggest around about 6 weeks to 2 months) but with persistence this should defnitely be a helpful process. In order to help with points 2 and 3, I’d also advise you to remain alert to the way that other writers express themselves when you are reading. Noticing effective and less effective techniques can give you ideas for your own work.

    Good luck!
    Laura

    21 Jan 2013, 12:29


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