December 15, 2011

Follow Up 2

Follow-up to Follow Up Post from Matt's blog

Soooo in the last couple of weeks or so, they've decided to flood us with loads of assessed pieces of work, and we have two more set for when we get back to uni again. I figure the last few have been set in a very condensed time period, so this has helped me practice my writing under time pressure, whereas the next couple (aside from aiding in my time management skills) will be more of a long-term coursework exercise.

With the last few pieces, my results writing skills have been the ones most tested. My last action point was geared towards taking an interest more in the results sections of published journals, and despite the endless chore that is picking apart every little part of every stats test, I really think this has helped me a lot here! By reading results sections from a variety of authors, I've got more of a grasp on the different ways in which results are reported (often varying from journal to journal), and my overall awareness of them has risen. Therefore, I was able to write in a style that was very similar to those I had read. Another winner was being able to condense my writing more (another action point I've been working on). For results sections in psychology, we must only use scientific language, and only write things that are absolutely necessary. Through all the practice I've had with summarising and condensing my writing, this is becoming more and more second nature to me!

Aside from all this, a few new action points have formed. I have two massive assignments in for after Christmas, and these take the form of critical essays. Again, being succinct and to the point is of vital importance here, so I shall continue to look at examples of scientific writing (particularly empirical critiques) to get a grasp on how these are writen by the pros. In addition, from reflecting on the results sections I completed for my previous assignments, I think that my methods of results presentation is something I need to work on - I wasn't sure whether it was conventional to draw one type of graph, or a table, etc etc. So looking up guidelines on this would be very helpful. One final point would be to look at structuring arguments, as this is one of the main parts of my empiricial critique, as well as my exam in January (on evaluating research methods in psychology). Therefore, I have requested a useful book from the lecturer taking the exam, and I'm in the process of borrowing it from my local library to see how arguments SHOULD be structured!


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi Matt,

    Despite your heavy workload, this all sounds excellent. As you’ve found, sometimes the only thing to be done is to read and see how other people write and present ideas/results and even though this hasn’t been the most interesting task it will definitely stand you in good stead. You already sound more confident about your writing, which is great. I also agree with your emphasis on being succinct and precise in your writing – in other words, making sure that everything you write serves a specific and clearly defined purpose. Again working on this in your notes should have a knock-on effect in your essay writing. I can’t stress enough though how important it is to plan the overall structure of your essay before you start to write and to have a clear idea of the basic position you will be adopting. Thinking about and planning the topic sentences you’ll need for each paragraph may help you to check you are marking out the stages of your thought clearly enough for your reader.

    Good luck!

    21 Dec 2011, 15:50

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