November 28, 2011

Follow Up Post

Follow-up to A3 Academic Writing for Arts and Social Sciences from Matt's blog

(Side note, sorry Laura - been insanely busy this week with a data project that counts 40% towards one of my modules!)

Alrighty, so my first action point from last week was writing things in a clear, concise manner. As luck would have it, a key task for some seminar work that I had to complete was to analyse an article, and write up a summary of the aims, design, and conclusions in 250 words or less! So, how would I tackle this? I began by sticking down the main key points on a page, cutting out anything that I thought was even slightly off topic. Next, putting it together. Skipping forward a good hour or so, I wound up with around 400 words; 150 over my target. However, I'll take this as a learning experience, as getting rid of those unnecessary words taught me which ones aren't needed. Although all of the evidence was necessary (action point 2), it everything could have been condensed better, so I'll call this a partial victory on the precise writing front! Next time, for the next piece of work for this seminar (something along similar guidelines), I shall aim to impliment this writing style right from the start, possibly using this piece of work as a bit of a template, and hopefully I can learn something from it!

On the journal reading front, I've taken an interest in some topics that aren't on my course (for example, hypnosis), to hopefully broaden my knowledge of psychology in general! Aside from being really interesting, I'm finding I have a better understanding of how they are written, and what makes a journal more scientific, rather than Arts-ey. My next step I feel should be concentrating more on the results sections of journals, along with looking up a book I was recommended by my Methods module lecturer. This will hopefully clear up something I've discovered through the extra reading - results aren't written the same way by every researcher - there's a lot of variation there, and there isn't a clear-cut way of doing things! As I say, hopefully I'm using what I've read in my own work, and it should make my writing style a little bit more professional! That's the aim anyway!


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi Matt,

    No worries about the delay. It’s great that you’ve been thinking about how to implement these new techniques and that you were conveniently given a task which so clearly alllowed you to put them into practice. I agree that you should use this first attempt at summarising as a stepping stone – and something to build on.

    Your wider reading plan sounds eminently sensible and should without a doubt improve not only your subject knowledge but also your sense of the range of writing styles that appear in your field and, of these, which are most effective.

    Aiming to be more professional in your own writing is another sensible objective. Perhaps you might want to break down the idea of professionalism into some more manageable components e.g vocabularly, grammar, argumentative structures, methods of results presentation etc etc?

    05 Dec 2011, 15:18

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