All 5 entries tagged Writing

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July 03, 2008

Without practice

Why practice makes perfect?

“Without constant practice, the officers will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle; without constant practice, the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand.”

Translation of the Art of War

June 26, 2008

Don't waste words

Writing about web page

Whenever you have an idea, a strategy, even a glimmer of an idea, write it down. Don’t figure you’ll remember it. Don’t talk about it with someone before you’ve written it down. Have a place to put it -a notebook, a pocket computer, an index card you carry with you (...); develop the habit of always writing down those bright ideas that come to you while you’re on the run

Here I see an advantage of a blog, wherever you are, if you have access to the internet, then you don’t need to worry about having a notebook and a pen. As long as you are connected the WWW you will have access to your diary all the time.

Blogs help to keep track of additions to specific entries in your blog, they also help keep some entries private while you are working on them (you can make them public afterwards), or if you have a private entry you can still give access to your supervisor or a friend.

This may be a good motivator if you have a class and your students see your blog, it is a different and interesting way to know your lecturer. I have seen other lecturer-writer-researcher doing this. It must have its benefits if they keep doing it.

June 23, 2008

Write First

Writing about web page

This book was suggested in a blog supporting medical students at Warwick. This has been the most useful book I have come across so far about writing. It is simple and engaging. It is an easy read.

Ruth Whitman’s words to me were very simple: “Write First”. By this she meant, make writing the highest priority in your life. But she also meant those words literally; that is, write before you do anything else in your day.

Today I planned to start early and after doing some bibs and bobs I got distracted with home bills. I realise now that it was difficult to come back to PhD work afterwards. I did eventually but it was hard to concentrate in to some reading.

I am not a morning person. I come from Peru, South America. We love to start things late in the day and finish very late at night, however this is working for me now and I would like to give this free bit of advice to any trouble and consumed by thought PhD student. Start in the morning.

I dont know if I am adjusting to Brittish patterns after 7 years of living in the UK. It just works naturally. I had to produce a project report and I worked on it in the mornings, it was not painful as research could be considered sometimes, I was happy and motivated. It was not difficult and I felt ideas were flowing. Keep it as the first things in the morning. Move your work around.

October 12, 2006

What about writing?

3 things to bear in mind when are desperate about writing:

(1) learning comes through writing
(2) quality comes through revision
(3) regular writing develops fluency

Writing helps even a basic level of memorizing, which I remember using when I was little and then later on as a youngster I used to write to memorize words in English.

However this can of writing that helps learning is even better, the thing though is that I dont think is that simple, it has to be developed gradually.

I reckon that revision mentioned in point 2 includes when we show this drafts to the supervisor or others and we get some feedback. Even we when read the drafts ourselves and sometimes we cannot make sense of them. so we know we have to revise and change something.

How to get fluency in writing, I will have practice what I preach in my teaching of languages, that practice makes perfect! I hope somebody can motivate me the way to encourage my students.

Writing helps

Writing is a good way as any of testing our ideas and assumptions. Learning strategies for and developing a facility for generating text has, in itself, proved to be an important proces, more important, some would argue, than learning the mechanics of writing (Torrance et al. 1993.

A coherent and consistent piece of writing is at the end of the day of the day what we get out of the doctoral process. This piece of writing is a way for us to articulate and show others what is what we are arguing about.

Writing during a PhD is difficult and shouldnt be left at the end of the doctorate. I understand why some ex and current PhD students from different universities were trying to get with write from the beginning.

If we have an idea (or research question) that we would like to suggest to others, then we develop it by writing about it. If we need to learn more about it so we support such idea, we need to write about this as well.

When we discuss with other colleagues, it is interesting for me at least to see what we can write afterwards, we always forget things and note taking is the basic way writing can help. However, the ideas we get during the discussion, maybe a couple got the in air and if we are quick enough we might be able to capture it by writing.

For those inmersed in research, have you realised how motivated we can actually get about what we are researching and writing. I get inspired after discussing with peers and then I decide to blog what we have discussed, what I have learned, what I think now.

That’s why is is hard to articulate ideas and assumption in written. We also get the people who will not agree with what we are proposing ro arguiing.


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