After I attended the workshop A6: Masters Academic Writing: The Discipline and its Implications. I made an action plan for writing an essay following Dr.Mihai’s suggestion. They were
1. Looking for an interested topic which I also have some knowledge or background
2. Discuss with my tutor about my topic
3. Writing down an outline
4. Make assignment structure: macrostructure and microstructure
5. Research information or collect the data
6. Make a note by paraphrase or transform the original sentences
7. Write up the assignment using academic style which attributes formal, succinct, precise, supported, objective and measured
8. Do proof-reading
9. Evaluate my work to ensure that my work associate with the title and the module
10. Time to submit the assignment
I have followed all the action plan’s points and the results are quite satisfaction. In my opinion, I usually do not have a problem with the assignment structure. However, I still have some difficulties in many points; mostly it involves use of English and Grammar.
Certainly, word limited is also huge challenge for me. At first, I thought how can I write 5000 words for an essay. When I was practising academic writing in order to take the IELTS, I usually wrote around 150 - 250 words per topic. I was so shocked it was about 20 times difference. However, I later realized when I have more information from searching or collecting the data, action plan number 5, I have more ideas and I need more than 5000 words.
Talking about plagiarism, I do not understand at all what is it. After Dr.Mihai introduced in the workshop, I also was suggested from my tutor in the in-sessional English class. It is quite complicated and makes me scare a little bit. Because the original sentences are already having a clear and good understanding, and sometimes it is similar to the one I was thinking.
The bad part is paraphrasing and transformation of original sentences, action plan number 6. Sometimes, I do not understand the meaning of the sentences. In my case, there are some words in the sentences have more than one meaning. And that I cannot decide which one is the right meaning for the sentence. I was suggested to read through the whole paragraph, surely I did but I still do not decide and understand. And that make me have to spend more time on writing up an essay. However, I have tried to summarized the original paragraphs, speeches or phrases. It usually comes out not to be smooth sentence. Also, my vocabulary range is quite narrow and limit.
Moreover, my English academic writing skills are quite weak. I generally think in my mother tongue first then translate in English. I know that it is wrong to think it this way, but I found that it is quite difficult for me who just start learning English to think in English first. In particular, when I have to write my own critics or analysis, it is quite difficult to express it.
As I mentioned above, it leads to bad expression on my essay, speeches or just e-mail. I tent to write or express what I would like to say to the receivers, but many times they do not get or understand what I try to say. So I usually write in simple sentence rather than complex sentence, use same vocabulary, use present tense. If I have to explain or describe something complicated I will put the figures, diagrams, or tables also. My plan is that I will manage to finish the assignment before the deadline, about a week. Then I sent it to proof reading. Fortunately, I have someone to proof my writing before I submit the assignment. But it is not fortunately that I need to pay.
When I would like to evaluate my work, I normally check it following both the outline, action plan number 3, and the module aim. The outline is contained the main points of what I need to write down on my assignment.
Time to submit, there is no need to afraid of until it is time to click the button ‘submit’. I am quite worry what if I did something wrong on my assignment. I have no change to edit it if I click it. So I will make sure by checking my assignment three times.
To sum up, academic writing: the discipline and its implications were suggested in the workshop it is very useful. It clarified what we have to do step by step when we write the assignments or dissertation. However, the capability to express our knowledge and ideas it depends on our own academic knowledge and English writing skills.
Thanks to Dr.Mihai for a useful workshop