March 24, 2014

Final Entry on Introduction to Writing at MA level

Follow-up to First entry on Introduction to Academic Writing from David's blog

Over the last couple months since the workshop on Writing at MA level, I have tried to improve my writing style and my in turn my essay writing. As it is very difficult to show a change in writing styles and then judge such improvements, my three action points were all very similar in their goal to improve my overall essay writing.

My First Action Point was to better understand my essay questions and essay titles.

Looking over old work, I noticed that in the past my essay titles were far too broad and complex and needed a far more concise approach. Thus for my last piece of work I handed in at the end of the Spring term, I concentrated specifically on one aspect of a topic so that I did not trail off course. Although my Theory essay was easier to condense in such a way, I believe that I have learned the advantages of formlating a better question and hope to do the same for my next essay I'm working on.

My Second Action Point was to critically evalutate old work in the hope it would help future essay work.

For this I essentially took more time over my work in order to ensure enough time to look over, edit and re-write it. Having looked over old essays, I noticed much of my work came across as if it were rushed and hence did not achieve as high a mark as it might have done.

Directly linked to the above, my Third Action Point was to improve my overall macro-structure of my essays.

Having over-written many of my old essays with unnecesarily long sentences and paragraphs, for my last essay I decided to take a minimalist approach. This new approach meant my essay was more to the point and in turn every sentence added something to the essay.

Overall, I believe the workshop has allowed me to think about my work in an entirely new way. My new approach to essay writing, described in the above three point can essentially be summed by time management and organisation. By understanding my essay question early on I found I had more time to do the latter stages of the essay writing process. This in turn allowed me to start writing much sooner than before. With more time to write, edit and evaluate my work, I believe my overall essay structure has improved a lot. I hope to use my time wisely for my next pieces of work in order to improve my essay writing even further.

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  1. A very good, reflective final post, David – well done. You’ve looked back at past work, evaluated areas for development and taken positive steps to improve. Your story of concision, cohesion and careful review suggests that you’ve really made a difference both to the quality of your writing and to your confidence. I very much hope you see that reflected in the feedback you receive, and wish you all the best for the rest of your Masters.

    26 Mar 2014, 10:38

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