February 26, 2014

Update to Action Point 2 of Writing at MA Level

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

Closely linked to my First Action point, my Second Action Point was to critically evaluate old work and help improve my ability to critically evaluate in future work.

Having read my CAS and QRS essays I have noticed that I need to leave more time to go through my work after I have done it. I have noticed that the majority of my work has been overloaded with content and long sentences. Thus, I have also noticed that some passages of my essays could easily have been edited out had I given myself enough time to do so.

With my CAS essay on the Abolition of the Slave Trade, although I got a good mark for it, I feel that my argument waned slightly due to the essay's multiple parts. My tutor's criticisms pointed to the lack of detail in some areas as opposed to others. This in turn made the essay less fluid and more disjointed.

Similarly my Quantitative Research essay on Slave Trade numbers in the 18th century was just too long. Because of the numerous questions I posed about the slave trends at the beggining of the essay, my research became tangential and disjointed. I would have been better off focussing more on certain aspects of the slave trade rather than trying to incorporate them all. That said it was a very hard essay which was hard to tackle in the first place.

In contrast, when re-reading my articles I have written for The Boar Newspaper I have noticed fewer mistakes. Although they are much shorter and are usually topical debates rather than succinct questions, I have noticed that they are usually better organised and more concise. This is perhaps because I am writing to an audience and not to academics, which is a lot easier. However, I probably set aside more time to re-read my articles than I have to my essays, which is something which I try to improve with my next essay.

I am currently doing a TSM essay and I hope to learn from the mistakes I have outlined in the first Two Action Points.

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  1. Further interesting reflections here, David; it’s good that you’ve recognised areas for future development. And I quite agree that carefully and critically reviewing your work before final proof reading and submission is essential. See if you can make use of peers/tutors to help you review and improve your work before you submit too.

    Good luck with the writing – I look forward to hearing about further improvements in your next update.

    04 Mar 2014, 15:44

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