March 18, 2014

Update to Action Point of Writing at MA Level

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

Closely interlinked with my second action point, my third action point was to improve the overall macro structure to my work by the end of the spring term.

Having just finished my MA History essay for the end of the Spring Term, I have found many improvements in my overall structure.

For this essay, which was a Theory, Methods and Skills History essay, I took a very minimalist approach to my work. Having wasted a lot of time over-reading in the past, for this essay I decided to stop reading excess books and stuck to 11 sources. This approach gave me more time to write my essay and thus allowed me to concentrate more time on planning the overall structure to my work.

By writing my Theory essay of 2,500 words over a week, I found I was much more effective at writing well. With more time to write and look over my work, I could now ensure that every paragraph had a topic and concluding or transitional sentence.

This new approach made me far more relaxed about writing than ever before and allowed for a better essay with no unnecessary sentences or paragraphs. Hopefully this will result in a vastly improved essay-writing style which I can apply to my last pieces of work for my degree (i.e my History of Human Rights essay and my Dissertation).

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  1. Thanks for this update, David. I’m very pleased to hear that you’ve worked out a more efficient and tidy way of approaching your essay writing – it sounds like a positive change. One point to bear in mind: the quality and breadth of your reading and research is an important factor in achieving excellent academic writing (and grades), especially when it comes to the dissertation, so make sure you don’t go too far in trimming back the reading that you do. I look forward to hearing how you did in this essay, and to reading your updates on your other action points in your next post.
    Best wishes, Emma

    26 Mar 2014, 10:10

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