During our class-based sessions on Wednesday 21 June, we explore why effective writing matters within higher education, before looking at practical approaches and strategies to help you share your ideas on page or screen. Many of the principles that we talked about in relation to effective oral communication (structure, clarity, language, thinking about your audience, using evidence to support your ideas), apply equally to academic writing.
You will be asked again to 'step into the marker's shoes' during the tutorial where you will consider the quality of a piece of written work and then mark it against our assessment criteria. As ever, our class-based activities will be supported by an online quiz, films and other resources (see below).
These are the Academic Writing lecture slides.
Below is the 'step-by-step' writing plan from the lecture (click to enlarge):
Academics and Tutors from different subjects and universities share their thoughts and experiences about what academic writing means at university.
Undergraduate students share their thoughts and experiences of what academic writing means to them in their studies.
Film credits: Scott Willis/Aarol Films
One of our class-based activities this week will involve marking a piece of writing using the Individual Writing Assessment Criteria.
Here are the two exemplars and the feedback sheets.
Essay Exemplar / Essay Feedback
Report Exemplar / Report Feedback
Here we have included another example for you to read and mark, followed by viewing how the markers marked the same assignment.
One-to-One Writing Sessions with Royal Literary Fund Fellows
You can use this link to self-enrol in the optional writing meetings with our RLF friends during Week 5.
You can choose a time on Mon 3 or Tues 4 July.
Each session will last a maximum of 30 mins and will take place in the David Hume Tower Cafe (underneath David Hume Tower). Alice and Jamie will be there on the days to direct you to your Fellow.
Remember: when you sign up, please indicate:
1. if you are coming alone or as a pair or three (max of three per session - we would recommend 2 max!)
2. the one thing you would like to address in your meeting. You have limited time, so focus on one area of your writing.
Any problems with the sign up, please contact Jamie at the LEAPS office.
Writing for purpose
One of the themes that we covered today was the importance of 'writing for purpose' or to put it another way, 'writing for your subject'. The expected writing style and format will vary between subjects and different types of assignments therefore it's vital to find out from the start what your department is looking for. Just as an example, first year Biological Sciences students at Edinburgh University are provided with this guidance about the completion of lab books. You may also find some useful advice here for writing in different subject areas...
The University of Manchester have this great resource that anyone can use: Academic Phrasebank
It offers suggestions on useful academic phrases to use - particularly if you are writing about research and science. Very, very handy...
There are lots of writing guides out there to give you advice on how to tackle the academic writing, in all its different forms. Here is an essay guide from our friends at the RLF (who are leading our Writing Sessions in Week 4...)
Editing & proofreading
The Open University offer some really good study skills guidance. A good example is their Editing and proof-reading checklist. Although it offers general guidance (don't assume that all assignments require your name and student number to be included on each page, for instance), we think it's a really useful document to look at before submitting an essay. If you can tick all of the boxes, you are ready to submit your assignment.