During class on Tuesday 19 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.
On Thursday, 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
Exemplars & Guidance
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.
Here is guidance on producing an abstract for a report. We are aware that this will be new to many of you, so if you have any questions about this, please contact us.
RLF one-to-ones - sign up
These are compulsory meetings with an RLF Fellow for individual support with your writing during Week 4 (Fri 29 June) or Week 5 (Mon 2 July). This is designed to support the development of your academic writing skills in advance of the Individual Writing Assessment submission in Week 6, as well as future writing assignments during and beyond Summer School. A fantastic opportunity to gain valuable feedback.
For the session
1. You will be expected to bring draft work with you from your IWA. We expect this to be a draft, and can be a paragraph, an essay plan or a full piece of writing.
2. You will have 30 minutes only, so it is important to bring one area you wish to develop in your writing.
Book your place here on Learn.
When booking, choose a time that suits you on the Friday 29 June or Monday 2 July. There are 6 Fellows, so if you time slot if not available for one, it will most likely be for another.
You can come in a pair to the meeting, but each meeting will concentrate on one student's work only, so enter one student name only per session.
If you have any problems signing up for a session, please contact Joanna in the LEAPS team: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.