It is important (although often difficult) to remember that writing is just like any other skill (e.g., riding a bike or playing a musical instrument). The only (and I do mean the ONLY) way to get better at it is to practise. Continue reading “Writing Well: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness (part 6)”
Even more awful than reading assignments that are full of quotations, is reading assignments that have not been proofread. Continue reading “WRITING WELL: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness (part 5)”
I have had the unfortunate experience of reading essays where every second sentence is a quotation. These are some of the most awful essays to read. Continue reading “WRITING WELL: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness (part 4)”
Keep it Simple (and Short)
This refers to EVERYTHING, including your argument, your sentences, and your language.
I can understand why undergraduates think that writing needs to be long and complicated. Let’s face it, most of what you are required to read is very long and very complicated. So it makes sense that you think that this is what we require in your writing. But here is the big secret… It isn’t.
Continue reading “WRITING WELL: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness (part 3)”
Academic Writing is a Form of Communication
When you are writing an academic piece (be it a 3000-word essay, a 30 000-word thesis, or a 300-word reflection paper) remember that you are trying to tell a story, and that you need to effectively communicate the point of your story to your reader (who is usually your marker). Continue reading “WRITING WELL: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness (part 2)”
A couple of years ago, I was asked by one of my students to write a piece for the (fictional) publication she had to create for her final journalistic project. This series is based on what I wrote for that piece.
Undergraduate students (and postgraduate students, for that matter) often find writing to be the most difficult part of their degree. This is especially true for students in Humanities and Social Science disciplines, where almost every aspect of the degree involves written work.
The fact that these disciplines do not assess learning through multiple choice question papers and the ability to correctly apply formulae (although there are always exceptions) means that the evaluation of student work is a subjective process, based on many (often unquantifiable) factors.
Continue reading “WRITING WELL: A Student Guide to Marker Happiness”