Posts tagged academic writing support

Yesterday the Academic Writing Support team (including myself) had their photo taken in preparation for the new semester which begins on Monday 18th September. Cheryl Cliffe is on the left while Judith Elkin, the AWS manager, is on the right. We hold drop-in sessions in the Learning Development room on the ground floor of the Library (starting on the 25th September) and 1-1 appointments throughout the year.  Currently, we are planning some workshops for October and November which cover a range of study skills areas such as essay writing, note-taking and strategic reading (et al.)

 

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Instead of embedding this YouTube video as I would normally do, I decided to embed the tweet from my @LINCLibrarian twitter account. It features the Academic Writing Support (AWS) manager, Judith Elkin, answering questions about what the services does to help students with their assignments. If you would like to book an appointment or turn up at one of our drop-in sessions then please see the AWS guide http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/aws

Are you struggling with your assignment? Why not visit our Academic Writing Support drop-ins from Monday to Thursday:

Monday 11.00 – 13.00
Tuesday 12.00 – 13.00
Wednesday 9.00 – 10.00
Thursday 14.00 – 16.00

If you bring along your assignment draft, we can give you advice on matters like whether you have:

  • managed to answer the question
  • the structure flows well
  • applied critical discussion throughout

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This is the team: Cheryl, Daren, Judith. The drop-in sessions take place in the Learning Development room on the ground floor of the Library.

Poor spelling often discourages potential employers as the chief executive of the National Governors Association announced that some of the top schools in the UK have received high-level job applications containing mistakes of spelling and grammar.

We’re in the process of developing a spelling page on the Academic Writing Support guide which we hope allays some of the fears surrounding this most challenging area. As you’ll notice we’re also starting to buy some books to support our library collection.

http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/c.php?g=133466&p=4025123&preview=72865bdefbb5c004dc39d6c73b8681c8

Think of dictionaries and you may consider browsing  Oxford Dictionaries online (available via library.lincoln.ac.uk > Find > Databases > O > Oxford English Dictionary Online), which contains some useful spelling advice.

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2015-16 has been our most successful year so far from the number of students requests from students for our super More Books service.

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You may be wondering what the new Academic Writing team (Judith Elkin, Cheryl Cliffe and myself) are doing over the summer? One of our objectives is to dive into the Library’s vast collection of grammar books, which includes Harrison et al (2012) Improve your Grammar (found at 425 har on the 1st floor). Harrison et al (2012) naturally covers speech, sentence clauses, and everything you would expect from a grammar book but what I found most helpful was commonly misused words (pp. 112-113) and the appropriate selection of phrasal verbs in writing more academically (pp. 110-111), as well as Palgrave’s effective layout and subtle use of colours to highlight themes. This opening statement about practical accessibility does justice to our extensive range of Palgrave Study Skills books (49 titles!) held in the Library:

“‘Improve Your Grammar’ is a study and practice book for students attending or planning to attend a UK university.  It concentrates on the specific areas of grammar and coherence where students frequently make mistakes, and deal with these in a straightforward, accessible way” (Harrison et al, 2012, 1).

That said, French novelist and linguistic conjurer Gustav Flaubert sparked a revolutionary approach in grammatical use by writing sensuously about what he felt, what he imagined, rather than adhere to strict rules that he considered claustrophobic and detrimental to his art; an unorthodox approach praised by fellow great novelist Proust when he noted Flaubert’s grammar elicited a beauty in itself. Perhaps that is the answer? Once you feel comfortable with expressing yourself grammatically then you have attained the ultimate goal and have to voyage beyond conventions…

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Harrison, M., Jakeman, V. & Paterson, K. (2012). Improve Your Grammar. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

How do you learn new words and especially use academic language suited to a university? Expanding your vocabulary can make writing assignments easier and more enjoyable.  Here are a couple of tips:

  1. Firstly it is important to read as extensively as you can; absorb the language used in a scholarly journal article. Get into the ideas the author (s) is expressing and learn how to convey an academic argument.
  2. When searching a scholarly database like Science Direct take note of the language used and how the paper is written. Investigate the themes and how they are threaded together to deliver a convincing argument, or not (!).
  3. Buy a good quality dictionary and an extensive thesaurus to identify synonyms and antonyms. Remember to always keep them at your side when you are drafting your assignments.
  4. Read a quality newspaper like the Guardian or Independent regularly.  Newspapers are subsidised at the SU shop in the Main Building.
  5. For the slightly more ambitious reader fine literature penned from literary masters like Donne, Faulkner, Montaigne, Tolstoy, Zola or Flaubert to name just a few would be worth delving into, and get inspired to write more fluently.
  6. For anyone interested in the power of the written word it is certainly worth regularly visiting Maria Popova’s well-crafted Brain Pickings blog and particularly her piece on Kurt Vonnegut called ‘How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word‘.

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screenshot of the most renowned thesaurus available….

As this time of year is especially busy with tight hand in dates and dissertation research, our new Academic Writing service is proving very popular in the Library. Managed by Judith Elkin and staffed by Cheryl Cliffe and myself, the AWS service is held in the Learning Development room on the ground floor of the Library at various times throughout the week. So, if you have queries about how to get under way with essay planning or start an assignment then why not go along to one of our drop-in sessions and bring along a draft or essay plan, or email aws@lincoln.ac.uk to make a 1-1 appointment?

 

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We also have bookable calendars for students to reserve an appointment with an Academic Subject Librarian.

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Josh Zhang, our Library International coordinator, has developed a library guide for international students.  The range of information includes learning development drop-in sessions, services like Academic Writing Support, Maths and Statistics support, et al. If you have any feedback or suggestions on this new guide please email jzhang@lincoln.ac.uk.

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http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/c.php?g=210643&p=1390424&preview=c67371d7a99cb4c3a08b612a0dc6e3d5

An exciting new service for advice on academic writing has recently started in the Library with staff able to advise on a range of writing skills from grammar to structuring an assignment. Please email us at aws@lincoln.ac.uk to arrange a 1-1 appointment and bring along a draft assignment. To support this initiative there is a new libguide about the Academic Writing Support available at guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/c.php?g=133466 complete  with informative tabs.  You can drop into any of our sessions in the Learning Development room at the end of the ground floor of the Library during the times listed below:

  • Monday – 11.00 – 13.00
  • Wednesday 13.00 – 15.00
  • Thursday 14.00 – 16.00

Running from left to right, our team consists of Judith Elkin, myself (Daren Mansfield) and Cheryl Cliffe.

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An exciting new service for advice on academic writing has recently started in the Library with staff able to advise on a range of writing skills from grammar to structuring an assignment. Please email us at aws@lincoln.ac.uk to arrange a 1-1 appointment and bring along a draft assignment. To support this initiative there is a new libguide about the Academic Writing Support available at guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/c.php?g=133466 complete  with informative tabs.  You can drop into any of our sessions in the Learning Development room at the end of the ground floor of the Library during the times listed below:

  • Monday – 11.00 – 13.00
  • Wednesday 13.00 – 15.00
  • Thursday 14.00 – 16.00

Running from left to right, our team consists of Judith Elkin, myself (Daren Mansfield) and Cheryl Cliffe.

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