Writing, writing, writing ….
December 1, 2011 1 Comment
How do you feel about writing? I’ll tell you more about where this quote came from in a minute but for a lot of people, from post-grad to post-doc, feel the same sort of things. Such as “I feel discouraged because I fell like I have never done enough research to start writing, … my advisor is so critical that whenever I think of writing I feel inadequate, … I feel that there are rules that everyone knows but me, … I feel ashamed of my writing skills, … I wish my English was better, I feel that if people read my writing they will know that I’m a dumb bunny, … I feel confident that I could do anything if I could just get out of bed, …”. You might think that writing does not have much to do with digital literacy skills but what is it that I’m doing now? I’m WRITING. Even though we live in a digital world we will still have to write, not just notes to the milkman but academic stuff that will be published online. I’ve found a few things on writing most of it is aimed at post-grads but most of it is good advice for under-grads too especially the first one.
This first sites is from Oxford University Podcasts, I’ve mentioned them before ‘cos I think they are great. An awful lot of the podcasts are free and a lot more cost very, very little and there is something on just about every subject imaginable. The one I’m directing you to today is Critical Reasoning for Beginners, it’s lead my Marianne Talbot who Lectures in Philosophy, manages to make this subject both interesting and fairly easy to follow. I think one of the most reassuring things Marianne says right near the beginning is that she left school at 15 (so there is hope for us all). I would love to have something like this in our curricula here at UoW but at least we have Marianne to help us along the way:)
I’m also going to direct you to two of my favourite blogs Thesis Whisperer and Networked Researcher. This post, Writing Collaborative Publications during your PhD, was written on Tuesday but I’m glad I didn’t blog about it then as it fits really well in this post. Kylie Budge is a PhD student and gives some good advice on how to get started with writing for publication the first time round (don’t forget to read the comments). This is where I picked up on the book that the quote above came from. Kylie suggests using the book, “Writing your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A guide to academic publishing success” by Wendy Laura Belcher. You can get this book from Amazon, it costs about £19 for the eBook and about £26 for the Book – well worth money! The book would make a great resource for staff development or PhD studies.
On the Networked Researcher, Dr Sarah-Louise Quinnell writes about issues of identity, how you might want to portray yourself and how you can help the right image come across. This is a subject I teach about for our PhD students – as this current group is not doing much collaborating I’m worried that I frightened them 🙂 All of this advice should not be frightening, it is about how to deal with things so that they don’t get frightening when you are out there in the big wide metaverse. From a personal point of view, I do tend to share a little bit of me on all my social media sites. For me it’s no different from being in a meeting with people from outside my Department. If you aren’t true to yourself it all comes across as very artificial and untrustworthy.
Sorry must dash needed in virtuality:)