Improve your academic writing style whatever the subject.
"I have never know a student not to have good ideas and interesting things to say. Putting it down on paper is the problem. "
The Good News: Live and on-location high-pressure editing and scriptwriting, learnt working with professional broadcasters, on top of 'the 10,000 hours' are a recent PhD (2003), and 12 years of student dissertation tutoring and teaching creative writing. My tutoring is an element of my current thinking and writing about hands-on learning techniques.
From personal experience you will gain a great deal from the following:
a) Write your reflective diary: In the first person every event, idea, feelings, thoughts related to the course, especially the Eureka moments. Date your entries and record the tasks you did for the course. Leave for a while to fester.
b) Reread: Look for patterns, listen to your mind at work.
c) Copy and paste the good bits in to your writing and then EDIT
d) Edit: This is where the hints and tips of good clear writing in this section come in useful.
The problem with the reflective first person essay is that the key points are often 'buried' in the 'long reflective recall ' and, 'I believe this and, 'I experienced that', and 'I think'.
The advantage of the EDIT are:
a) Key points are easier for you and the reader to 'find' and recognise their true value.
b) Level 1, 2, 3 content can be identified (Your aim of course is to add as much Level 3 reflective writing as possible).
c) You become more effectiveas a communicator of your ideas in the workplace.
Writing clearly so the user can get your points quickly and easily is the aim. But also the real goal is that the process of learning to write clearly will help you organise your thoughts so you recognise your strengths, and give you SPECIAL POWERS for the future!!!!
Students might like to try some of these ideas to improve their writing skills. A Hints and Tips approach developed while supporting and supervising students of all ages in their coursework and final year dissertations and vivas.
Many people with a business background write excellent reports. However, reports are a special kind of writing which are useful in their own way, but need to be adapted to show 'criitical reflection' when presenting Area of Learning text or reflective essays. Teachers who spend their time in an audio world thinking and speaking on their feet not necessarily writing long papers will also get some ideas to broaden skills for the task ahead.
Students who are interested in Learning Stories or ReStorying might find some of the ideas in the creative writing to aid their individual writing too.
Just to try and use one or two ideas from these pages and even my PhD for a 'live' example will improve standards and style of readabilty for people who don't normally spend their time writing all day every day.