Learning Development & Student Writing

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Transcript Learning Development & Student Writing

Writing is easy – you just stare at a blank piece of paper till
your eyeballs bleed!
Some thoughts about writing
Writing activity
Reflecting on the activity
Applying what you’ve learned to the
• Useful resources
Student responses to writing:
I’ve been humiliated in ways I’d
never have put up with outside
that institution
Student responses to writing:
I am still not sure if my work is
considered academic, I still don’t know
what makes one of my essays better than
Academic language, the kind of language that
doesn’t readily flow off my tongue: the type of
language I rarely use when speaking to my
peers. The type of language that I don’t
readily understand and the type of language
that means spending hours at a computer
turning something quite simple into
something that sounds moderately impressive
with elitist results.
Perhaps it is not that we cannot write, but
We need:
• Time to ‘write to learn’
• Time to practice writing
• To write little and often
• To discover that writing gets easier with
• So …
Writing Activity
Free writing
Each person should have in front of them:
• Two sheets of paper:
• One, blank, to write upon,
• One, the ‘commentary’ sheet, to note reasons for not
• Pens or pencils
The Activity
• When asked, turn to your blank paper and
write for ten minutes without pause on the
question below.
• If you stop writing for any reason, write that
reason, no matter how trivial or insignificant
on the ‘commentary’ sheet.
The Question
(1) Assignment Activity
• Did you enjoy that writing?
Review it – what does it tell you about:
What you already know?
What you need to find out?
What you will be looking for in lectures?
What you will be looking for when reading?
(2) Why did you STOP writing?
Some reasons for stopping:
• Thinking
• Searching for a word, spelling, tense
• Uncomfortable
• Distracted
• Couldn’t see the point
• What are you going to do about this?
(3) Some solutions …
• Get into a good physical & mental space:
Be comfortable – your way
Accept the task – or fake it!
• Brainstorm & plan before you write
• Once you start – go with the flow
• Don’t stop!
• Do not search for the right word – re-draft and
improve later.
• How will your free write help you with
the final part of your assessment?
• How will thinking about writing help with
your writing?
WriTiNg …
Organise your DESK and your READING:
Check out these writing resources:
Essay writing animation – Portsmouth:
Essay/report quiz:
EXCELLENT site for linking phrases and for WRITING:
Our Preventing Plagiarism course – in WebLearn: