Practical Writing Activities for      Students & Others  Sandra Sinfield & Tom Burns Education/LDU/LearnHigher            ...
Writing is …Writing is easy – you just stare at a blank piece of paper till your eyeballs bleed!
Writing is …• Thinking• Learning• A struggle• We ‘write to learn’• Not learn to write                          3
SWOT: Reflect on your writing• Strengths: what do you like about your  writing?• Weaknesses: what do you dislike about you...
Developing writingStudents benefit from being given or  making opportunities to:• Practise writing• Practise writing in th...
To practise writing in the         disciplineSee also http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/                             ...
Freewriting• Peter Elbow (1998) argues that free-writing  encourages students to write at length without  fear of censorsh...
Activities• Try freewriting:• For 5 minutes on any lecture (class)• A definition of a concept in 1 minute• For 5 minutes o...
The Path Path     Tree     KeyHouse    Water                         9
Academic freewritingUse for:• Starting an assignment• Overcoming a writing block• Writing at length• Writing in discipline...
Overcoming writing blocks:• Read the title – just respond to it, without a  plan for 10 minutes• Have a stack of postcards...
To reflect on writing and other      aspects of learning                    See also   http://www.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-d...
Reflective learning journal• Have you used a reflective learning  journal?• Like the CLiP CETL one?• Use your journal as a...
Suggested entries• Reflections on study sessions: what, why,  reaction, learned, new goals …• Notes on readings• Questions...
Development of the reflective          learning journal• Supports student reflection on  discipline specific readings• Pro...
Reflecting on THIS session• What have we done?• What activities have we undertaken? Why?• What was your reaction?• What ha...
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Academic writing workshop studentsv2

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Academic writing workshop studentsv2

  1. 1. Practical Writing Activities for Students & Others Sandra Sinfield & Tom Burns Education/LDU/LearnHigher With thanks to Sarah Johnson Students’ Writing in Transition Symposium NTU September 15th 2009 1
  2. 2. Writing is …Writing is easy – you just stare at a blank piece of paper till your eyeballs bleed!
  3. 3. Writing is …• Thinking• Learning• A struggle• We ‘write to learn’• Not learn to write 3
  4. 4. SWOT: Reflect on your writing• Strengths: what do you like about your writing?• Weaknesses: what do you dislike about your writing or academic writing in general?• Opportunities: what’s in it for you ?• Threats: what threat does academic writing pose for you? Write for one minute on each… 4
  5. 5. Developing writingStudents benefit from being given or making opportunities to:• Practise writing• Practise writing in the discipline• Free write• Reflect on their writing - and other aspects of their learning• Reflect on feedback from their lecturers 5
  6. 6. To practise writing in the disciplineSee also http://www.phrasebank.manchester.ac.uk/ 1
  7. 7. Freewriting• Peter Elbow (1998) argues that free-writing encourages students to write at length without fear of censorship. Benefits:• Freedom to explore a topic• Builds & demonstrates knowledge• Encourages understanding• Spelling & grammar (3 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlL5W2qA0EA• On writing (9min):• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDUn1c4uxUE 7
  8. 8. Activities• Try freewriting:• For 5 minutes on any lecture (class)• A definition of a concept in 1 minute• For 5 minutes on previous experiences that will be useful to you in this module• The Path exercise follows: write for one minute on each topic – we can discuss impact of writing in this way…• Resources:• Stopwatch: http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/• Freewrite:http://www.cumquat.co.uk/freewrite/• http://www.writethink.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/fwt/Free_Wri 8
  9. 9. The Path Path Tree KeyHouse Water 9
  10. 10. Academic freewritingUse for:• Starting an assignment• Overcoming a writing block• Writing at length• Writing in discipline• Structuring writing• Proof-reading• Editing• Reflecting on your day/learning What will you do with this information? How will it effect you as a student? Write your answers - one minute… 10
  11. 11. Overcoming writing blocks:• Read the title – just respond to it, without a plan for 10 minutes• Have a stack of postcards to hand – warm up your writing juices by picking one at random and writing…• If stuck – be rude… and write any way• Write with two pieces of paper – one for work & one for what’s stopping you… 11
  12. 12. To reflect on writing and other aspects of learning See also http://www.arts.ac.uk/cetl/visual-directions/ 1
  13. 13. Reflective learning journal• Have you used a reflective learning journal?• Like the CLiP CETL one?• Use your journal as a space to reflect on your progress … &• Develop aspects of your thinking/writing. 13
  14. 14. Suggested entries• Reflections on study sessions: what, why, reaction, learned, new goals …• Notes on readings• Questions relating to readings• Freewriting on a topic• Glossary of terms• Planning and drafting• Notes from the press… 14
  15. 15. Development of the reflective learning journal• Supports student reflection on discipline specific readings• Promotes critical analysis• Encourages deep understanding through questioning• Can be creative & appealing 15
  16. 16. Reflecting on THIS session• What have we done?• What activities have we undertaken? Why?• What was your reaction?• What have you learned – about writing, about yourself as a writer, about yourself as a student?• Will this change your approach? How?• What will you do next?• Make notes for yourself – and don’t forget to let me know: s.sinfield@londonmet.ac.uk 16

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