Academic Writing Skills for 1st year dyslexic undergraduates

Date: Wednesday 26th October 2011

Venue: Equality Service Training room 10.45, EC Stoner Building, Level 10

Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The Equality Service is planning to run a series of workshops focusing upon improving academic writing skills.

The workshops will primarily be aimed at first year students who are awaiting allocation of 1-1 Strategy Support sessions, while the workshop cannot guarantee to turn an essay scoring a modest 2.2 into a clear First – it will attempt to offer guidance in how to present, how to structure and how to express one’s ideas within a more secure and elevated academic forum.

The workshops will consist of the following areas:

Essay structure:

    • a consideration of strategies to better understand essay titles, use of key words, the importance of answering the specific question asked, etc.
    • an explanation of the constituent parts of an academic essay
    • planning the essay
    • the use of paragraphs
    • redrafting and final revision
  • Academic writing style
    • what are the three rules for great writing?
    • avoiding overly colloquial, idiomatic and metaphorical writing
    • ways to enhance analysis and reduce description
    • sentence length – paragraph length
    • the “ups and downs” of political correctness
    • spelling – the key pitfalls
    • the dangers of homophones
  • Presentation of work on the page
    • basic style: type and size of font, spacing, headers and footers etc.
    • use of italics, use of capitals, use of diacritics, how to set out long quotations, when and when not to use abbreviations, numbers and dates, paragraph breaks and so on
  • Use of correct grammar
    • an understand of parts of speech in relation to academic writing
    • what is a sentence – what is a clause – what is a subordinate clause?
    • how to use different tenses correctly in academic writing
    • the active and passive – when to use
    • fifteen foolproof suggestions for grammatically correct writing
  • Punctuation
    • find out how many punctuation marks there are (there are 15) and gain a clearer understanding of how to use them
  • Elevating vocabulary
    • come out of the session armed with a significantly more diverse vocabulary than when you went in – there are 365 academically useful words on offer!