Why I Love Working with Post Graduate Students
Working with post-graduate students on their academic writing skills usually begins with a conversation about one of two things: getting the academic style right, and/or constructing an argument.
Getting your style right
You might be one of those who’ve found that the style demanded by your post-graduate work is different from your undergraduate writing. I sympathise – it was quite a jump going from an essays to poems, for my M.A. in Creative Writing!
As well, you might get much less guidance and fewer explicit rules to follow at this level. This sounds great, but in practice, it means you’re expected just to know what’s required. Which is scary if you’re a student from a non-writing background, working in a discipline where the teaching of writing hasn’t been explicit.
Making a case
You might also be looking for help with how to construct an argument – because essentially, no matter what the discipline, as soon as you start to write up your research, that’s what you’re doing: coming up with a theory or question to test, finding evidence, making conclusions and then convincing people of the validity of what you’ve found.
I love this kind of work for three reasons.
First, by their nature, post-graduate students are eager to learn new skills and have enquiring minds, so they’re fun to work with.
Secondly, it’s one of the areas of my work where I can quickly effect the most change. Sometimes it’s as simple as teaching a scientist how to structure an essay. Sometimes it takes longer – sometimes the poor student has been struggling with their thesis, getting mired in confusion, so the intervention is more sustained.
But that brings me to my third reason – it’s so INTERESTING! I love what I find out through reading other people’s work. I’m not saying I always understand it, but it’s fun.
If any of this strikes a chord with you, and you’d like to improve your academic writing, contact me here to find out more about how I can help you.
The best way to find out what I can offer you is to ask. I’d love to hear from you.
JO MORRIS AT HOME
027 361 8376