One of the most important learning and assessment tools at university is the writing of essays. These essays differ from the essays you wrote at school. Firstly, they are written in an academic style, and secondly, the content is often a synthesis of ideas you have collected from a wide variety of readings. Using the work of experts and researchers in various disciplines is a large part of our university study. Your lecturers want to see that you have been reading widely and well on your topic. So you will use other people’s work to:
Help! There are at least 5 mistakes in the following paragraph. Can you find them?
Writing is a skill and, as such, can be learnt and practised over time. Smith (2012) has shown that students “are able to acquire sufficient writing skills for first-year subjects in a short period of time”. It has been argued, however, that these students were actively supported by key staff and services at university and that it is this element of support, rather than the individual effort of the student alone, that is more integral to a student’s success with writing. Considerable gains have been made with writing success at university by situating the learning within a specific discipline or Faculty. Discipline-specific writing models and support help a student to mor quickly acquire the necessary skills for their chosen area of study (Brown, 2011). Some aspects of effective writing are universal, however, and thus a blend of generic as well as discipline-specific support structures are commonly found at universities.
This booklet by the Learning Centre is very useful:
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