Essay-writing tips for students are all at sea
Staffordshire lecturer’s illustrated activity book introduces students to analyze techniques
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By the time students arrive at university, it’s going to probably have already been a few years because they came across an illustrated activity book.
But Writing Essays by Pictures is no ordinary activity book. With a nautical theme, it casts essays as icebergs and sources as sea creatures in an innovative attempt to introduce first-year students to the practice of academic research and writing.
Author Alke Grцppel-Wegener, senior lecturer in contextual studies at Staffordshire University, based the handsomely presented book on the essay-writing sessions with art and design students.
The book was launched this week and it is hoped that wider distribution will follow after raising nearly Ј2,000 from supporters on the Kickstarter crowdfunding website to fund an initial print run.
It opens aided by the call for students to think about their essays as icebergs, with a focused argument “above the water” backed up by thinking and research below.
After that it introduces students to reading, note-taking and critical thinking strategies, inviting them to undertake practical, creative activities as you go along.
It shows that readers try drawing pictures in an attempt to demonstrate the level of engagement that texts require while they examine sources, rather than taking notes, and encourages students to walk a familiar route at a quarter of their usual speed while taking notes on what they see around them.
The book advises students to categorise sources by thinking of them as different sea creatures, also to judge their academic rigour in terms of the depth from which they reside in the ocean.
Other suggested techniques that are learning writing poems that condense source material and creating handmade cards as reminders of texts.
Dr Grцppel-Wegener said that she had developed her usage of analogies and activities as a way to address, in an engaging and non-threatening way, the lack of confidence around academic writing that she present in first years. Leggi tutto “Essay-writing tips for students are all at sea”