Posted on by Claire Gallop
I’ve written prose that would move you to tears with the elegance of the sentence construction. My deft choice of words and the profoundness of my arguments can thwart the cleverest of opponents. The written word is mere putty in my hands; I truly am a literary giant.
Ever noticed how wonderful your writing is when it’s still in your head? My imaginary articles are so beautiful that they should be displayed in a Museum of Rare and Precious Gems. My real life articles, not so much – sometimes they are barely fit for a House of Horrors.
So how do we turn our horrors into gems?
Academic writing is a skill like another other, and for anyone interested in a career in research, it is an essential skill to develop. Writing is the life blood of a research career; it’s how we share and challenge our findings and arguments.
No one thinks a violinist got up one morning and could play Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor. Yet there are all sorts of myths around writing that downplays the hard graft that goes into good prose.
Associate Professor Karen Nairn from the College of Education has a new course that will bust some myths and help build practical writing skills to get publication results.
Claire Gallop, Graduate Research School
EDUC 464: Writing for publication in the Social Sciences is a new postgraduate course for semester 1, 2015, aimed at doctoral, masters and postgraduate students in the Social Sciences (worth 20 points).
Assoc Prof Karen Nairn has designed this one-semester course to take you through the stages of writing a journal article, ready for submission at the end of the course. The course is designed to be practical, with lots of opportunities for writing and receiving feedback. Classes/workshops are scheduled Tuesdays 3-5 and Fridays 10-12 in semester 1.
The best way to maximise the benefits of this course is to have data collected ready for analysis and writing up for a journal article. If you do not have any data but would really like to do this course next year, there is data available from the National Education Monitoring Project, now called the National Monitoring Study of Student Achievement, to write up. Email karen.nairn@otago to discuss this.
Karen has been running writing workshops since 2005, and a fortnightly writing group for colleagues and postgraduate students since 2011. She co-authored an article on demystifying academic writing in 2009. Her latest writing foray is an article about the challenges of collaborative writing, co-authored with 6 other members of the fortnightly writing group, for the journal of Higher Education Research & Development.
Here are the specifics:
EDUC 464 Writing for Publication in the Social Sciences
Each semester 0.1667 EFTS OL 20 points
Students will be guided through the process of writing a journal article, reporting their own data, ready for submission by the end of the course.
P 72 300-level points
SC Arts and Music
Note: This paper is primarily intended for graduates in the Social Sciences.
And if you want to check out my writing!
Cameron, J., Nairn, K. & Higgins, J. (2009). Demystifying academic writing: Reflections on emotions, know-how and academic identity. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 33(2), 269-284.
Nairn, K., Cameron, J., Anakin, M.,Juntrasook, A.,Wass, R., Sligo, J.and Morrison, C. (forthcoming).Negotiating the Challenge of Collaborative Writing: Learning from One Writing Group’s Mutiny. Higher Education Research & Development.
Assoc Prof Karen Nairn, College of Education