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Academic Writing Day for Postgraduate Researchers: Develop your confidence as a writer

This Academic Writing Day will provide you with  a theoretical and practical overview of alternative techniques that can enhance various stages of your thesis writing process, from pre-writing to drafting and editing.  The event will open with a talk from our guest speaker, dr. Adrian Wallbank (Royal Holloway, University of London), including insights from his most recent volume, Academic Writing and Dyslexia: A Visual Guide to Writing at University. The plenary will be followed by two hands-on workshops, packed full of practical tips. The event will close with a round-table discussion in which presenters will answer your questions based on their experience of completing a PhD thesis as well as providing support to PhD researchers.

For full programme and further information, please check event page: https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/class/researcher_writing_day or email Arina Cirstea arina.cirstea@dmu.ac.uk.

Wednesday, 14th February 2018
09:00 - 12:30
Teaching Room (2.04), Second Floor, Kimberlin Library
Registration has closed.

Session description

  1. Plenary session Argument, Agency and Originality: Exploring your Academic ‘Voice’ (Dr. Adrian Wallbank)

This plenary session investigates issues surrounding argumentation, rhetorical strategies and stance in academic writing and discusses perceptions of agency in the light of close, comparative analyses of the discourse and rhetorical features of submitted work. This talk seeks to broaden our understanding of these difficulties by considering what contribution critical theory can make to analyses of PhD submissions and EAP pedagogies for international student writers. My intention is to explore the extent to which academic writers can articulate a stance and an argument given difficulties not only associated with Bakhtin’s well-known theory of heteroglossia (1992), but the fascinating implications of Baudrillard’s conceptions of simulacra and simulation (1981), Docherty’s more recent investigation of complicity (2016), and contemporary debates about obscurity and ‘post-truth’.  In light of these difficulties, I will discuss and illustrate some tried and tested, practical techniques for articulating an argument that you can use in your own writing.

2A Workshop: Picture This: Re-Thinking Academic Writing for Dyslexics (Dr. Adrian Wallbank)

In this workshop, Dr Adrian Wallbank will explore some of the main challenges dyslexic academic writers face when writing a thesis and present some of the bespoke visual strategies he has developed for helping dyslexic writers process, structure and articulate their thoughts. Developed by a dyslexic, for dyslexics, the workshop will examine how meaningful visual templates, icons and prompts can be used to harness the ‘big picture’ strengths, multidimensional thought processing and visual learning preferences of dyslexics so that you can play to your strengths and write up your PhD with confidence.

2B Workshop: Mind Mapping Techniques (Dr Emily Forster)

This workshop will illustrate how Mind Mapping software can support your research by structuring notes, organising references and planning the structure of your chapters. All these can help speed up the organisation and writing of your thesis. You will also have the opportunity to try your hand at using some of the software presented.

3.Round-table discussion and Q&A Top Tips for writing a good quality PhD thesis (Dr Adrian Wallbank, Dr Emily Forster, Dr Arina Cirstea).

Presenters will share some tips based on their own experience of completing a PhD thesis, as well as their work with doctoral researchers to support their writing development. There will also be an opportunity for participants to ask questions.

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Arina Cirstea