‘How to write:...’ series

Provider business unit: Researcher Development »

One of the most prized skills in research intensive jobs is the ability to write, but employers want people who can write across a range of formats and genres. HDR candidates who wish to freelance after graduation can find ways to support themselves through nurturing their abilities to write in different ways and for different purposes.  
 
The ‘How to write:..’ is a series of short seminars that can be ‘stacked’ into multi-day, writing retreat style formats, or as ‘pop up’ workshops. They can be delivered online or face to face. The purpose of these workshops is to help our PhD candidates strengthen their writing skills across a range of genres and formats: books, documentary films, reports, short research scripts (3MT etc), blogging, newspaper articles, games, movie scripts, comics – and anything else we can imagine, even emails!
 

Workshops

How to write:

Short description for promotion

Program use

Category

Logically connected sentences

Sentences convey ideas. Linking sentences together in the right way helps you carry an argument through a piece of writing. In this short webinar we will look at one technique to ensure there is a logical progression of ideas from one sentence to another. This technique can help you edit your work and be used to speed up your writing when you are not sure what to say next.  

Pop-up Webinar

 

Journal writing bootcamp

Writing clearly

A blog post about your research

Blogging is a great way to share your research, but how can you make it interesting for your reader? In 45 minutes we will explore the structure of a viral blog post and how you can use these insights to create content people want to share.

Pop-up Webinar

 

#SOME

Social media

Clearer sentences

When you have to write about complex ideas it's hard to write clearly at the same time. Academics often write sentences that are perfectly 'correct' but terribly difficult to understand. We know clear writing is more likely to be read and shared even in academic circles, so it's in your interest to strive for clarity. In this webinar we will try to bring some clarity back to your writing by going back to some basics of good sentence structure. English is a ‘writer responsible’ language. You have to work hard to make sure the reader can follow your train of thought. In this one hour webinar we will show you why some sentences are unintentionally vague and some simple ways to fix them. This webinar has some short, practical exercises to improve your writing, so make sure you have some of your drafts handy. You can work on thesis chapters, journal papers or blog posts - whatever you like!

Pop-up Webinar

Journal writing

Bootcamp

Writing clearly

A more powerful paragraph 

There is lots of confusion about the role of paragraphs in writing. In this workshop we will look at one technique - semantic gravity - for ordering the progression of ideas and arguments in a paragraph. This technique is useful for the writing and editing phase and helps you make decisions about the sequencing of ideas.

Pop-up Webinar

 

Journal writing bootcamp

Academic writing style

With less ‘word clutter’

Reducing the number of words that people need to read to understand your ideas helps your work be more readable and accessible. Work that is more readable is more likely to be read and cited than work that contains a lot of ‘word clutter’. In this one hour webinar we will go through a series of simple techniques for reducing words and increasing readability.

Pop-up Webinar

Writing clearly

About other people’s research

One of the major tests of a new researcher is how they write the literature review. It should be more than a ‘survey’ - the literature review should make an argument for the importance of your work. Academic writing has a number of ‘hidden’ conventions for doing this, which can come as a surprise to writers new to the format.  In this one hour webinar we will do a deep dive into how to use references and verbs to make more convincing academic arguments. Mastering these intricacies will help you write the ‘standard academic form’ with more confidence and authority.

 

 

A book proposal 

 

Pop-up Webinar

 

Book writing bootcamp

Writing clearly

Faster

In this one-hour webinar, we will embrace free writing: a technique pioneered by Peter Elbow to help people write more quickly. The idea behind free writing is simple: you just write anything for a specified length of time. In this webinar we will introduce you to a couple of variations of the technique which help you think through various aspects of your research while taking pressure off yourself to be perfect. ‘Make a mess and then clean it up’ is a surprisingly effective way to get through a lot of academic writing in a short amount of time and is the backbone of our highly successful bootcamp program.

Journal writing bootcamp

Academic writing style

An abstract 

Abstracts are usually the first thing your readers pay attention to after being initially attracted by your title. How do you get them to read on? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time - readers are looking for specific elements in the abstract. This one-hour webinar helps you identify the key elements in an abstract and provides prompts to help you get started on writing this crucial aspect of your article.

Pop-up Webinar

 

Journal writing bootcamp

Academic writing style

Introductions and Conclusions

When asked where they see HDRs needing most writing advice, supervisors often exclaim: ‘Introductions and conclusions!!”. These sections bracket the main body of the writing in important ways that are crucial for readers. This one-hour webinar clarifies the purposes of these essential elements of any writing and explores effective structures to ensure those purposes are met.

Pop-up Webinar

Academic writing style

More convincing academic arguments

How can you write in a way that helps readers follow - and be persuaded by - your argument? This one-hour webinar explores the structure of convincing arguments and provides strategies for organising your material effectively. Identifying the assumptions underlying your argument can head off objections to your case; choosing the right reporting verbs can make all the difference to keeping the reader with you.

Pop-up Webinar

 

Journal writing bootcamp

Academic writing style

A polished draft

You want readers to focus on your message, not be distracted by the mistakes in your text. This one-hour webinar teaches you effective self-editing techniques to make sure your ideas are foregrounded. We work through the strategies used by professional editors to make sure you present a polished draft to readers.

Pop-up Webinar

Academic writing style

Peer review feedback

The art of providing constructive, actionable feedback to peers is an invaluable skill both inside universities and beyond. This one-hour webinar explores what is helpful to authors and what is confusing. We identify what to focus on, and how to structure and phrase your feedback to ensure improved drafts from writers.

Pop-up Webinar

Research culture

With your peers

Working with peers can be a deeply satisfying and sustaining way to get your writing done. This one-hour webinar outlines different models for doctoral writing groups with a focus on productivity, or development, or a blend of both. By understanding the choices available, participants can structure writing group activities to make best use of time and resources. We show you how to harness the knowledge and energy of your peers so that everyone benefits.

Pop-up Webinar

Research culture

With co-authors

Co-authoring can be a wonderfully satisfying way to write, or it can be hugely frustrating and demoralising. How can you put in place effective processes to ensure good experiences of writing with others? This one-hour webinar explores the pros and cons of writing with colleagues. It identifies potential problems and offers strategies to avoid them.

Pop-up Webinar

Research culture

A winning grant application

When research funding is shrinking while more and more people are applying for it, how do you maximise your chances of success? This one-hour webinar sets out good practices to help you prepare grant applications that present your proposals in the best possible way. You will learn to identify what is required because funding-body guidelines really DO matter. We also explore how to persuade your audience to fund your research. 

Pop-up Webinar

Research culture

A winning award application

Winning a teaching or service award can be very helpful on your CV when applying for your next position. But it can feel rather awkward to nominate yourself for these awards and write an application that brags about how amazing you are.

This one-hour webinar helps you think through how to focus your application so that the assessors see your achievements accurately. By considering what this reading audience needs to see, you will be able to prepare a document that presents believable, appropriate self-promotion to reward your contribution and achievements.

Pop-up Webinar

Research culture

Voice and opinion

Authors are often encouraged to  find their own voice in their writing and to express ideas with authority. But what is authorial voice and how do you develop iit? This one-hour webinar unpacks the elements in writing that work together to create a sense of authorial voice. We then explore how to demonstrate your expertise on the topic through suitably expressed opinions and critical thinking.

Pop-up Webinar

Academic writing style

A skills-based non-academic CV

How do you prepare a CV that is suitable for non-academic employers? How can you show your value when a chronological work history makes it look like you can’t hold down a job? This one-hour webinar steps you through the organisation of a skills-based CV that reveals the full range of competencies you bring to your work.

Pop-up Webinar

Careers

Responses to job selection criteria

We all know it’s a tough job market at present. When something that is ideal for you is advertised, how are you expected to present yourself? This one-hour webinar works through how you can respond to the selection criteria in ways that will demonstrate your skills and knowledge in the best possible light.

Pop-up Webinar

Careers

Advertising for events

Content, layout (eg Canva), attracting an audience

 

Social media