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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Writing up advice - communicating and the academic voice

Communicating what you have thought about on the course usually comes at the end of the module when you 'write up' that document and/or portfolio of work for assessment .

Sorry Peter could not be with us this week but please see a link to a previous presentations about writing:

The topic was going to be summing up, so here are a few pointers for everyone. 'Summing up' is when you write up how the ideas have come together in your mind - so anything you have read from experts (often called literature) and other practitioners to develop a consensus in you own mind about meaning. In an academic style - you use evidence and example to 'back up' what you are saying to convince your 'reader' that you have a particular slant or point of view (your argument) about your the topic you are speaking about.

Each module has specific writing up criteria that are in the handbook - but structuring the writing can be important. This writing is often more formal that the blogs because need to get across specific ideas in a limited amount of space. Remember writing can include diagrams and images! In digital writing you can put in hyperlinks.

Although we use the 'reportage' style (so report writing) the essay style is also a good source for writing because it structures your work. A basic structure is at least 3-5 sentences per paragraph with an introductory sentence, key points and concluding sentence. Don't have paragraphs that last too long. You are writing  in the first person for this style - but it is more neutral/balance in tone with examples and evidence.

An example of a paragraph:

As an academic I use social networking as a way of communicating and developing digital literacy. There is now a greater presence of digital scholarship (Weller, 2011) in the work of academics that in turn is monitored as evidence and is a part of our job for learning and teaching and/or research. This way of working should acknowledge the private/public ethical issues of learning in a Web 2.0 world and beyond. Devices such as institutional phones with Virtual Private Network (VPN) access (e.g. Cisco system) extend the campus-based facilities into virtual workspaces beyond the campus. To work this way I need to have the technical devices that allow me to work anywhere, in the office, commuting, and at home. The use of the ‘smart’ mobile phone and portable laptops mean that academic activities are no longer restricted to ‘nine to five’ connectivity.

A bibliography at the ending of the writing would look like this in Harvard Referencing:

Weller, Martin (2011) The Digital Scholar How Technology is Transforming Scholarly Practice, London: Bloomsbury. 

If I used a quote I would add the page number or online if it was from the web. 

You may take several drafts - then send one to your adviser for feedback. 

Here are links that might help you write up your work in this style. Please comment with any additional questions.

Skills for study resources on MyUniHub

Online resources from the LDU


Referencing guide form the IWBL



  1. Thank you Paula, the session was very helpful and gave me room for thought. The examples above are also very useful. I think I am using my professional network a lot more since starting the course. If I have any further questions I will leave an additional comment.

  2. Its all about how you describe the breakfast and not just saying you had a nice one! I will have to try those Dereham sausages now!

  3. How would you cook those Dereham Sausages Lizzy? Where would you start?

  4. Okay feast your eyes - a blog as well!