Integrating the WriteSite into your unit of study
This section contains ideas for integrating the WriteSite more closely into your unit of study. The more relevant the students see the WriteSite being to their development as scholars, the more enthusiastic they will be about using it. It is hoped that consistent promotion and use of the site by you and your colleagues will motivate students to use the site and invest in improving their writing.
You might want to suggest to students that they use the WriteSite to review their writing prior to submission.
Relevant sections of the WriteSite could be checked at the following stages:
- during the research and planning phase (e.g. Module 3, Unit 1: 'Planning your essay' or Module 2, Unit 2: 'Evaluating Sources')
- at the first draft stage (e.g. 'Module 2, Unit 4: 'Reporting evidence' or Module 3, Unit 4: 'Writing persuasively')
- immediately prior to submission (e.g. Module 3, Unit 3: 'Introductions and conclusions' or Module 1, Unit 7:'Articles').
Using the WriteSite as a 'guide' to review their writing processes, can assist students to achieve a better-quality product. The sections of the site that deal with planning and structuring writing, the effective use of sources and tips on writing persuasively, will benefit most students.
Where students have used the WriteSite previously, suggest they review the feedback they have received from other lecturers and tutors and check for similar errors in their current work, correcting if necessary, before submitting it for marking.
This can assist them to:
- avoid making the same errors
- develop professional habits
- develop self-assessment skills and take responsibility for their learning
- improve their writing
- get better grades.
Being explicit about the advantages should encourage student uptake.
Following up on previous feedback
Consider asking students to note an aspect of their writing they are working to improve, on their assignment cover sheet for your attention during marking. Giving feedback on items that previous academics have identified for improvement will assist in scaffolding their development of academic writing skills. It will also encourage a reflective approach to writing practices.
Ideally use of the WriteSite throughout student's study will improve their understanding of academic writing and encourage student-academic dialogue, thereby promoting a culture of improving writing standards.
Encourage reflective practices. Ask the students to consider:
- Is this a persistent problem in their writing?
- What is the severity of the problem?
- How can they improve this area? (the WriteSite can help here)
- allocating time to improve these skills
- reviewing this problem in the planning, drafting and revision stages of subsequent assignments.
Identification of problems and investment of time and energy in addressing them is a prerequisite for improving writing. Revision will improve the likelihood of incorporating the desired change into the student's writing approaches.