The University of Sydney

STUDENT GUIDE TO THE WRITE SITE

 
 

Using the WriteSite

You may be directed to units in the WriteSite by one of your teachers or you may choose to use the WriteSite independently to identify and improve your academic writing skills.

Here are some ideas about how you can integrate the WriteSite into your approach to academic writing.

There is no magic bullet for improving writing. It takes time, effort and conscious strategies, consistently applied.

The University of Sydney has identified good communication skills, including writing skills, as a key generic attribute expected of all graduates. Strong communication skills are also highly valued by employers and increase graduates' employability.

Engagement

Use of the WriteSite throughout your time at University, rather than in just in a single unit of study, can improve your understanding of academic writing requirements. Effort, a reflective approach to writing and engagement in a student - academic dialogue can encourage better writing habits and standards.

Consider the following:

  • Can you identify persistent problems in your writing?
  • What's the severity of the problem?
  • What practical steps can you take to improve this area? (The WriteSite can help here.)
  • Are you willing to allocate time to improve these skills?

Identification of problems and investment of time and energy is a prerequisite for improving writing. Revision and review of identified problems improves the likelihood of achieving long-term changes in your writing.

Keep past assignments and review the feedback you got before you submit again. If your main problem is with grammar, you can print out the table of strategies in each grammar unit and use them to help you. You can also print out the summary at the end of each unit of the WriteSite for quick reference. Using feedback from your teachers

Your teachers may provide feedback on your writing via a marking key or through reference to parts of the WriteSite.

Review any feedback your teachers provide and plan strategies to improve in those areas. When you have identified and made improvements in your writing, think about how you can go on to consolidate this improvement.

Strategies include:

  • reviewing previous academic writing feedback prior to writing and submitting the next assignments
  • reading critically to identify good academic writing models
  • emulating the features you've identified in good writing
  • being proactive about asking academics for feedback.

You can, for example, request feedback from your academics on specific writing areas you've focused on as areas for improvement. Explain to them why you're asking for feedback and mention the WriteSite for their reference.