Category

Writing

Category

Writing reflections in Education

During your course you’ll be expected to complete a range of written assessments. Most people are familiar with essays and reports but writing a reflection for the first time can be a challenge. Reflective writing requires you to draw connections between theory and experience or learning in order to create new understanding.

This sequence of activities from Monash University provides useful explanations of the characteristics of reflective writing for students in the Education discipline.

Using phrasal verbs

A phrasal verb is a verb that is made up of a main verb combined with an adverb or a preposition, or both. Sometimes the meaning is really obvious but more often than not the meaning cannot be guessed by looking at the individual words. For example, look up can mean ‘look in an upward direction’ whereas give up means to ‘stop trying to do something’.

Check out English Grammar Online to learn about phrasal verbs containing up, on, turn, out, down, off, look, come, get and go. The site includes short quizzes to test understanding.

The process of reflection

During your course you’ll be expected to complete a range of written assessments. Most people are familiar with essays and reports but writing a reflection for the first time can be a challenge. Reflective writing requires you to draw connections between theory and experience or learning in order to create new understanding.

This short video from the University of Hull explains the differences between descriptive and reflective writing, and points out the benefits of hindsight in improving future experiences.

Source: https://youtu.be/b1eEPp5VSIY

Putting wordy writing on a diet

One common piece of feedback from lecturers and tutors is that student writing can often be very wordy!
That is, the writer uses more words than necessary to present describe, explain, illustrate and argue the main points in a paper. This wordiness is obviously a problem when you need to keep to the word limit for an assessment but it also affects the overall quality of your writing. Wordy sentences can be difficult to navigate which means that the reader has to work harder to understand your point.

Have a look at these resources from The Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help make your writing more concise.

Using apostrophes

Many students are unsure when to use an apostrophe which often leads to overuse or avoiding it completely.
Basically, an apostrophe should be used to indicate the following:

  • Possession or ownership. For example – Peter’s car | my brother’s friend | in QUT’s best interest.
  • Leaving out letters or numbers. For example – I think she’s here | it started in July ’18 | they’re friends.
  • Have a look at this simple guide from Monash University which tells you everything you need to know about the correct use of apostrophes in just a few minutes.

    If you’d like to delve a little deeper check out this resource from GrammarBook.com which features all sorts of helpful rules, real-world examples, and quizzes.

    Different types of journal articles

    An awareness of different types of journal articles and their purposes can help you identify and locate articles that are relevant to a particular purpose (e.g. research for an assignment). It may also be useful when you need to explain the purpose or rationale of an article that you have read (e.g. when writing an annotated bibliography or literature review).

    Here is a useful summary of the different types of articles that may be published in academic peer-reviewed journals.

    Using collocations

    Collocations are words that are often found together. When combined, these words have a specific meaning. Sometimes the meaning is clear but often collocations have a unique meaning that people naturally learn as they use a language. For example, run on is a collocation which means ‘to continue’.

    Visit Learning Collocations to learn more about which words go together. You can input a word and the site produces a list of English collocations. You can also specify the word form (noun, verb, adverb etc) and ask for a list of synonyms and antonyms.

    screen capture of the learning collocations website