Academic Writing Skills Short course

South Africa - 6 August 2018

Trade topics: Other

Writing competence is of critical importance in postgraduate studies, because it often is one of very few, if not the only, communication channel(s) open between lecturer / supervisor / examiner and student, and the only real opportunity that the average student has to make an impression of fledgling academic competence, or the converse. From research it is a known fact that postgraduate students in particular struggle with (i) finding reliable, adequate and appropriate sources, (ii) processing and comprehending new information that has a reasonably sophisticated argument and abstract vocabulary and which is presented in a strategic manner, and (iii) producing clear and lucid arguments. It was therefore decided by the TRADE research entity in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the NWU to support Masters and/or PhD-students with their academic acculturation by focusing on the writing process in a series of workshops (four in total). These were partly funded by the WTO. The theoretical frameworks used for the design of the workshop series included: Firstly that of information gap, where the point of departure is identifying the gap in academic knowledge, seeking adequate and appropriate information to fill the gap, and producing written text in which literature and findings are presented in a confident and knowledgeable manner from a specific perspective and acknowledging the reader as part of the social dynamics of the academic text. Secondly, the CCC-model of text quality, developed by Renkema, was used extensively.