Preparing for Academic Success at the Graduate Level
September 15, 2014
Characteristics of Graduate Writing Writing at the graduate level is a significant part of a student's coursework when entering into a Master's program. Throughout a person's college career, they have written many papers in their undergraduate studies, but writing papers at a graduate level differs from previous styles of writing. There are very distinct characteristics in graduate writing. Following the rules of graduate writing correctly, makes for a clear and precise paper; grabbing the audience's attention, and making the point of the paper undeniable to the reader, while using facts …show more content…
The information should be organized in a logical manner so that the writer can build their case around the original thesis. Organizing a paper correctly results in a fluid flow from section to section, making the transitions easy to follow. Connecting the paper as a whole and any details, examples, or specifics will logically develop the central idea of the paper. A graduate level writer will also possess the ability to interpret the material, which entails the ability to decipher between an analysis and synthesis, and then chooses one or the other. The synthesis is a combination of the idea that leads to a theory, and analysis is the separation and breakdown of these elements.
Writing Strengths and Weaknesses When writing a paper, everyone has strengths and weaknesses. My personal strengths that I believe I possess are editing, free-writing, and organization. My grammar skills are not weak, but there is room for improvement. One of my biggest weaknesses in writing graduate papers is APA formatting. Although I have not had any issues with plagiarism, I have trouble with properly citing source specifics from books to articles, to web pages, and magazines. I will work on improving all my weakness, and fine tuning my strengths because while I believe I possess the ability to write naturally, writing within guidelines is something learned.
Managing Time, Stress, and Finding Balance The process of
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Next in Chapter 2 "Exploring, Planning, and Drafting", of Andrea A. Lunsford's book Easy Writer, the author details how to prepare for and complete the drafting process. Lunsford explores how to determine the different factors of a topic by using strategies such as brainstorming, free-writing, and clustering. These strategies can help a writer figure out what they know about a topic and what they need to research further. Next Lunsford talks about developing a working thesis. There are two main parts of a working thesis a topic which is the subject being written about and a comment that produces a significant point on the subject. The author also states that a good thesis needs to be interesting to the audience, specific, but limited enough to be manageable.
Throughout my life, I have written multiple papers as assignments while learning throughout the process. Each time, I learnt from my mistakes and capitalized correctly. I’m currently a sophomore in high school; meaning I have plenty of time to expand my word bank and my knowledge on the art of writing. In Peter Elbows, “Writing with Power”, he emphasizes practices and techniques to help one develop into a more complete writer able to produce high quality essays.
Everybody has their own methods for writing; however, I believe there is always room for improvement. Chapter 3 in Everyone’s an Author has shown me that writing involves processes that need to be mastered through constant practice. It also revealed helpful tips on how to develop writing processes that can help write effective papers.
In their book They Say I Say, Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russel Durst outline strategies writers can use to avoid common mistakes often seen in academic writing. The book thoroughly outlines the different components that make up academic writing, such as initially summarizing what others have said before, responding with original ideas, proving a purpose to the writing, and connecting the writing in a logical and eloquent manner.
"Constructing a Research Paper" is a unit from "Academic Writing for Graduate Students" was a third edition written by John M. Swales and Christine B. Feak, and published by the University of Michigan in 2012. This book mainly focuses on how to prepare international graduate students to write academic papers. This book consists of a total of 8 units, of which unit 8 explains how to construct a research paper (Swales & Feak, 2012).
As I look back into my high school years, I thought I wrote papers well. But then coming into a college environment, my papers were mediocre. By overlooking at my past papers, I found that they were unorganized, sloppy and had bad use of diction. From now on, I will use the tools I learned in English 1100-40 as a foundation for the future papers I intend on writing in college. Following the criteria of organizing ideas so that they flow, impacting the reader with diction and also by being creative, will help become an ideal writer. Following the criteria of staying motivated in short and long term goals, taking responsibility for actions and finally the ability to study well will help me develop into a supreme student.
The decision to attend graduate school can be one of immense commitment and responsibility. Success requires rigorous planning and well-defined goals, both short-term and long-term. Exceptional communication skills are also necessary to interact effectively with fellow classmates and faculty. Although completion of a Master’s program opens doors to many professional career opportunities, it does not come without challenges. One also must have several strategies in place for dealing with these challenges when they arise. With determination and hard work, overcoming these barriers will lead to success.
Most of the time when someone is told to write a paper, they read the directions and follow the prompt. But when told to think about strengths and weaknesses of how they actually write those papers, it is a good eye opener to realize what needs to be improved and what is already superior quality. For my writing, being a perfectionist is in many ways a strength, but it can also be a weakness. My perfectionism affects all of my other strengths and weaknesses in my writing.
My writing strengths include grammar and mechanics and thought out introductions. In my writings, I proofread and edit and revise without fail before turning in an essay. Doing this results in the fixing of grammatical and mechanical errors.
Thirdly, although this class is required for all degree paths, as a student I do have some expectations of what I would like to learn from this class. Since my chosen career requires a Master’s degree I believe I have a lot more writing ahead of me. It has been a little over 10 years since I have had to write a paper and will need to refresh, in my mind, the necessary blue print for a good research paper. I hope to learn any new tricks that might help writing a
This book helps in ways writing are important when becoming a better writer and will help you navigate through papers you don’t have the desire to write. An important point to remember when writing a paper is to incorporate their thesis. Your thesis will tell the reader where you stand on the subject and what the point is of the paper. When stating the thesis, you also have to state what the opposite opinion would be by summarizing. Stating both views and starting with a hook can grab the reader’s attention and also keep the reader’s attention. Templates in They Say/I Say can come in handy when figuring out how to incorporate or state what others have to say. An example is “In their recent work, Y and Z have offered harsh critiques of _______
Written communication is the design of clear concise writing, meaning the organization of the paper is structured in a clear incisive manner. Written communication helps to preserve our thoughts or feelings. We tend to use this form of writing to reminisce with others, whether it be a family member, loved one, or general audience. Being able to express those feelings through written communication allows for capturing the memory, and setting the mood of the message being conveyed.
Along with disadvantages of my writing also come the advantages which make me a half way decent writer in my perspective. In writing papers I include many interesting facts about the topic that I am writing on. This skill of being able to research topics good is something that I think is one of my major strengths because of the ability to take the time and patience to weed through tons of material. I am able to take this research that I find and incorporate it into my papers in a fair enough manner that makes my papers have way decent. Another strength that I posses is my
Within the graduate school setting, strong communication skills are vital when interacting with classmates and faculty. Perfecting communication skills in the classroom setting prepares students to communicate effectively with fellow colleagues and professionals (Fisher & Zigmond, 1996). An essential strategy to improve one’s communication skills lies in the ability to be an excellent listener. Klein (2009) asserts that effective listening involves more concentration and focus than any