Academic Writing Strategy

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Some of the strategies that I believe will help me the most are the following:
1) Employing time management skills to avoid being rushed and to present my best work and using an outline:
-As a graduate student, that approach has worked well for me.  What I realize is that when I wait and just tackle an assignment, the quality of the assignment suffers a great deal. The grammar is off and it does not flow as well as I would like it to. Having an outline enables me to arrange the main points of my argument in category so that they flow and are more persuasive. Order is important in writing because the piece makes more sense to the reader when things are not jumbled around. Another important thing is that having an outline helps you to manage the amount of time you spend trying to determine if you should start and what you should say.  I am getting a lot better with managing my time and the truth is I get stuck much less often that without time management and an outline.
2) Conducting proper research and citation from academic sources
– During high school and our undergraduate degree teachers tell you to not use sites like the Wikipedia etc., however, understanding and demonstrating what makes a source, site, or an article accepted was not something I knew.  I learned to use libraries, peer reviewed articles with Digital Object Identifier (DOI).  During this class I have notice that the peer reviewed articles that I choose all have this identifier. Another part of this is giving credit correctly to the person or people who have dedicated their time and energy to conducting the research. I learned that if you going to write state an idea or assert that something is or is not happening, the ideas and assertion are to be supported with evidence.  It is responsible and ethical to do this properly
3) Checking my grammar and being Clear and concise
 I am not sure about you but I know there have been times when I read a paper and I have to say “wait, what”, because I had no idea what I just read.  No it is not because I was distracted, I think it is because it was neither clear nor concise what the author/writer was trying to say.  I, myself do not always get it right but I am getting better and it is totally because of this class. I am trying to use more pronouns, be inclusive, specific and gender neutral when I write.  Again if I am going to assert I back it up with research.  Grammar is important as well.  There are sites like grammarly that helps to clean up a person’s writing and make it much more presentable. The new standard for APA. is to write without biases and I think if I follow these guides the writing will be good.  Some scholars call it introduction to writing, “Efforts to introduce writing across the curriculum may be the best way to influence writing skill development”. (Williams , Stuart, Schutts, Gallamore, & Amaral, 2019).
4) Hit what I call my high three, and ask questions
Finally, these days, before I begin an outline, I ask the magic questions.  What is the purpose of this paper, how is the research relevant either to me or the topic? And what is the reader expected to gain from what I am writing.  It sounds weird saying that but think about it. If I don’t understand what I am doing, I will not do it well and I cannot expect others to understand it. Don’t forget or be afraid to reach out to the instructor and ask for help if you do not understand.  Don’t laugh at me but Francis Bacon once wrote, “A Prudent Question is One-half of Wisdom.”
I have always struggled with writing but I read this quote in one of the module from the class and I like it.
“Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace.  The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases.” ~ St. Rose of Lima

Three strategies that will help me in my academic writing are having the “write” attitude and believing I am a writer, incorporating mind mapping in my writing, and staying organized and focused.  First, I believe having the right attitude when writing is important. When you believe in and have a positive attitude about what you are writing about, your writing will be better.  As  Goodson (2017) says in her book “the most appropriate and helpful attitude you can embrace as an academic writer is this one: (a) believing that developing a healthy writing habit CAN, in fact, lead  to improvements in the quality of your writing and to stress-free productivity, AND (b) valuing improvement and stress-free productivity.” Practicing your writing will help you become a stronger and more confident writer.  Goodson talks about how to write fast and then edit slow.  Do not sit and think about what to write, do not worry about misspellings or punctuation errors, just write, then you can go back and edit your work.  I find that I will type something and then stare at it for what seems like forever, then I start second guessing myself.
Growing up I have always outlined when I have a paper to write.  Learning about mind mapping has really made a difference in the way I think about writing now.  Mind mapping  is an awesome tool for jotting down thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.   Then organizing those thoughts and ideas to become more creative in my writings.  I believe this will help me when trying to create the introduction paragraph, as well as the conclusion. 
Staying more organized and focused will help with procrastination and time management.  Mind mapping will help with that some.  I really enjoyed the journal we kept while reading Goodson’s book.  The journal helped with keeping important points in the book and my thoughts organized so that I could use it for my final writing.  I will definitely use that in the future for academic writing.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this class.  While I was very stressed and apprehensive in the beginning, reading the book and reaching out for help, really helped boost my self confidence. 

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