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Academic Writing


Developing your academic writing skills - a Handbook - Dr Marian Fitzmaurice & Dr Ciara O’Farrell

This handbook offers you advice on how to approach your academic writing, especially in your transition from second to third level. We hope it will provide you with an overview of the knowledge, skills and good working practices needed to craft your academic writing. It will teach you how to apply the conventions of writing at university level; however, equally important is that you will gain the confidence to develop your own voice as an academic writer, a focus that underpins this handbook.

Developing your academic writing skills - a Handbook (PDF, 380KB)


Supporting Academics To Write For Publication: A Holistic Approach

Dissemination of knowledge from research-active academics has always been relevant in the academic landscape. However, with an increased focus on measurement of writing output, not only for individual promotion but institutional excellence, the pressure on academics to publish with the highest impact is greater than ever. The literature recommends that universities support the development of structured interventions to support academic writing, but also that a more holistic approach to academic writing support be adopted. This paper evaluates the Writing for Academic Publication Programmes offered by a research-led university which promoted exploration of the personal and emotional as well as the technical and intellectual aspects of writing. The paper also explores the types of writing support academics stated they wanted, such as being part of an active community of academic writers, being supported in overcoming the emotional barriers to their writing, and being shown learning strategies to help prioritise and manage their own writing more effectively.

Supporting Academics to Write for Publication: A Holistic Approach (PDF, 830KB)


The Right Approach: Integrating Writing Activities into your Teaching - Dr Ciara O’Farrell

Academic writing is a skill demanded across disciplines. This article explores approaches we can take to help our students deal with the challenges of writing effectively. It delineates feasible and immediate strategies to integrate writing activities into the classroom or the lecture hall. It also explores the act of learning through writing, and shows how classrooms that cultivate the construction of meaning through writing can produce not only better writers but better learners.

O’Farrell, Ciara. 2005, ‘The Right Approach: Integrating Writing Activities into your Teaching’, in O’Neill, Moore and McMullin (eds), Emerging Issues in The Practice of University Learning and Teaching.


Writing Identity through the Educational Developers in Ireland Network (EDIN) - Dr Ciara O’Farrell

In Ireland we are only beginning to identify the role educational development should play in learning and teaching, policy-making, educational research and scholarship. This paper introduces the EDIN network and its attempts to establish a more formal identity in a country emerging in educational development. It discusses the complexities of defining an identity and considers the notion of cross-institutional collaborative writing, introducing some possible theoretical frameworks that could be used to research cross-institutional writing. Finally, it explores whether it is possible to construct an identity, or at least establish a cohesive voice, through either the process or products of our writing.

O’Farrell, Ciara. 2008, Writing Identity through the Educational Developers in Ireland Network (EDIN), in Higgs and McCarthy (eds), Emerging Issues II: The Changing Roles and Identities of Teachers and Learners in Ireland