This afternoon I head off to Iceland to run a short writing course. I’ve decided that I’m going to blog about it as it happens. So rather than there being two posts this week, there will in fact be five as from Wednesday to Saturday I’ll report what’s happening.
Twenty people have enrolled and the School of Education (University of Iceland) has a waiting list. However, I know from experience that it’s impossible with any more to do the kind of group work and conversation that really does make a difference. Even twenty is pushing it, and I’ll have to do quite a bit of group work as well as one-to-one.
The course, a kind or extended workshop or writing retreat, is based on my most recent book with Barbara about writing for peer-reviewed journals, but there are of course some pedagogical tweaks that happen when you work face to face. Here’s what I’ve sent my colleagues in Iceland about the course.
This course is designed for doctoral researchers in education. It is best suited to those who have sufficient data from doctoral or project work to write a paper able to be submitted to an international peer reviewed journal. The workshop is structured to support the development of a good draft for presentation at a conference.
The course offers a theoretically grounded practical strategy for producing a journal article. Participants will learn the reasons that articles get rejected, the common writing mistakes made by early career writers, and the expectations that Editors and reviewers have for their journals and therefore of published papers.
The first session focuses on the importance of choosing the right journal and writing for it. It focuses on the journal article as an argument. The outcome of this workshop is the production of a structured abstract. This also acts as a planning tool for the writing to follow.
The second session supports the writing of the introduction and conclusion. It also examines the problems of front and back-loading the article. A 10 minute powerpoint draft is developed in the session and overnight.
The third session focuses on group presentations of powerpoints, and then goes on to drafting and the importance of signposting and of headings. Participants will need to do some writing overnight.
The fourth session continues with drafting and looks at ways to get feedback on writing. We will consider how the paper might be read by reviewers. At the end of the session participants will have a clear understanding of how to complete and revise their article for the conference presentation as the first step to publication.
If you were coming to the course you’d also have prepared a paragraph on what you wanted to write about, and you’d have read some patter posts on writing for journals.
Stay tuned and read how it goes. Maybe you might even like to write along with us.