live blogging academic writing – an un-conference

rucksack-magazine-192573-unsplash.jpgThis week I am running an academic writing course at The University of Iceland. Ive been running academic writing courses here for some years but usually I just do a week long programme about writing a journal article. This time however I’ve returned to the first part of the course which is about writing a conference paper. This week is intended to provide the basis for the second half of the course – revising, polishing and submitting the paper to a journal.

I decided to switch the course up a little this time – well you know I think about how to do things differently a lot – and run it as an un-conference, using a blog to publish the various texts that we will produce during the week. We will be publishing everyday so there will be continued updates. You might like to follow along with us – the site is called hiunconference.

This is the description of the course as it appears in the university handbook:

Academic Writing I

Course Description:

The overall aim of the course is to improve doctoral students’ skills in preparing academic conference presentations and other academic writing in English. The emphasis will be on such practical considerations as: choosing a conference; understanding the call; writing the abstract; designing a symposium; writing a symposium abstract; writing the proposal for conference funding; pre-conference networking; and pre-planning the publication of a paper. Practical issues will be emphasized related to academic writing, keeping in mind the needs of the audience, academic readers. In addition, writing a synopsis will be covered.

The course is based on peer review in which students acquire skills in reviewing each other’s’ texts.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will have improved their skills in

  • choosing a conference and understand the call
  • writing a conference abstract
  • designing a symposium and writing an abstract
  • writing a proposal for conference funding
  • pre-planning the publication of a paper
  • preparing a synopsis
  • reviewing the texts of others.

Im working with an  Icelandic colleague Randi Stebbins who works in the university Writing Centre. You’ll meet her tomorrow if you visit the hiunconference site.

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK
This entry was posted in academic writing, conference, conference abstract, Conference blog, unconference and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to live blogging academic writing – an un-conference

  1. Brittany Amell says:

    A great idea! Keep us updated. I wonder what they’ll say about writing for/defining/imagining the audience. Was it harder? The same? Easier? Also, I wonder if writing for the website will shift the writing/rhetorical situation & the writing decisions made by each author. Can’t wait to learn from your experiences! Thanks for sharing with us.


  2. Natalia says:

    Hi Pat, love your blog, it’s been my favourite weekly reading since I embarked on my doctoral journey.
    Thank you so much for sharing this and for writing up what you are doing on Unconference website.
    So timely as I am writing my first conference paper and working on my first conference poster. Please keep posting and sharing this course’s insights!

    Can we do some sort of an online version where I could join in remotely?


  3. Hi Pat, I have resisted conference papers so far as I am in my infancy in terms of the PhD. It is my intention to get the literature review out of the way first, beyond that, I think I will be more able to consider conference papers. Your timing as always is so supportive and I will be following you online. Thanks once again pat for your contribution.


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