Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Academic Writing - planning

Hi all,

I will post the final stages of my recent piece of academic writing as soon as I can scan in my working drafts.

In the meantime, in preparation for the Production module, I thought my planning for my next piece of academic work would help the full-timers. As part of production you full-timers will also have to document what you are doing. This process will follow on from what you did as part of WBL last year but to a higher analytical degree. This will be explained next week.

To support this, I thought it may help you to see how I am planning to write a different academic research paper on the Traceur Tag summer project. This paper will be 4000 words in total. In the following screenshot you will see how I propose to set it out, the sections I propose to include and the word count for each section. This will help me edit my text down to keep it concise so that each topic will communicate clearly without waffle.

This planning is still fluid and will change as I start to write, but it will inform me when I am straying from what I need to communicate. The word counts are indicators only. If required, I can go over the allotted word count for that section if I sacrifice words from another section, and vice versa. This allows me to hit the 4000 words set for the entire paper, but still be flexible within it.

The software I have used is Scrivener, a Mac-based writing software but you can use actual cards to plan any writing you do. Planning can and does save you so much time later and helps to stop writer's block.

1 comment:

Alec said...

It's really useful to see your background preparations. I've tinkered with Scrivener, but until your post, I'd not appreciated the benefits of advance planning like this.