10 SES 07 A, How To: Research Writing
The aim of this workshop is to discuss and share a range of techniques, resources, strategies and tools that can be employed to overcome internal and external barriers to academic writing, by unpacking stories of (un)successful writing experiences. Before we can begin to think about how to put these into practice, we need to acknowledge the collective challenges that we face as researchers in the neoliberal academy. For this reason, we intend for this workshop to be participative in nature, providing opportunities for researchers at all stages of career to share their experiences and learn from each other.
While rhetorical patterns may differ between languages and cultures as stated in research in contrastive rhetoric (Kaplan, 1966; Purves, 1988; Connor, 1996), blocks and barriers in the process of writing are often experiences that are shared by researchers across Europe and beyond. As such, the process of writing is an area that has received much attention. Flowers and Hayes (1980), key researchers in this area, draw on research from cognitive psychology in order to unpick a number of mental processes that occur during the act of writing. We will explore these processes during the initial stages of the workshop.
When preparing to write, we are simultaneously faced with the fear of failure and the pressure of success. A number of concerns and questions can emerge in the researcher’s imagination and stifle activity when we think about, prepare and approach a writing task. When should I write? Why am I writing? Who am I writing this paper for? How do I present my findings in an interesting way? These concerns and questions, sometimes exacerbated by feelings of ‘impostering’ and ‘not belonging’ can inhibit our productivity. It is only when we acknowledge these concerns, and consider the ‘imposter syndrome’ as ‘public feeling’, (Breeze, 2018), that we can begin to explore ways to move forward.
Moving beyond concerns around space, content, presentation, audience and self, but understanding that they do not sit in isolation, we argue that it is necessary to consider and address the external barriers that work to restrict the extent to which we can engage with academic writing. Many of these barriers come hand in hand with operating in the context of neoliberal higher education and the increasing, multiple pressures that (early career) researchers face.
Regardless of stage of career and level of experience, everyone is welcome to participate in this workshop. We invite all interested delegates of the ECER conference to come along and share their writing experiences and strategies.
In order to promote as much interaction as possible with the audience, the workshop is foreseen to be held in the following format (90 min): 15 min for introduction of presenters and situating the audience in the workshop 5 min for the audience to call out their questions. 20 min for small group discussion in order to find more questions about writing and with all participants. This small group discussion can prompt solutions to stated problems and find more questions about writing. 15 min for feedback from the groups 35 min from the presenters responding to questions and providing tips about writing. The aim of implementing this format is because everyone in the room has knowledge and insights on writing and will be good also for interaction among participants. Although, the presenters have experience as journal editors and different experiences on writing groups in research. Specific input from the presenting authors will focus on techniques for planning, drafting peer-reviewing, revising and editing. While we also welcome stories.
The expected outcomes of this workshop is the development of a collaborative space in which researchers, at all stages, can share stories about writing and learn from each other while sharing their own methodologies for tackling academic writing.
Breeze, M. (2018). Imposter syndrome as a public feeling. In Y. Taylor, & K. Lahad (Eds.), Feeling Academic in the Neoliberal University: Feminist Flights, Fights and Failures. London: Palgrave. Connor, U. (1996). Contrastive Rhetoric. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hyland, K. (2004). Disciplinary discourses, Michigan classics ed.: Social interactions in academic writing. University of Michigan Press. Flower, L. & Hayes, J. (1980). A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing. College Composition and Communication, 3 1(4), 365-387. Kaplan, R. (1996). Cultural Thought Patterns in Intercultural Education. Language Learning, 16, 1-20. Pan, M. L. (2016). Preparing literature reviews: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Routledge. Purves, A. C. (1988). Writing Across Languages and Cultures: Issues in Contrastive Rhetoric. Newbury Park. California: Sage Publications, Inc.
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