During this session we did not have a lecture like normal, it was centred around essay writing and overcoming some of the obstacles that face students. Most of the session was therefore advice and ways to tackle some of the elements associated with essay writing.
The key thing to remember is that essay writing is designed to demonstrate knowledge to the reader and also demonstrate skills such as critical analysis (think above and beyond and through information – think so what?)
Here is a brief structure:
- Gather information – find out who has written about your subject (use MetSearch – peer reviewed texts)
- Start planning – what is the essay about? What do you want to argue?
- Introduction – should be clear and outline exactly what the essay will entail (don’t worry about repetition)
- Theory – theory must be applied to the essay otherwise you are just writing about stuff.
- Evidence from other writers.
- Your argument – you obviously have a point to make within the essay.
The biggest problem with essay writing is the fear of getting it wrong but as Ashley said, unless you do it, you won’t get better. Just like anything else; practice is key.
In regards to referencing, write what the person says – but that isn’t enough. Go on to explain it in further depth, then give an example – this then turns one thing into three things and will help to slowly build the essay. To also help build an essay, plenty of reading is essential. This will not only increase your knowledge on the subject but will also enable you to support your point or argument with more strength and inevitably will strengthen your writing.
I was really pleased that we received the lecture as it given some support in regards to structuring and attempting to write an essay. Some of the points made are ones that will undoubtedly stay with me, but I realise that the only way I will improve my writing is through practice and just doing it.
I did have a tutorial with Ashley after the session in order for me to discuss how I can improve the way I focus my writing, as my feedback from last term suggested that I touch upon a few ideas and do not look into them in enough depth. Ashley did suggest I look on MetSearch for some contemporary research on cyborgs. She also suggested I think of the everyday applications of cyber-technology such as glasses and water bottles and perhaps our relationship with them. One area that does interest me is prosthesis and the transition of how they were designed to allow people to look ‘normal’ but are now designed to enhance bodily functions and the idea of looking different has now become the norm. But Ashley suggested to me to think about why is it important?
She did confirm the readings from Haraway, Braidotti and Balsamo are essential as they provide context as to what a cyborg is and the idea of the progression into the posthuman. In reflection of the feedback, I will now complete research into my subject area and gather as many readings as possible to ensure I am prepared and equipped to write the essay.