by Elizabeth Childs.  

Hello Everyone,

Happy Friday!! I have been so enjoying reading your blogs and learning more about your thinking and how you are making connections as you work to synthesize the readings, the activities and the learning to date in our course. I wanted to provide you with some general feedback on the writing I am seeing thus far and pass along some resources as you head into the weekend. As always, please remember that academic writing is a work in progress and by taking time each day to work on a specific aspect of your writing it will get stronger over time.

In reviewing the blog posts to date, there are some lovely, concise overviews of the virtual symposium, your reflections on the visitor/residency continuum and your digital identity and presence plans. An ongoing area to focus on in your writing is to support statements that you make with backing from what you are reading (the literature) or other credible source. See Dr. Robin Kay’s youtube video I sent earlier this week as part of the embedded writing centre resources re: types of literature and how to back your arguments in the RRU writing centre  Thesis statements/Research questions. Doing this grounds what you are saying, strengthens its position and also provides a “place/way” for people who are reading your blog post to learn more. It also requires you to have a balance between support for your claims and letting your voice, thoughts and ideas be at the forefront. You are to use citations to support your ideas, not to make them for you - as tempting as that is - ha!

There is also the requirement to reflect on your thinking and your synthesis (the sense you are making of all that you are reading and doing) in your writing. You can find resources on reflection and reflective writing in the Writing Centre here. For those of you unfamiliar with reflection, this article on Teaching Critical Reflection to Graduate Students may be useful to you. Donald Schon’s book the Reflective Practitioner is pivotal work in this space and here is a short overview of the book that might also be of interest.

It may be that some of you are feeling like your writing is a bit blocky, choppy, or there is a break in the flow of ideas. This is often an indication that the writing would benefit from creating a detailed plan and then writing to the plan. You can read more about that here. Planning the paper and “Improving logic”.

For issues like run on sentences and sentence structure you can see resources like Sentence fragment and Run-on sentences in the RRU Writing Centre or the amazing Writing Tips resource. Also please see the Embedded Writing Centre resources in our course and support for writing an academic paragraph.

You are doing good work incorporating APA 7th edition into your writing and as I have mentioned, your comfort and ease at using APA will develop with time and practice. You can find out more on different types of citations at and in the APA manual. A citation must be provided for 
each instance of quoted material (i.e., authors can’t cite an entire paragraph).

Example: The researchers demonstrated that, “quoted material” (Johnson, 2010, p. 4). Furthermore, Johnson (2010) noted that, “quoted material” (p. 4).


·       In-text citations (6:01 section of the “Introduction to APA Style” video; also available via APA Style)

·       Pages 13-19 in the APA Help Guide

·       Search WriteAnswers by keyword

·       Creating in-text citations/reference list entries on the Writing Centre website

Pages 174-179 in the APA Style manual

Remember, everything that you cite in the body of your writing needs to appear in your reference list and the items in your reference list are only the ones you cite in your document – not a complete bibliography. 

Overall, for coming up to week 4 of your first graduate level course, the writing is coming along well  You are beginning to contribute to the conversation in these public spaces and are sharing your learnings and reflections to date in a way that is backed up and supported with evidence. There are areas to grow of course but that is what this journey is all about! The more you read academic articles the more you are immersing yourself in the style and approach to writing that you are expected to emulate at the graduate level so I encourage you to continue to read, read, read and write, write, write ;)

I hope this provides you a sense of overall, how your writing is progressing and some areas to look back on your own writing and focus on as you continue to develop your academic writing. Have a great day and we will speak soon!