SDP406 Academic Writing and publishing
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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2020 .
Course responsible: Timothy Kevin Richardson
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
In 2021, the course days will be a three day block from 9-11 February and a two day block from 16-17 March.
Course frequency: Annually in January block or spring semester
First time: 2018V
PhD candidates enrolled at the Department of Landscape and Society.
This course is primarily targeted at early stage PhD candidates at LANDSAM, who intend to either publish in peer-reviewed academic journals as part of their PhD, or write a monograph thesis. It may also be relevant for those at later stages in their PhD studies who have not yet taken a course in research design.
With a point of departure in a current writing project, the course examines the most challenging aspects of scholarly writing and publishing. The personal and contextual aspects of becoming an academic writer are considered, and effective writing strategies and practices are addressed. Basic principles for critical reading and self-critical writing are introduced. The course uses exercises, presentations, and critical feedback to analyse, discuss, and work to improve the participant´s texts. Processes of academic publishing are introduced, and academics will present and discuss their experiences of submitting papers to journals within the peer-review system. The course is delivered in two blocks, allowing an opportunity for reflection and feedback on further drafts of the papers.
Participants will develop their competences in academic writing and publishing. They will better understand the nature and challenges of academic writing, and be able to:
- critically assess the merits of academic texts
- apply principles of self-critical writing
- develop effective writing practices
- navigate the challenges of the peer-review system
- identify and manage ethical challenges arising in academic writing
The course follows an interactive workshop format, with lectures, full group and small group discussions and exercises, working with a partner, self study, and an individual tutorial.
Teacher-led seminars. Workshop based supervision and feedback from teachers and fellow students. Individual tutorials will take place between the two course blocks.
The course reading has been selected to raise quite different issues about good writing practices, about adopting a self-critical approach, about editing, and about writing with style. In each case one or two chapters have been selected, but each book is worth reading in full.
Becker, H.S. (2007) Writing for social scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book or article, 2nd edition, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Read Chapter 4, "Editing by ear").
Goodson, P. (2013) Becoming an academic writer: 50 exercises for paced, productive and powerful writing, London: Sage. (Read chapter 2).
Schimel, J. (2012) Writing science: how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded. Oxford University Press. (chapters 1 and 2).
Sword, H. (2012) Stylish academic writing, London: Harvard University Press. (Read chapters 1 and 2).
Wallace, M., and Wray, A. (2006) Critical reading and writing for postgraduates, London: Sage. (Read Chapter 1).
Enrolled as PhD candidate
80 % attendance in the course days, and completion of assignments. Attendance at an individual tutorial with the course leader.
The course will be assessed based on the following: active participation during the course including completion of assignments; progress on the student's own paper; and the completion of a reflective writing diary.
Submission date for course assessment: 8 April 2021.
Five full days of workshops including lectures, seminars, discussions (33 hrs). One tutorial (2 hours). In addition, 115 hrs of preparation, reading and independent work.
1. Participants must submit a draft of an article, book or thesis chapter they would like to work on during the course period. The text should be intended to be part of the PhD thesis. The draft should be accompanied by an abstract, and a short statement about the stage the writing has reached, together with details of the name and website for the target journal. The draft paper must be submitted by email to the course leader, Tim Richardson, one week before the course. It is emphasised that this text can be at any stage of preparation, from earliest drafts to those in the editorial process with academic journals. We will focus on the texts in different ways during the course, analysing, giving feedback, and carrying out exercises to improve them.
Note on language: It is preferred that an English language text is submitted, but if this is not possible then a text in Norwegian can be used as the basis for the course activities. Please contact the course leader, Tim Richardson, if you wish to do this.
2. Preparatory reading: Participants should read all the abstracts submitted for the course. Some background reading is also required, as identified in the course reading list.
3. Participants will be allocated papers to analyse and give feedback to fellow participants, as critical friends.
Introduction: ourselves as writers
Barriers to writing and good writing practices
Principles of critical reading and self-critical writing
Giving feedback as critical friends
Writing with style
Preparing papers for submission
The peer-reviewed system
Experiences of submitting papers to academic journals
After the first course block, participants are expected to carry out further work developing their paper, and will complete a writing diary during this period, to encourage reflection on their writing experience.
Redrafted papers and writing diaries are submitted before the final session.
Feedback session, to review progress on the papers and discuss reflections on academic writing.
Participants must be part of a PhD programme
Reduction of credits:
Complete overlap with ILP406
Type of course:
The external censor will read and assess all submitted course materials.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Passed / Failed