On the 20th January we welcomed Lisa Clughan, who came to tell us about the joys and perils of academic writing! Lisa very insightfully pointed out that writing is always related to thinking and that very often problems with academic writing stem from deeper problems related to how we think about academic issues. It is good to hear that in current reearch about academic skills, thought has priority over the text!
Lisa pointed out various ways to overcome obstacles that may impede our attempts at writing. She recommended ‘free writing’ - just writing the first thing that you think about - and also ‘snack writing’ - writing in short bursts. This she suggested can liberate the 'desire for writing'. Once we have this desire for writing and are willing to think seriously and clearly about the issue at hand, then we can see that it is possible to produce stylish, accomplished and cognitively sophisticated writing.
Overall, this was a very interesting and useful presentation. The discussion, as always, was lively and well-informed. Thanks to everyone who turned up to this event, and to Lisa as well for ordering the lovely cheesecake!