Academic writing is often talked about as being as simple as transferring thoughts, methods, data, conclusions, etc. onto paper. However, as you have probably discovered, writing is much more complicated than that. There are processes we go through, steps we take, in figuring out how to communicate what we know so clearly in our own minds to readers who do not have our thoughts, knowledge, or experiences.
Reflecting on Your Writing Processes
On a piece of paper, (or in a word processing document), answer the following questions:
- What kind of writing do you do for your degree program?
- What kind of writing do you do outside of school?
- What kind of writing do you expect to do as part of your career after you obtain your PhD?
When trying to improve as a writer, one of the most important things to consider is the WAY you write—your writing process. This activity should help you do that. Our hope is that by the time you have finished exploring your own writing process you will have a better understanding of the things you need in order to be successful and the aspects of your writing you struggle with most. Awareness is the first step to improvement.