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Getting words on the page can be hard. One way of getting started is ‘free writing’.
An example of free writing and reorganising it to create academic writing
While free writing gets words on the page, it then needs to be crafted into academic writing. Some important steps include:
With words on the page, you can identify concepts that are in your free writing and thinking.
These concepts can now be reorganised in a ‘map’ to show relationships between them, such as concepts that are more general and those that are more specific.
This kind of visual mapping also helps to identify areas for further reading, i.e. what you want to know more about for your research.
As you read more, you can adjust your map by refining concepts, deleting, adding, and/or repositioning them – as relevant to your research.
Maps of concepts can then be used to structure your academic writing. This helps to orientate your reader to the main ideas and guide them towards the more specific details.
AUT academic writing YouTube channel
Elbow, P. (1986). Writing with power: Essays towards a hopeful theory of writing and teaching writing. Oxford University Press.
Elbow, P. (2000). Everyone can write. Oxford University Press.
Li, L.Y. (2007). Exploring the use of focused freewriting in developing academic writing. Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice, 4(1), 40-53.
From teaching materials (example texts and images)