Archive for the 'redacción' Category

¿Cómo asegurarte de que sabes algo de verdad? …

«(…) hasta que uno no se pone a escribir, negro sobre blanco, lo que piensa acerca de un tema, no podrá asegurar qué sabe y qué no sabe, y aún menos será capaz de expresar lo que sabe» (Newman, 2014).

Newman, J. H. (2014). La idea de la Universidad. II. Temas universitarios tratados en lecciones y ensayos ocasionales. Madrid: Ediciones Encuentro, pp. 195-196. Introducción, traducción y notas de Víctor García Ruiz.

Ideas about #writing @TomorrowsProf

Useful ideas from Rick Reis

(…)

The expert writer:

* Focuses the writing appropriately for the demands of the assignment, situation, and audience, whether that means constructing an argument, recommending solutions to a problem, or reporting scientific research. Uses the modes of reasoning and inquiry, as well as the conventions of correctness that are considered appropriate to the discipline, but also understands the rhetorical situatedness of those modes and their intellectual, political, and social consequences.

* Organizes the writing in an effective way for its audiences and purposes.

* Locates, evaluates, integrates, and cites information from various sources.

* Follows ethical principles for research and writing, including collaboration with peers, use of sources (avoiding plagiarism), and ethics of the disciplines such as protecting privacy, presenting accurate data, and respecting alternative viewpoints.

* Integrates quantitative material, charts and graphs, images, and other multimedia material as appropriate; understands, critically evaluates, and appropriately employs new technologies and new digital and multimedia forms.

* Produces clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs shaped for their audiences and purposes.

* Uses the grammar and punctuation of Edited Standard Written English (ESWE) in appropriate circumstances, such as formal academic, business, civic, and professional writing.

* Follows productive writing processes.

* Collaborates effectively with others to both give and receive feedback on a writer’s emerging work.

Algunos consejos sobre #redacción académica (en inglés) / @tomorrowsprof

Three Phases of Writing for Publication
Academic writing can helpfully be thought of as involving three different approaches or phases.  A key to successful and positive writing is undertaking them all.  The role of each phase is clear, simple and straightforward to grasp and practice.

1. Write for yourself to find out what you know, think, feel and want to say. 
2. Redraft to communicate with your reader. 
3. Edit for posterity to offer clarity, clear language, structure, grammar, correct references.

Each of these phases involves the writer in critical thinking and research (albeit different kinds of research).  Each phase and stage develops the argument, the theory, as well as the exposition of the facts; none of the phases merely reports.

I give these phases in order 1-3: working through them in this order is valuable.  Writers, however, move through these phases in very different ways.  Some work straight through and complete, as if the phases were steps.  Most revisit earlier phases to revitalize their writing as they go through: it is often a dynamically reiterative process.  Many writers return to Phase 1 again with new material to insert into the text; they then work on this new writing through Phases 2 and 3.  Some, moreover, do some of the initial phase in their heads, only writing when they are fairly clear what they want to say.  Leaving out a phase, though, can make a publication dull, muddled, incomplete, and prevent it speaking to the appropriate audience.

Phase 1: Write for myself to find out what I know, think, feel, and want to say

Phase 1 is explorative, tentative and uncertain: Claire’s “scribbled mess”.  The only thing that matters now is the content of what we jam down on the page: grammar, proper construction, intellectual ways of expressing stuff ‘properly’ are dealt with in Phases 2 and 3.  What matters is that we now capture valuable content.  We search for our theory by reflecting freely, as well as reflecting upon the data, and by sifting in an unfocused way through the literature (journal papers, books, internet sites, etc.) for material which informs the development of ideas and offers examples.  This experimental and explorative stage enables me to grasp what I think, and what my data and research are telling me; it enables me to draw upon the wealth of my experience with a width and depth no other process can offer.

This phase is essentially relatively unfocused; a vital attitude enabling the capturing of insight, as well as marshalling thoughts and theories.  One of the reasons academic writers miss out on this inspirational phase is perhaps because it goes against our training and all our perception of what being an academic is.  I was forcibly taught to think in a logical and structured way, and to stop dreaming and reflecting.  Yet critical thinking, as used by scientists, social scientists and all the arts disciplines, involves exploration and experimentation.  Attempting to stay within the box and only use a small part of our thinking capacity (the logical), cramps and constrains our thinking to the boring.  Here is what one writer found liberating: (see more)

How to marking essays? #writing #education @TomorrowsProf

Very useful tips from a veteran teacher (Brian Martin).

Marking (Grading) Essays: Making it Easier and More Fun

It’s worthwhile discovering methods to make marking more enjoyable. The same methods can be used to tackle other dreaded tasks.

Sitting on your desk is a pile of essays that need to be marked. There might be just 10 or 20, or maybe 50, 100 or more. For most teachers, this is not an eagerly awaited task. Is there some way to make marking easier and more enjoyable?

I’ve been marking undergraduate essays for over 25 years and have tried out various methods to make the task less onerous. Gradually I’ve discovered ways that work well for me. You may or may not want to adapt these for your own circumstances. In any case, I encourage you to undertake your own search for better methods. If you’re looking ahead at 25 years of marking, surely it’s worthwhile to explore better ways to go about it.

Pacing

Because marking is generally seen as unpleasant, it is very common to postpone starting. Doing other things, such as reading a book, checking emails, searching the web or even doing housework, suddenly seems more appealing. After all, it really won’t matter much if you start tomorrow. Days and sometimes weeks go by until it becomes urgent to do the marking. Then it becomes a matter of long exhausting hours of mental labour. It seems like a marathon, and only goes to prove that it really was something to be avoided.

The habits of procrastination and bingeing are deep-seated. Most teachers learned them when they were students, cramming for exams or doing all-nighters to write essays.

The solution to the syndrome of procrastination and binge marking is simple: tackle just a few essays each day. If I have 80 essays and need to finish marking them in two weeks, I set myself a target of six every day. Six essays seem much less daunting than 80.

The hard part is getting started. It’s best to begin marking the very first day or, if some essays come in early, before the due date.

Robert Boice researched the habits of highly productive new academics, and found the secret of success was working in moderation. Academics who did a little every day – research, writing, class preparation – were vastly more productive than those who waited for big blocks of time to complete tasks in lengthy sessions. Furthermore, the ones who worked in moderation were less stressed.

I can’t tell you how to change habits of procrastination and bingeing; you can learn a lot from various self-help books. All I can say is that it’s one of the most important things you can do to make marking easier.

Staying fresh

My goal is to approach each essay feeling fresh and positive. Doing only a moderate number of essays per day helps. So does taking breaks. After marking one or two essays, I’ll take a break: a stretch, a snack, some research work, some reading, perhaps the dishes.

If I’m doing only an hour’s worth of marking per day, a break may not be needed. For anything longer, breaks are vital.

Marking requires mental effort, and the mind behaves like a muscle. Do too much and it gets tired and cries out in pain. Do the right amount and it gets stronger day by day. This is another reason for pacing: marking gradually becomes easier. So often it’s better to start with a few essays on the first day and increase the daily target later.

Going faster

How long does it take to mark an essay? A few teachers I’ve met may spend an hour or more, reading and rereading the essay, writing lengthy comments and agonising over the mark. My goal, though, is to go faster while maintaining quality.

Many people read at 200 to 300 words per minute. Yet it is possible to read several times this fast while maintaining comprehension. To do this requires practice, going a little bit faster until it seems natural, and then pushing to go faster still.

Going faster is similar to progressive training of the body, with greater speed or strength developing over time. It’s also similar to typists who train so they can achieve amazing speeds with great accuracy.

My aim is to be fresh and to maintain concentration so I need to read an essay only once and retain a short-term memory of it, perhaps jotting down a few notes along the way. I then type all my comments. If I feel a need to read the essay again, it usually means I haven’t maintained concentration. Time for a break.

Marking less

Even the most efficient marker can be daunted by the prospect of hundreds of essays. If you have some control over assessments, then there are ways to cut back on the marking load.

One option is to simply reduce the number of assignments. Students are often overloaded with work, and could do a better job on fewer assignments, putting more effort into each one.

Another option is to mark some student performance during class. I used to have students do short oral presentations. With a simple template, I would scribble feedback on a sheet of paper and give this to the students at the end of the class. One advantage for students was getting feedback promptly, which seldom happens with essays.

Yet another option is to have frequent small assignments, but only mark some of them. For example, in one class students had to write eight mini-essays, one per week. However, only two these were marked, in weeks chosen randomly after weeks four and eight. Some students complained that they wanted all their submissions marked; I responded by saying that marking just two of them was equivalent to having an exam in which only two of eight possible questions were asked.

Another source of essay marking overload is writing too many comments. I discovered that some students were discouraged by too much red ink. Others never bothered to read my comments at all. In one case a student – one of the weakest in the class – glanced at the mark and immediately deposited the essay in the rubbish bin. All the effort I had put into commenting on strengths and weaknesses was for naught.

For final assignments, some of my colleagues have a policy of asking students to say in advance whether they want comments. Students who don’t ask just receive a mark.

Years ago, I used to correct spelling and grammar as well as give comments on content. But I don’t teach English composition, so why become a proofreader? So I stopped giving detailed feedback on expression, and concentrate on content.

My current system is to write brief comments on each assessment criterion, mentioning strengths and ways to improve, and to supplement this with “general comments” that are generic for the whole class. The general comments explain my expectations and elaborate on how essays could be better. I say in my feedback that if my specific comments don’t say anything about a particular aspect of the assignment, then the student should look to the general comments. This approach avoids the need to write the same comments on essay after essay.

Varied assignments

Monotony is a great source of pain in marking. If there are 50 essays each answering the question “What are the factors behind the rise of social media?” the task quickly becomes tedious. If you are marking essays for someone else’s class and have no control over essay questions, you have my sympathies. Luckily, I’ve usually been able to set my own assignment topics. One of my goals has been to make it interesting for me to mark essays – even the ones that aren’t so good.

Thinking up assignments that are stimulating for students to carry out and for me to mark is not easy, but it has been worthwhile. Two ways of doing this are to give students quite a bit of choice in their topics and to invite or require them to use unconventional formats.

In an environmental politics class, we covered a series of topics such as sustainable development and the precautionary principle. Each week I asked the students to write a comment on that week’s environmental topic using a randomly chosen political, economic or other theory or framework, such as liberalism, militarism, feminism or Buddhism. Then for the final assignment, students had to write a dialogue between two characters, as in a script for a play, with footnotes as appropriate. Each character had to represent or embody some theory, for example Mao Tse-Tung for Marxism and Gandhi for pacifism. The characters had to discuss some environmental topic. So one possible dialogue would be between Mao and Gandhi discussing sustainable development.

For marking purposes, this assignment was delightful. Every submission was different, and many students were creative in their choices. One student crafted a discussion between Thomas the Tank Engine and Percy the Small Engine. Percy was a Rastafarian and used rasta slang; footnotes explained unusual terms.

When designing such unorthodox assignments, it can be challenging to explain to students exactly what is expected. I’ve found a fairly good method: with students’ permission, I post top assignments from previous years on my website. These show the format expected, for example a dialogue, and by demonstrating really good work can provide an inspiration to do well.

Designing an assignment that is interesting to mark has a spin-off effect. It can change the mode of covering the content. In many cases, I’ve found it effective to let students investigate topics themselves rather than me delivering lectures. For the environmental politics class, we had an excellent textbook for the environmental topics, and I let the students (many of whom were doing an environmental science degree) look up topics like liberalism and Buddhism on their own.

To some, this might seem to be abdicating a teacher’s responsibility to provide authoritative perspectives on content. For me, it is part of encouraging students to learn on their own, including finding relevant readings, understanding concepts and applying them to case studies.

In making marking more enjoyable, I also hope to make learning more enjoyable for students. By getting students to do more work on their own and tackle unorthodox assignments, I hope to encourage student creativity and initiative. I remind myself that for the teacher to work hard often is not all that relevant to student learning. Students learn more when they work hard, and they are more likely to work hard on an interesting assignment. When the assignment is interesting to both students and the teacher, it is a win-win solution.

Other applications

If marking can be made reasonably enjoyable, what about other dreaded tasks? What is dreaded depends on the person, and might be paperwork filing, housework, gardening, tax returns or practising the violin. Often it’s whatever you’re avoiding. Whatever the challenge, the same sorts of principles can be applied.

1. Work in moderation, a little bit each day, rather than procrastinating and bingeing.

2. Remain fresh and alert by taking breaks when needed.

3. Practise going a bit faster while maintaining quality.

4. Aim to do what’s good enough, not at perfection.

5. Redesign the task to make it more interesting.

Brian Martin
bmartin@uow.edu.au

Further reading

Robert Boice, Advice for New Faculty Members: Nihil Nimus (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2000): on moderation as a philosophy for academic work.

Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (New York: Random House, 2012): a fascinating account including advice on changing habits. (See Brian’s commentary.)

http://www.bmartin.cc/classes/: subject outlines and outstanding student work illustrating unusual types of assignments.

Acknowledgements Thanks to Paula Arvela, Don Eldridge, Kathy Flynn and Anne Melano for helpful comments.

Términos adecuados relacionados con Internet

No sabíamos que el 17 de mayo se celebraba el día de Internet. Los acontecimientos van por delante de la vida.

La Fundéu -el vigilante sigiloso del faro- sigue guiando a los que queremos emplear con acierto la lengua española y, con motivo de esa celebración, nos recuerda el uso adecuado de algunos términos. Aquí los tenéis:

 

1. Cloud computing, en español, se denomina computación en nube.

2. Hacer clic, clicar y cliquear son tres formas adecuadas para indicar la presión o golpe que se hace con el ratón del computador, en lugar de la voz inglesa click.

3. Medios sociales es el equivalente recomendado a la expresión inglesa social media.

4. Anonimizar es un verbo correctamente formado para referirse a la acción de ocultar una identidad.

5. El prefijo ciber- se escribe unido a la palabra a la que acompaña: ciberataquecibercomercio, etc.

6. SOPA, sigla de Stop Online Piracy Act, se escribe con mayúsculas y sin puntos.

7. Blogbloguero bloguear son términos adecuados en español.

8. Link tiene traducción: enlace o vínculo.

9. El plural de web es webs.

10. Usabilidad, que en diseño y programación es un atributo de calidad que evalúa la facilidad de uso de las webs, es un término adecuado y bien formado en español.

11. Banear, como la acción de restringir o bloquear el acceso de un usuario, puede traducirse por verbos como bloquearsuspenderprohibir o restringir.

12. Acechar, espiar, husmear acosar son alternativas preferibles a stalkear.

13. La palabra inglesa password tiene como equivalente en español contraseña.

14. Bot es un acortamiento válido en español para referirse al ‘programa que recorre la red llevando a cabo tareas concretas, sobre todo creando índices de los contenidos de los sitios’.

15. El término wifi es válido y puede ser masculino o femenino: el wifi o la wifi.

16. Online puede traducirse por conectado, digital, electrónico, en internet o en línea.

17. Las puntocoms, en redonda, en una sola palabra y con plural terminado en s, es la forma adecuada de referirse a las empresas que desarrollan su actividad principal en internet.

18. Seminario web es una alternativa apropiada para el anglicismo webinar.

19. Emisión en directo o en continuo, según los casos, son alternativas válidas a streaming.

 

How to give a good research talk

Cádiz, Spain

Cádiz, Spain

It is worth it to read these advices:

  1. What this paper is about
  2. What to Say
    • Using Examples
    • Pruning: What to say without saying too much
    • Telling it how it is
  3. Visual Aids
    • Technology
    • What to put on a slide
    • Preparing slides
  4. Giving the talk
    • Nerves
    • Presenting your slides
    • Timing
  5. Conclusion

 

From S. L Peyton, J. Hughes and J. Launchbury

 

Mejorando la expresión escrita con los alumnos de Humanidades, con la ayuda de “Vagón-bar” @pacosanchez

Vagón-bar (excelente amasijo de artículos que recomendamos)

Humanidades (un excelente sitio para estudiar)


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