An Essay Evolves / About An Essay Evolves
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About An Essay Evolves

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 3 months ago

What is "An Essay Evolves"?


The prospect of tackling an academic assignment is often daunting and anxiety-provoking, even for students who already know a lot about the topic in question. Being given model essays and model answers can actually make the problem worse; it often seems as though the writers managed to produce perfectly coherent, fully-formed arguments from thin air. “That never happens to me,” we think, and already we have that sinking sensation of failure. Model essays just make us feel inadequate. We don’t know where to start. And what’s more, even if we do get going, how do we know if we’re on the right track with the content of our assignment?
This experiment aims to shine a light into all of these dark corners. Over three weeks beginning February 12th, I will use this Wiki to write a 1500 word cognitive psychology essay. Rest assured that the final piece won’t be springing intact from the ether! Rather, I will make available to you every aspect of the process I go through in thinking about, researching and writing the assignment. When I write assignments, I prefer to start early and do a bit of work every day, and that’s exactly what I aim to do here (although I might have weekends off – we’ll see). The actual essay will evolve on this Wiki, but I’ll also be writing a blog, where I’ll comment on my thoughts and feelings about the experience of writing it. You’ll be able to use my blog to leave feedback and ask me questions. Please go ahead and do this, as much as you like.
The really excellent thing about this project is the fact that it is happening as a Wiki, which means that you will be able to help me as I write. You can log in and edit or add to my day’s work, make suggestions, or even just insert the odd encouraging remark. I urge you to join in with me – it’ll be fun, and besides, I don’t want to feel like the only person running the marathon dressed as a banana. One fake banana is a lunatic, but several are just a harmless bunch. Not only that, when the three weeks has passed and our essay has been written, we’ll be asking a friendly expert to give it a mark and make comments on its strengths and weaknesses, so we can see how we did. Since this essay is being written for instructional purposes only, and won't be submitted as part of my formal study programme (or indeed anybody else's), contribute freely. Any and all ideas will be considered.
If you are not studying psychology, I still need and want your input. This is an experiment in laying bare the writing process as well as in writing for a specific discipline, and we all have useful tips and tricks to share. When we have finished, our collaboration will be preserved online for all to see. Let’s create an inspirational resource which takes the mystery out of writing and encourages everyone to not only get on with it but also to enjoy it.
London, UK. February 2007

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