RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2016

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300 Shut up and write HERG: project launch
Affiliation Higher Education Research Group
Convenor(s) Sarah Dyer (University of Exeter, UK)
Sharon Leahy (University of St Andrews, UK)
Matt Wilkins (University of Exeter, UK)
Chair(s) Sarah Dyer (University of Exeter, UK)
Timetable Friday 02 September 2016, Session 2 (11:10 - 12:50)
Session abstract In this session we will be thinking about academic writing. The session is the launch of a yearlong project to support people writing about HERG-y topics. Come and join us to reflect on your own writing practice and hear about our project.
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: AC2016@rgs.org
Teaching Geographical Writing: from techniques and mechanisms to habits and routines, practice and strategy
Gerald Taylor Aiken (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)
Markus Hesse (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg)
Writing is at the heart of any academic discipline, but as Geographers (earth-writers) it is etymologically foundational. This paper builds on experiences of attempting to teach that foundational discipline, writing, to Geography graduate students. In cross-cultural and multi-lingual Luxembourg, this is a particular challenge. However, it is more fundamentally a challenge in that it is an attempt to teach the unteachable: good writing and related practices can only be fully realised through personal experiences of trial-and-error, knowing what drives oneself and where and when one is most productive. Good writing must come from within, but it can be trained, experienced, improved. We use this experience and realisation to open up a discussion about writing as Geographers that goes beyond formal guidance—from more general lexical and grammatical rules (Williams (2013), to discipline-specific publishing strategies (Blunt & South, 2009)—to identifying useful rules or habits (Johnson & Mullen, 2007). Thus we reflect on teaching writing as more of an invitation than a lesson to be learned, in order to seek appropriate 'space' for writing. More formally, this paper will review some of the good writing advice that exists specifically for geographers. Against this background, it presents a framework for creative writing that consists of four elements: i) techniques and methods, ii) habits and routines, iii) publication strategy and iv) a proper research strategy (or method) that provides the frame within which academic writing can flourish. We empirically ground our arguments in the experience of running abstract writing workshops for graduate students in our faculty.
Reflecting on our writing practices
Nicola Thomas (University of Exeter, UK)
Emma McKinley (Cardiff University, UK)
A discussion in which we will reflect on our writing practices. Nicola Thomas will reflect on accountability groups to support writing and Emma McKinley will reflect on her involvement with ‘Shut up and Write Tuesdays’ on twitter. We will then open up to wider discussion and ‘crowd source’ writing strategies.