1.1 Good academic practice
For most students studying at undergraduate level or on a taught postgraduate programme, your assignments will be the main work reviewed by others. When you produce answers to assignments, it is important that the person reviewing it:
- knows that the words on the page originated with you, the author;
- can easily distinguish your own thoughts and the ideas you use to emphasise your viewpoint or illustrate a specific point.
In other words, the assignment should be a true reflection of your understanding of the subject and it should demonstrate your academic skills and abilities.
Writing in your own words and applying good academic practice is not simply about showing others the depth of your understanding and current skills. It is also about helping you to make sense of what you are studying; in other words, ‘internalising’ what you are reading and learning by putting it into context and into practice.
Developing your academic writing skills will also:
- allow you to develop confidence in using ideas and examples, and in making the course and the topics it covers ‘your own’;
- help you to recall the materials when you revise at the end of the course;
- put you in a much stronger position when preparing for the end-of-course examination;
- enable you to apply what you have learned in this and other courses, as well as in your working life.
In summary, academic integrity and writing in your own words are central components of effective learning development and will help make things more intelligible and pertinent to you.