The Write Here, Write Now Podcast Series
The series is structured around the theme of student literacy. Each of the six, 10-minute long episodes of Write Here, Write Now explores and directly addresses recurrent issues experienced by university students that occur throughout their academic career. Focusing on improving student literacy by offering practical tips and simple strategies for developing their academic writing skills, the series comprises of interviews with students, lecturers and experienced tutors.
Each episode includes informative interviews with faculty members of University College Cork (UCC) as well as the Skill Centre, all of which have extensive experience in academic writing and assessing students’ written communication. The subject matter of the programme is relevant across all disciplines and is targeted at a general audience so that students of all levels and from all backgrounds, as well as those outside of academia, will find it useful.
Episode 1: Unpacking the Question
Beginning with the set assignment question itself, the first episode explains to students that one of the most common mistakes made in written assignments is not answering the assignment question properly. The podcast episode then offers a number of techniques for avoiding this mistake by demonstrating to the UCC student body how to break the question down into manageable parts by highlighting important key words and identifying the parameters and the overall topic of the question.
Episode 2: Academic Writing Styles
In addition to unpacking the question, expression is another of the most common critiques students receive on their written assignments. Although it is one of the most common points of feedback, the concept of expression is rarely clearly explained to students. The second episode of Write Here, Write Now continues the series’ exploration of academic writing issues by discussing academic writing styles with students and lecturers.
Episode 3: How to Build an Argument
The concept of an argument itself is another aspect of academic writing that university students frequently have difficulty with. Consequently, the third episode of Write Here, Write Now addresses this issue directly by interviewing a student of UCC in order to determine precisely university students’ overall perception of an argument, as well as whether students deem it a necessity to have an argument for a given assignment and why students find it difficult to construct an argument within written assignments.
Episode 4: Planning your Essay
The Write Here, Write Now series is designed to be thematic, with each episode naturally leading into the next episode’s discussion topic. Episode Four, therefore, intentionally prepares the necessary foundations for the content of the fourth episode in the podcast series: “Planning your Essay”. The lack of coherence or clear essay structure in written assignments can significantly impact students’ grades. As the podcast series is concerned with student literacy, the episode engages with a UCC student directly on the topic of essay structure.
Episode 5: Introductions and Conclusions
The surest way of guaranteeing that a student’s essay is well-planned and adheres to a clear argument must be evident in the essay’s introduction and conclusion. The penultimate Write Here, Write Now episode tackles one of the most difficult aspects of written assignments, how to form a strong introduction and conclusion.
Episode 6: Editing and Proof-reading
The essay is completed! Or so the students would like to think. The final episode of Write Here, Write Now hones in on an academic writing aspect that is largely neglected by students: “Editing and Proof-reading”. Poor time-management frequently results in students speedily writing up an assignment and submitting the assignment just in time for a deadline.