Social Writing Strategies with Academic Writing Month
The traditional image of the scholar is of a lone figure, tucked away in the library writing furiously next to a pile of books. Computers and the World Wide Web have begun to seriously erode this trope. Today’s scholar can access knowledge any time and any place; read and write using a variety of different platforms and tools; and almost simultaneously research and publish their work. Despite the proliferation of platforms for sharing ideas, the process of writing itself - particularly as presented and encouraged in universities - is still strikingly solitary. As professors need to assess the abilities of each individual student - despite some group assessment - we rely on asking students to produce independently researched and written assignments. Yet this mode of working runs counter to all other aspects of students’ highly social and connected lives. So what happens if we make the act of writing highly social and connected too? I propose developing a CityU-specific version of the global Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) tailored to undergraduates across the entire student body. EN and the ELC already provide a rich range of courses and resources designed to support students in developing their Englishing language skills, but my aim is to augment these with a set of tools and programme of activities aimed at promoting social writing practices. I want to get students working together with thousands of academic writers around the world to gather valuable data on the academic writing process, help students form sustainable writing habits, and build a global support community for their undergraduate degree and beyond.