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					     Getting it Write during
transition: An academic writing
          intervention

  Dr Rebecca Westrup, Teresa Caldwell,
  Adam-Louie Jones and Hugh McGowan

        Liverpool Hope University
              westrur@hope.ac.uk
 Widening Participation & Essay
            Writing
• Significant growth in participation rates in UK
  universities

• In 1995 32% of the population under 30 were in
  higher education (HE)

• In 2003 the Government set a recruitment target
  of 50% of 18-30 year olds being in HE by 2010
  (Ivanic and Lea, 2006).
Essay Writing during Transition
• Contrasting teaching practices (Ballinger, 2003)

• Contrasting assessment practices

• Different requirements and expectations

• How are students prepared?
The Practice Strand

The Community Strand

The Policy Strand
         Aims of the project
•   Assess strengths and limitations
•   Assess the experiences of mentors and
    mentees
•   Assess changes in beliefs and attitudes
    to studying and academic writing
•   Assess changes in students’ academic
    writing during the programme
•   Assess mentees’ transition experiences
    at six-month follow-up, on arrival in HE.
  The Practice Strand at LHU

• One-to-one mentoring - 60 students

• “Masterclass” – 89 students

• Mentor-led “masterclass” – 45 students
 Mentoring Activities: Year 12

• What is academic writing?

• Answering the question and structuring the
  answer

• Evaluating, evidencing and referencing

• The reviewing and re-writing process
 Mentoring Activities: Year 13

• What is expected of me at university?

• Making the most of feedback

• The importance of critical friend
        Mentoring Activity
• Discussion tool

• Exploring students’ understandings and
  expectations of writing and assessment at
  university
          What makes a ‘good’ essay?




Adapted from Norton, L.S. (1990) Essay writing: What really counts? Higher
Education, 20 (4), 411-442.
    Students’ experiences of the
       mentoring programme
• “Learning about writing assignments really helped
  me”

• “Useful information on essay writing which I can use
  for university. Good to talk to current students”

• “[I] got more understanding of what to expect”

• ‘pleased I took part as my grades have improved
  from Cs to Bs’
                           References

Ballinger, J (2003) Bridging the gap between A level and degree: some observations
on managing the transitional stage in the study of English Literature. Arts and
Humanities in Higher Education, 2, 1, 99-109.

Ivanic, R. and Lea, M. (2006) ‘New Contexts, New Challenges: the Teaching of
Writing in UK Higher Education’ in L. Ganobcsik-Williams (Ed.) Teaching Academic
Writing in UK Higher Education. New York Palgrave.

				
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