1.4 Adapting to the university writing culture

For most of you, entering university implies a major life transition. Not only may it involve moving into a new community, but also into a new city, or even a new country. It's not surprising then that you'll probably experience a number of changes. For instance, you'll need to adapt to the university writing culture

Play the following video to learn more.

For most of you watching this video, this is your first year at university and you are likely realising that the academic culture and expectations are quite different from high school. For example, you are likely finding that the university offers you a lot more freedom and choice with respect to what you study as well as when, where, and how you study it.

However, with great freedom comes great responsibility. As a member of the university community that respects and supports your rights to pursue intellectual growth and development, you are obliged to do so in a responsible manner with rigour and integrity.

Academic rigour and integrity are especially important when it comes to writing. Compared to your high school experience, you will find that the expectations and responsibilities related to writing are much more demanding here. For example, you’ll be expected to demonstrate greater levels of critical thought in your written work, analysing, synthesising, and evaluating the ideas of others. And you must do so in a more formal manner with stricter attention to manuscript guidelines and clear references to all external sources.

Finally, if you haven’t already, you will soon realise that each academic discipline has its own philosophy and writing style. Regardless of the writing style conventions of your discipline, academic writing requires clear and sound argumentation with evidence; where broad, unsupported statements are discouraged, and all empirical claims should be supported appropriately. Furthermore, the writing style should be unbiased and non-prejudiced, such that individuals or groups of people are not privileged or marginalised.

With all this in mind, I invite you to take advantage of this resource. It will help equip you with the knowledge and the skills needed to succeed in your studies.

Video under copyright. © The University of Auckland 2017. All rights reserved. 

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