Thursday, August 6, 2015

Take Totes or Take Notes

Academic writing really differs from other kinds of writing and you know that if you are a freelance academic writer. Imagine that academic writing is your new roommate who shares some space with you. Before you start to get along, it takes you a great load of time to get used to each other, to learn the habits and choose the best strategy for effective communication. And it’s all the same with academic writing. Through tries and fails you gain the knowledge of techniques that suit you most and make you productive.

As always I’m eager to share my experience and tell you about one of the greatest strategies that I constantly use in academic writing: note-taking. Let’s take an essay as an example given that it’s the most common academic assignment and examine this technique in practice.
When you are to write an essay, say, on cruelty to animals, the first thing you do is research. While surfing different web pages you spot the most discussed points of this issue and note them:

-          - Cruelty to animals/animal abuse/animal neglect is …;
-          - Laws regarding animal cruelty;
-          - Approaches to the issue;
-          - State of affairs in different countries;
-          - Cecil the Lion.

So, I’ve chosen the most highlighted moments in this sphere and I’ve already got the structural plan for an essay. I start, as always, with introduction where I define the notion and its importance. Then, in the body of the essay I have 3 paragraphs with different directions of the same issue where I expand and, depending on the type of writing, give arguments or your opinion. The last step is the conclusion where I summarize all the above mentioned information and, as you’ve noticed, I’ve noted Cecil the Lion – the most discussed issue in the animal abuse news feed. It can be given as the finalizing example and intensify the impression from my essay with important facts and consistent information.

Now, let’s review what has happened here. While researching the topic I was taking notes because when I try to remember something I want to write about, it lives in my head for about 5 minutes. So, it’s better to write down. Well, apart from helping me to memorize the points that must be included in the essay, notes have also organized the structure of the future paper. Two birds with one shot.

Now you understand the true value of this technique?