Staffordshire lecturer’s illustrated activity book introduces students to analyze techniques
By the time students get to university, it will probably have now been a couple of years since they came across an activity book that is illustrated.
But Writing Essays by Pictures is no activity book that is ordinary. With custom bachelor thesis a theme that is nautical it casts essays as icebergs and sources as sea creatures in a cutting-edge try to introduce first-year students to the practice of academic research and writing.
Author Alke Grцppel-Wegener, senior lecturer in contextual studies at Staffordshire University, based the handsomely presented book on her essay-writing sessions with art and design students.
The book was launched this week and it is hoped that wider distribution will follow after raising nearly Ј2,000 from supporters on the Kickstarter crowdfunding website to fund an initial print run.
It opens with all the call for students to think of their essays as icebergs, with a focused argument “above the water” backed up by thinking and research below.
It then introduces students to reading, note-taking and critical thinking strategies, inviting them to carry out practical, creative activities on the way.
It suggests that readers try drawing pictures in an attempt to demonstrate the level of engagement that texts require while they examine sources, rather than taking notes, and encourages students to walk a familiar route at a quarter of their usual speed while taking notes on what they see around them.
The book advises students to categorise sources by thinking about them as different sea creatures, and to judge their academic rigour with regards to of the depth at which they are now living in the ocean.