Essays in universities are a formative action that seeks to develop the investigative spirit and written production of the students of the first year of the race, around specific psychological questions. In this modality, the students develop a work of investigative character, with the tutoring of the professors and of a group of students who carry out their practices in the various educational disciplines. As the final product of the inquiry process they have done during the semester, write an academic essay.
In UK our Essay Writers has been selected twice by the academic guides for University students as an innovative experience for the improvement of students writing skills. The Project is developed in a joint work with teachers of four compulsory subjects of first semester. In a first phase, the students choose a thematic field of their interest and ask a research question from which develops a documentary research stage, culminating in the writing of a text-synthesis of the readings made, followed by some conclusions or discussion. In a second phase, they write an academic essay that includes their planning, production, revision and socialization.
The competence to investigate, read and write about what is investigated is not learned by listening to a lecture or reading a guide, but by researching, reading and writing. Nor does one learn to write in workshops in which general writing techniques are taught, but using writing in the discursive contexts and practices of the disciplines. This is a personalized work and an accompaniment, by people who have developed such skills.
In response to this need, in the initial design of the Academic tasks, a tutorial strategy was considered that includes two instances: the tutoring of freshmen and the one provided by a group of students of the last semester who carry out their practices in the Project Writing,
While teachers focus on aspects related to the formulation of the question, the search for information, the research methodology, that is to say, the process of inquiry itself – without this means divorcing it from writing – the work of the practitioner-tutors is more focused on written production.
Apart from corroborating the key role of tutoring, experience has made us see the need to systematize the process much more and to qualify tutors’ intervention with new conceptual, methodological and textual elements.
One of the main challenges for academicwriting in UK universities is to place written production work in a meaningful and motivating context for students. This means writing with an explicit purpose (not just to get a note), to imagine a potential reader to which the text is directed, with whom one wants to dialogue to share what has been learned, or to refute or convince.
A reader who is not a mere receiver, but an active protagonist in the construction of meaning through texts; although in the university culture that reader has traditionally been the teacher, the fact that the student can also imagine other possible readers of his text gives much more sense and motivation to his writing tasks.
A consequence of the idea of placing the order in a broader communicative context is that students can socialize them so that they can be read or discussed by their peers or anyone interested. This is done in some of the workshops, asking the students to “cross” their writings, comment on them and make suggestions to improve them.
At the end of the semester, forums are organized by groups, in which all students read the written productions of their classmates and choose the essays to be presented at the final colloquium. Our writer has in its database some of the best essays in coming issues. Thanks to the “virtualization” being done on the U-Virtual platform; it will be possible not only to publish student essays, but also to receive comments from readers.