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Overcoming writer’s block am 6. May 2020
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Themen: academic writing

Overcoming writer’s block

Viktoria is 22 years old and currently in the 4th semester of the bachelor’s programme in Political Science. Like many other students, she was facing difficulties with starting her assignments in time until she joined a programme for academic writing offered by the CTL. In this blog post, she will tell you about her experiences and why she recommends that you give it a try as well.

Hi everyone!

To tell you the truth, I am a procrastinator. I wait until the last couple of days to start my assignment, get super stressed out about it and tell myself every single time that next time I will definitely start earlier. But, well,…I never do. Sounds familiar? I bet it does, but let me tell you: there is hope for you yet. Here is what helped me break that vicious circle:

As you might know, for some bachelor’s programmes you have to complete extension curricula. When I was scrolling through the offered courses, I came across one called “Developing, Teaching and Researching Academic Writing – Educating Peer Tutors” and thought, “Hey, this actually sounds quite interesting”. So I signed up for it, went through the application process and eventually was admitted into the programme. And frankly, I am very happy I did because it has seriously changed the way I deal with assignments for the better.

The mentoring programme

To start off, I want to give you a brief overview of the programme. It consists of three modules and each of them is accompanied by hands-on practice in mentoring groups. This means that you will be placed in small teams to mentor a group of fellow students at one of the various departments of the University. I know it sounds scary at first, but no worries – the CTL team will guide you through the entire process and assist with any struggles or questions you might have. Additionally, you will have supervised sessions as well as seminars on the science of writing. And the best part: You will also get to do your own research, which will be published (online) at the end of the programme. How awesome is that? Just imagine yourself at the age of 22 with your first peer-reviewed publication!

Vicky Strejc
Vicky learned a lot about academic writing when she joined the mentoring programme by the CTL

Learning for life

So, enough about the formalities. I want to give you some insights into my personal experience. First of all, I learned so much about the process of writing and different writing techniques that can be applied in a variety of settings. Maybe some of you struggle with the same things I did when it comes to writing a seminar paper, such has how to bring your ideas down on paper, how to actually start writing or how to overcome writer’s block. There are a lot of techniques and tricks that you have probably never heard of before and that can help you in each of these areas.

I also improved my time management skills by learning how to create efficient and realistic schedules for my assignments. Furthermore, planning mentoring lessons, making semester plans, working on criteria for constructive feedback and different teamwork activities have all taught me important skills that I can apply in my future profession.

 

An additional advantage is definitely the new friends you make as well as the lovely CTL team. They are always eager to create a friendly learning environment and have a policy that puts an emphasis on learning through mistakes, which is very refreshing.

To sum it up, if you are interested in learning about academic writing and improving your skills, as well as helping others to do the same, I can recommend this programme one hundred percent. If you are struggling with completing written assignments, make sure to check out the writing mentoring offers at your department.

All the best,

Viktoria

📌 Writing mentors are students who support other students in their writing tasks and who have been especially trained as peer mentors by the Center for Teaching and Learning. They host weekly writing groups of 1,5 hrs directly at the participating study programmes or, in times of COVID-19, online. If you are interested in participating, just go to the CTL’s website, choose the study programme, click on the Moodle-link and enter “schreibmentoring”. This way you get access to the right Moodle-group and can contact your writing mentors, who look forward to meeting you. Good luck and happy writing! 😊
Interested in becoming a writing mentor? We are currently working on the next call for applications, which will be published in mid-May. Please check our website and mailings from your SPL for further updates.



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