Staffordshire lecturer’s illustrated activity book introduces students to research techniques
By the time students get to university, it will probably have been a few years because they came across an activity book that is illustrated.
But Writing Essays by Pictures is no activity book that is ordinary. With a nautical theme, 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.
After raising nearly Ј2,000 from supporters regarding the Kickstarter crowdfunding website to fund a short print run, the book was launched this week which is hoped that wider distribution will follow.
It opens using 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.
After that it introduces students to reading, note-taking and thinking that is critical, inviting them to carry out practical, creative activities on the way.
It implies 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. […]