Thursday, 31 July 2014

Writing a Synthesis Paper

I haven't written a paper since my bachelor degree...only 18 years ago!
My annotated bibliography wasn't very good as my focus was too broad and I didn't link the sources I chose well enough to generate a full taxonomy; clearly I needed to review the focus of my paper!
I decided to focus on the use of blogs for reflective writing. The majority of the research I found linked with Self Regulated Learning, so this along with social constructivism would be the basis for my taxonomy within the paper.

Of everything I have done over the course of the MET so far, this has been the toughest to date. The amount of time it took to find the relevant research, pick out what I intended to use, and then string it all together was huge. The process, and the research into SRL, has reminded me of the importance of scaffolding activities and formative feedback and support. I will use this experience to ensure my students are eased into the big write-ups that they will need to do for their course.

What I found useful, after forgetting where I had read parts of articles, was to write down the reference and the content I was interested in under particular headings. This, along with the use of Dropbox and Notability has allowed me to organise my research and content.

Due to the school trip, I was left with a couple of days to write my paper...it wasn't enough. I have to thank my peer reviewer for the thoroughness of her edits and comments for improving the flow of my writing. I'm still not 100% happy with the paper, particularly the start, but it is the best I can do until I can find the information I want about the UK National Curriculum and what the government did to the PLTS (personal learning, thinking skills) initiative from 2 years ago!