Academic Writing Month is supposed to be a 30-day challenge to those working in the academic field to set wild goals and write their hearts out (see the ProfHacker entry by George Williams in The Chronicle of Higher Learning). Participants are meant to publicly declare their goals and progress through blogs or Twitter (with the hashtag #AcWriMo).
I have recently finished an article and am waiting on its consideration so was a little too burnt out to consider participating in #AcWriMo this year. However, I liked the idea of a month devoted to academic writing and thought my students could benefit from this in a slightly different way.
1) Citation challenge: One for each week. I give them the URL of a web document, the name of a journal article (and the database to find it in) or the title of a book and they have to submit a References page for it in APA style.
2) Video challenge: Watch a video made by one of our online librarians on reading a scholarly article and submit 3 things they learned.
3) Writing challenge: Read an Writing Center document titled “Top 10 Academic Research Mistakes.” Students are asked to identify at least one mistake they are guilty of and explain how they will remedy that mistake in the future.
This is a voluntary program I’m running and turnout hasn’t been stellar but I like to think the students that have participated so far are learning some valuable skills. Particularly those who submit their References to me – it’s a great chance for them to learn and practice APA style without the stress of a grade.
How are you participating in #AcWriMo?