Writing together alone: Digitally connected ‘snack writing’ for progressing academic writing

Reading & Writing

Field Value
Title Writing together alone: Digitally connected ‘snack writing’ for progressing academic writing
Creator Winberg, Christine Dippenaar, Hanlie Engel-Hills, Penelope Phillips, Heather
Subject Education; Postgraduate Supervision; Academic Writing academic writing; activity theory; online chat; online writing group; postgraduate scholars; research supervisors; ‘snack writing’; time management.
Description Background: ‘Snack writing’ is a term coined to describe regular short bursts of writing on a larger academic writing task. There is extensive research on academic writing, but research on ‘snack writing’ is limited. Moreover, the idea of ‘snack writing’ in an online environment is not evident in the literature.Objectives: The study objectives were: (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of an online ‘snack writing’ group, and (2) to identify what might enable or constrain productive academic writing amongst group members.Method: A reflective evaluation approach was used, in which participant researchers studied online chat data over a 6-month period. The study was framed by Activity Theory, in which digitally connected writing is understood as a new mediational means within an academic writing system.Results: ‘Snack writing’ in a digital environment was found to be effective when the writing task was focused, appropriate to the time available, and connected to a larger writing task. Goal setting, debriefing, and reflecting kept writers focused, while seeing a writing task develop over time enhanced confidence. Including writers with different levels of experience was effective for developing and sharing writing practices.Conclusion: Regular participation in digitally connected ‘snack writing’ is effective as it builds a supportive writing culture.Contribution: The study contributes to an understanding of how short bursts of writing in a digitally connected space could benefit academic tasks. The findings are therefore of use to postgraduate scholars, academics, and all those who want to progress an academic writing task when time is limited.
Publisher AOSIS Publishing
Contributor NRF SARChI
Date 2023-06-09
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Evaluation research study
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/rw.v14i1.414
Source Reading & Writing; Vol 14, No 1 (2023); 10 pages 2308-1422 2079-8245
Language eng
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https://rw.org.za/index.php/rw/article/view/414/862 https://rw.org.za/index.php/rw/article/view/414/863 https://rw.org.za/index.php/rw/article/view/414/864 https://rw.org.za/index.php/rw/article/view/414/865
Coverage South Africa 2022 —
Rights Copyright (c) 2023 Christine Winberg https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0