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Academic Writing Day

Teilnehmer des Events "Infotag akademisches Schreiben"
Photo: Constanze Keiderling, edit: Zessko

The "Information Day on Academic Writing" on September 4, 2022, organized by the Writing Counselling Service of the Studierendenwerk Berlin and the Gesellschaft für Schreibdidaktik und Schreibforschung (gefsus e. V.; Society for Writing Didactics and Writing Research), invited interested parties to the rooms of the Studierendenwerk Berlin to reflect together—in lectures and workshops—on the didactics of writing. Fiona Wünsch, Janina Deilke, and Alyssa Schmid from the Writing Assistance Program at Zessko were among the participants.

The event opened with Heinrich von Kleist's plea to consolidate one's own thoughts in conversation with a counterpart ("Über die allmähliche Verfertigung der Gedanken beim Reden" (1805)). In academic work, this means, on the one hand, having a counterpart for exchange and, on the other, seeing writing as a tool for formulating one's own thoughts. In order to further promote this in academic work, the sensitisation of teachers is of particular importance. Following this idea, the first results in the workshop "Writing in Teaching" were that teachers could promote writing as a thinking process with low-threshold writing tasks during their courses. The Writing Fellow Program, which is also offered through the Writing Assistance Program at Zessko, is committed to this idea. Further information can be found here.

The other speakers focused on the relevance of writing as a core competence for the entire (professional) life and particularly emphasized the idea of writing centers (at universities) as places where precisely this writing competence could be effectively taught. Detailed information can be fond here. The keynote speeches ended with a strong recommendation to have more writing centers with counselling in tertiary education in Berlin and Brandenburg.

In its workshop, the Studierendenwerk Berlin then presented both the specific tasks linked to writing counselling and the development of its own writing tutor training. Another workshop, organised by the Service Center for Writing and Study Skills at ASH Berlin, offered the opportunity to reflect on how writing advice can be designed in a non-discriminatory and empowering way.

In the context of a workshop specifically dedicated to the topic "Writing Advice for Post-Graduate Students," one of the problems brought to light and discussed was the insufficient or even non-existent integration of writing advice in the post-graduate program. During the debate, a clear need for advice on writing a doctoral thesis was also highlighted.


Translation: Beate Göldner

Published on November 22, 2022