Embedding disciplinary reading and writing activities in first year Geography tutorials

Geographical Ideas in Practice

Over the course of two years, Thinking Writing and Geography worked together to redesign the first year module, Geographical Ideas in Practice (now called GEG4102/GEG4206) to embed a series of activities around discipline specific reading and writing. The aim was to prepare students better by focusing on reading – and subsequent discussion, critique and writing about -  academic articles.

This work developed from the recognition that many students were embarking on their Independent Geographical Study research projects in second or third year without the necessary experience of supported research and writing; it is an interesting example of how the impact of work with reading, writing and research can span the curriculum.  

 Products of our collaboration:

  • A revised course outline with more specific opportunities to focus on work with required reading
  • A small resource pack for staff so that they can tailor their teaching around research to their particular students’ needs or aspects of the content they want to cover, including:
  • tutorial plans (plan 1plan 2plan 3) which allow tutors to quickly select appropriate activities to advance their particular tutorial content,
  • worksheets (worksheet 1worksheet 2, worksheet 3) for students to use with articles, as well as
  • resource sheets to give students particular support around written expression and structure.

This is an examples of our module development work which you can read more about in the Ideas in Practice section.

Key features of the revised course are:

  • a focus on the thinking and writing processes that need to develop through the course of preparation for an assignment
  • strong links between reading, writing and research
  • a strong focus on feedback and drafting and redrafting
  • repetition of activities – a small range of activities to be used across first year and again in second year
  • transferability – it uses approaches and strategies that can easily be made relevant to other modules

Documents downloadable from this page: