Lessons from Critical Review Task

Setting aside the low mark I received for the critical review task, I admit I enjoyed the writing process itself. Jack’s provision of a clear structure for the task with individual subheadings made it easy to find the right content for each category. Reading literature and various resources was immensely interesting and enlightening as I have not engaged with such key literature on my field prior to this task. The mark was deeply disappointing but in hindsight, I realise that I deserved it. I had to go back to the work and find out what I needed to learn from my mistakes based on the marker’s comments.

One of the major issues was style. Judith as well as Jack pointed out that my sentences tend to be too long, which of course makes it hard to read the text and follow the logic. I guess I struggled to strike the balance between a presumably academic sentence and a readable style. Writing lengthy sentences betrays at least half-baked ideas or poor ability to articulate myself.  Excessively long paragraphs, in turn, demonstrate that I have failed to divide my ideas when they ought to be separated due to their shifting focuses. Double spacing each line is a norm I am well aware of but different requirements by different lecturers confused me but I have no excuse for not referring to each learning guide thoroughly.  Copying and pasting certain information were not done properly although I did not believe all of them needed paraphrasing but leaving different fonts as they were is not acceptable by any means. Besides, my English grammar needs fine-tuning as a matter of urgency.

My biggest mistake was concentrated on referencing.  Both in-text citation and references at the end were conspicuously incorrect. None of the mistakes were not inexplicable as I went through the university style guide carefully and I regret I did not consult it carefully right at the outset. ‘Getting the basics right’ must haunt me throughout my research career if I were to become one ever.

Finally, an absolutely thorough and careful approach is the only way to ensure that whatever I write as a so-called academic will be worth reading. That is if my aim is to produce written work that offers a substantial contribution to solving real issues in our society at large and making a tangible difference in the end. Critically engaging with literature and bringing out ideas that I have thoroughly digested and applied to my existing knowledge base needs to happen and if that is what I have learned from this assessment task, the pain and agony was worth it indeed.





Author: dykimresearch

I am a trained high school ESL teacher and an accredited professional interpreter and translator who is also a budding researcher with unquenchable desire to train and produce highly competent interpreters at a tertiary level.

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