Would you like to write clearly, fluently and professionally?

Following the success of hosting Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows in the Graduate School for the past three years, we are delighted to welcome Hilary Davies and Michelle Lovric for the 2014-15 session. Hilary and Michelle will provide free, confidential one-to-one advice sessions for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral research staff, and can help with a very diverse set of writing skills, including: thesis organisation and structure; accurate grammar; correct use of idiom and register; punctuation; fluent academic style; summary skills; literature reviews; job applications; abstracts; presentations; research articles and submission for publication; overcoming writer’s block; and more. They will also recommend useful websites, courses, publications and professional organisations where needed.

Our RLF Fellows are able to offer one-to-one tutorials of between 1 and 1 ½ hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week during term time. Based in the Waterloo Bridge Wing of the Franklin Wilkins Building, they are keen to help students and researchers from any discipline, and are an excellent resource for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral researchers who wish to improve and refine their writing skills. Their service is entirely confidential, and anyone interested in drawing on their expertise as professional writers should email them at Hilary.Davies@kcl.ac.ukand  michelle.lovric@kcl.ac.uk  to arrange an appointment.

Hilary Davies will also be running two courses within the Researcher Development Programme this academic year: ‘How to Construct an Argument’ and ‘Leadership Skills for Research Students’. Please see the RDP brochureor go on to SkillsForge for details and how to book.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Unit at gradtrain@kcl.ac.uk.

CHANGES to appointments for Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellows

Notice for students who have arranged to see a Royal Literary Fund (RLF) Writing Fellow about writing advice. 

Owing to a family bereavement, our RLF fellow – Hilary Davies will be unable to see researchers until w/c 24th February. For details about the rearrangement of appointments, please go to: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/school/RDP/one-to-one-support/writing.aspx

Free, confidential one-to-one advice sessions on your writing

Would you like help in:

  • Improving your written work
  • Polishing your prose style
  • Planning large writing projects
  • Revising written work

If so, our Royal Literary Fund Fellows will be on hand to guide you.

The King’s Graduate School hosts two Royal Literary Fund (RLF) Fellows – Jennifer Potter and Hilary Davies – who are able to offer one-to-one tutorials of between 1 and 1 ½ hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week during term time. They are an excellent resource for postgraduate research students and postdoctoral researchers who wish to improve and refine their writing skills.

Sessions for this term are currently still available so, to make the most of their expertise, arrange a meeting with one of them now.

More information on our RLF Fellows can be found at: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/school/RDP/one-to-one-support/RLFbio.pdf.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Graduate School’s Researcher Development Unit at gradtrain@kcl.ac.uk.

Dissertation Support

July, the sun is shining, and while it seems like everyone else is out enjoying the good weather you’re stuck in the library, wondering if you will ever finish your dissertation. If you are a Masters student and you feel like you need some support – don’t worry help is at hand!

The Library Services team have Information Specialists for each School who are available to help you with research: from guidance on making the most of journals & online resources, to advice on searching more effectively, and making sure your sources are cited correctly. You can read more about the Library’s Information Specialists and get in touch with them via: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/contact/spec/specialists.aspx

If it’s not the information collection and analysis that’s worrying you but rather the thousands of words of academic English that are giving you sleepless nights then, in addition to the support offered by your supervisor, one of the Study Skills Advisors from the English Language Centre can offer suggestions on language, style, coherence and overall structure of your thesis/dissertation and will even offer feedback on a written sample of your work. Further details on Dissertation Clinics can be found on the Intranet (Internal only): https://internal.kcl.ac.uk/student/advice/services/drop-in/clinic.aspx

Tempting as it is to get all the (many, many) words down in a quick draft, leaving references to the last minute is an absolute nightmare. Writing your bibliography as you go along will save you a lot of unnecessary hassle. No-one wants to be the person scouring Google Scholar at 2am on the night before submission because you didn’t note down the reference of the library’s only copy of a book that has since been borrowed by someone else. Check with your department for their preferred style of referencing and remember to stick with it. The Library Services team have information about the more widely used referencing styles as well as access to referencing software such as EndNote and RefWorks: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/library/help/plagiarism/citing/index.aspx

Even if you feel as though you’ll never get it all done by September, at this point in the summer, you still have lots of time. Remember no-one can work 24/7 between now and then. Think of it as a tortoise and hare thing. Don’t exhaust yourself by spending 12 hours a day in the library (that’s for the last couple of weeks…). Weekends are there for a reason. Enjoy them. Have a book on the go that isn’t anything to do with your dissertation. Remember it’s about finding a balance that works for you. If you are tired and bored, you won’t be as productive. Make sure you are well rested and eating healthily, you’ll need some energy stored up for the final push.

Sometimes if you are feeling uninspired a change of scenery can help: try working in a different library. Remember as a King’s student you can use Senate House library or the libraries of any of the other colleges in the University of London. This can also be good way of making sure you get some work done especially if you tend to be someone who doesn’t need much of an excuse to have a chat with your mate.

Finally, if you are rueing the day you ever thought going back to university might be a nice idea, try to remember why you wanted to do your masters in the first place, be it: that qualification to help your CV stand out, the first step to an academic career, or a chance to re-train in a new profession. Stay positive, you’ll do just fine. Good luck!