The Fourth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF4)
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Jean Mitchell

Writing for publication: the value of writing collaboratively

Jean Mitchell
Institute for Curriculum and Learning Development, University of South Africa

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     Last modified: August 14, 2006
     Presentation date: 10/31/2006 4:00 PM in ST Middlesex
     (View Schedule)

Facilitator: Dr Jean Mitchell co-editor of Progressio South African journal for open and distance learning practice

For most academics the publication of scholarly articles is a very important activity. It is seen as imperative to build up a substantial record of publications that reflect active research, contribution to academic debate as well as the sharing of knowledge. Much of the knowledge shared in academic journals originates from the developed world while the experiences of the developing world seem to be under-represented.

Distance education is often seen as a way to overcome the educational backlog in developing countries, and we distance educators from these countries have many experiences, practices, examples and models to share with the rest of the world. It is, therefore, very important for distance educators from the developing world to get our articles published.

Writing is a task that no two people approach in the same way. On the other hand, there are steps that most writers seem to follow, and there are many elements that all journal editors take into consideration when assessing articles for publication. This workshop aims to help prospective writers to convert their research findings and experiences into publishable articles. For this reason all participants must arrive armed with a piece of original writing that needs to be worked on.

Outcome: By the end of the workshop participants should be able to
• collaborate in order to develop an idea for, or a draft of an article into a publishable document.
• assess and improving their own writing.
• practise writing as a process
• structure an acceptable abstract

Aspects to be dealt with during the workshop:
Elements of a scholarly article;
Writing as a process:
• Pre-writing – organize your ideas/ identify a topic/ select a section from a Masters or Doctoral study, choose your journal, and envisage your audience;
• Writing – language use, coherence, titles
• Referencing and reference techniques
Write the abstract.

Prospective participants are invited to submit an idea or draft article to me by the beginning of October at This will enable us to select participants and for you to work on something substantial before the workshop.

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