In Scotland, RLF Fellows have been running the Bridge programme for a few years. In 2015–16, 12 Fellows were involved in running Bridge sessions all over Scotland.
They deliver the sessions as part of university Widening Participation schemes. The Bridge is run for students from families who haven’t attended university to demystify writing at degree level and give them confidence. Over five sessions, the workshops cover general features of academic writing such as planning, structuring and critical thinking. Whether or not the students decide to apply to university, the ability to communicate effectively in writing will be vital in any career path they choose.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to watch RLF Consultant Fellow Katie Grant run a one-off Bridge session with a group of highly motivated Year 12 students at St Thomas the Apostle College in London. One of her key messages was that academic writing does not consist of long, complicated, jargon-filled sentences that no one can understand (possibly not even the author). It should be should be clear and straightforward. This week’s tip from James McConnachie relates well to this piece of advice: