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Introduction

Most academic courses will require you to write assignments or reports, and this unit is designed to help you to develop the skills you need to write effectively for academic purposes. It contains clear instruction and a range of activities to help you to understand what is required, and to plan, structure and write your assignments or reports. You will also find out how to use feedback to develop your skills.


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4.2 Meaning and ‘form’

The question remains, what is this poem ‘about’? Or, rather, we should ask, ‘what kind of poem is it?’ Poems (paintings, ideas, music, buildings, historical documents) are not all ‘one kind of thing’. As we become familiar with poetry we learn to distinguish between different kinds of poem, or between different poetic forms.

Epic poems, for example, are extremely long stories about the doings of a noble warrior, voyager, or similar ‘hero’. Other char
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6.6.3 Identify ways of further developing your IL skills

Think about your overall IL skills and suggest areas where you feel you need to improve, based on the experience you have gained. You might find it useful to discuss with your tutor, manager, another student or work colleague how you might do this. There may be changes you feel you need to make so that you can move forward, such as trying to extend the facilities and resources available to you, changing the way you study to make best use of the time you have, or focusing on improving your own
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Interpret results and identify your main findings

In interpreting your results, think about the coverage of your searches and whether you have missed anything or left out important areas. You cannot find everything, but you should be confident that you have located sources recognised for their accuracy, authority and authenticity. How will you judge the quality and coverage of your material? Be aware that while your information may be accurate and reliable, it may not be unbiased. Look carefully at the sources of your information (ask yourse
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6.3 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for improving your IL skills you are aiming to:

  • identify the opportunities you can use to develop and practise your IL skills;

  • establish the outcomes you hope to achieve and the targets for meeting them;

  • identify the resources you might use for developing your skills, including people who might be able to help you as well as books, study guides, tutorials, specialist training, databases, libra
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6.2 Working on improving your IL skills

The three-stage framework for developing and improving your skills provides the basis for you become more confident in:

  • developing a strategy for using a variety of IL skills, including being clear about what you want to achieve, identifying relevant sources of information that will help you to achieve your goals, and planning how you intend to improve your skills;

  • monitoring your progress and critically reflecting on your performance
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5.4.1 Set up and use IT

In using IT effectively you may need to learn how to use particular features of the software applications involved. In word processing, style sheets and templates help you set up consistent formats for essays, reports and other documents. In spreadsheets, macros – sets of instructions that can be repeated as often as necessary – can help you to perform complex numerical operations more easily. In databases, you may need to know how to set up structures so that you can store and retrieve i
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5.4 Monitoring progress

This stage of the framework is about keeping track of how you are doing and what progress you are making. Are you using IT effectively for your purposes? How do you know? Could you have done things differently, such as made use of different facilities and software packages, taken more advantage of training sessions or local expertise, or recognised that such support would have helped you?

Monitoring your own performance and progress needs practice; try to stand back and look at what you
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4.3.3 Communicate relevant information

A main outcome of this key skill is that you will be able to communicate complex information orally, visually and through writing.

Complex subjects are those that include a number of ideas, some of which may be abstract, very detailed, difficult to follow or require you to deal with sensitive issues or the interpretation of others’ viewpoints. Communicating information at this level may involve using technical vocabulary, carefully structuring what you say and/or write, and using diag
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4.3.2 Synthesise information

Synthesising information is about assessing the new information and prior information in relation to each other, looking for logical relationships in the material, identifying the important ideas, and taking a critical attitude towards the material by relating it to your own views and experiences and thinking about how the material can be used. Synthesising information is not just summarising the information or identifying main points.

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3.2.6 Achieving your goals

Now that you have established what you intend to do and identified specific targets to achieve them, think about how you can meet your targets, taking into account what you are trying to do and looking carefully at the most effective way to do it. This might be by attending a training course or skills workshop, prioritising your time differently, taking an active part in e-tutorials, or checking out resources and giving yourself time to practise new ways of working.

Take into account th
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3.2.5 Plan how these targets will be met

You may be anxious to get on with achieving your targets but think first before you plunge in. In setting targets, think about how they will be achieved by identifying action points and deadlines, prioritising tasks and identifying resources and support from others. Include opportunities to discuss ideas/work with others and build in time to receive feedback and reflect on it. Planning how to achieve your targets involves all of the functions that take place before you start on the actual tas
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3.2 Developing a strategy

In developing a strategy for this key skill you need to:

  1. review your current capabilities and identify what you hope to achieve in the future;

  2. identify opportunities for using skills to improve your own learning and performance and the resources you might need, for example, training manuals and people; and

  3. draw up a plan of action.


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2.3 The key skills framework

In this unit each key skill section uses a common three-stage framework to help you develop your skills. The stages of this framework are:

  • developing a strategy for how you are going to tackle the key skill;

  • monitoring your progress as you develop your skills;

  • evaluating the strategy you have used and presenting outcomes of your work.

But working on your skills and techniques i
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2.1 A framework for learning

This section introduces the key skills approach to learning, outlining a three-stage framework to support the development of your skills, and relating this framework to learning tasks you are likely to come across.

All of us use key skills as part of our study and work. Working with others in teams, sharing ideas, solving problems, researching information and writing essays and reports are all activities using key skills. Developing our key skills is not about remembering facts – but
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4 Structure of the assessment units

This key skills assessment unit does not have specific questions with word limits and no statements indicating you include, say, an essay or a report. Instead, as you tackle the unit you need to ask yourself ‘Which pieces of work show my skills and capabilities to best advantage?’ When you have identified and selected evidence of your skills, you must then relate this evidence directly to the criteria.

This method of building a portfolio is based not on providing right or wrong answ
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3 Key skills assessment units

This section gives advice and guidance to help you compile and present a portfolio of selected work. You are strongly advised to read through this section so that you have an idea of what is expected.

The key skills assessment units provide an opportunity for you to integrate your development of key skills with your work or study. You may choose to concentrate on skills that you need to develop and improve for your job, for a new course, or personally to help you keep abreast of new dev
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Introduction

This key skill focuses on developing your skills in Working with others and applying these skills in your studies, work or other activities over a period of time. To tackle all of this key skill you will need to plan your work over at least 3–4 months to give yourself enough time to practise and improve your skills, to seek feedback from others, and to monitor and evaluate your performance.

A main purpose of this key skill is to guide you through the management of a group activity cul
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7.3 Monitoring your progress

Use your records or logbook to help you present a commentary that includes:

  • The methods you used to work on the problem.

  • A statement that shows how you have used your knowledge of problem-solving methods for selecting particular methods and reasons for the selection to achieve the standard of work required.

  • The checking procedures you used for the problem, for example, interim checks, progress reports, feedback commen
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