MET workshops

Training researchers to write academic articles: another string to your bow


Standards for research productivity – especially in English – are increasing in universities around Europe and the globe. Yet many novice researchers lack the required skills for writing publishable articles – that is, articles that contribute to ongoing conversations in a field about a set of research problems and that conform to genre conventions. Providing training in academic writing is a potential additional revenue stream for independent editors and translators. Training courses are often provided on a predictable, cyclical schedule, through arrangements developed with different research institutes and universities. They may also be offered online, hugely expanding the pool of potential clients. Adding training to one’s portfolio of language services can provide steady income to balance the ups and downs of the editing and translation workflow.

Developer and facilitator: Susan Frekko

Purpose: This workshop will introduce an approach to training researchers in writing an academic article. It will also encourage participants to begin developing a business model that will make training a viable career move.

Description: In the first part of the workshop, I will teach a module of an introductory academic writing course, treating participants as if they were novice researchers and I were their trainer. This module is intended to elicit an understanding of the basic structure and required elements of original research articles. We will use sample articles from natural science, social science and humanities. In the second part, we will work in small groups to extract the pedagogical techniques used in the first part and then discuss them in the full group. In the third part, participants will discuss how they might design a business model for a training service in academic writing. How to develop a training curriculum? How to balance training with other services? How to charge? How to schedule? After group discussion, I will share my own model for making a living through training.

Who should attend? This workshop is for editors and translators who specialize in academic texts in English and are interested in adding training to their list of services. It is primarily intended for self-employed professionals but will also be relevant to those who work in in-house language services at research institutes or universities.

Outcome skills: Participants will experience an interactive approach for teaching academic writing, acquire pedagogical techniques that facilitate participation and active learning, and develop initial ideas for a business model for training in academic writing.

Pre-workshop information: Workshop participants will receive three sample original research articles (one each from natural science, social science and humanities) to read before the workshop. The articles will be used for in-class exercises.

About the facilitator: Susan Frekko is an independent editor, translator, consultant and trainer in academic writing, working from Spanish and Catalan into English. She holds a PhD in linguistic anthropology from the University of Michigan and began her career as a professor and researcher. Ethnographic fieldwork in Barcelona eventually turned into residence in Barcelona and a career shift from academia to research support. She has lived in Barcelona since 2013.