The academic writing, a distinct genre like several other genres, involves organizing the research data, evidence and argument in accordance with the conventions of the specific discipline. And although courses on methodology of social research forms a part of the syllabi at both Undergraduate and Post Graduate levels.
Most of the Universities in India do not train their students in academic writing, or publication, the problem shared by teachers and editors across regions and disciplines being very similar. Social science writing, despite some disciplinary differences must follow certain rules.
It is expected to have a structure, an introduction, main body and conclusion, an abstract and acknowledgements, references and appendices. This constitutes writing skills which must be taught to young researchers. They must know and learn what academic writing and publishing is all about. Apart from these skills researchers must also be familiarized with the publication process of journals and books as well as the ethics of research especially plagiarism.
Writing in these forms or styles are usually serious, intended for a critical and informed audience, based on closely investigated knowledge, and posts ideas or arguments. It usually circulates within the academic world ('the academy'), but the academic writer may also find an audience outside via journalism, speeches, pamphlets, etc.
The well known journal Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) in collaboration with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) and UGC had conducted eight workshops in the Universities in the different parts of the country during 2010-2012 precisely to train young researchers as well as to share the resource material prepared by them with the senior faculty. Similar workshops, it is heartening to note are being organised by several Universities.
It is proposed to organize a 5 day workshop in Shillong on writing skills and publication process by the ICSSR for the young social science research scholars and the faculty largely from the North - East. Teachers at the level of assistant professors and associate professors, who have completed their Ph.D., and research scholars will participate in the workshop. There will be five sessions in a day each approximately of an hour and fifteen minutes. The themes for the sessions tentatively are:
- Academic writing,
- Paper structure,
- Review of literature,
- Use of qualitative data- its presentation,
- Use of quantitative data- its presentation,
- References, notes, appendices,
- Publication process,
- Critique and revision
Each session will include a discussion and will be followed by an exercise which the participants will be expected to do. Interested scholars are advised to apply in ONLINE on or before 30th July 2013.