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3 May 2022

‘Academic writing takes time and multiple revisions’: Writing Mentor Pavani shares her tips for strong assignments

Do you jump into your assignments with gusto or are you lacking confidence in this area? If you feel a little unsure about how to begin or refine your assignments, you are not alone. Academic writing takes time to develop and master writing skills is an exercise in continuous improvement.   

That’s why we asked Deakin student and Writing Mentor Pavani Trikha to tell us more about being a Writing Mentor, the common issues she sees students face with their writing and her top tips for creating outstanding assignments. 

Student and Writing Mentor Pavani TrikhaWhat course are you studying?
I graduated from a Bachelor of Biomedical Science with High Distinction in 2021. Following this I am currently undertaking an Honours research year – the Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Honours) – which I endeavour to complete at the end of this year. 

What are you hoping to do after university professionally?
While I am still finding out about my interests daily, after my current studies I plan to stay within the health and medical field. This may translate into moving into full-time work as a researcher and postgraduate studies.

Why did you want to become a Writing Mentor at Deakin?
I started my Bachelor degree straight out of high school and struggled with wrapping my head around how to approach assignments and academic writing generally. With the help of my peers and academic staff, I feel I was able to learn my techniques and methods for writing academically. By becoming a Writing Mentor, I wanted to reflect on my learnings from the past three years and be able to help my peers, especially those who may not have the confidence to approach writing tasks. 

In your experience, what are the most common writing problems that many students face?
I find most students across the faculties have issues with referencing and articulating their thoughts to be appropriate for academic writing conventions. 

What are your top three tips for students who may lack confidence in their writing and who want to improve their skills in this area?
I would offer the following advice to any student who may lack confidence in their writing: 

Why should students attend a Writing Mentor drop-in, and what can a student expect during one of these sessions (whether they’re delivered on campus or online)? Is there anything they should do to prepare?
I am one of the Writing Mentors you can find on the Waurn Ponds Campus. From my experience and student feedback, many students find it beneficial to attend a Writing Mentor session as it highlights areas in which a student may lack confidence. By understanding the exact area you may need help with, we can provide you with targeted tips and resources to improve these. 

It is best if students can come to the session with some of their work (e.g. past assignments with feedback), instructions for the task (e.g. the marking rubric) and/or some idea of what they need assistance with. 

What are your favourite things about being a Writing Mentor at Deakin?  
I really enjoy being part of the Writing Mentor team, as it allows me to interact with fellow students and learn about their study areas. I find that just having a conversation with someone when they think they are struggling can help so much to ease their stress involving assignments. I find it rewarding to be able to reflect on some of my learnings to help my peers 🙂

Talk to a Writing Mentor today!

Sometimes when you’re having issues with an assignment, it’s just helpful to talk things through. The Writing Mentors can also help you review any feedback you’ve received on your first assignments so you can think about the academic skills you’ll need to focus on in your next assessments. Additionally, they can offer you tips on researching, understanding assignment questions and how to plan and structure your work. 

The Writing Mentors are available during the following drop-in times in Trimester 1:

If you would like more help with your learning and assignments, remember you can also get in touch with a Language and Learning Adviser (LLA) at Deakin. LLAs are all experienced teachers, and they are available by appointment to offer you a range of assistance and advice on aspects of your learning. 

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