3 Mindsets of Great Writers
Students have been asking us what exactly is a good report. While one way to show this is to give sample paragraphs of well-written work (which we do!), another way is to teach the right mind-sets a student needs to cultivate. Here are 3 mind-sets that usefully double up as life skills that you can take away and apply throughout your existence on this wonderful earth.
Do Not Speculate, Give Proof
Saying that something happened MAYBE because the company had a new strategy gets on the examiner’s nerves. If there isn’t proof of something, it is futile to bring it up. So did it happen or did it not? MAYBE just means that the student has not done enough research.
Talk is cheap. Prove that the company really had a new strategy! This can be done by looking at the Directors’ Statements within the Annual Reports , comments made by executives during Analyst Calls or even interviews done with the press. When you have evidence, you can then write it down and earn some well-deserved marks.
So always ask yourself: Am I able to prove what I just wrote?
If you cant – find proof. Or remove. (That’s a nice rhyme!)
Stay Focused, Don’t Wander
It is so easy to get excited as you do your web research and start clicking on related articles. While we encourage students to explore and stay curious – remember that your job is to give a good report BASED ON YOUR PROJECT TITLE.
If something is interesting but does not contribute to the title, please do not be under the illusion that placing it in the report will lead to make the marker being so impressed that he awards you more marks. Interesting does not equal to meaningful.
Just like how I would like to now tell you about the cockroach being one of the most amazing creatures on the earth. But that would just be meaningless for my article.
If you wander and write things that are off-point, be prepared to lose points. No matter how interesting it is.
Be Self-Critical, Some Doubt is Good
Humans have the unique gift of being able to look at what he did from a 3rd-person’s viewpoint. Instead of using this human gift, many students fall to the human curse of self-bias. Students believe that everything they wrote makes a lot of sense (afterall, that’s why we write it in the first place, isn’t it?!)
That is not always the case, many times we utter nonsense. Sad but true. Students who are self-critical and look at their work from a 3rd party’s point of view always perform better. To do so, here are some questions to help you out.
- Reading the paragraph again, do I really agree with it?
- What are the gaps in this argument? Is there something that needs further support?
- If someone else wrote this for me, would I be convinced by it? What would convince me?
- What would the examiner think as he reads this?
These 3 mind-set calibrations will make a huge difference if you try to apply it at every stage of your report writing! In fact, we encourage you to print this article out and cut the small dotted box below. Then, paste it above your computer or somewhere visible to remind yourself!
This document is also available for download here: 3 Mind-Sets of Great Report Writers