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ACCORD introduces Academic Writing Workshops

on . Posted in Knowledge Production

ACCORD staff recently retreated to Botha’s Hill for a two-day academic writing workshop hosted by the Knowledge Production Department (KPD). The picturesque, mid-winter environment at the Chantecler Hotel provided the perfect setting for nine ACCORD staff members to get their writing caps on and develop their academic and critiquing skills.

Staff at the workshop represented both KPD and the Interventions Department, who jointly put out ACCORD’s quarterly Conflict Trends Magazine and semi-annual African Journal of Conflict Resolution. The workshop encouraged staff to develop their writing skills to enhance their contribution to the academic debate on African issues in these ACCORD publications.

From left to right, with the morning light filtering through the windows of the Chantecler Hotel in Botha’s Hill, Michelle (Peacekeeping Intern), Salome (Knowledge Production Coordinator), Bhavya (Communications Officer) and the Hotel Manager discuss the internet as a vital resource tool for research.

The workshop from 8-9 July was designed and conducted by Professor John Daniels, editor of ACCORD’s breakthrough magazine “Playing for Peace” and former Professor of Political Science in UKZN’s School of Governance.

The workshop helped colleagues become better writers by providing them with an overview of key steps and fundamentals as well as through critique of their writing abilities.

At the workshop staff were asked to critique each other’s papers. They were then encouraged to incorporate their peers’ critique, together with Professor Daniel’s, into the reworked versions of their papers due for submission on the following day. The forum where pairs discussed each other’s work saw the issues of Xenophobia, Gender realities in post-conflict regions and pre-election violence come to the fore.

A review of the workshop saw ACCORD staff requesting more of this type of exercise to keep their writing skills sharp and their content relevant. A second workshop of the same nature will be hosted later this year in October. It was also proposed that Professor Daniels conduct workshops for specific ACCORD outputs such as special issues of Conflict Trends.