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Writing in Practice
Writing in Practice 100 Hours Certificate Course
Learn About Writing in Practice
In this course, you’ll learn how to revise and polish your work. Discover reviewing strategies, how to give and receive feedback, and how to work over your projects to check structure, characterisation, and more.
How This Course Works
There are two options for working through this course. You can:
- Work on sections of a larger work
- Create 3 shorter pieces, such as three feature articles or 3 short stories.
Work can be fiction or non-fiction (including creative non-fiction). Note that you can only workshop the same piece twice.
- You submit chapter 1 of a novel.
- Your tutor provides feedback.
- You work on chapter 1 of the novel, using the tutor’s feedback.
- You resubmit chapter 1 of the novel.
- Your tutor provides feedback. As you progress through this online certificate course, your aim will be towards creating a strong sample or portfolio you can use in your journey to publication.If you are writing a submission for a novel publication, the publishers usually require the first three chapters and a detailed synopsis; non-fiction work also requires samples, such as a selection of essays or articles.
- Always begin to think about your end goal as you progress through feedback and revision.
LESSON STRUCTURE: Writing in Practice
There are 7 lessons:
- Workshopping and Critique
- The workshop process
- Points of critique
- Types of feedback
- Best Practices
2. Identifying and Addressing Weaknesses
- Potential projects
- Understanding character
- Outlining a revision strategy
- Goal setting
- How to read and interpret feedback
- Build a framework
3. Revision Process I: Structures and Character
- Define beginning, middle, and end
- Closer examination: beginning
- Closer examination: middle
- Closer examination: ending
- Relationship between characters and structure
- Character Arc
- Writing character arcs
- Building characters
4. Revision Process II: Plot Arc and Story Goals
- Story goals
- Story goals in fiction
- Story goals in non-fiction
- Planning your plot arc
5. Working with Subplots
- The function of a subplot
- Types of subplot
- Subplots in non-fiction
- Revision and subplots
6. Continuity of Practice: Building Strong Writing and Editing Habits
- Good habits
- Bad habits
- Writer’s Block
- Character Exercises
7. Continuity of Practice: Portfolio Building
- Continuing to write
- Keeping up with your journal
- Ideas in development
- Revision processes
- Understand how to critique effectively, for your own work and others’.
- Understand how to approach problems and feedback constructively.
- To begin building your portfolio/samples.
- Understand how to interpret feedback, including notes from your own revision and read-throughs from others.
- Start setting out a revision strategy.
- Add to your larger project or portfolio.
- Understanding how structure works, how to assess structure and how to fix holes.
- Understand characters and characterisation.
- Understand story goals.
- Understand how to map arcs for different purposes.
- Understand the function of a subplot.
- Understand how to revise, improve, and integrate sub plots in a fiction or non-fiction text.
- Learn ways to set good writing habits.
- Learn ways to break up writer’s block.
- Create a regular journal practice.
- Develop your portfolio further.
- The importance of keeping up with your journal.
- What to do with new ideas that you are not ready to start on.
Practical (Set Tasks)
- Analyse story structures and arcs.
- Keep a daily writing journal.
- Revise significant portions of their work in conjunction with their assigned academic.
- Review feedback and implement notes.
Continuity is important for any writer. It is easy to lose continuity in your work, especially if you:
- become immersed in their story and lose sight of the characters, plot and themes that they are developing.
- cannot write regularly and lose sight of their story because of this.
Continuity and regular writing practice are important parts of your journey as a writer. They help you with consistency, working through writer’s block, and growth.
How writers create stories and plots will differ from author to author. When writing a story with many characters, it can be easy to lose continuity, so characters do not look or behave the same consistently over time. This makes your story less believable.
A very simple example – Jane has blue eyes in chapter 1, but in chapter 5 she is described as having brown eyes. This may be part of the story (e.g. Jane is in disguise) or it could be simply because the writer has forgotten what Jane originally looked like.
How can we maintain continuity of characters/plots?
A simple option is to keep a file of each character and subplot.
Describe the character.
- Keep a time line of subplots and the main plot and refer back to them as you write your story.
- Keep these updated though as you go along. As the character develops, events happen to them, emotions change, make sure you update the file.
- Keeping a record of your character like this can help. It makes sure that you do not go off track and start describing the character doing something that they would be unlikely to do or wearing clothes that would be unusual for them.
- Once you have finished your first draft, put on your reader’s hat. Go back and read your story as a reader would. Does it make sense? Are the characters believable? Is the plot believable? Are the subplots relevant and believable?
- If you find it hard to step back from your work in this way, ask someone else you trust to read your work and ask for their honest opinion.
Continuity and Writing Practice
Writing regularly also helps continuity. If you write a few chapters of a novel, then leave it for months, it is hard to get back to it, understand the characters, remember everything that has happened so far. So writing regularly is important.
This is, of course, easier than it sounds. If you are a person who is paid to be a writer full time, this might be easier than if you are someone who is writing on the side as a hobby or to get something published. It can be hard to find the time to write and to keep writing. Everyone is different and everyone has a different life and time available to write. Take the time to think about your life and when you could write and what would work well for you.
There is a caveat to this. If you feel you’ve finished and your draft is done, take some time off. It’s important to have some distance from your drafts in order to spot holes.
Let’s now look at some good and bad habits that can help and hinder your writing.
- Having a set area to write without distraction can help. Find a desk at home or a space in the library. But it doesn’t have to be something so formal. You might find you write best on the train on the way home at night or sitting at a coffee shop or sitting waiting for children to come out of a sporting activity.
- Have a set time to write that works for you. Some writers like quiet, others like noise. Some writers may find it hard to find the time to write, so think about your life and when would work. You might want to wake up at 5am and write for two hours before work, when everyone else is asleep and there are no distractions. Or write a 10pm for the same reasons. Or you might like noise and bustle around you, so like writing in a coffee shop or on the train in the morning to work.
- Write every day, even if only for a few minutes.
- Act like a writer. Whatever you read or watch on TV or film, act like a writer. Listen and read what other writers say. What works? What doesn’t work? How could they have improved the story?
- Communicate with other writers. There are many writers’ groups where people can meet face to face, but if this is not possible, there are now many online groups where you can liaise with others.
- Self-edit – Read over your work, check it for grammar and spellings. Be able to look at your work with fresh eyes. What is working, what isn’t? This saves you the time and money of paying for an editor or proofreader. It also saves you embarrassment or disappointment when a publisher says no to your work due to errors.
- Set small, small goals. Taking one step at a time means you will reach the end of your journey. Never taking a step at all means you never will. Set yourself a simple goal – writing for ten minutes a day. Finish a chapter a month. They may seem small, but if this is all you have time for at the moment, then it keeps you writing. You may find you actually do more than you expected to do.
- Call yourself a writer. Do not say I want to be a writer. Say – I AM a writer.
- Finish your stories. How many stories do you have in note form, half a draft or mulling over in your brain that you have never finished? Take the time to finish them before starting on a new story.
- Only writing in the “right place.” We said that a good habit was having a place or area where you can write, but this can also hinder your writing if you feel you can only write in that place. Some people find it useful to be able to write anywhere. If you are one of those people, keep note books or your tablet or computer with you and write when it suits you. As technology becomes more and more sophisticated, more writers will use technology to write. You might keep a notepad, or you might send yourself emails of your writing as you move around.
- Not writing if you can’t write at a set time. You may plan to write at 5am every morning, but find you are too tired to get up, so days drift into months and you find you haven’t written. Try to make your writing time fit in with you and your life, not fit you and your life into your writing.
- Not sticking to your plan. Sometimes writing can come to us as we go along, but other times we can simply lose sight of what we are writing, so try to stick to the plan.
- Avoid procrastination. I will write tomorrow. I haven’t got time now, I’ll do it next week. Even if you can only write for 5 minutes a day, keep writing. Writing is like any other muscle, the more we use it, the more it develops and grows.
- Don’t criticise yourself too much. If you criticise yourself over and over, you may never write anything. There is no perfect writer out there. Try to be the best writer you can be.
- Not getting enough sleep. You may feel the only time you have to write is when you should be asleep. This can work for a while, but everyone needs enough sleep and over time this can actually reduce your creativity.
- Have too many ideas. Ben had notebooks everywhere and five potential novels, he was making notes on. He never actually started writing any of them. We may all have a lot of ideas of what we can write about, but we should only write one at a time. Decide which one and get started. I it really doesn’t work, then yes, put it away and start the next one, but be wary of keep doing that as you may never finish anything.
- Take time for family and friends. Our writing can feel all-consuming at times, but in the process, it can isolate us from those around us. Take the time to be with them. Remember to find time and space to do your writing that fits in with your life and the life of those who are important to you.
- Make sure you don’t live on junk food and caffeine to keep going and getting your writing done. This is not good for you in the long term.
There are no right answers here. The only way for you to find the time and space to write is to think about you, your life, your personality and what works best for you.
If you really want to write, think about this and carefully plan it.
Another thing to consider is your creativity. Some people will feel more creative in certain places and at certain times. Use that information. Terry found writing when she couldn’t do anything else the best times. For example, when she was on a train or bus. She would come up with her best ideas when a passenger in a car or walking around with her dog. These were her most creative times. When she decided to try and write every day at 5 – 7am at her desk, she found that her creativity dried up.
We should always find our best time and best place to be the best writer we can be.
Assessment is based on a combination of completing all assignments and sitting for a final short one and a half hour exam, in your own location.
If you don’t cope well with exams then you may elect to undertake a project instead. This is a popular option.
In addition, most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson placed before the assignment. This is an opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge and skills and practical experience. This ADL feature is an added bonus not found at most online schools. Set Tasks are not required for assessment.
Some courses also have optional Self-Tests which are available on our online learning platform. These are not available by correspondence or by USB, and do not form part of your overall grade.
How our courses work
- Choose Your Learning Method
You choose how you would like to receive your course material, i.e., Online, USB or Correspondence. The choice is yours. You may also work on online or offline.
- Tutor Allocation
Every student is assigned their own dedicated tutor who is an expert in their subject area. They provide as much or as little individual contact as you require. You can contact your tutor whenever you need – your hours are not limited.
- Feedback and Assignments
Tutor Feedback is an essential component in helping you understand the subject matter. Tutor feedback is given in the form of notes written on the assignment. We encourage you to contact your Tutor where help with clarification and understanding of course material may be required.
Your assignments are located at the end of each lesson. You submit them for marking whenever you are ready. There is no time limit.
- Set Tasks and Self-Tests
Most modules have a Set Task at the end of each lesson before for the assignment. This is where you get the opportunity to undertake practical work to help you acquire knowledge, skills and practical experience. Many modules also have short Self-Tests.
Once all assignments have been completed you may then elect to sit for a one and half hour exam in your own location. If you prefer not to take the exam you do have the option to undertake a project instead.
Once the exam or project part of the course is completed, your Certificate is then processed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks for this.
- Design Your Own Qualification
ADL offers students the flexibility to self-design their own qualification – bundling together a combination of 100-hour modules into a qualification higher than a certificate.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Due to our years of experience and wide range of online courses, here are a list of our FAQs and Answers asked by Students.
Q. Do I need to buy text books?
A. No, you are not required to purchase expensive text books for any of our courses, since each module has been written by highly qualified tutors and writers, and our courses are updated on a regular basis, adding new information, methods and knowledge. You are supplied with all “essential” references. Extra books are always useful though, especially for special projects. Tutors will advise you what to buy if you decide you would like to have extra reading material, but it is not essential. Check out our eBookstore if you’re looking for a starting point.
Q. What sets the Academy apart from other institutions?
A. A unique feature of our courses is that we combine knowledge of the subject matter with practical tasks (set tasks, found at the end of each lesson). So you get to do practical components in each lesson. The benefits of this approach are immense: – your skills and knowledge are developed to a much higher level not normally found at other distance learning institutions.
Q. How do the practical exercises (set tasks) work?
A. The practical component of each lesson can be in the form of : Field Research, Networking and Analysis, Conducting Surveys, Growing, Collecting, Photographing and Processes.
Q. Can I pay by instalments?
A. Yes, you can view all available payment options here.
Q. Are there any hidden costs?
A. There are no hidden extras – the tuition fee covers all course material, unlimited tutor support, assignment marking/feedback and any text books where specified and exams. The only extras are for the public examinations fees for the ICB Bookkeeping course and the RHS (Royal Horticulture Society) exams.
Q. Are your courses up-to date?
A. Our courses are continually updated. The course content is rapidly updated and improved without the red tape and bureaucracy experienced at other educational institutions.
Q. Do you have a Cancellation policy?
A. We have a cancellation policy that is fair and equitable. For further details please click here.
Q. What Recognition do you have?
A. The Academy for Distance Learning has various forms of recognition:
These include TQUK (Training Qualifications UK) – an Ofqual Awarding Organisation – ADL is an approved TQUK Centre.
IARC – International Approval Registration Centre, approved member. Accredited Training Provider for ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers) and Approved Distance Learning Provider for the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and many more. Our graduates come from many parts of the world and have used our qualifications for successful employment and progression onto higher education. To view our full list of recognition and memberships please click here,
Q. Will I have any opportunity to engage with other students?
A. We have a Student Community group based on facebook! If you don’t have a facebook account already, you could make one just for talking with fellow students on the group.
Q. Why should I enrol with the Academy for Distance Learning?
A. Here at the Academy our students are our priority – we treat every student as a unique individual. This philosophy allows us to nurture those who are “slow and steady” learners rather than letting them fall through the cracks, while catering for those who are in a hurry to complete.
Q. Can I study from anywhere in the world?
A. Our courses are available to anyone, anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home. The course content is relevant to any country, culture or economy.
Q. Completing the course- how long will it take?
A. Completion of modules varies from student to student. Many factors come into play such as work commitments and family life- there are always distractions. Some students work quicker than others. For a 100 hour module many students will take up to 3- 6 months, others take less time and some are even longer. It’s all up to you. There is no pressure to complete or deadline to finish. Naturally, longer courses will take more time.
Q. What learning formats are there?
A. Your enrollment comes with the Online Classroom study option by default. For a small additional cost you also have the options of USB or Correspondence.
USB: Your course is sent to you on a USB stick, so that you can carry it in your pocket. Ideal for those with unreliable internet connections. This option is an additional £5/module
Correspondence: You download the course content and then print your own copy to your requirements. You can then bind the lessons to suit your needs.
Q. Assessment – how does it work?
A. For each 100 hour module you are assessed by assignments (at the end of each lesson) and a final one and a half hour exam (or you may elect to complete a project instead of sitting the exam) – the choice is yours – you sit for the exam in your own location, or you can visit us in Canterbury, England to sit the exam if want to. Exam fees are included in the tuition fee you paid. You can read more about the examination process here. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment. You submit it to the academy who then submits it to the tutor for marking, comments and feedback. Our policy is to have a grade for you within 5 to 7 days.
Q. How many assignments do I need to complete for each module?
A. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment – so if a course has say, 10 lessons there would be 10 assignments. The number of lessons per module varies from module to module. See the course content from our website for further details.
Q. When do I have to hand in my first assignment?
A. There is no deadline for handing in the first assignment. Submit when you are ready. There are some students who hand in assignments within the first couple of weeks of enrolment – while there are others who submit their work 6 months later. It’s all at your own convenience to suit you. Everyone has different work and home commitments and we cater to these needs.
Q. I am having difficulty attending workshops/industry meetings, what can be done?
A. If your course requires attendance at workshops, conferences, or industry meetings; alternative arrangements can be made in your country; however, there may be an additional expense. We can appoint an appropriately qualified person anywhere to work through curriculum documentation supplied by us, to satisfy the requirements set down in a course.
Q. What qualification will I receive?
A. For individual modules, you would receive a Certificate (providing you complete all assignments and the exam). If you just want to complete the assignments only, then a Letter of Achievement would be awarded. For more details on qualifications awarded please click here.
Q. Is there a next level to progress to?
A. Yes – you can progress from one module to a combination of many modules and to higher qualifications i.e. Advanced Certificates, Diplomas and Higher Advanced Diplomas. Read more about course levels here.
Q. Can I customize my diploma/higher qualification?
A. Not all educational institution’s certificates /diplomas meet everyone’s needs. The opportunity to design your own diploma at the Academy (subject to our approval) is an added bonus, not found at other colleges. It’s a very popular option and widely used by many students. You quite simply choose the appropriate number of related modules needed to complete the qualification and submit them to us for approval as a custom diploma.
Q. What do I get when I complete the course? Will I receive a transcript?
A. At the completion of a 100-hour Certificate course and providing all assignments and exam have been completed, you will receive a Certificate and Transcript. The Transcript will list your GPA. Each 100-hour module is worth 3 credit hours.
Q. Do I have to sit for an exam?
A. Exams are optional but need to be undertaken in order to receive the Certificate or higher qualification. Exams are one and a half hours long. You appoint an adjudicator (subject to our approval) to supervise the exam. You sit for the exam in your own location. Its that simple.
Q. I don’t cope well with exams – what can I do?
A. If you feel you don’t cope well with exams you may elect to undertake a Project (set by the tutor) instead of sitting the exam. Many students prefer this option as they find researching the material for the project sharpens their research skills.
Q. If I don’t sit for the Exam do I still get a qualification?
A. If you don’t sit for the exam but complete the project alternative, you will still receive your endorsed qualification. If you don’t sit for an exam or complete a final project, providing you have completed all the assignments you will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.
Q. Do I have to sit for the exam at the Academy?
A. No – whilst you are more than welcome to come to our location in Canterbury, U.K. and sit the exam in our classroom; the more popular option is to sit for the exam in your own location. You appoint an adjudicator to supervise the exam. Click here for more information on that process.
Q. Our tutors – who are they?
A. We only employ tutors who have are currently active in their industry with at least 5 years of real-world experience. Not only are they highly qualified but also experienced, knowledgeable, and professional- experts in their chosen fields from all parts of the world.
Q. Can I contact my tutor at any time?
A. Yes- you have unlimited access to tutors. We strongly encourage students to develop a dialogue with their Tutor. This is why we encourage students to submit their first assignment fairly quickly at the beginning of the course.
Every Academy student is assigned a tutor who supports you throughout your course and beyond. Your tutor is there to guide and facilitate your learning and provides as much or as little individual contact as you would like. When you submit your coursework the tutor will give you feedback that helps you develop your ideas and provides motivation. For those who do like to have interaction with other students, the ADL discussion forum connects you to students from all over the world.
Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. You have direct contact with your tutor by email through the Online Classroom. Alternatively, you can write, fax, email, or phone the academy. Leave a message if your tutor isn’t available and they will phone, write or fax back; whatever suits you.
Q. If I don’t understand a question or a lesson may I contact the tutor?
A. You may contact a tutor as often as you like. There is no additional charge or restriction on this service. Contact can be made via the Student Zone, email, or by phone.
Q. Practical work – How is this done?
A. To find out more about this part of the course please visit the section on How Our Courses Work here.
What your tuition fees include
There are no hidden extras
FAQ - RHS Theory Qualifications
If you require further details about any of the RHS industry recognised qualifications please, call one of our friendly RHS Course Advisors on +44 (0)1227 789 649 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: When can I Enrol/Start My RHS Course With ADL?
A: Anytime, Anywhere. There are no enrolment deadlines.
Q: I live Overseas. Can I Study From Overseas?
A: You can study any of the RHS theory qualifications overseas. All courses are offered in English. You will need to email RHS Qualifications direct to arrange sitting for your examination overseas.
Q: Is There a Time Limit for Completing an RHS Qualification?
A: At present there are no time limits. However, RHS is contemplating in the future, the introduction of course time-lines.
Q: Are There Any Entry Requirements (Pre-Requisites)?
A: The RHS Theory courses do not require prerequisites, previous experience or any knowledge of horticulture. You just need passion for all things horticulture.
Q: What Course Should I Start With First? I Am New To RHS Qualifications.
A: We highly recommend that you start with Level 2 – Principles of Garden Planning, Establishment and Maintenance.
Q: What Does ADL Course Material Include?
A: Includes Power Point Presentations, Videos and written course lessons.
Q: When Do Exams Take Place?
A: Exams are held on fixed dates in February and June of each year. You should register as a candidate at least 3 months before these dates, so please do not leave exam registration to the last minute
Q: Where Do I Take My Exams?
A: UK: You take the exams at the RHS Wisley Centre, located between Cobham and Ripley in Surrey or at other authorised RHS centres around the UK.
Overseas: please email RHS qualifications direct for centre information.
Q: Exam Pass Marks?
A: Module – pass 50%. Commendation 70%.
Qualification: 50% pass for all modules.
Commendation awarded for all modules.
Each question carries a value of 10 marks.
Q: I’m Not Happy With My Exam Results?
A: You have the opportunity to re-sit your exam at the next opportunity.
There are no restrictions on the number of re-sits you can take. The highest mark you achieve will remain.,