Category Archives: academic writing

on getting out of a stuck place

I’ve recently completed the first draft of (what will appear to the outside world to be) my second book this year. In reality, it’s a book that has been three years in the writing. It’s about the use of a … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, being stuck | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

writing where the energy is

The conventional advice offered to people who have some trouble writing is to engage in “free writing”. Write, usually in timed sessions, whatever comes into your head about a particular topic. Write without stopping. Write perhaps to prompts about a … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, energy, writing without a parachute | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

accountability and academic writing

Whenever there is a discussion about doctoral or early career writing, one – and generally more – contributions refer to the helpfulness of accountability. People say that there are significant benefits in setting a target, often a word count, for … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Alfie Kohn, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, targets | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

what is an “outstanding” publication?

I’ve recently taken part in a couple of discussions about the kinds of papers and books that are highly ranked in quality reviews, reviews like the UK’s REF. Those in the discussions aimed to understand what counts as “outstanding”. This … Continue reading

Posted in "outstanding" publication, academic writing, audit regimes, books, journal article | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

on “other” academic writing

Academic writing is not all introduction, literature, methods, results, discussion. While this is the dominant mode of writing across the social sciences, and in other disciplines too, it is not all that there is. IMRAD, and the variations on it, is certainly … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, ILMRaD, IMRAD | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

the call back – journal know-how

Good comedians are masters of the call back. A call back is where the comedian tells a joke late in the set which recalls a joke told earlier on. The audience experiences a sense of familiarity. It’s as if they … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, call back, introduction, journal article | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

exorcise the inner “doctoral student” from your writing

Some of us can probably remember the film The Exorcist. It was one of those “demon child” films so popular in the 1970s. It featured Linda Blair as a possessed young teen – her green-slime spitting, 360 degree swiveling head … Continue reading

Posted in "doctoral student", academic writing, authority in writing, style, voice | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments