about me


Patter is Pat Thomson, Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham. My research is centred primarily on how schools might change to be more engaging and meaningful for more children and young people. I mostly research  the arts, creativity and other kinds of experiential approaches in school and community settings, including galleries and museums. Much of this research has been conducted with my colleague Professor Christine Hall.

I have a long-term partnership with Tate Learning. I also work in researcher education and research and write about the writing that scholars want to, and must, do. I’ve also been working with Inger Mewburn, the Thesis Whisperer, on academic blogging.

I did a five year stint as Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in the faculties of Arts and Social Sciences and I’m the current Convenor of the Centre for Research in Arts, Creativity and Literacies.

You can find me on twitter as @ThomsonPat and on Facebook:

I have curated several sets of popular blog posts on wakelet.

I also have an amazon author page,


There are some traces of past me on line.

A talk by me about teaching and learning in higher education using digital affordances here.

Listen to an Education Arena interview with Pat about digital scholarship and academic writing.

YouTube pitch for a paper written for Discourse journal: hear the accent, this is what I look like!

Editorial interview:@ Educational Action Research Journal

Podcast with Ben from LitreviewHQ

A webinar with Pat talking about doctoral writing and literature work.

This blog is archived by The British Library.

Creative Commons License
Patter by Pat Thomson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Patricia.Thomson@nottingham.ac.uk.

38 Responses to about me

  1. Donna Franklin says:

    Many thanks for ‘Helping doctoral students write’! this book keeps my feet firmly on the ground with my head turned upwards! as a dyslexic the use of metaphor helps me visualize who is sitting around my ‘table’ and whether they are seated in the right place for conversation with the others i have invited. I would also go as far as to try to guess what they might say to each other! really helps the critical thinking process….. thanks.


  2. I enjoyed your blog, Pat – someone tweeted about it the other day. And someone else has asked if you’re on Twitter yourself?


  3. Karina Quinn says:

    Hi Pat, great blog (found you through the @thesiswhisperer). Can’t find a subscribe button for you though – any chance you could point it out to me?

    Many thanks


  4. Great blog, Pat! Thanks for putting all of this together. I have also a keen interest in writing, particularly scientific writing, and have recently started a blog myself to provide resources to PhD students and fellow academics. I wonder whether you might want to include it under your Doctoral Education page. The link is here: http://www.marialuisaaliotta.com


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  6. Jeff McGee says:

    Dear Pat

    Many thanks, this blog is a fantastic resource. Those recent posts in thesis writing are gold for PhD students.

    Best Regards

    Jeff McGee


  7. Dear Pat

    Love your blog. I am not sure when or how you get the time to be such a busy writer, but I regularly look forward to each and every blog. cheers rochelle, Adelaide.


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  11. Sian White says:

    Hi Pat,

    Just wanted to say I’m really glad I stumbled upon your blog – as I’m about to begin a PhD in October, I can see there is a wealth of valuable resource for me to plunder beforehand in order to be fully prepared / warned!




    • Elaine says:

      Sian, I think you are fortunate and clever to be looking at Pat’s work at the start of your phd, unlike me, desperately looking for something at the end of a phd!


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  14. pippayeoman says:

    I so enjoy reading your posts and I’m not certain what the politically correct, digitally mediated etiquette is for saying so. I’m looking for something with more weight than the FB ‘like’ and less impersonal than the numbers I silently generate on your WordPress stats page, so I will stick with the digitally mediated version of the in person: “Thank you.”


  15. Y. Prior says:

    Ms. Thomson (or Patter) – I just wanted to say that recently I realized how much time you must spend in drafting up these helpful and thoughtful posts – and wanted to just say thanks. It is rare that someone “established” – and so well-rounded – would take the time to give like this – and I hope that you have many blessings rippled back your way as you put out such a nice resource like this – with your personal touch as well.


  16. Pirate Roberts says:

    Dr. Thomson,
    Many thanks for your clear concise essay on methodology vs. methods. Revising my Ch. 3 for final dissertation submission and have bookmarked your site under “Shadow Committee” 😉
    Thank you for the time you take to extend your wisdom beyond your students at Nottingham.
    Generosity is a boomerang.


  17. Elaine says:

    I also want to thank Pat (and Barbara) for your excellent book Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals. I know that following the steps don’t magically produce a good article, but working in a structured way really suits me as I am liable to go off on tangents when writing. Your research and the way you present it is saving me valuable time and legwork and making the writing process much smoother. many thanks! 😀 😀


  18. Janna says:

    I wanted to thank you for changing my view on the literature review. Now I am no longer fighting the octopus I am busy deliberating on seating arrangements. Although I have expanded the dinner-party somewhat and made it a small wedding dinner instead – am still deciding which branch of the family to invite, and where to put friends and acquaintances, but will be limiting the number of tables to the absolute minimum. My topic seems to attract potential guests in flocks. Thanks for your book.


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  20. Richard says:

    I couldn’t agree more!!!! During my entire (very long) stretch as a doctoral student I was annoyed to be “just a student” — hadn’t I been teaching “students” all day at the high school, only to be on that side of the “fence” when I walked into the university that night? That didn’t seem right but I didn’t want to whine and moan about it ….out loud. Thank you for the article!


  21. Thanks Patter.. I found your blog more helpful during this period of my thesis writing. My motivation


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  23. KATRINA WHITTINGHAM (0613197) says:

    Thanks for ALL these resources Pat, I’m in 2nd year of Doctorate in Professional Practice, I’m a Lecturer in Nursing by day too. I am just getting into twitter, these types of resources will motivate me.


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  27. Dear Pat,
    After submitting my PhD thesis, I want to thank you for the inspiring work you do.
    From my thesis acknowledgements page:
    “Completing a PhD study from a distance of 14,000 km is no easy task. I want to express my true gratitude to some people I have never met. First, to Pat Thomson, @ThomsonPat, an incredibly generous and inspiring academic who has been there for me 24/7 through her books and Patter blog posts. Her work supported and empowered me in many ways…”
    Your contribution to my work has been very significant,
    Nikki Aharonian


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  29. geraldine461 says:

    Dear Pat,
    I started following Patter shortly after starting my part-time EdD five years ago and have found your guidance invaluable and fun to read. I now have numerous documents on my computer with titles beginning with the words ‘Shut Up…..’ following your ‘Shut up and write’ advice- an approach that really works for me. I set out to write a thesis that could be read by teachers and students as well as academics, and I think that I managed that. Fortunately, the examiners also enjoyed reading it, and I have just come away from my Viva with a big smile on my face. Just wanted to say a big ‘Thank you’. I’ve been passing on the details of your blog to fellow students as the ‘go to’ place for help with academic writing. I am now looking to publish so will search out your relevant blogs with interest.


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  31. Eric Ngang says:

    Dear Pat,

    I was comtemplating developing my own website page and to starting blogging on my work. I found you page one of the best I have come across. I have been absorbed into its contents.


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