Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK

unlearning – a tiny reflection

There’s a lot of learning that goes on in universities. Of course, I hear you say, that is what universities are about. Yes, but I’m thinking particularly about the learning that goes on during the doctorate and afterwards. On and … Continue reading

Posted in de-familiarisation, reflexivity, the familiar, unlearning | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

is academic writing changing?

Just the other day. Just the other day someone asked me if I thought that academic writing was becoming more ‘authentic’. I didn’t really understand what this meant. But then I got it – ‘authentic’ writing was when academic writers … Continue reading

Posted in good academic writing, Helen Sword, reader, style, style and structure | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

academic writing – from Tiny Text to road map

But wait ! There’s more. In the last post I showed the usual way I develop a piece of writing from tables through graphic design to a Tiny Text.  This post completes the picture. Here I’m using a Tiny Text as … Continue reading

Posted in outline, Tiny Text, word budget | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

academic writing – from a bunch of stuff to text outline

Someone asked me the other day how I did my own writing. I get asked this a lot and I don’t often answer – I don’t want you to think that you have to work like me. No. Every academic … Continue reading

Posted in graphic organisier, literature reviews, organisation for writing, Tiny Text | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

the dictionary is (sometimes) your friend – starting the PhD

If you are doing a PhD it’s a good idea to buy, or find online, a good reliable dictionary.  Not only doctoral researchers a good dictionary. Most of us use a dictionary rather more than we let on. Just yesterday … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing voice, dictionary, Howard Becker, starting the PhD | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

route recalculation – starting the phd

Expectations are a funny thing. Particularly when it comes to the doctorate. On the one hand you want to anticipate the smoothest and most interesting route through the PhD. But focusing only on the dream doctorate can leave you shocked … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, emotional research, research agenda, research as process, research design, research methods, research plan | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

the bibliomemoir – a musing

The bibliomemoir is a thing. The bibliomemoir is an autobiographical account of a life told through a discussion of books. Books that mattered to the writer and are connected to key events in their life. I have three bibliomemoirs on … Continue reading

Posted in bibliomemoir, books, library, reading | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

setting goals – starting the PhD

If you’re just starting the PhD, you goal is to finish. Finish. Get it done. Get yourself across the stage to receive your testamur. Wear the floppy hat and gown. Change the signature on your email. Finally a Doctor. Makes … Continue reading

Posted in planning, time-limited doctorates, writing goals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

writing a lot – starting the PhD, and finishing it

When you write, you must write a lot, but that does not mean you will publish a lot, which means that when you are writing, or when you have finished writing, it might be that no one knows that you … Continue reading

Posted in rewriting, routine, writing and thinking, writing as work, writing routine | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

unlearning who you are and what you know? starting the doctorate

No-one arrives at a doctorate as a blank slate. Everyone brings with them particular histories – we have life experiences and personal pathways which are classed, raced, gendered; work experiences and sometimes long professional careers; as well as educational histories. … Continue reading

Posted in 'mature' doctoral researcher, academic writing, identity, mature age PhD, outsider, professional doctorate, scholarly identity, starting the PhD | Tagged , , | 3 Comments