Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

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

academic sentences -#wakeupreader

Academic sentences are often lengthy. They make a point and then add multiple caveats and embellishments. Some people think there is an ideal sentence length. I have read for instance that the ideal newspaper sentence is somewhere around twenty words. Perhaps a … Continue reading

Posted in #wakeupreader, rhythm, sentence length, syntax, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

a ‘good academic day’

What is a good academic day? What happens to make you go home/leave the office and say to your partner or cat/dog/budgie – I had such a good day today. I’ve come to the rather obvious conclusion that my good … Continue reading

Posted in academic day, academic life | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

a researcher on someone else’s project?

I completed my PhD after a pretty substantial professional career. Then, I went into an academic job and jumped straight into my own small research projects. Now, somewhat later,  I direct larger and longer research projects, often with a colleague and a small research … Continue reading

Posted in career, early career researchers, researcher, researcher identity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

begin as you mean to go on #wakeupreader

Your average doctoral thesis is about the same length as a fat airport novel, but nowhere near as racy. We could/should ask whether a thesis ought to be as riveting as a whodunnit or chick lit.  And we’d probably conclude that a … Continue reading

Posted in revision, revision strategy, sentence beginnings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

new series -#wakeupreader

When my son was about ten years old we went on holiday to Perth. We didn’t fly, as many people do. We drove from Adelaide where we lived. That’s a distance of 2691.44 km, about twenty-four hours driving time. It takes … Continue reading

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it’s all about wordplay

I quite like a short sentence. And a phrase by itself. Only for stylistic purposes, you understand. Nevertheless, it’s important to vary sentence length, otherwise your reader goes to sleep. I prefer the active voice. And don’t let anyone tell you … Continue reading

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a two week book chapter – a.k.a. down the writing burrow

I’ve just written a book chapter in two weeks. This is a long time for me, and it was hard work. I’m usually someone who plans their writing quite carefully. I begin with an abstract and then flesh it out by … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments