Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

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

not writing as usual #AcWriMo

A lot of writing advice focuses on how to be more productive. Write more. Write fast. Write often. Write regularly. Write better. Do we really need this? Well, probably. Writing is important for getting a job, getting a promotion, getting … Continue reading

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Ten quick ideas for refreshing your writing #AcWriMo

It’s nearly November. And that means its AcWriMo. Academic Writing Month. The idea of Acwrimo is to use the month of November to make major headway on a big writing project. Or to kick start a writing project. Or to … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, acwrimo, creative writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

one key thing about making notes

There’s a lot of advice out there for doctoral researchers about how to take notes. Templates. Questions to ask. Visual queues. Mnemonics. It’s great to look at all of these and see what works for you.  But regardless of whether … Continue reading

Posted in field notes, note-taking, notebook | Tagged , | 1 Comment

small scholarly worlds

Despite our globally connected digital world, we still primarily live in “small worlds”. Well, that’s according to George Siemens (2004). Small worlds are generally populated by people who have similar interests and knowledges, Siemens says. However, each small world can … Continue reading

Posted in connectivism, george Siemens, literature mapping, literature review, literature reviews, networks | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

not reading everything

Last week was the first week of teaching. New class. New co-teacher. And for the third year running, the course has been redesigned. From a mix of online and face to face, to all on line, and now all face … Continue reading

Posted in literature mapping, literature reviews, reading, scan-reading | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

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 , , , , | 3 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 , , , , | 17 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

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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