Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

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

Structuring and sequencing chunks of writing

Writers think about structure, a lot. They don’t necessarily tell that to their readers. That’s because writers often want their readers to focus on what’s been written, rather than how it’s been organised. But yes, there are loads of texts … Continue reading

Posted in chunking, logical structure, paragraph, structure | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

the thesis discussion – making the move work

This post comes back again at the discussion “chapter”. It seems you can never say too much about this tricky bit of the thesis. A caveat before I start. This post is written from a social science perspective and offers … Continue reading

Posted in argument, discussion, thesis | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

revising – nine steps for making meaning

In 1973 the late Donald Murray published an essay in The Writer in which he argues that writing begins when the first draft is completed. From then on, he says, the writer revises, reads and changes their words, closing in … Continue reading

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required, desirable and delightful elements of academic writing

This is the time of year that I run writing workshops and courses. And because I’m preoccupied with teaching, I’m also thinking about new and different strategies for authoring and revision. Authoring and revision strategies are inter-related – heuristics used … Continue reading

Posted in examiner, Kano Analysis, revision, thesis | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

after the viva/defence – then what?

There is no return to normal. There is no going back to what there was before. You have to find new ways of going on. I could be talking about the pandemic here. Yes indeed. But I’m not. I’m actually … Continue reading

Posted in after-care, identity, post-PhD slump, scholarly identity, viva | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

making your writing authoritative – a citation revision strategy

Readers expect academic writers to know what they are talking about. We meet that expectation by grounding our writing in good scholarship – and making it sound authoritative. Authoritative. You can see the words author and authority contained within authoritative … Continue reading

Posted in authority in writing, citation, citations, laundry list, revision, revision strategy | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

writing a journal article – identifying “the two paper problem”

If you’re writing a journal article, you need write it so that you make one big point. Right? One unavoidable, spelled out, take home message. There may be nuancing of the point, of course. But there’s basically just the one. … Continue reading

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ghosts in the text

Pentimento is the term used to describe the traces of an earlier work glimpsed through layers of paint on a canvas. Marks from the previous composition bleed through the newer surface, a reminder of what went before, a sign of … Continue reading

Posted in pentimento, revision, thesis revision | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

ten playful viva preparation activities

Finished the thesis? Loud cheers. Now to get ready for the viva, or defence as it is called in some places. There’s a lot of great advice about how to prepare for the viva – check out Nathan Ryder’s Viva … Continue reading

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a very neat hack to avoid repetition and duplication

Do you repeat yourself? Most of us do. It’s not unusual. Repetitive writing takes many forms – several sentences that say the same thing using different words, a word or phrase used over and over, paragraphs and sentences that have … Continue reading

Posted in concision, duplication, repetition, revision, revision strategy | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments