Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

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

how to talk about writing…

Everyone who talks about writing has to use language that people can relate to and understand. Of course. Duh. Sometimes this means using terms that are already in circulation – like pomodoro and shut up and write. while these terms … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Larry McEnerney, reader, talking writing, value | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

a book about style and form

I read at least one book about writing every month. Because nobody sends me these for free, this means I buy at least one book about writing each month. I know you are imagining my bookshelves, but rest easy, most … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Amitava Kumar, form, style | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

last-minute proofing – 12 things to look for

The last stages of handing in a thesis or book can be very trying.  It’s taken you an age to get to the point where this big hefty manuscript is as ready as it’s going to be. Well just about. You … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, Big Book, proof-reading, proofreading, thesis | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

patter’s diary

Health warning. This post contains no advice. Here in the UK we are now over the results of the Research Excellence Framework, REF, the UK audit measure of institutional “quality” and “productivity”. We can all breathe a sigh of relief … Continue reading

Posted in audit regimes, REF | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

should you highlight the paper you’re reading? 

The short answer to the question is… maybe, it depends. Not a yes or a no. That’s because should you highlight is not a simple question. Unless you are a marker addict of course, in which case the answer is … Continue reading

Posted in highlighting, note-taking, reading | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

propositional density – a helpful steer on writing and revising

Yes, it’s another post on terminology, on naming. Being able to give something a name is important – a name is shorthand for a lot of information. When we name something we can then discuss it, and this is of … Continue reading

Posted in nominalisation, nouny, propositional density, revision, revision strategy | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

using the progressive disclosure principle in academic writing

I work a lot with artists and designers. Because I’m a bit of a magpie, I have a habit of collecting – and then using – their principles and approaches. A lot of them are interesting, because they make you … Continue reading

Posted in drafting, progressive disclosure principle, revision | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

anonymisation – what’s in a name?

Many researchers find themselves inventing names because it’s standard ethical procedure to anonymise the people we’ve talked with and the places we’ve been. And naming is of course a simple and straightforward process. Well, maybe. Well, not all the time. … Continue reading

Posted in anonymisation, anonymity | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

everyday annotation

Last week I stumbled across the book Annotation, written by Remi Kalir and Antero Garcia. As the title suggests, the book is all about the history and practices of annotating texts. And probably because the book is from the MIT … Continue reading

Posted in annotation, footnote, marginalia, note-taking, reading | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

my supervisor expects me to keep revising – why?

I often hear doctoral researchers asking this question. They’ve sent their supervisor some writing. It’s come back with feedback and suggestions and maybe actual corrections. The doc. researcher has attended to all of these and sent the revised text back … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral experience, doctoral pedagogies, revision, supervision, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments