Category Archives: academic writing

beginning the #phd – start writing at the start

Writing, and its alter ego, reading, are the backbone of academic work. The practices that make scholarship what it is.  In the PhD there are multiple places and purposes for writing.  We often focus on the final text, the thesis, … Continue reading

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#litreview. Defining – It’s your ‘take’

Most of us work in occupied research territories. Other researchers have been around at least some of the things that we are concerned with. Their work offers particular interpretations and perhaps ‘evidence’ that may – or may not – be … Continue reading

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#litreview – getting to argument, part 2.

Writing about literatures doesn’t mean writing a summary of what you have read. You dont want a paragraph by paragraph laundry list of the texts you’ve been reading organised into a rough kind of order. Of course you write summaries … Continue reading

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#LitReview – Getting to structure, part one

If you are about to start reading for your doctorate, or are already in the reading phase, then you know that you are reading in order to: refine your research question, locate your work in the field, identify your potential … Continue reading

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dealing with rejection

This is a guest post from Dan Cleather. Dan is a strength coach, educator, scientist and anarchist. His latest book, “Subvert! A philosophical guide for the 21st century scientist”, was published in May. Being an academic requires a thick skin. Very … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, peer review, rejection, research funding | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

revision – writing without protection

Academic writers need to let their readers know that they know what they are talking about. But feeling and talking like an expert is not easy – in fact, it’s often the exact opposite of how you think about yourself. … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Peter Elbow, protective scaffolding, revision, revision strategy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

running a tweetchat

During this difficult pandemic period, Anuja Cabraal and I have been hosting a weekly tweetchat on the #VirtuaNotViral hashtag. Now, a “twitter chat” is not a new thing and we are not the only people doing them. However, we’ve got … Continue reading

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the ‘later on’ PhD

It not unusual to think about the PhD as a seamless pathway from undergraduate to Grad School with maybe a Masters in between. But not all PhDers do go straight through. Many work, often for quite a long time, before they … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, later on PhD, mature age PhD, part time PhD | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

how to start your literature review

Thinking of starting a doctorate? Already deep into PhDing and worried about the literature work? Well, when it comes to working with literatures, the old saying that there’s more than one way to skin a cat might be ugly, but … Continue reading

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this, they, it, those, these – a revision strategy

One of my pet peeves is reading sentences which contain an ambiguous pronoun.  The pronoun stands alone, isolated. The lonely goatherd on the hilltop. Sentences that start with, or contain, an unattached this, they, it, those, these seem to expect the reader … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, grammar, revision, revision strategy, syntax, thesis revision, vagueness | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments