Category Archives: academic writing

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

Posted in academic writing, revision, revision strategy, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

use a structured abstract to help write and revise

Most journals don’t expect an abstract to be written in a particular format. But some do. They require writers to follow a particular format – a pre-structured template. These templates – structured abstracts as they are called – are specifically … Continue reading

Posted in abstracts, academic writing, conference abstract, Pat Thomson, revision, revision strategy, structured abstract, structured abstracts, thesis abstract | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

a first draft in five minutes a day?

This is a brief post. It’s a brief post about a brief strategy which helps you to get started on writing that feels a bit – well – a bit boring. It’s the five minutes a day strategy. Boring? Yes … Continue reading

Posted in being stuck, boring writing, crappy first draft, pomodoro, speed writing, stuck points, tiny targets, writing to get unstuck | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

working up a first draft: a twelve step strategy

If you are drafting, it is pretty easy to find a lot of advice about the benefits of free writing. Lots of people find that timed writing sprints help to generate content. Unstructured writing is useful to work out what … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, crappy first draft, drafting, notebook, Tiny Text, writing in chunks | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

setting writing goals and targets

#AcWriMo2020, like all of its predecessors, works on the assumption that giving priority to writing during this one month of November sets up, or re-sets, a regular writing habit. #AcWriMo also suggests that you set writing goals and make sure that … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Foucault, starting the PhD, writing routine, writing to learn | 1 Comment

#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

Posted in academic writing, literature review, literature review structure, literature reviews, literature themes | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

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