Category Archives: academic writing

we need to talk about Zoom

This is a guest post from Mark Carrigan who works as postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.  There’s a peculiar kind of exhaustion which comes from spending an afternoon staring at Zoom. I’m mentally drained … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Mark Carrigan, meetings, online meeting | Tagged , | 7 Comments

a parable for online teaching

The early 1930s. Pre Nazi Germany. Walter Benjamin, philosopher and cultural critic, regularly presents a twenty minute “book lore”programme on German radio. In his story “On the minute”  Benjamin tells us that when his programmes were first commissioned, the department … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, audience, online teaching, pedagogy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

are we all part time now?

Being a part-time doctoral researcher is hard. Part-timers are generally already in work, professionals, “mature”, doing the doctorate to upgrade quals and/or further an interest. There’s a lot of part-time in my field of education, and in other areas like … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, part time PhD, space | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

getting by and getting on

I’ve spent a lot of time online shopping these last two weeks. Shopping for food. Before we went to Australia we’d let the store cupboard run down as we didn’t want to come home to rats, mice or moths. When … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, pandemic | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

what to do now?

zoom zoom spotify what’s app email wix facetime zoom skype Instagram email twitter teams twitch zoom youtube skype email email email wix twitter zoom zoom I have put more apps on my screens during the last week than in the … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, ethics of care | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

managing research risks – riding the wave of #phdpandemic

A lot of research doesn’t go to plan. Researchers encounter a few hiccups along the way and in order to avoid problems, they make adjustments to their process. The research goes ahead, just slightly differently. But what usually goes wrong … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Pandemics and PHDs

The pandemic is upon us. My university is moving rapidly online with everyone who can working at home. I’ve seen a lot on social media about how to teach online, whether to teach on line, and how to offer students … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, pandemic, stress | Tagged , | 19 Comments

research as creative practice

Health warning – this is a tiny rant about one of my pet peeves, research “training”. It also draws on my own research in creativity and education. My starting point – Research is a creative process. The connection between research … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, courses, creativity, doctoral education, doctoral pedagogies, doctoral research, methods, research methods, research training | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

writing advice – caveat emptor

Advice. Loads of it. Coming out of our ears.  And on every possible topic, including research and writing. Advice needs readers. But we readers also need to be, as Ernest Hemingway put it, “crap detectors”. Howard Rheingold has worked up … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, advice, crap detection, Howard Rheingold, poor advice | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

playing about with data

Not everything we do in our research has to have a definite end point. Sometimes it’s good to set aside all those anxieties about ‘getting through and getting done’. We might even like to take some time to simply play … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, data, data analysis, play | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments