Category Archives: argument

a thesis (often) needs A Big Idea

Everyone knows that the thesis has to make a contribution. No probs. Well yes, there are actually probs. At the end of the research it can be hard to find one. Contribution, where is it? You’re exhausted from generating all … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, Big Idea, contribution, thesis | 5 Comments

what is “measured” writing?

I was recently part of a small discussion on another social media platform where someone reported that their supervisor had said their writing wasn’t sufficiently “measured’. Without seeing the actual work it was pretty hard to understand what the supervisor … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, boosters, disciplines, hedges, measured writing, nominalisation, passive voice, stance, thingification | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

mapping a text

I love a good map. I’m not talking about the satnav you have in your car, or its predecessor the street directory. Nor am I talking about the underground map I occasionally have to consult when I’m down in London. … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, book writing, mapping, thesis | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

getting to grips with ‘the paragraph’

I was recently asked how I felt about paragraphs. “Well you know, all the feels” I might have replied. But I didn’t, largely because I don’t usually think about the paragraph. The question made me wonder whether I take the … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, drafting, outline, outline by sentences, Outline move, paragraph, revision, revision strategy, topic sentence | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

thesis knowhow – “the contribution” can create coherence

My Nordic colleagues often say that the thesis has to have a red thread, a line of argument that holds things together. So what’s this red thread? Think of the red thread as a sturdy rope that guides the reader … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, coherence, contribution, thesis, thesis warrant | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

writing the thesis – work, moves and structure

Before you start to wrestle your material into a thesis structure, it’s helpful to consider the work that the thesis has to do, and the moves that ensure the work is done. Once you understand the work and the moves, … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, academic writing as work, argument, four thesis moves, structure, thesis, thesis warrant | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

the citation dump – and three more citation tactics to avoid – #thesisknowhow

All doctoral researchers know they must locate their work in the literatures. They also know that they must refer to the relevant literatures when they make an argument. Unsubstantiated claims are not acceptable, unless of course they are what is … Continue reading

Posted in argument, citation, citation dump, citations, literature review, literature reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments