Category Archives: argument

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 , , , , | 9 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 , , , , , | 7 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 , , , | 5 Comments

academic publishing in English

This week I was at a sociology of education summer school. As you might expect, I was there to talk about academic writing and publishing. In this context, I wanted to situate my usual topic in a wider context, and … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, English language, publishing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

writing an academic ransom note

I’m in Australia at present. Inevitably I’m running some writing workshops. Inevitably I’m playing with some new strategies. I really do like to try out new things to see how they work, what they might do. And one of the … Continue reading

Posted in argument, authentic voice, authority in writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

paper, thesis and book titles – think ‘key words’ and ‘the point’

We all know that it is now more important than ever to have searchable paper, (digital) thesis and book titles. So, as well as the key word list, titles need to use the kinds of words that will show up … Continue reading

Posted in argument, James Hartley, keywords, the point, titles | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

taste the #acwri difference – recount, summary, argument

There are three major genres of academic writing that we use most of the time. It’s good to understand the differences between them and where they are used, and how. Recount A recount is a text which talks about what … Continue reading

Posted in argument | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments