Category Archives: authority in writing

boostering your introduction and conclusion

Academic writing is known for its use of qualifiers – usually words which tone down the claims that are made. We academics know it is impossible/incredibly difficult to establish a generalisable result though research, and our writing signals this difficulty … Continue reading

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exorcise the inner “doctoral student” from your writing

Some of us can probably remember the film The Exorcist. It was one of those “demon child” films so popular in the 1970s. It featured Linda Blair as a possessed young teen – her green-slime spitting, 360 degree swiveling head … Continue reading

Posted in "doctoral student", academic writing, authority in writing, style, voice | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

what’s with the name doctoral ‘student’?

One of the things I’ve been trying really hard to get over is the notion of the doctoral ‘student’. This is by far the most common way to refer to people doing a PhD, and it’s pretty hard not to … Continue reading

Posted in authority in writing, doctoral research, identity, student or researcher | Tagged , , , | 63 Comments

quotations – handle with care

Quotations are dangerous. The way that you use quotations can give away whether you think you are still writing as a student, or writing as an expert scholar in your own right. Student assignments are often heavily strewn with quotations. … Continue reading

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making authoritative claims

Compared to – let’s say journalists for argument’s sake – we academics are generally a lot less prepared to say anything for absolute certain. Why do we do this? Do we simply love complexity and being vague? Well of course … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, authority in writing, claim, contribution, hedges | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

writing like those I admire

That half conscious state between sleeping and waking seems to be the time that I begin to compose a blog post. I often wake up relatively early with a half formed idea. I then work on it idly, gradually waking … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, academic life, academic writing, argument, authority in writing, de Certeau, reading | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

how to read an academic book closely – part three – sucking the stone

There are some books that are important to your study and some that are critical to your ongoing research agenda, and some that you just love. There are also some writers whose work you want to know in great detail. … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, argument, authority in writing, Pat Thomson, reading, reference, terms, theory | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments