Category Archives: revision

revision – writing without protection

Academic writers need to let their readers know that they know what they are talking about. But feeling and talking like an expert is not easy – in fact, it’s often the exact opposite of how you think about yourself. … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Peter Elbow, protective scaffolding, revision, revision strategy | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

this, they, it, those, these – a revision strategy

One of my pet peeves is reading sentences which contain an ambiguous pronoun.  The pronoun stands alone, isolated. The lonely goatherd on the hilltop. Sentences that start with, or contain, an unattached this, they, it, those, these seem to expect the reader … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, grammar, revision, revision strategy, syntax, thesis revision, vagueness | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

groundhog day in bookland

The lockdown has disrupted our lives in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. Some changes are big. Some little. One of the little things that has affected me is to do with book publication. You may have noticed that many academic book … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, academic writing, book writing, pandemic, revision | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

tracking the path to research claims

All researchers make claims about their work. Remember the phrase staking a claim? That’s what we are actually doing when we claim something. We are metaphorically placing a marker in a field that we are prepared to stand on, stand … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, argument, claim, claims, evidence, revision, revision strategy, thesis, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

a festive gift from patter – a checklist for revising methods chapters

PhDers sometimes find writing the thesis methods chapter a pretty tedious business. But the methods chapter is a key part of the examination process – it shows that the researcher knows how to research. You see, examiners make their decision … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, data, data analysis, methodology, methods, methods chapter, research methods, revision, revision strategy, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

the revision cave

Well, my current book is nearly done. But I was wondering, the other day, why writing a book never gets any easier. I’ve written quite a lot of books. This one is actually the twenty fourth, although about eight of … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, academic writing, book writing, revision, thesis revision | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

revise and resubmit

Yep. Those dreaded words when you get the email back from the journal. R and R. Anything but Rest and Relaxation. Groan. In essence, the message says We have considered your paper and we have decided that – well it’s … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, journal article, reviewer speak, revise and resubmit, revision | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

starting the PhD – learning new vocabulary

Scholarly work often involves learning new words. You know this right? Sometimes it even seems that in order to be considered a scholar you have to speak in words no one else can understand. Well that’s the stereotype. But let’s … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, English language, language, starting the PhD, syntax, vocabulary, word bank | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

eight ways to write theory very badly

If you want to be the person who makes their reader sigh and eventually give up when they get to your theoretical ‘bit’, here’s some non-fail writing strategies. Do these and I guarantee your reader will be enervated and/or exasperated: … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, nominalisation, primary source, reader, secondary source, syntax, theory | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

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