contributions and comments

Writing for patter

I really do welcome contributions to patter. I’m interested in the doctoral experience, supervision, academic writing and everyday academic life. Please email me if you’d like to talk about writing something. Im contactable at my university address – patricia.thomson@nottingham.ac.uk

If you are writing for Patter then this information may help:

  • Posts are usually between 800 – 1200 words
  • Patter readers are doctoral researchers, early career researchers and supervisors. They are all over the world so don’t assume that they know about your particular location or that what you experience is the same everywhere
  • Posts are relatively informal and don’t usually have a lot of references. They do have hyperlinks out to relevant sites and texts
  • The tone is informal, much less formal than conventional academic writing. It’s good for a blog post to have the ‘voice’ of its writer
  • Posts are either about sharing information, resources, experiences or offering strategies.  I don’t like one best solutions, recipes, blueprints, and self help style advice. (My own posts are very often pedagogical in intention, that is, I speak as a supervisor and someone who runs workshops and courses on academic writing and research methods)
  • I like to use an image or two in each post. You can find these on Flickr Commons, Giphy or other sites where there are free to use images or GIFs. I try to make the image do some work rather than simply illustrate, and I often have a caption which reflects my sense of humour. I will find an image if you don’t have time.
  • I am fond of the quirky and idiosyncratic, and I like to have some posts that are just a bit off beat.

Comments

I filter the comments on this blog. I am always interested in comments that are conversational and that add something to what I have written. I also like knowing whether posts have been of interest or useful.

I do not publish comments that are pedantic – I’m really not as fussed about grammar as some people – nor am I interested in comments that are personal, rude or combative.

I filter comments that contain URLs to commercial services even if they are helpful. Im afraid I maintain a very strict non commercial approach. I get no handouts from publishers and accept no advertising in any form.

I particularly loathe comments that come from commercial essay writing services – I can always tell this kind of spam. Don’t waste your time.

15 Responses to contributions and comments

  1. Sue Gollifer says:

    Hi Pat,

    Have you written anything on writing conference presentation papers? We seem to be so focused on article writing and publication, and less on how to communicate aspects of our research to an academic audience in the hope of critical feedback and discussion. At least I am struggling with maintaining a focus on a topic in a 15 to 20 minute time restriction, in a way that benefits both my audience and my own needs. If you have already posted on this topic, could you tell me under which blog entry, and if not, it would be great to hear your words of wisdom on the topic.

    Many thanks.

    Sue Gollifer

    Like

  2. Hi Pat, I’ve seen that you have blogged some on answering questions at conferences. But lately I have been thinking a lot about how to ask presenters good questions- by ‘good’ I mean constructive and helpful. Do you have advice on how to phrase or approach this? I seem to struggle to pose a point of criticism/clarification in a way which is not taken as an attack. Alternatively, I also worry that I can ask questions that are too ‘nice’ and so do not help advance or develop the presenter’s ideas. This might vary substantially on who the presenter is (undergraduate, postgraduate, lecturer, etc) and the context (larger conference, small presentation to research group, marking) but if you have any words of wisdom (or previous posts I overlooked) that would be very helpful!

    Thanks!
    Katherine

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rhodaleza says:

    Hello there Pat, I am a grade 7 public school teacher. I know that there are lots of studies about teaching approaches but I am still struggling in choosing the most suitable teaching strategies that I may use in my students. I am dealing with a heterogeneous group of learners. Can you give me a piece of advice regarding this matter?

    Like

  4. Anon says:

    Hi Pat,
    Just wondering if you’ve got any resources or thoughts on ‘feedback from Supervisors to Students’ at different stages of the thesis writing process?

    I’d like to send some of my work to my Supervisors but I want to ensure that there are some clear parameters around feedback (e.g. I don’t want to get caught up in minute detail at this stage but rather know if I’m on the right track).

    Most Appreciated!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. J. M. Davies says:

    Hi Pat

    Thanks for your insightful pieces – they’ve been very helpful. I’m a second year PhD student and I want to employ case study strategy for my research. Having read through the literature on this topic I am getting increasingly confused regarding what constitutes a ‘case’. Some authors argue it is the person/institution and others the issue that is being investigated e.g. welfare reform. If the latter, it would then be a single case study and the organisations being investigated would then be the samples. Please correct me if I am wrong as I want to get going on my Methodology Chapter draft but keep wasting time in trying to clarify the concept.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Alex Haynes says:

    Dear Pat – I really do get something from every post you write. They seem to come at just the right time and give me just the right amount of something else to think about, and use. When I started the PhD I subscribed to numerous interesting and relevant blogs but yours is the only one that has really survived the test of time. I always read it even if at first glance it doesn’t relate. If it’s something I am already doing or know it still gives a little bit more confidence I am not doing too badly. It is a lonely old journey sometimes. So this is just a very big thank you comment – I have another 12 months (part-time) to go so keep them coming. Regards Alex

    Like

  7. ameenacott says:

    Hi Pat, I’m not a Doctoral student however my husband is and he passed your website address onto me saying it is a great example of blogging! After a very stressful day, you brought a smile to my face whilst reading your latest post. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  8. Franchetta Beckford says:

    Good day Pat,
    I graduated with my Ph.D. in 2013, but I haven’t published one article from my dissertation. Have I waited too long to do so? If not, what can I do to make my writing fresh?

    Like

  9. Katherine Ellsworth-Krebs says:

    Hi Pat,

    I have seen a couple posts by you on the academic CV but I was wondering if you have written advice (or could?) on writing a cover letter/job application. Are there particularly helpful phrases to include (or avoid – e.g. talking too much about PhD), topics to start with (e.g. your research specialisation), and information you must absolutely include (e.g. viva date)? Any examples you could share?

    Thanks as usual for all your helpful/encouraging/considerate advice!!
    Katherine

    Like

  10. Katrina McChesney says:

    Hi Pat

    If it’s not too narrow a focus, could we have a post on where to start with writing vignettes? I’m starting to write up the results chapter of my (mixed-methods) PhD thesis and want to use some vignettes to bring together participants’ ideas, feelings and wording about their experiences – in my supervisor’s words, to “really let the reader in”. I can find stuff online about using vignettes as an interviewing strategy (give participants a pre-prepared vignette and ask them to respond / interpret etc) but nothing much on how to go about writing one as part of communicating results in academic writing.

    Thanks!

    Like

  11. Chetan Sahasrabudhe says:

    Hi Pat

    Let me begin by saying that your blog has immensely helped me in the process of writing my Thesis. Whenever I hit a block I could simply search your blog and get direction. Thanks a tonne for that!
    I was wondering if you could do a post on annexures or appendices to a PhD Thesis. I guess they could contribute to the ‘audit trail’ that you had mentioned in one of your posts. My thesis relies on archival documents so should some of them be put in an appendix? Is there more to it? (BTW are annexure and appendix just synonyms?)

    Would love to read your thoughts on these!

    regards

    Like

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