If you come to my house, and I give you a beautiful piece of basil-smeared chicken breast, wrapped in pancetta, on a bed of baby potatoes, petit pois and two wilted greens, anointed with a soupçon of jus… you are not going to think, ‘You know what, I bet she can’t cook steak.’ You wouldn’t even think, ‘You know what, I bet she doesn’t have anything else in her pantry.’ Instead, you think, ‘She chose, from all her store of ingredients, just the best ones.’
Academic writing is like nouvelle cuisine. Just a tiny field of study. Just one methodology, perhaps two if they complement each other perfectly. Just a few, well-chosen case studies.
Too often, doctoral literature reviews, research questions, or contentions are trying to do ALL THE METHODZ, with ALL THE KNOWINGZ, and ALL THE STUFFZ.
It’s cordon bleu, darling, don’t try to SuperSize me.