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The Research-Writing-Edit-Proof Cycle as a back and forth map

Think -> Write -> Edit -> Polish
by Katherine Firth

This post is for anyone who saw the Writing Cycle posts and thought–hmmmm, but what happens when I have to rewrite? what about gaps that I have to fill in? Isn’t that all a bit simple?

Sure! Simple is helpful–I draw four arrows in a circle and BAM! you get it.

I regularly chat to doctoral candidates in the depths of despair, with no hope of ever writing again… I show them the writing cycle, tell them to do one thing at a time and BAM! they are set free to write again.  (Except often we have a pause for them to cry first.  I said it was magic. I told you it changed people’s lives.)

But sometimes, after you’ve made that first step, some of the details of going forward require some finer grained instructions.  ‘What do I do now?’ I am often asked.  So I’ll probably be posting variations, improvements, and tweaks to this process for a while.  I just had a meeting the other day about what ‘Structural Editing’ actually involved… and I have a new diagram brewing as I type. But that is for another day. 

Today, I want to show you a research map that I designed for undergraduates, but that I think might help you too.  Sometimes we forget to see the wood for the trees, so stepping back to the basics can help.

A diagram of the 3 stages of research
Research Plan map
by Katherine Firth

You’re welcome.

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