Search Results for: academic-writing

Non-linear structures for academic writing

You don’t have to use the traditional Aristotelian formula for structuring your research story—but it is the most common way to do it, so it’s what people will expect as a default. Doing something unexpected isn’t an issue, you’ll just have to be clear and upfront about what you are doing instead. Use your citations, your methods, key words, and your explanation of how you will structure your writing in the introduction to help the reader expect your non-linear path.

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Structural edits on paper

I just finished the first full draft of the Writing Well and Being Well book, and that means it’s time to go through the structural edits.
This blog post documents how I did it this time.

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When TurnItIn is wrong about plagiarism

I have a lot of issues with TurnItIn and it’s researcher version Authenticate. (There is also a moral argument, which is very valid! but I’m just talking here about the fact that, as tools, they don’t really work). So it’s not surprising that TurnItIn is wrong about plagiarism’s past too.

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Tuning in, tuning out the writing voices in your head

Writing advice gets under people’s skin and into their guts and hearts. When I chat to a person whose self perception of their writing is a long way off the reality I see on the page, I often ask them ‘who told you your writing was like that?’ A school teacher, an undergraduate lecturer, a supervisor. Those comments stick, sometimes for decades.

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Front burner/back burner work

In other words, yes add to your word count and update your EndNote library. But also take time to mull things over or let things mature. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. Do your front burner and your back burner work to sustainably, excellently, elegantly, enjoyably create writing that will wow your readers.

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What’s the best writing posture?

There is no one ideal posture that you should take and maintain for the full working day. Instead, the best posture is actually a series of different positions. At home, you already have a range of furniture and spaces available to you, so it’s easier to switch it up. Changing how you sit every so often, even if it’s just moving chairs every few hours, can make a huge different to your comfort and mobility. Move from the desk to the sofa and back again, or out to the balcony. Stand at the breakfast bar, or use that treadmill or stationary bike in the living room.

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What would it mean to make your writing sacred?

I don’t know that I think you should make your writing sacred. But I do think that you could and you might like to. In any case, this thought-experiment about ‘what would it mean to make your writing sacred’ may help you to think through what you do think about your writing, how you define its meaning and place in your life, and what habits and environments you put around it to help you get that thesis written.

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The “Writing Oxygen” and other tales from inside a writing house

Writing has technical aspects, sure. You need skills, and training. And you need to be organised and disciplined about keeping up with deadlines and juggling projects. And writing has physical challenges, you have to sit and use your back and wrists and neck and eyes. But, you also bring your weird, inner, non-rational self to the desk when you write. The inner self that has views about what music you can listen to, or that you need to enact your writing rituals before typing a word. There are good reasons why you might like what you like, but a lot of it just is personal preference, and that is totally a great reason to take it seriously.

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What is a ‘writing audit’ and when should you do one?

When I was part of the La Trobe RED team, and we were running our Accelerated Completion Programme for late-stage PhD candidates, we got people to do a thing we called a ‘writing audit’, where you counted up what was in all the sections of your PhD, and then worked out what was still missing. It could be scary, or a massive relief, but either way it gave you a sense of where you actually were.

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