Latest Blog Post

Between the paragraph and the word is the ‘line edit’

There is another intermediate stage of editing, which is typically called ‘line edits’ in creative writing. This is the edit that is all about style and grace, about flow, about clarity and voice. In other words, this the edit that is absolutely not essential and many academic writers don’t bother with it. It’s a ‘nice to have’, a cherry on the cake, which is why I haven’t written about it before.

Read More

Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.

Contact

Recent Blog Posts

Catch up on the latest blog posts

Writing is not a luxury | Writing is not the opposite of self-care

This one is going to be a lot of messy thinking aloud about the place of writing and self-care. There will be Latin and Greek! There will be Lorde and Foucault! If you don’t like theory, run very fast in another direction. If you do like theory–this will be a bloggy exemplar of thinking with, not a tight conclusion, and I’d love to talk to you about it!

Read more

Can academic reading be healing?

So often academic reading is experienced as a chore, or an anxiety, or an extractive industry. You might skim, mine or categorise your reading. You might read to critique, to look for the gaps. Perhaps you are looking forward to the day when machine learning tools can do your reading for you. Perhaps you would like to keep up with the wider reading in your field, but don’t feel like you have time. All of these mean that we often have a fraught relationship with reading.

Read more

The best snacks for writing

People like to have snacks while they write for so many different reasons. Once you have worked out why you snack, you can work out what specific things you would like to snack on.

Read more

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.

Read more

250th post on Research Degree Insiders

We’ve just passed a major landmark, with our 250th post here on Research Degree Insiders (about how to anonymise your research for peer review without erasing it!) Back in 2013, I started a tiny place on the internet to share the resources that I was talking about every day with students in one-on-one sessions .

Read more

How I learned to stop over-editing

Everyone has a path to expertise, and sometimes it’s helpful to loop back to an earlier time, when I was trying to work out how these book-length things even were possible, long before I accidentally wrote three books in a year. It’s a story involving a typewriter and a very long poem.

Read more

Is it time to de-clutter your ‘to-be-read’ pile?

There is no need to hoard articles you don’t actually want to read, but feel like maybe you might one day. Or to cling onto things you read years ago, like a dragon on a glittering bed of pdfs. Having a bookshelf or a lot of pdfs in your cloud server is not scholarship, and it isn’t a personality. It’s just having a lot of paper. We don’t care if you own a lot of papers, we care about what your critical and expert opinion is of what you have read, and how you are using it to advance knowledge.

Read more

Subscribe to the newsletter

Resources

Books

For more insider tips, techniques and insights, check out my books.

Level Up Your Essays

Level Up Your Essays is the essential guide to essay writing for university students. Written by the people who mark your essays, it will show you step-by-step how to write high-quality essays that will get you top marks.

Your PhD Survival Guide

The ‘Insider Guides to Success in Academia’ offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. 

How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble

This clear and accessible guide to decoding academic feedback will help you interpret what your lecturer or research supervisor is really trying to tell you about your writing – and show you how to fix it.

Explore popular blog categories