• Permalink Gallery

    Writing a page-turner: how to tell a story in your scientific paper

Writing a page-turner: how to tell a story in your scientific paper

People love stories. We watch, read, tell, and listen to stories every day. Despite this, most researchers don’t think in terms of story when they write a journal paper. To Anna Clemens, that’s a missed opportunity, because storytelling is easy to implement in your manuscript provided you know how. Think of the six plot elements – character, setting, tension, […]

Print Friendly

Understanding the frustration of academic writers

Have you ever found yourself unable to complete a piece of writing because something else got in the way: a more urgent commitment, a lack of crucial information, an inability to find the right words? If yes, then you are probably well acquainted with frustration, an emotion commonly felt by academic writers but seldom explicitly discussed or examined. When […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Five steps to meeting the challenges of maintaining an appropriate writing voice

Five steps to meeting the challenges of maintaining an appropriate writing voice

It’s often said that to embark upon a PhD you must be passionate about your topic. But when it comes to writing up your thesis, being passionate can seem at odds with the need to maintain an academically cool and objective writing voice. Daniel Beaudoin shares five simple steps to keep the “me” in check; including firstly by recognising […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Writer’s block is not a struggle with your writing but with your thinking. Write your way out of it

Writer’s block is not a struggle with your writing but with your thinking. Write your way out of it

Most graduate writers who are struggling with their writing are actually struggling with their thinking. It isn’t a psychological block, but rather the intellectual confusions endemic to the process of communicating sophisticated research. To Rachael Cayley, these confusions are real and can have deleterious consequences for writing, but when we treat these problems as conceptual problems in our thinking […]

Print Friendly

Six academic writing habits that will boost productivity

What’s the secret to a productive spell of writing? Chris Smith shares insights gleaned from interviews with a diverse group of academics, from which a number of common academic writing habits stood out. These range from the simple acts of scheduling and setting self-imposed deadlines, to both formal and informal accountability partnerships and the use of “freewriting” techniques which […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    All journals should have a policy defining authorship – here’s what to include

All journals should have a policy defining authorship – here’s what to include

Scientific research papers with large numbers of authors have become more commonplace, increasing the likelihood of authorship disputes. Danielle Padula, Theresa Somerville and Ben Mudrak emphasise the importance of journals clearly defining and communicating authorship criteria to researchers. As well as having a policy for inclusion, journals should also indicate unethical authorship practices, clarify the order of authors at […]

Print Friendly

2017 in review: top posts of the year

As 2017 nears its end and before our focus is drawn to whatever the new year might have in store, now is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the last twelve months on the Impact Blog. Editor Kieran Booluck reports on another year in which our readership has grown, and also shares a selection of the […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

2017 in review: round-up of our top posts on academic writing

“Remember a condition of academic writing is that we expose ourselves to critique” – 15 steps to revising journal articles
Before having your paper accepted for publication you’ll almost certainly be required to revise it at least once. For less experienced authors this may not feel so straightforward. Deborah Lupton has compiled a list of tips for authors who have been asked […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Writing a PhD in your second language: seven reasons you’re doing great and five ways to do even better

Writing a PhD in your second language: seven reasons you’re doing great and five ways to do even better

For those PhD students for whom English is not their first language, writing a thesis can be a daunting task and a source of some anxiety too. Katherine Firth has worked with many of these students and as well as offering reasons why they should feel reassured, also provides a short list of simple pointers to help improve their skills. […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    The crumbling façade: my experience working for an essay mill

The crumbling façade: my experience working for an essay mill

According to a recent UK Government-backed review, academics are topping up their earnings by writing for “essay mill” sites which help students to cheat in their assignments. S. A. Mills was one of those academics and recounts the experience here; offering an insight into the allure of such opportunities for those either out of work or in precarious positions, as […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Michael McQuarrie on writing for blogs: “the most utility comes from allowing me to think through a problem that is bugging me and then publish something about the result”

Michael McQuarrie on writing for blogs: “the most utility comes from allowing me to think through a problem that is bugging me and then publish something about the result”

In the wake of Donald Trump’s surprise election victory one year ago, LSE Sociology Associate Professor, Michael McQuarrie wrote on the regional nature of Trump’s win. His blog post, “Trump and the Revolt of the Rust Belt”, has been viewed over 35,000 times and forms the basis of a new article in the British Journal of Sociology. Chris Gilson, Managing Editor of the LSE USA Politics […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

Against “reductionism”: envisioning each piece of writing in its own right, not as a version of something else

It’s not uncommon for authors to be asked to submit a shortened version of a research article or piece of writing. This, says Thomas Basbøll, is too often looked upon as a problem of “reduction”, of pruning a longer text. Rather, the enormous surplus of knowledge that the longer text demonstrates the author has is a material resource for […]

Print Friendly

Materiality of Research: Without End: Documents of Research

What are the parameters of the academic document? And how can its myriad forms deepen and shape the process of being in research? Ahead of upcoming postgraduate symposium Without End: Documents of Research (University of Northampton, 16 February 2018), Meghann Hillier-Broadley and Francis Blore reflect on the generative potential of the various fragments – from post-it notes to notebooks to highlighted texts – that form the material substances inspiring […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    New web services are helping authors make data-driven decisions when choosing which journal to submit to

New web services are helping authors make data-driven decisions when choosing which journal to submit to

With more than 34,000 active scholarly peer-reviewed journals, how do authors choose which one to submit to? Amy Forrester, Bo-Christer Björk and Carol Tenopir liken this process to a long-term investment decision, with access to critical information on a variety of factors being imperative. A new generation of web tools and services can help authors to find data on journals […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing edited by Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean

Book Review: Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing edited by Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean

In Crumpled Paper Boat: Experiments in Ethnographic Writing, editors Anand Pandian and Stuart McLean offer a collection that seeks to open up the possibilities for ethnographic research by approaching writing as a “material adventure”. As the volume grapples with longstanding questions regarding the ethical challenges of capturing one’s subjects in language, Fawzia Haeri Mazanderani nonetheless finds this a moving reminder of the power of words to enable entry […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

Book Review: The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things by Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener

In The Open Book: Stories of Academic Life and Writing or Where We Know Things, Ninna Meier and Charlotte Wegener offer an experimental co-memoir that blurs, unhooks and reweaves the relationship between “academic” and “creative” writing, while also disturbing traditional divisions between professional and personal life. The book succeeds in bringing emotion and empathy to academic writing, writes Vanessa Longden, and prompts reflection on personal practice.
This […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Post-publication blues: how getting published can be the beginning and not the end of your publication woes

Post-publication blues: how getting published can be the beginning and not the end of your publication woes

To many authors, the point of publication can feel like the culmination of a process; the moment one’s troubles are over. But for many others, it can mark the start of a new set of wholly unanticipated problems. Elizabeth Gadd discusses some of the challenges she has faced after having her own papers published; from a lack of certainty about […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Towards more integrative research practices: introducing Open Walked Event-based Experimentations

Towards more integrative research practices: introducing Open Walked Event-based Experimentations

In recent years, many academics have expressed their dissatisfaction or disillusionment with academia. Some have tired of the “publish or perish” game, while others have grown bored of traditional practices of academic writing and conference attendance. To address this problem, François-Xavier de Vaujany and Laetitia Vitaud present a new research method: Open Walked Event-based Experimentations. Key to OWEE is spending […]

Print Friendly
  • Permalink Gallery

    Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

Collaborative researcher behaviour has not (yet) increased in response to incentive regimes’ performance measures

A somewhat cynical view of researcher motivations suggests that, when faced with new quantitative performance measures as part of their local incentive regimes, researchers will quickly modify their behaviours in an effort to optimise their own performance. Charlotte Wien, Bertil F. Dorch and Asger Væring Larsen set about testing this notion, looking more closely at how their own Danish […]

Print Friendly
This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.