Other

How should you be recording citations in the digital era?

Get prepared now for a move away ‘legacy’, print-orientated practices

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
Academic references have stayed the same for too long, so that right across the world, and across most disciplines, students and academics are still solemnly recording useless citation information (e.g. place of publication for global publishers) and not recording vital information (e.g. where to access the open […]

What is paragraph re-planning?

Also called ‘reverse outlining’

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.

When you’ve finished a 30 to 40 page article or chapter, the chances are high that you do not really understand what you’ve written. At research level the argument content is normally complex and it never turns out as planned. During the writing process some points expand, others contract. Some ideas work, while […]

Academic citation practices need to be modernized

References should lead to full texts wherever possible

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
Researchers and academics spend a lot of time documenting the sources of the ideas, methods and evidence they have drawn on in their own writings. But I want to try and convince you that our existing citation and referencing practices are now woefully out of date and no longer […]

Are you an academic hermit?

Here’s how to easily change, if you want to

In a recent study of The Impact of the Social Sciences a team of researchers that I lead tried to establish what made some academics well cited and well-regarded academically, and what also made them influential in spheres of life outside academia. To do this we created a stratified random sample […]

Seven questions to ask about how your chapter ends

Final impressions are lasting — make them good ones

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
How many times in reading academic work have you skimmed materials from the beginnings and ends of chapters or papers — the title, abstract, opening paragraphs and conclusions — to try to work out quickly what its key messages are? For myself, I do it a lot. It’s […]

Top Ten questions to ask about your chapter start

Is it high energy and clear, or low energy and diffuse?

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
Readers of Masters dissertations, PhDs or serious non-fiction books focus a lot of attention on the beginnings and endings of chapters. They look to them to get a quick impression of what the new chapter is about. So chapter starts need to be designed with some […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The ‘build, blur, corrode’ (BBC) test can help you edit new writing

The ‘build, blur, corrode’ (BBC) test can help you edit new writing

Every part of your text does one of these three things

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
The act of writing always involves making a commitment. It is hard for any of us to admit we’ve fallen short somehow in text we have already committed to screen or paper, often at great cost in time and energy. ‘What I have written, I have […]

January 27th, 2014|Other, Upgrading text|0 Comments|
  • Permalink Gallery

    In a book or PhD, start each chapter cleanly. Never link back

In a book or PhD, start each chapter cleanly. Never link back

Do “linking forward” at the ends of chapters instead

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain.
In your PhD or large, non-fiction book every chapter needs to do a distinctive job. The ultimate low-energy way of beginning a new chapter is to say ‘As I discussed in the previous chapter, dum de dum de dum’. First, it’s a repetition and so could not be […]