Category: academic writing

Impact Round Up 10th May: Reputational gaps, registered reports, and serendipity in research.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. Give the pioneers a chance – OA and closing the reputational gap for young scientists by Alexander Grossman: Substitute pay-walled journals with new open science technologies to publicly publish your scientific results; continue to use social network tools […]

The right tool for the job: Five collaborative writing tools for academics.

Research collaboration now involves significant online communication. But sending files back and forth between collaborators creates redundancy of effort, causes unnecessary delays and, many times, leaves people frustrated with the whole idea of collaboration. Luckily, there are many web-based collaborative writing tools aimed at the general public or specifically at academic writers to help. Christof Schöch looks at the different tools out […]

Designing ‘attention points’ in academic work: Four principles for improving tables, graphs, charts and diagrams.

Attention points in a written text help to focus readers’ attention  on the key points of the research findings. While the inclusion of such points are generally recognised as vital, Patrick Dunleavy finds that in practice, many scholarly writers struggle with basic design strategies. He identifies four top-level design principles to consider when constructing tables, charts, graphs, or diagrams. Particularly in a digital era it […]

Blogging can be a release from all the structural pressures corroding the creative impulse in academic writing.

Mark Carrigan untangles the mixture of creativity and routine when academics sit down to convey complex thoughts. Waiting for the organic moment of inspiration when deadlines loom can be unreliable. By making blogging his main vehicle for intellectual exploration, he was free to explore a form of creative expression that he found intensely liberating. Is consistent writing a matter of attentiveness to moments of inspiration […]

Book Review: Doing Research in the Real World by David E. Gray

In this book David E. Gray introduces readers to the essential aspects of the research process, covering topics ranging from best approaches to the design of appropriate research tools, to issues of data collection, analysis, and writing up. The author skilfully explains complex and … Continue reading

Why do academics choose useless titles for articles and chapters? Four steps to getting a better title.

An informative title for an article or chapter maximizes the likelihood that your audience correctly remembers enough about your arguments to re-discover what they are looking for. Without embedded cues, your work will sit undisturbed on other scholars’ PDF libraries, … Continue reading

Should authors strive to have a consistent and recognisable style of writing?

As academics look to write for different audiences and in more accessible ways, it is worth paying closer attention to the variety of styles across different genres. James Hartley asks, do writing styles change over time – or are they consistent … Continue reading

Research is about making sense of things and channelling further thought: our top five posts on how to write

Our posts on the process of writing well proved popular with our readers again this year. Here are our top five most read pieces on academic writing.  Science and the English Language – lessons from George Orwell Drawing on George … Continue reading

Writing Across Boundaries: An opportunity for researchers to reflect on the process and anxiety of academic writing.

The process of writing-up one’s fieldwork data can be daunting for even the most seasoned researcher. Bob Simpson and Robin Humphrey discuss the Writing Across Boundaries initiative, which is aimed at supporting early career researchers who are seeking to engage … Continue reading