Category: academic writing

The key elements of a research story – Top Posts of 2015: Academic Writing

Who, What, Where, When, Why: Using the 5 Ws to communicate your research A lay summary can be a useful approach to breaking down barriers and making research accessible. A good summary focuses on the important aspects of the research, but distilling this information is not always easy. A helpful starting point for identifying the key elements of a research story can be the […]

‘First you see, then you know’: Becoming more creative in academic work

Across disciplines and projects, there can be pressure for researchers to provide novel insights. But this can be easier said than done. Patrick Dunleavy offers some helpful strategies for innovative and creative thinking. Look beyond your discipline and through forms of science and scholarly communication that are more accessible. And make sure to keep a record (perhaps as a blog?) so you don’t lose […]

Standing on the shoulders of the Google giant: Sustainable discovery and Google Scholar’s comprehensive coverage.

The 11th anniversary of Google Scholar passed yesterday. Max Kemman provides an overview of the growth and impact of the platform and also looks at why Google Scholar is virtually unrivaled. The scholarly community might ask whether it is entirely desirable that Google plays such an important role in the scholarly workflow. Not only does Google Scholar have a known effect on discovery and citation of […]

101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication: How researchers are getting to grip with the myriad of new tools.

There has been a surge of new scholarly communication tools in recent years. But how are researchers incorporating these tools into their research workflows? Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer are conducting a global survey to investigate the choices researchers are making and why. Insights from these surveys will be valuable for libraries, research support, funders, but also for researchers themselves. Are we […]

Students can write: Making writing tasks relevant and personal can bring out hidden skills.

A common complaint about student writing is that it is often very poor. Students don’t understand grammar, don’t know how to spell, don’t know what paragraphs are for, don’t understand how to reference… and so on. James Hartley writes that all of this is often true – but that it needn’t be. In one experiment, students wrote much more clearly when […]

Why is this reading so hard? Finding your way through unfamiliar texts.

Entering a new field of inquiry through reading often takes time. You don’t get a sense of it all straight away and it is sometimes very hard to discriminate between the writing that is unfamiliar and deals with difficult ideas that really challenge and stretch our thinking, and the crappy stuff. But, Pat Thomson argues, it is important to do […]

Life in the Accelerated Academy: anxiety thrives, demands intensify and metrics hold the tangled web together.

The imagined slowness of university life has given way to a frenetic pace, defined by a perpetual ratcheting up of demands and an entrepreneurial ethos seeking new and quantifiable opportunities. Mark Carrigan explores the toxic elements of this culture and its underlying structural roots. As things get faster, we tend to accept things as they are rather than imagining how they might be. […]

Book Review: How to Write a Thesis by Umberto Eco

Now in its twenty-third edition in Italy and translated into seventeen languages, How to Write a Thesis has become a classic. This is its first, long overdue publication in English. Vanessa Longden thinks that in addition to its witty one-liners, Eco’s book contains the bare bones on which to build research.  This review originally appeared on LSE Review of Books. How to Write a […]