This post is by Alyssa Bernstein, a PhD Candidate at the School of Law at the Queen’s University of Belfast. Alyssa also freelances as a writer, translator, and developer, and likes making things more efficient. This post outlines her writing process and has some interesting tips for people like me, who like to use technology to … Continue reading How evernote can help you with your literature review
We often talk about ‘searching the literature’ – but how do you actually do it? Literature searches are one of those skills that we assume students already have when they get into a PhD. As a consequence we rarely make time to explicitly teach the skills, so it’s probably not surprising that I meet many … Continue reading How to become a literature searching ninja
In case you didn’t already know, this week is Open Access Week. To celebrate, this week’s post is by Belinda Thompson, a PhD Scholar in the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the Australian National University. This post originally appeared on the Open Access Support Group blog and I’d like to thank Danny Kingsley for … Continue reading Why is grey literature not open access?
I have a friend, let’s call her Jenny.
Jenny is about six months into her degree and just beginning to discover the true extent of the literature which might be relevant to her topic. By which I mean – she’s completely and utterly freaking out.
At the start of her journey Jenny read a few things her supervisor suggested and then went off exploring. She did all the right things. Her journey started with a meeting with the subject librarian who taught her how the databases in her area worked and how to use Google Scholar properly (not everything is in there, just so you know). She learned how keywords work and, most importantly in my view, how to do citation searches. Jenny trawled through the databases and discovered a vast amount of stuff which, although it was interesting, seemed only peripherally related to her topic.
She read the literature she found, discussed ideas with her supervisors and some of her peers, wrote a bit, then read some more. Her ideas about her thesis changed; becoming more sophisticated and thoughtful. As she read on she started to recognise the same names started appearing in the bibliographies. She started to see how people were linked together in skeins of thought. Being a social type of person she did a bit of academic networking and started to know, socially, some of the people who wrote those papers. This made her feel more confident. Comfortable even. Part of the community.
Until she downloaded THAT paper.
Stuck with all that literature? Here’s five simple ideas to make sense of it all.
Dr Lynne Kelly has authored and sold more books than anyone else I know – and I live a life surrounded by people who write and publish for a living. I’ve known Lynne for many years, both personally and professionally. She wrote non-fiction books before she started her PhD so perhaps it is no surprise that … Continue reading Keep the quirky bits! Turing your PhD into a best selling book
There’s a LOT of books out there on how to do a thesis/dissertation (some of them written by me). I’ve managed to plough through a couple of new books on the subject recently and this post is a compilation of my reviews plus one reader review from Jasmine Jenson at the end. There’s still a … Continue reading Some new books on writing
Dr Bronwyn Eager spent nearly a decade running her own creative business before completing a PhD in entrepreneurship and joining the ranks of academia. She is motivated by a desire to improve the lives of entrepreneurs and through integrating enterprise skills across the Academy. In her spare time (!?) she aims to foster research outputs … Continue reading Learning from Eminem?
A month or two ago, I wrote a post called ‘The Uneven U’ which outlined ideas about paragraph structure from Eric Hayot’s book “The elements of academic style: writing for the humanities”. Briefly, Hayot claims that there are five levels of abstraction in sentence structure: Level five: Abstract; general, oriented toward a solution or conclusion … Continue reading How to harness the power of semantic gravity in your writing
Reading – you already know how to do it well… or do you? This post is by Dr Robyn Mayes, Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia. She has a long-standing interest in critical reading and thinking practice, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In addition to creating … Continue reading Beware the couch! Reflections on academic reading