Getting creative with the discussion section

Before I get started, two announcements! We have started to release the audio from 2020's Whisperfest as a podcast series. You can find the first episode on Buzzsprout, and subscribe through your favourite player. We plan to release one every three weeks and by then, we will probably be ready to host the next one! … Continue reading Getting creative with the discussion section

How to write a more compelling sentence

Like many academics, I get to my office every morning and battle the problem of Too Much To Read. To tell the truth, most days I give up the fight. Under pressure to publish or perish, academics are producing mountains of text every year, even in a tiny sub-specialty like research education.  I don't have … Continue reading How to write a more compelling sentence

While you scream inside your heart, please keep working.

So, 2020 hey? What a trip. I don't know about you, but concentrating on my work when the world feels like it's up in flames, literally and figuratively, has been, well - difficult. In order to keep my shit together in front of students and co-workers I've been, as a Japanese theme park put it, … Continue reading While you scream inside your heart, please keep working.

How do I write the discussion section?

Some time ago, on the advice of my good friend and efficiency guru Jason Downs, I read The 80/20 principle: how to achieve more by doing less by Richard Koch. To be fair, Jason did tell me, in the spirit of efficiency, that I didn't really need to read the book. The main message, he said, … Continue reading How do I write the discussion section?

How your writing centre can help you finish your PhD

Being a research developer is a bit like being a GP: problems looked at early can be treated easily, but the longer the patient waits, the less we can help.  This post is on the value of getting problems in writing treated early and is by Dr. G. David "Dave" Beasley. Dave completed his PhD in … Continue reading How your writing centre can help you finish your PhD

Keep the quirky bits! Turing your PhD into a best selling book

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

A 5 step program for finishing your PhD (finally!)

Part of the fun of being Thesis Whisperer is the emails I get from all around the world. Many of them outline classic PhD student dilemmas, which are excellent blog fodder, such as this one, from Laura S: Have you, or have you considered anything along the lines of *actually finishing* writing? I can produce … Continue reading A 5 step program for finishing your PhD (finally!)

Some new books on writing

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

The artisanal PhD

I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for anything 'artisanal'. I love homeware shops full of hand crafted ceramic bowls, grocery stores with local honey and cafes with stripped brick walls and special regional coffees. I am nearly 50 (I know, I can hardly believe it either) so as soon as I become aware that a … Continue reading The artisanal PhD

How to harness the power of semantic gravity in your writing

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