November 1, 2017

The Month of Hell (TM)

Overcommitment is a constant problem for working academics who wear ‘busyness’ as a badge of honour. I think the overcommitment problem tends to start duing the PhD. This post from Evan Hayles Gledhill has real insight into why the problem happens in the first place – our own reactions to the hyper competitive research culture.continue reading.

October 25, 2017

Explainer: preparing to be professionally edited

There’s a lot of confusion out there in PhD land about the role of professional editors. A dissertation document is basically a book. In the professional publishing world an editor would automatically be employed for this size of project. Editors can be expensive, but in my experience, totally worth the spend. However, this is notcontinue reading.

October 18, 2017

How successful academics write

Helen Sword is, hands down, one of the best writers on academic writing working today. The difference between Sword and other people working the writing advice patch is that she uses an interesting range of research approaches to inform her work. A new book from Sword is a nerdishly exciting moment for research educators likecontinue reading.

October 11, 2017

I call bullshit on pointless ‘hope labour’

About 30% of my work week is classified as ‘service’: work that supports others in the community, such as sitting on committees, writing reviews and references, consulting on problems and so on. As a result of this higher than usual level of service work, the sheer number and range of things I do in acontinue reading.

September 27, 2017

Academic writing is like a painful, upper middle class dinner party

This blog post is part of a series dedicated to developing ideas for a new book I am writing with Shaun Lehmann (@painlessprose on Twitter) and Katherine Firth of the Research Voodoo blog. “Writing Trouble” will be a Swiss army knife of a book, containing range of strategies and tactics for fixing academic writing thatcontinue reading.

August 23, 2017

Why you should blog during your PhD

I’m an advocate for blogging, obviously, but should you blog during your PhD? Will you have time? Will it be a distraction? I find it hard to answer those questions, but a growing number of people are doing it and I’m lucky enough that Gaia Cantelli wrote in to share her experience of blogging, whichcontinue reading.

August 16, 2017

Don’t let those ‘sticky words’ confuse your thesis examiner

This blog post is one of a series I am writing that are developing ideas for the new book I am writing with Shaun Lehmann and Katherine Firth of the Research Voodoo blog for Open University press. Writing Trouble will be a ‘swiss army knife’ of a book that will contain a range of strategiescontinue reading.

July 26, 2017

What do examiners think of the PhD by publication?

For the last couple of decades people have been experimenting with different types of PhD programs. The PhD by publication has become popular, especially in the sciences, but how do examiners react them? The academic world is quite conservative and some PhD students have encountered difficulties in the examination process. In this post, Chris Keyworthcontinue reading.

June 28, 2017

The vagueness problem in academic writing

Dear Readers. Shaun Lehmann, Katherine Firth (of the Research Voodoo blog) and I are currently in the process of writing a new book for Open University Press called ‘Writing Trouble’. The proposed book evolved out of our work on the Thesis Bootcamp program, a writing intervention originally designed by Peta Freestone and Liam Connell. Overcontinue reading.

February 22, 2017

Using diagrams as research aides

I hate doing literature reviews. I always feel I have not read enough. I worry that what I write will be ‘wrong’ because I have missed some vital piece of literature. These feelings never seem to entirely go away, even though I have been publishing papers for over a decade. I can certainly relate tocontinue reading.

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