Author Archives: pat thomson

About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK

academic writers need a dictionary

When I began my PhD, my partner bought me a dictionary. A very big dictionary. I wasn’t quite sure that I needed it, since I was after all an English major and I read prolifically. However I did use it. … Continue reading

Posted in Access, Uncategorized, voice, words | 4 Comments

preparing for the PhD oral exam

As a supervisor it is part of my job to help doctoral researchers prepare for their viva. I’ve not done one myself, as Australian PhDs are typically examined by means of a long report from two or three examiners. However, … Continue reading

Posted in contribution, viva | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

supervision and feedback

So this week there’s a bit of tweet humour about how US grad students might interpret feedback from faculty trained in the UK. If you haven’t seen it here’s a taste. They say “With the greatest respect”, the grad student … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, doctoral pedagogies, feedback, supervision | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

style and structure – according to Berger

There are a lot of books about academic writing out there. And I buy a lot of them too! The majority of academic writing books are written by people who are in academic development or writing instruction; others work in … Continue reading

Posted in Becker, Berger, style and structure | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

should I number my thesis?

I’ve just been in a university where doctoral researchers are issued with a thesis template. This automatically sets up the font, layers of headings and the section and subsection numbering systems. If doctoral researchers decide to use this template, and … Continue reading

Posted in argument, epistemology, narrative, reader, thesis | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

read what you want to write

One of the common pieces of advice given to creative writers is to read widely, work out what you like and then write like those you admire. This writing-like-admirable-others requires the aspiring creative writer to analyse various aspects of the … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, conversation, creative writing, debates in the field, disciplines, doctoral education | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

choosing a thesis examiner

Most supervisors want to discuss the choice of thesis examiners with the doctoral researcher. This may well be more than a single conversation; instead a rather long intermittent musing. There may be a short list of examiners early on, but … Continue reading

Posted in examiner, thesis | Tagged , | 11 Comments

social media – with/against academic writing?

When I go on the road – as I have just done – I always try to take with me a couple of slim volumes that I can dip in and out of. These are not the academic equivalent of … Continue reading

Posted in academic blogging, academic writing | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

learning to accept reviewer feedback as a gift

This is guest post from Dr Liz Bennett. Liz is a Senior Lecturer at University of Huddersfield. She completed her doctorate in September 2012 and has submitted a couple of papers to journals based on chapters from her thesis. Here … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

writing in pyjamas

I’m reflecting on the past week’s writing, and in particular reflecting on blogging about book-writing. I wasn’t sure that writing about what we were doing was going to be of interest to anyone, and I’ve been surprised by the response. … Continue reading

Posted in co-writing, planning | Tagged , , | 2 Comments