Category Archives: reading

how much should doctoral researchers read?

I often get asked this question and it’s one I hate. That’s because there is no answer that ever seems satisfactory. My answer is usually – well it depends. It depends on the topic and it depends on what you … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, literature review, reading, reading routine, reading target | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

writing like those I admire

That half conscious state between sleeping and waking seems to be the time that I begin to compose a blog post. I often wake up relatively early with a half formed idea. I then work on it idly, gradually waking … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, academic life, academic writing, argument, authority in writing, de Certeau, reading | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

what do words want?

In writing workshops I often come across people with conference and nearly final draft papers that they do not seem able to finish. The prospect of sending them out for review and possible publication just seems too hard, perhaps it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Margaret Atwood, reader, readership, reading, text, the page, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

sustain your writing – find a palate cleanser or ten

We all know what a palette cleanser is right? We’re academics so we must have encountered the ubiquitous sorbet either in chilly reality or on one of those food porn tele programmes :)? Or we’ve been to a wine tasting … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, books, mental space, palette cleanser, reading, reflection, reward, theory | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

how to read an academic book closely – part three – sucking the stone

There are some books that are important to your study and some that are critical to your ongoing research agenda, and some that you just love. There are also some writers whose work you want to know in great detail. … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, argument, authority in writing, Pat Thomson, reading, reference, terms, theory | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

how to read and note an academic book – part two – slicing and dicing

So you’ve now picked out the book that you want to read in some detail. As I’ve suggested, you don’t want to read every book in the same way. There are some that can immediately be skimmed, others engaged with … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, argument, backward mapping, note-taking, reading, structure | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

how to read an academic book part one – or – first of all find your mango

Mangoes are my favorite fruit. In fact I think they are my very favorite food. The part I like best about the mango is not the plump cheeks – although they are of course completely delicious – but rather what’s … Continue reading

Posted in academic book, choosing a book, reading | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

beginning the literature review – taking notes

The purpose of the literature review shapes the way that noting is done. And the purpose is to situate your study in the field – that is, to establish a space for the work you are going to do – … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, literature review, note-taking, reading | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

beginning the literature review: the art of scan-reading

It’s important at the start of a piece of research to try to get a sense of the field – to establish the kinds of articles and books that are going to be useful. This is often a particularly hard … Continue reading

Posted in coherence, literature review, reading, scan-reading | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

why it is helpful to read ‘out of your area’

Here’s a somewhat round-about explanation of this assertion… Bear with me through what might seem like a long way to get to an answer. Once upon a time, when I was studying for a PhD, I joined a reading group. … Continue reading

Posted in academic writing, Bakhtin, intertetxuality, reading | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments