Refining Your Academic Writing
Strategies for Reading, Revising and Rewriting
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Revision is often taken as a largely instrumental process which happens after the real work of writing is done – it is an unavoidable and tedious process. Refining by contrast is imaginative work, it requires craft, connoisseurship and courage, and builds knowledge about academic writing purposes and practices. Refining Your Academic Writing will help you complete your writing project and provides a reading, revising and rewriting repertoire that you can adapt and add to. It offers ways to think about revision and a basic tool kit which will help you to identify what needs your attention and why.
This accessible book draws on and extends some of the most heavily used posts on Thomson’s popular academic writing blog Patter, as well as tried and tested writing workshops. Exercises and templates are grounded in research and theory on doctoral experience and academic writing. The wider context of academic writing is clearly explained, and the terms used to describe text refinement build understanding while challenging taken-for-granted assumptions about revision, editing and proof-reading.
Written with a light touch, this book is ideal reading for doctoral and early career researchers, and provides strategies needed to support the writing revision process.
The ‘Insider Guides to Success in Academia’ offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. Covering the topics that really matter, but which often get overlooked, this indispensable series provides practical and realistic guidance to address many of the needs and challenges of trying to operate, and remain, in academia.
These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. Each book offers insider perspectives on the often implicit rules of the game – the things you need to know but usually aren’t told by institutional postgraduate support, researcher development units, or supervisors – and will address a practical topic that is key to career progression. They are essential reading for doctoral students, early-career researchers, supervisors, mentors, or anyone looking to launch or maintain their career in academia.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Why ‘Refining’?; 2. Refine With Attitude; 3. Start at the Beginning; 4. See Your Whole Text; 5. Strengthen Your Argument; 6. Make Your Text Trustworthy; 7. Write With Authority; 8. Stating Your Case; 9. Quote and Cite Wisely; 10. Find Your Flow; 11. Tackle Turgid Prose; 12. Check Your Idiosyncrasies; 13. Delight Your Reader; 14. Afterword: Tests and Checklists
Pat Thomson is Professor of Education, School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK. She maintains an academic writing and research blog Patter which now has some 35,000 followers around the world: her Twitter account has 23,000. She regularly runs writing workshops in the UK, Australia, Iceland and Norway, has taught writing in South Africa, Canada, USA, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Denmark and run workshops for several EU doctoral networks and conferences.