Archives for posts with tag: writing

As we are coming towards the end of WriteFest2017 you will hopefully have been really productive getting lots of pieces of writing completed and have many words down on paper but now you will probably need to share this writing with someone, maybe your supervisor or collaborators to get feedback on what you have written.

Well what is feedback?

What is feedback.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »

This post follows on from part 1 which was a plea to supervisors to actively promote development in writing from early on in the PhD. 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAY-AAAAJDI4M2VkMDFjLTNjNjAtNGRlNy1hNTgwLTEzMjE5ZmYxZWJiOA.jpgThis post is for supervisors wondering what they can actually do in the early stages of the doctorate to get their PhD’ers to learn research writing. It offers a curation of ‘in practice’ ideas that supervisors can use to frame and cultivate a gradual development of writing, drawn together form the recent, and very readable, blogosphere literature. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a guest post for WriteFest (#AcWriFest17) by Sarah Muller & Liz Trueman, Postgraduate Researchers and Writing Retreat Organisers, School of Languages & Cultures, University of Sheffield.

AHwriting.pngFinding time and space for productive writing can be a difficult task. Sometimes looming deadlines, missed extensions, a judging blank page or that nagging feeling of guilt can’t move you to get writing – sometimes these can even be the reasons why you’ve developed a writing block. We have found that whether you work in an office space or from home, there is always one more thing to prepare, one more email that has been sitting in your inbox for a while, or one more meeting that you need to attend. All of these things, as important as they may be, keep you from doing that one thing that you’ve been meaning to do for weeks now: write. Read the rest of this entry »

If I told you a PhD student developed writing skills I doubt you would be surprised. “Of course we develop writing skills – we have to slog over thousands of words to create a thesis!”

writing hard work

As with any skill, the heading ‘writing skills’ hides a multitude of complexity and diversity about what it actually entails and how you have demonstrated it. If you look in a dictionary you will find a mix of definitions; Read the rest of this entry »

With Writefest 2017 in its 3rd week (the motto this week is ‘I write therefore I am’, and with our new Think Further weekly coaching prompts also focusing on writing in November, it would be difficult to have a blog post today on something else than writing. So here I am, pausing and pondering about writing. A year ago, I posted a Think Ahead blog post ‘the writer within’ advocating that “becoming a researcher is…becoming a writer”. As part of this previous blogpost, I proposed 30 ideas for writing development from the many hundreds than one may consider. Did any of you Think Ahead blog readers take up some of these ideas? It would be good to hear which you may have trialed and whether they helped. Read the rest of this entry »

This post is part of WriteFest (#AcWriFest17) for PhD supervisors wondering how to get their students to write their thesis. It addresses some of the ‘in theory’ points that cover the supervisor’s role in developing doctoral writing. Part 2 (here) will cover some ‘in practice’ ideas.

Learning PhD writing: a passive model

FIGURE 1.pngThe assessment part of the PhD is almost always a lengthly written document — the doctoral thesis. It’s been this way for so many years now; yet we repeat the cycle of recruiting research students, encouraging them to spend the vast majority of their time on data collection, and assuming that the writing will take care of itself somewhere near the end. Read the rest of this entry »

I am back from holiday, gearing up my mindset to face the next academic year.

Contemplation © Sandrine SoubesI have just started to review the uptake on a writing programme we have organised for Research Staff in early September. The writing programme is called “Facing the challenge of effective writingand is run over 4 days (11-14th September); Read the rest of this entry »

Who’s writing their thesis? 

Come on, who is writing? It’s my view, and the view of a lot of scholars who study writing in the doctoral degree, that everyone should have said yes to that question. See this assertion from  Barbara Kamler & Pat Thomson, taken from their 2014 book, ‘Helping Doctoral Students Write: Pedagogies for supervision’:


Read the rest of this entry »

Dear doctoral supervisor,

“I was blissfully unaware how long it would take me to write up. To be honest I would have preferred a more clear marker from my supervisor, or from the department, saying stop doing experiments now and write! I was expecting someone to say when I had enough data, because I never felt I did, so instead I kept going much longer than I needed in the lab because I didn’t know how much was enough. I feel pretty annoyed about that.”

FullSizeRender.jpgIt’s 246 days ‪until the 31st of October. I mention this date as we have around 1100 third year doctoral students whose theses are due on that date*. With 8 months to go, now is a perfect time to make sure that your thesis writers know it’s time to spend some time each week — an hour a day, every day? — writing. Read the rest of this entry »

If you are a researcher in the early stages of your career and you want to pursue a career in academia, you’ll need to start thinking about building your funding profile.  Starting off with small pots of money gives you the confidence to navigate the application processes and also gives you a track record of your ability to win money.  This will be of benefit to you in the future when you are looking to write larger grant proposals.

With this in mind I’d like to share with you how the Think Ahead: Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience (TA:SURE) scheme can assist with enhancing your funding profile.  I’ve previously written about how the scheme is designed to give early career researchers the experience of managing a project from start to finish.  Part of this process is recruiting an undergraduate student and then working with the student to apply for externally funded vacation bursaries.  The student receives a valuable income over the course of the summer project and the ECR, in their role as supervisor, achieves funding which can be highlighted on their CV. Read the rest of this entry »