Research Workflow for Academics: The Best of Digital and Analogue Working Together

  In his presentation at the 'Humanities Computing: Formal Methods, Experimental Practice' symposium at King's College London in 2000, John Unsworth described the seven 'scholarly primitives', that is, the 'basic functions common to scholarly activity across disciplines, over time, and independent of theoretical orientation': Discovering Annotating Comparing Referring Sampling Illustrating Representing A similar taxonomy was described … Continue reading Research Workflow for Academics: The Best of Digital and Analogue Working Together

15 Flags: How I Create Habits for Writing

I am constantly searching for ways to better integrate my digital life into the world of paper, pens, and printed materials that I still love (here, here, and here).  Although there are countless apps available to help create and track new habits--many of which gamify the traditional 21-days rule of habit formation with some very … Continue reading 15 Flags: How I Create Habits for Writing

Refining Technique in Academic Writing

  I wrote briefly last week about the importance of technique in academic writing.   Academic writing is, above all else, a specialised form of communication, which remains true whether we are teaching essay writing to first year students or working on a journal article addressing our research. Articles, essays, theses, and dissertations are all … Continue reading Refining Technique in Academic Writing

Developing Student Self-Reflexivity In Secondary Source Research

Yesterday I wrote about how I introduce secondary source research to students.  Those 7 questions, are, of course, only the starting point for helping students to get the full benefit from engaging with the work of other thinkers.When our students are working with secondary source material in their writing, we should be encouraging them to … Continue reading Developing Student Self-Reflexivity In Secondary Source Research

7 Questions to Help Students Use and Understand Secondary Sources

The university-level study of English is paradoxically both an individual and collaborative effort, with students developing their own analytical skills while simultaneously learning to think in collaborative ways with tutors and fellow students.  What this paradox demonstrates, of course, is that communicating with those around you plays a significant role in the development of ideas, … Continue reading 7 Questions to Help Students Use and Understand Secondary Sources

4 Tags That Make Sense of It All: Best Practice for Tagging Academic Notes

2013 is already looking like a busy year for me, not least because of an exciting move from the University of London to City University of Hong Kong.  That means new courses, new students, new administrative systems, and a lot of new projects.  Since I have set some time aside this week to take stock … Continue reading 4 Tags That Make Sense of It All: Best Practice for Tagging Academic Notes

Tighening Up Some Flabby Prose

With all of this semester's exam scripts marked and off my desk, I have finally begun to read the books that have been piling up in my Kindle over the past semester.  (On second thought, can eBooks 'pile up'?  Surely we need a new metaphor in the digital age.)  One that I have particularly enjoyed … Continue reading Tighening Up Some Flabby Prose

Win One Year of Evernote Premium

I have been using Evernote since the early days of my PhD (see how I get Kindle notes into Evernote for my teaching), so I was thrilled when they invited me to be their Higher Education Ambassador. Starting today I will get to do lots of cool stuff with them--a bit of traveling, a bit … Continue reading Win One Year of Evernote Premium

Effective Use of Secondary Sources

There are three main ways in which secondary source material can be integrated into an essay: summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting. Summarizing Summarizing means explaining the central argument of a secondary source in your own words.  It is generally the case that a summary cannot be attributed to a specific page number, so simply the date … Continue reading Effective Use of Secondary Sources

The Art and Science of Academic Writing

Academic writing is both an art form and a science.  Various conventions of style and argumentation have emerged because they tend to produce clear, effective pieces of writing. To a great extent, the conventions of grammar that we will be covering must be taken as rules that must be followed.  But conventions of structure, organization, … Continue reading The Art and Science of Academic Writing