Literature reviews are the one section of a PhD thesis, article or undergraduate assignment that strike fear into the hearts of even the most confident of students. Why are we so terrified of them? Reams of writing, many blogs and online advice pages, and hours of anxiety are devoted to literature reviews - the writing, … Continue reading Literature review or ‘contextual framework’?
Last year I published two book reviews. In my country's higher education system, I get no 'brownie points' for writing these, as they accrue no status or subsidy in terms of being 'proper research'. I know, as a journal editor, that it is notoriously difficult for many journals to fill their book review sections, because … Continue reading A link between writing book reviews and writing your literature review
I have written before on this blog about how a doctorate is assembled in chunks and pieces, and comes to together slowly, and (in my case) in fits and starts. It is not a linear, clean, neat process - generally the ideas and brainwaves ebb and flow, and we take two steps forward, three back … Continue reading From chaos to coherence: logic, linearity and lies in thesis construction
One of the most unpleasant surprises, getting into writing papers based on or even largely out of my thesis, has been how much reading I still have to be doing, in spite of having done a great deal already for the actual PhD. I feel I should not be as surprised as I have been: … Continue reading Finding what you need to read: Is it really elementary, my dear Sherlock?
I am presenting a seminar tomorrow to PhD students on how I developed my PhD's theoretical framework. When I agreed to do this workshop last year, I thought this would be fairly easy to do. However, I am finding it difficult to articulate the differences between substantive theory and what I think of as 'framework … Continue reading Building a theoretical framework for your study