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27 FEBRUARY 2017

Writing a Literature Review Using Thematic Groupings

"In a [literature] review organized thematically, you group and discuss your sources in terms of the themes, theoretical concepts, and topics that either you decide are important to understanding your topic or that you have identified from reviewing the key studies on your topic. This structure is considered stronger than the chronological organization because you define the theories, constructs, categories, or themes that are important to your research. ... In these types of reviews, you explain why certain information is treated together, and your headings define your unique organization of the topic. The sequence of the concepts or themes should be from broad to specific."

(Sally Jensen, 09 September 2013)

TAGS

academic writing • categorisain according to theme • chronological organisation • discussion of the literature • dissertation topic • dissertation writing • essay topic • essay writinggrouped categoricallygrouped related worksliterature revieworganisation of knowledgeorganisation through groupingprevious researchresearch paperresearch topicthematic organisationthematically • thematically organised • theoretical concepts • theoretical topics • undergraduate research • writing a literature review

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
27 JUNE 2016

The Materiality of Research: 'Woven into the Fabric of the Text: Subversive Material Metaphors in Academic Writing'

"In the social sciences, though, often we write about our research as if theories and arguments are buildings. Theories have frameworks and foundations and they need support. Arguments can be constructed, shored up by facts and buttressed with a solid line of reasoning. Sometimes they can be shaky and even fall down. But as well as communicating what we mean, metaphors structure our thinking. Or, at least, the metaphors we choose when we write can reveal a great deal about underlying assumptions. The theories-as-buildings metaphor always makes me imagine an enormous wall made of rectangular bricks, orderly and straight, progressing upwards and onwards. The researcher's job is to climb the scaffolding, find a gap near the top and make a brick to fill it, or to knock a few crumbling bricks out and replace them with others, strong and freshly fired. Or rarely, to grab a spade and start digging a new foundation, because this metaphor doesn't work like Minecraft: bricks can't float, unsupported.

Why does this way of thinking about knowledge hold such sway over us? For one thing, it offers a comforting sense of progress and control. Buildings have blueprints; their construction appears to proceed in a predictable fashion; engineers can calculate precisely where the load bearing walls and lintels need to be; construction workers know how to mix the mortar so it won't crumble. Making buildings is also something that happens in the public sphere; even with houses, the insides only become private when the work is finished and people move in. And though we all know full well that knowledge creation doesn't actually happen in the controlled and predictable way the metaphor implies, this is the structure that it imposes on our writing: an activity that is orderly, involves rationality over emotion and inhabits the public sphere not the private."

(Katie Collins, 27 May 2016)

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TAGS

2016academic writingaffordances • building metaphors • conceptual metaphorcreative practicecultural practicesfeminine voice • generative practice • integrative practices • Katie Collins • material metaphors • metaphors structure our thinking • needlecraft metaphors • piecing together • predictable fashion • progress narrativesresearch activitiesresearchersewingsocial sciencestitching • theories-as-buildings metaphor • theory building • thinking about knowledge • underlying assumptions

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
12 JANUARY 2014

Reflective writing: a basic introduction

Reflection is an exploration and an explanation of events–not just a description of them.

Genuinely reflective writing often involves 'revealing' anxieties, errors and weaknesses, as well as strengths and successes. This is fine (in fact it's often essential!), as long as you show some understanding of possible causes, and explain how you plan to improve.

It is normally necessary to select just the most significant parts of the event or idea on which you're reflecting. ... If you try to 'tell the whole story' you're likely to use up your words on description rather than interpretation.

It is often useful to 'reflect forward' to the future as well as 'reflecting back' on the past.

(Martin Hampton, Department for Curriculum and Quality Enhancement, University of Portsmouth)

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TAGS

academic skills • academic writingcritical explanation • descriptive commentary • explicit knowledgeexploration oriented design processhow-to guidesinductive reasoninginformal languageinterpretation of experiencelearning guides • Martin Hampton • naming and rehearsal • ongoing progress • ongoingness • personal diary • post-hoc analysis • practice narratives • practising professional • professional developmentreflective bloggingreflective journalreflective practitioner • reflective thinking • reflective writing • social interdependence theory • structured method • structured writing • structuring reflective writing • theory buildingtheory-in-use • think reflectively • thinking through writing • University of Portsmouth • vocabulary aid • writing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 APRIL 2012

Google Scholar: gateway to published scholarly research

"Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research."

(Google Inc.)

Fig.1 Uploaded by Google on 6 Jan 2012

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TAGS

2004academic essayacademic journal • academic publisher • academic publishers • academic writingArt and Design Index to Thesesassignment writingcitation as a form of persuasionconference proceedings • court opinions • dissertation • education materials • essay writing • gateway to scholarly articles • Google IncGoogle Scholar • information aggregation • knowledge gapknowledge integrationknowledge repositorylist of research sourcesliterature reviewliterature search • online repositories • patentspeer-reviewed journalspublished research • published scholarly research • relevant work • research abstractresearch articlesresearch dissertationresearch projectresearch scholarship • scholarly literature • scholarly researchscholarshipsearchsearch for informationtheoretical contexttheoretical gapthesesthesis • university press

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
22 FEBRUARY 2012

Towards a critical discourse of practice as research

"A problem confronting many artistic researchers is related to the need for the artist to write about his or her own work in the research report or exegesis, The outcomes of such research are not easily quantifiable and it can be difficult to articulate objectively, methods processes, and conclusions that emerge from an alternative logic of practice and the intrinsically subjective dimension of artistic production. Moreover, conventional approaches and models of writing about art generally fall within the domain of criticism, a discourse that tends to focus on connoisieurial evaluation of the finished product. How then, might the artist as researcher avoid on one hand, what has been referred to as 'auto–connoisseurship', the undertaking of a thinly veiled labour of valorising what has been achieved in the creative work, or alternatively producing a research report that is mere description (Nelson 2004)?

In this paper, I suggest that a way of overcoming such a dilemma is for creative arts researchers to shift the critical focus away from the notion of the work as product, to an understanding of both studio enquiry and its outcomes as process. I will draw on Michel Foucault's essay 'What is An Author ' (Rabinow, 1991) to explore how we might move away from art criticism to the notion of a critical discourse of practice–led enquiry that involves viewing the artist as a researcher, and the artist/critic as a scholar who examines the value of artistic process as the production of knowledge. As I will demonstrate, in adopting such an approach, practitioner researchers need not ignore or negate the specificities and particularities of practice – including its subjective and emergent methodologies which I have argued elsewhere, constitute the generative strength that distinguishes artistic research from more traditional approaches Barrett, 2005). In elaborating the relationship between a these aspects and the more distanced focus made available through Foucault's elaboration of author function, I will draw on Donna Haraway's (1991, 1992) notion of 'situated knowledge' and her critique of social constructivism which reveals how the scientific method is implicated in social constructivist accounts of knowledge. It is this alignment, suggests Haraway,that results in the effacement of particularities of experience from which situated knowledges emerge. In order to ground and illustrate the arguments and ideas presented in this paper, I will also refer to Pablo Picasso's, Demioselles d''Avignon and a selection of critical commentaries on this work by Leo Steinberg (1988), William Rubin (1994) and Lisa Florman (2003)."

(Estelle Barrett, 2006)

Barrett, E. (2006) "Foucault's 'What is an Author': towards a critical discourse of practice as research". Working Papers in Art and Design Vol 4 Retrieved from URL http://sitem.herts.ac.uk/artdes_research/papers/wpades/vol4/ebfull.html ISSN 1466–4917

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TAGS

2006academic writingart criticismartist • artist as researcher • artist as scholar • artistic processartistic research • auto-connoisseurship • connoisseur • connoisseurshipcontribution to knowledge • creative arts researchers • creative problem solvingcreative work • critic as scholar • design processDonna Haraway • emergent methodologies • established research strategiesEstelle Barrettexegesis • finished product • Leo Steinberg • Lisa Florman • Michel FoucaultPablo Picassopractitioner researcherproblem solving researchproduction of knowledge • research report • scientific methodsituated knowledgessocial constructivismstudio enquiry • subjective methodologies • traditional research • What is An Author • William Rubin • Working Papers in Art and Design • writing about creative work

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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