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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
02 OCTOBER 2015

Rhetorical functions in academic writing: Introducing

"The purpose of the introduction is to show your reader what you are doing in your writing. It is also helpful to explain why you are doing it and how you are doing it.

In many parts of your writing - but especially in introductions - you may need to provide background information and introduce new concepts or ideas and provide a description of how you are going to proceed in the rest of your writing.

In the following text, after giving some background information to justify the research, sentence 10 introduces the rest of the report:"

(Andy Gillett)

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TAGS

academic essayacademic writing • Andy Gillett • assignment writingdissertation writingessay structureessay writingessay writing guidelineshigher education • introducing your work • research dissertationresearch paperUniversity of Hertfordshire • Using English for Academic Purposes • writing essay introductions • writing essays • writing guidelines • writing introductions (academic writing) • writing practice

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
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