Why you should be prepared to scrap it all

literature review

We get very attached to our words. It’s understandable too, it takes such a long time to write them that the thought of deleting them is frankly unbearable. However, this notion that words are so precious and rare is very detrimental to our overall progress. I used to think that the words on the page […]

Organisation: The age old procrastination tool


Nearly everyone I speak to who’s doing the literature review seems to have a lot on their plate. They have so much to do that they are rarely every doing one thing at a time. Let’s face it, the literature review on its own is quite has lots of different facets to it. There’s the […]

Why you can and you should make a contribution to your field

Is the literature review just an exercise? Is it something we have to do in order to receive our doctorate or another paper on the CV? Sure. It could be. I think the literature review for my thesis was like this. But you know what? These are incredibly hard lit reviews to write. On the […]

Avoiding the blank screen of death

blank screen

I’ve been undertaking a number of big writing projects recently. It’s funny how nearly 3 years after starting this blog about academic writing how many of my habits have changed… and how some have not changed so much! I’m writing this because I noticed recently how much of an aversion I have to the blank […]

Write something different

Write something different

This post is related to last weeks post about listening to audiobooks. It occurred to me recently how much this blog has helped me in my academic writing. I can’t say how much it has contributed to the quality, but it has certainly helped with the techniques and the motivation of getting going with writing. […]

Are audiobooks the key to better writing?

Young man listening to audiobook

Strange question I know. But even stranger is what I noticed after I got an Audible subscription for Christmas. I’ve been listening to audiobooks non-stop since. It’s pretty addictive. Sometimes it’s a nice change to listen to a book instead of reading. It’s more convenient too. You can do it on the commute to work, […]

Free writing or base jumping?

lit review base jumping

I am an advocate of free writing.   Why?   Because I’ve done it and it’s worked for me. I’ve also talked to a lot of people who have used it effectively.   However, just because it is effective does not mean it is not potentially dangerous or damaging to your writing efforts. A revolver […]

Follow this literature review example to guarantee success

literature review example

Sceptics will tell you that magic bullets don’t exist. I can tell you that they’re wrong. In this article, I’m going to give you an example literature review that will guarantee your success. All you have to do is read it, fill in the blanks and add your own references. Are you ready… … Are […]

What did the paragraph say to the guy in front?

literature review hq

That sounds like the start to a joke. I just sat here for 30 minutes trying to think of something clever to follow, but I can’t. How about, why did the paragraph cross the road? Sorry, still got nothing. Anyway… The question is to make you think about how your paragraphs communicate with one another. […]

Just heartbreaking


I felt physically sick and my eyes welled up immediately. It’s exactly the same every time I open it. “IT” is only a webpage. In fact, it is only a list of names. It’s a long list of Iraqi academics who died for their right to express their academic freedom. They were murdered for a […]