Want to master the writing process?
I’m not actually sure that is possible…But you can get better at it. Faster too.
Tip 1 – Summarise paragraphs into sentences (and vice versa)
Take each paragraph you have written and summarise it in a sentence. Do that for all paragraphs. What are you saying? What is the thought process you’re taking the reader on/through? Does the flow make sense? Have you actually captured the right ideas?
If you’ve yet to write anything, write a sentence for each idea you want the reader to take away. Maybe include why that idea. Maybe include why other ideas are not as important.
Tip 2 – Write as if no one is reading (‘cos they aren’t)
Just like dancing as if no one is watching is all about fully expressing yourself, writing like no one is reading will help achieve the same. Stope stressing over perfect words. People will never read your stuff. Harsh. I know. But true. Well, the data says it probably is true. Most published peer review articles are NEVER cited. They average is something like 1! One citation! And if you’re writing a thesis or dissertation, chances are it’ll only be (partially) read by 5 people. You, your supervisor, your assessor(s), and maybe your mum.
Tip 3- Write, just write.
Data says if we focus on quantity we make more stuff. And thus practice more. If we focus on quality we make less stuff. And thus practice less.
The same research also showed those who wrote for quantity actually had better writing than those who wrote for quality. So, practice matters. Write.
Tip 4 – Join a writing groupWe know peer pressure improves performance. So, if you want to get better at writing, join a writing group. Simple as that. And if you want to commit to the process, join a group that costs. Again, you’re more likely to participate if you’ve made an investment.
“I'm so, so grateful that we did this. I learned a lot from these sessions about academia, about research in general, and of course about my academic writing.”
Aditi Gupta, PhD Student
Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He is author a published peer reviewed author with over 140 citations. He finds that nothing is quite as satisfying as helping someone write a grant for research project; bringing a life-goal to reality; finalising your thesis; or hitting submit on that journal article. He is driven by the challenge of helping researchers write more effectively and developed several programs to support this goal.
To find out more, call 0412 606 178, visit his shop, email (Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org) or subscribe to the newsletter. You can find him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Spotify, YouTube, and Medium.