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Writing is Research. Writing is Research. “The very act of writing and rewriting helps us to clarify our ideas, to understand better what we want to say, to find the best way to organize our material, …” (Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace ).

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writing is research2
Writing is Research

“The very act of writing and rewriting helps us to clarify our ideas, to understand better what we want to say, to find the best way to organize our material, …” (Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace)

writing well helps sharpen research ideas
Writing Well Helps Sharpen Research Ideas

“If we can’t see through our own confused style to the substance of our ideas, we won’t be able to understand ourselves well enough to use the act of writing to sharpen our ideas, our organization, and our intentions.” (Williams)

when to start writing
When to Start Writing
  • “A researcher who argues that it is not yet time to start writing is mistaken: once you have a topic, you are ready to go.” (Zobel, Afterword)
  • “To do good science, it is necessary to write. Start now.” (Zobel, Afterword)
scribble in a vile hand
“I used to think about my sentences before writing them down; but … I have found that it saves time to scribble in a vile hand whole pages as quickly as I possibly can … Sentences thus scribbled down are often better ones than I could have written deliberately.”

(Charles Darwin, Autobiography)

“Scribble in a Vile Hand”
don t get stuck
Don’t Get Stuck!
  • “Just write anything.”
    • Write notes to yourself.
    • Outline thoughts.
    • Just “splash” ideas onto the paper.
  • Sketch ideas for figures or examples
the write up
The Write-up
  • The Scope
  • The Story
  • Organization
    • Title & Authors
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Body
    • Literature Review
    • Summary/Conclusions
    • Bibliography
    • Appendicies
  • Publication
the write up9
The Write-up
  • The Scope
  • The Story
  • Organization
    • Title & Authors
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Body
    • Literature Review
    • Summary/Conclusions
    • Bibliography
    • Appendicies
  • Publication

Almost mechanical:

Open in an interesting way.

Get to the problem quickly.

Briefly say why other solutions have not been satisfactory.

Outline your proposed solution.

Indicate how your solution solves the problem.

Explicitly say what your contributions are.

Outline how you will explain the details of your contribution.