Today has focused on the practical aspect of publication i.e. actually writing, so we didn’t have as many presentations. We began by reviewing some of what was discussed yesterday and adding a few reflections and comments from participants.
Yesterday, one of the presenters suggested the CARS (link downloads PDF) model for structuring an Introduction. Today, someone suggested that that particular model is based mainly on English language publications from the UK,USA and Australia. Some have suggested the OARO model as an alternative, based on a synthesis of publications from other countries:
Open A Research Option (OARO) model
- Attract a readership
- Establish credibility
- Share background knowledge (own research / anecdotal experiences)
- Justify the need for the research (answering the “why” question)
- Present interesting thoughts (who decides what’s “interesting”?)
- Introduce the general goal
- Offer a line of enquiry (open questions and explore)
- Introduce the topic
Remember that it’s difficult to build a model that is based on cross-disciplinary publications.
A review of the writing process
“An increasing number of references in publications may point to a form of academic insecurity”
How well are you telling your own story?
Instead of using pre-defined headings e.g. Discussion, try to highlight the major finding / point and use that for the heading instead
Each phrase should be used to advance your argument. Make sure that the pieces fit together to create a coherent whole.
Writing about the topic begins broadly (macro view) and then narrows to get to the crux of the article (micro view), then expands again to place the results into a broader context e.g. hourglass shape
Review of the literature (because it’s a process, not a thing)
“Entering occupied territory” → can be intimidating
Be wary of absolute statements about the review i.e. what it should or shouldn’t do or be
Working with literatures:
- Locate the work in a field
- Create a mandate for the research
- Informs the methods and theorisation
- Specify the contribution
Learning to speak with authority, adopting a critical yet generous stance to the scholarship of the field, and establishing authority to speak, is an enormous challenge (Kamler & Thomson, 2006)
Find patterns in the literature
- General → specific
- Policy / practice
Try to avoid “Smith et al (2000) have suggested that…”, “They emphasise the following…” Rather, try to put your take on their research first, and then credit the other researchers
Trying to convince the reader that there’s an organising mind at work (Swales, 2004)
Literature review isn’t about constructing a thing, it’s a process that’s embedded throughout the article