Tag Archives: writing

Questions to ask yourself before writing an analysis chapter

As I was confused about (and procrastinating) what to do exactly in the analysis section of my thesis. After watching a 5 min video on the matter, I got inspired to write a blog post.

Here is the main point from the video that I turn into questions  :

  1. interpreting your findings, what does it mean?
  2. What is important?
  3. What are the majors themes the emerge from the data?
  4. What connection can you make with other findings? (Reintegrate your lit review)
  5. What’s your problematic? (Bring back the research question at the beginning of the chapter)
  6. What is the structure of your analysis? How are you going to organise all this? (This will help your reader to understand what you are trying to do here)
  7. what is your contribution? (bring something new to science)

I am going to go and answer those, I am sure it will help with the section of the thesis.

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Is your writing flabby or fit?

I tried out the WritersDiet Test . Here are my results…
My overall score : Fit and trim (whish I could say the same about myself)

verbs Fit and trim
nouns Lean
prepositions Fit and trim
adjectives/adverbs Lean
it, this, that, there Lean

No improvements needed

Your writing sample contains relatively low percentages of be-verbs, abstract nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs, and waste words (it, this, that, there). To continue producing energetic prose, follow the WritersDiet principles below.

Key principles

Verbal verve
Limit be-verbs (is, was, are, were, be, been) to no more than a few per paragraph. Favor strong, specific, robust action verbs (scrutinize, dissect, capture) over weak, vague, lazy ones (have, do, show). Steer clear of passive verb constructions (it has been demonstrated) except when used for
stylistic effect.
Noun density
Anchor abstract ideas in concrete language and illustrate theoretical concepts using real-life examples. (Show, don’t just tell!) Avoid overdependence on nominalizations: long, important-sounding nouns formed from verbs or adjectives (overdependence, nominalizations, pretentiousness).
Prepositional podge
Avoid long strings of prepositional phrases, especially when they drive nouns and verbs apart (“The principle of keeping nouns and verbs as close to each other as possible for the benefit of readers has many benefits”).
Ad-dictions
Employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute new information to a sentence; get your nouns and verbs to do most of your descriptive work.
Waste words: it, this, that, there
Employ it and this only when you can state exactly what noun each word refers to; avoid using that more than once in a single sentence or three times in a paragraph, except in parallel constructions; and beware of sweeping generalizations that begin with There.
Important: The WritersDiet Test offers an automated diagnosis, not a subtle stylistic analysis or a prescriptive personal judgment. For best results, use the test together with The Writer’s Diet (Sword 2007), which discusses stylistic nuances and exceptions that the WritersDiet Test cannot address.

Text excerpted from H. Sword (2007) The Writer’s Diet Pearson Education NZ.

How to write a theory essay

The editorial of the latest communication gives great recommendations on writing theoretical papers. I think they can apply to any field of social science. Here is the essential to remember when writing a theory essay

Step 1 : Making a case. explain why you think more theorizing is needed.
Step 2 : Statement of purpose. what are you going and what are you not going to talk about.
Step 3: The utility of the paper. Address a problem in your field
Step 4: An analytical and critical lit review.  Engage the literatures relevant in your field.
Step 5: Making a contribution. It needs to be something new
Step 6: Make a compelling argument. Polish the rhetoric
Step 7: Back up the argument. Incorporate empirical evidence
Step 8: Finish with a bang. Show the relevance of your proposal and its limitation.

And here is the author checklist.

Writing for Communication Theory: a checklist

  1. Is the need for a theory intervention justified?
  2. Does the article address a communication problem?
  3. Are objectives and limits clearly stated?
  4. Does the article engage the relevant communication literatures?
  5. Does the literature review identify meaningful points of departure?
  6. Are the ideas advanced in the article actually new?
  7. Does the article clearly spell out its own original theory contribution?
  8. Are relevant terms and concepts explained?
  9. Does the article have a clear line of argument?
  10. Does the article advance its ideas vis-à-vis other relevant positions?
  11. Can any material that does not contribute to the flow of the argument be eliminated?
  12. Does the article use an accessible and comprehensible language?
  13. If empirical work is used, does the article establish a clear link between theory and evidence?
  14. Does the article discuss the larger implications of the new theory?
  15. Is the proposed theory intervention’s relevance compellingly demonstrated?
  16. Does the article address potential limitations?

Hanitzsch, T. (2013), Writing for Communication Theory. Communication Theory, 23: 1–9. doi: 10.1111/comt.12004