Three examples of headings that builds expectation

January 26, 2011

This Writing Wednesday promotes a straightforward idea: Headings build expectations. Choose them wisely!

To illustrate the idea I ponder some of the more common headings in a project proposal and what they say.  Amazingly one often sees writing (at least at first draft stage) where the text does not live up to the expectation created by the heading.  While this sometimes relate to the content, quite often it relates to the “voice” of the text. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reinhardt’s Theory of Relativity

January 25, 2011
John Harrison's famous chronometer

Image via Wikipedia

Most successful scientists have a theory named after them. So I set out to define Reinhardt’s Theory of Relativity, with the necessary apology to Albert. (Since we both will be extremely well-known scientists, some name-dropping is in order I suppose)

So without further ado, here is Reinhardt’s Theory of Relativity: Read the rest of this entry »


How clear is clearly?

January 19, 2011

Today I dedicate my post to a habit I had (maybe sometimes still have)… and I am clearly not alone.

This time round I did it by design, to make a point. May I ask how clearly am I not alone? Is it clear at all to you? Probably not, in fact, many people might not have picked up what I am talking about at all! And that is by my doing, not yours.

Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t punch the giant in the stomach!

January 12, 2011

For good academic writing you need to stand, proverbially, on the  shoulders of giants. We do this by citing the sources that we use, thereby giving due credit to the origin of the facts/ideas. However, today I am making a plea: please make sure you indeed are standing on the giant’s shoulders… and not accidentally punching him in the stomach.

How can this happen? Read the rest of this entry »


Three ways to convince me…

January 10, 2011

Trying to “sell” me something? Maybe not a physical product, or even a service, maybe just and idea? What may convince me? Read the rest of this entry »


Three ways reading could help your writing

January 5, 2011
Allen reading

Image via Wikipedia

I decided to share some thoughts about writing every Wednesday. This is fairly ironic; I am after all struggling with writing myself! This blog serves as living proof … Read any of my posts and you will find mistakes, sometimes many of them. So what then qualifies me to write about writing? Read the rest of this entry »


One page a day keeps the professor away…

January 3, 2011

Blank page (from Cameron Cassan on flickr)

Today I showed Godwin, a PhD student who want to finish this year, the just-about-completed thesis of Jacques, who will, any day now, hand in his thesis. Two-hundred and fifty-two pages glared the Adobe Reader back at us. “I wish I was him”, Godwin said.

Read the rest of this entry »