The seven deadly sins of academic writing

Like a lot of university lecturers, I mark many essays. And I see a lot of rookie mistakes being made by students who are normally very intelligent, but when faced with an impending assignment, suddenly forget how to formulate things properly on paper. I therefore present the seven deadly sins of academic writing so that… Continue reading The seven deadly sins of academic writing

How *not* to approach your doctoral viva exam. Or indeed your research.

If there were a league table of cool places to do doctoral degrees, it would have to be topped by Finland. It's the only place I know where you are given a top hat and a sword on graduation (see picture), which is rather like being transformed into a rather elegant academic Ninja. Anyway,┬átoday I… Continue reading How *not* to approach your doctoral viva exam. Or indeed your research.

RIP Rob Moore, an open letter from one of your former doctoral students

Dear Rob, We were an unlikely couple, you and I. Invariably I would be sitting there in some country pub or other in smart trousers and pearls. with you opposite in your rumpled outfit straight from Sociology central casting. Between us would be placed carefully on the table one pint of bitter (for you) and… Continue reading RIP Rob Moore, an open letter from one of your former doctoral students

Lessons that peer review can learn from the mystery shopping industry

As a financial sideline in these days of rising costs and frozen pay, I have recently been carrying out occasional mystery shopping assignments to offset the costs of my social life. If you don't know what mystery shopping is, imagine being paid to visit a pub or coffee shop, observe what's on sale and the… Continue reading Lessons that peer review can learn from the mystery shopping industry