Research Tips

Research & Academic Writing

Writing critically

A core part of academic writing is the need to write and think critically. Indeed, it is no mistake to see connections between good academic writing and good academic thinking. This is something I touch upon more in my blog, as noted below, on ‘giving yourself space to think critically’.

Writing critically involves being a good academic researcher, taking time to ruminate upon what you’ve written, and being able to articulate your arguments and assertions in your own voice, with a plethora of evidence to support your arguments.

At undergraduate level students are told repetaedly to think critically: generaly speaking this involves considering assertions and evaluating them, analysing them, inserting value judgments, and comparing them/contrasting them with alternative ways of seeing. This is, indeed, the first step of becoming a good critical thinker.

At postgraduate level, however, we take it one step farther. We are not just evaluating the actual assertions or aguments being made at face value…we also must look beyond what is seen to the unseen. We must consider the structures, the worldviews, and the underlying frameworks which have founded not only the arguments themesvles…but the ways in which these arguments were employed.

Furthermore, this must be expressed in an engaging and readable manner which balanced your own voice with the academic jargon and style which is expected from your discipline.

Academic writing at PG level must be:

  • Personal (in your own voice)
  • Critical of the seen AND unseen
  • Readable – academic and engaging.


Resources

Space to ruminate: a key for critical thinking (blog)

How do use my own voice in academic writing (video)

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