The art and craft of writing

This is a part of the series, diary of a doctoral student with stories on politics, emotions and other things that determine our research beyond the research methods. One challenge that I faced while writing my dissertation was that every time I started a new chapter, I had to deal with multiple ways of organising it. For example, there were times when I could have narrated my story village by village. Alternatively, I could have organized the layout based on themes or chronology of events that would cut across each village. There was merit in organising the chapter in each of these […]

Mind-maps for organising the layout of a chapter, article or ...

Unlike a lot of people, writing does not come to me naturally.  It has been a slow and difficult learning process, and I had to contend with massive writing project as I started the dissertation.  As it turned out, writing the dissertation was fun, but not always.  It took me an year and a half to write the dissertation after the fieldwork, and in the process, it helped me to know what other writers had gone through.  A lot of that advice came from the committee and from my peers at the University, and some of it came from webcasts on […]

The art & craft of academic writing: Interviews & talks

A few months ago, I got the criticism that my work is not original, and that most of what I have to say has already been said, and that my arguments are evident to the point of being tautological. When I got the criticism, I felt that there is a ring of truth to it, in a sense that there is practically no argument within my scheme of things that has not already been made by others. At one point, I even started questioning if there is any value to the work I did. Since it is a feeling that […]

The place of originality in academic writing