April 30: On Writing

Even if you plan to engage in non-traditional, non-textual forms of research, it’s still important for you to be able to write clearly and compellingly about your work. So, today, we’ll discuss writing strategies and break into small groups for a writing workshop. Please bring to class three copies of your final proposal draft; you might not have a full draft to share, but you should have some sections fleshed out so as to elicit some helpful feedback from your classmates.

  • On proposal-writing: skim Joseph Levine’s “Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal” (updated April 5, 2015).
  • General grad-school writing tips: Shannon Mattern, “Forms of Scholarship: Writing” [on voice, style, structure, process, citation — If you’re already a seasoned writer, you might want to skip the “Choosing Paper Types” and “Drafting Strategies” sections.]
  • More writing tips: Howard S. Becker, “Freshman English for Graduate Students” and “Persona and Authority” in Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article, 2nd (University of Chicago Press, 2007): 1-42 [there’s some redundancy with the above, but there’s also new discussion of writing insecurities + overcoming them, revising, responding to criticism, avoiding overwriting, etc.].
  • See the additional resources in our Writing Toolkit and reference any that seem relevant.

Today we’ll also re-review proposal- and grant-writing conventions; you’ll find more useful resources listed under “Final Proposal” on the “Requirements + Assignments” page.

Image: Present & Correct