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Writing Research Papers: Handy Tips and Shortcuts
Writing Research Papers: Handy Tips and Shortcuts
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I owe a lot to this booklet and would recommend it to all scholars who seek guidance and encouragement., 14 July 2014
I used this book as a guide in the closing months of the writing up stage of my PhD thesis, when I was polishing it up, and trying to make sense of its presentation and structure. `A Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers' is short and concise so it was convenient to have close at hand to refer to when I was typing on my laptop in the library, airport, or the nearest café. I have to say that it was a very worthwhile investment. I've purchased writing guides in the past but never finished reading any of them, except this one, because all too often there were too broad, general, and vague for scholars such as myself in the field of International Relations. My PhD thesis was recently accepted with flying colours, and I have no doubt that this guide played a very significant role in helping me to properly outline the purpose of my research. It also proved very useful in organizing my chapters and arguments, in correctly arranging the various sections, and in knowing how to present a well-polished and well-presented final thesis. This says a lot for the value of the booklet because the first few years of my PhD often felt like I was going around in circles, reading sources that I did not need to read, repeating myself, and feeling generally frustrated about my progress.
A number of areas of the booklet stand out in particular. Throughout this book, there are key pieces of encouraging advice and real-life anecdotes which pushed me forward at otherwise extremely stressful times. For example, the book's comments on how research and writing is a delicate but crucial balance (and how to address this), key suggestions for the literature review, identifying and focusing in on the core questions, how to properly structure a research paper from start to finish, how to avoid repetition and unnecessary reading and writing (a constant challenge for a PhD student), as well as very useful tips and suggestions for every section and every component (including correct paragraphing (complementing and flowing sections and sub-sections), referencing, punctuation, style, word selection, etc.) of a well-written research paper.
In addition, the booklet discusses the importance not just of writing and research but also of the right mind-set needed to complete an often stressful exercise i.e. understanding the conditions under which you work most effectively, knowing when to alternate tasks, knowing when to step back from the more intense aspects of a research paper and to focus on less stressful areas for a day or two etc. I also remember the author's reassuring words on how writing is an iterative process and where one should be not discouraged but should come to appreciate that all good writing involves this system of stages and where each stage, though frustrating at times, makes for a more comprehensive and well-structured end product. Key as well is the author's comments on finding the correct balance between good research and good writing where one without the other leaves any research paper or thesis lacking and incomplete. Many young scholars embarking on a new project tend to believe that reading and researching as much as possible is the key to successful completion. According to this booklet, this is only one half of the story. Here the author outlines the importance of focusing on the topic and the arguments made without getting lost in a maze of endless sources and unnecessary information. Most notable is a point that has stuck in my mind ever since reading it. This was that `a poorly articulated but potentially strong argument or observation fares no better - and in fact might even fare worse - than a well-articulated but weak argument.' So many young researchers mistakenly believe that a successful paper is first and foremost about showing off how much you have read and researched and where the writing is just something which needs to be dealt with (begrudgingly) at the end of any research project. `A Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers' encourages scholars to appreciate how much of an art form writing is and how scholars should come to enjoy it as one's own unique creation from start to finish. Having successfully completed my PhD, I continue to use the now coffee-stained and well-worn booklet for my post-doctoral research. Writing, though difficult at times, is no longer the dreaded task it once was in my mind. I owe a lot to this booklet and would recommend it to all scholars who seek guidance and encouragement.


CHINA: Portrait of a People
CHINA: Portrait of a People
by Tom Carter
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Carter's book `China - A Portrait of a People' is a breath of fresh air., 27 April 2012
Tom Carter's book `China - A Portrait of a People' is a breath of fresh air. As a post-doctoral researcher of Chinese affairs at the University of Tokyo, it is unfortunate to see so many books neglect the visual realities of life inside the world's most populous state. All too often, scholars and observers are bombarded with cold facts and descriptions which, though impressive in their detail, do not adequately portray the color, richness, diversity, and complexities of everyday life for the PRC's citizens. Carter's book does justice to the expression `A picture tells a thousand stories' with its carefully balanced and comprehensive montage of the daily joys, tragedies, routines, and hardships of the rising dragon's 1.3 billion people, 56 ethnic groups, and 33 distinct regions. Each colorful page is accompanied with a brief story about that page's characters and location as well as the author's hands-on accounts of his nationwide experiences over the course of four years. Of particular interest was Carter's stark and sometimes shocking visual portrayal of the evident challenges and contrasts within the rising dragon as China's leaders attempt with increasing difficulty to maintain one-party rule, to address the striking wealth divide, and to hold the state together amid unprecedented changes. The plight of a severely burned and uninsured factory worker (Page 26) sharply collides with the life of a tattooed and care-free urban teen depicted on Page 523. For all these reasons, this book goes beyond the word heavy and often generalized guides written from behind the safety of a western desk. As a teacher and a researcher, I would gladly recommend this book to those seeking a sincere understanding of those who make China what it is, its people.


Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers: (Especially for the Social Sciences and Humanities)
Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers: (Especially for the Social Sciences and Humanities)
by Dr M. J. Fox
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I owe a lot to this booklet and would recommend it to all scholars who seek guidance and encouragement., 28 Oct. 2011
I used this book as a guide in the closing months of the writing up stage of my PhD thesis, when I was polishing it up, and trying to make sense of its presentation and structure. `A Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers' is small and compact so it was convenient to carry around and refer to when I was typing on my laptop in the library, airport, or the nearest café. I have to say that it was a very worthwhile investment. I've purchased writing guides in the past but never finished reading any of them, except this one, because all too often there were too broad, general, and vague for scholars such as myself in the field of International Relations. My PhD thesis was recently accepted with flying colours, and I have no doubt that this guide played a very significant role in helping me to properly outline the purpose of my research. It also proved very useful in organizing my chapters and arguments, in correctly arranging the various sections, and in knowing how to present a well-polished and well-presented final thesis. This says a lot for the value of the booklet because the first few years of my PhD often felt like I was going around in circles, reading sources that I did not need to read, repeating myself, and feeling generally frustrated about my progress.
A number of areas of the booklet stand out in particular. Throughout this book, there are key pieces of encouraging advice and real-life anecdotes which pushed me forward at otherwise extremely stressful times. For example, the book's comments on how research and writing is a delicate but crucial balance (and how to address this), key suggestions for the literature review, identifying and focusing in on the core questions, how to properly structure a research paper from start to finish, how to avoid repetition and unnecessary reading and writing (a constant challenge for a PhD student), as well as very useful tips and suggestions for every section and every component (including correct paragraphing (complementing and flowing sections and sub-sections), referencing, punctuation, style, word selection, etc.) of a well-written research paper.
In addition, the booklet discusses the importance not just of writing and research but also of the right mind-set needed to complete an often stressful exercise i.e. understanding the conditions under which you work most effectively, knowing when to alternate tasks, knowing when to step back from the more intense aspects of a research paper and to focus on less stressful areas for a day or two etc. I also remember the author's reassuring words on how writing is an iterative process and where one should be not discouraged but should come to appreciate that all good writing involves this system of stages and where each stage, though frustrating at times, makes for a more comprehensive and well-structured end product. Key as well is the author's comments on finding the correct balance between good research and good writing where one without the other leaves any research paper or thesis lacking and incomplete. Many young scholars embarking on a new project tend to believe that reading and researching as much as possible is the key to successful completion. According to this booklet, this is only one half of the story. Here the author outlines the importance of focusing on the topic and the arguments made without getting lost in a maze of endless sources and unnecessary information. Most notable is a point that has stuck in my mind ever since reading it. This was that `a poorly articulated but potentially strong argument or observation fares no better - and in fact might even fare worse - than a well-articulated but weak argument.' So many young researchers mistakenly believe that a successful paper is first and foremost about showing off how much you have read and researched and where the writing is just something which needs to be dealt with (begrudgingly) at the end of any research project. `A Handy Guide to Writing Research Papers' encourages scholars to appreciate how much of an art form writing is and how scholars should come to enjoy it as one's own unique creation from start to finish. Having successfully completed my PhD, I continue to use the now coffee-stained and well-worn booklet for my post-doctoral research. Writing, though difficult at times, is no longer the dreaded task it once was in my mind. I owe a lot to this booklet and would recommend it to all scholars who seek guidance and encouragement.


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