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Critical Writing

Page history last edited by Steve Moss 7 years, 9 months ago

'Moving from descriptive to critical writing'


#phdchat tweet log - 10th October 2012


@NSRiazat - Welcome to #phdchat - the topic for tonight is 'moving from descriptive to critical writing'. #PhD #highered #academia

@SueFolley - @debbiefuco good luck - how much notice will they give you? #phdchat

@Have_CISA - LinkedIn Events: IT Auditing - Principles and Practices for Executives and Directors http://t.co/7kbdMoBz #Compliance #TempleU #PhdChat

@debbiefuco - @SueFolley He said three weeks after the 23rd... Nothing is ever set in stone, though. #phdchat

@NSRiazat - To kick off today's chat - how do we define the difference between 'critical' writing and 'descriptive' writing? #phdchat

@chasing_ling - @NSRiazat #phdchat I'll be controversial. Critical writing > a.k.a 'shredding'...

@debbiefuco - @SueFolley How is your prep coming along? #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Is critical writing that with persuasion and clear arguments? #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @chasing_ling ~ haha....why do you say that? :-) #phdchat

@lizith - @NSRiazat I wish I knew! I've been trying to get my head around the difference for past 4 years and still confused! #phdchat

@chasing_ling - #phdchat sometimes I call critical writing 'smashing' or 'shredding' don't mean to be mean but you have to get inside the data somehow...

@Janshs - something that I start work on with my MA students is the idea of developing a 'synthesis' or 'synthetic argument' #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @lizith ~ I think being critical when writing is more than diagreement? More about why one argument is better than the other?? #phdchat

@Janshs - "you have to get inside the data " I like this from @chasing_ling #phdchat it's vital to immerse yourself I think

@NSRiazat - Persuading from reasons and then concluding from reasoning? #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Having trouble with the word persuasion. RT @NSRiazat: Is critical writing that with persuasion and clear arguments? #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Oh, okay. That makes sense. RT @NSRiazat: Persuading from reasons and then concluding from reasoning? #phdchat

@iambuttons - If i ever return to uni to do a phd, it has to be in Finland http://t.co/xu5HG8pN #higherEd #phdchat top hat and sword. #orsm

@NSRiazat - @debbiefuco ~ Easier said than done - struggled to locate arguments from descriptive writing. #phdchat

@debbiefuco - @NSRiazat I was thinking of persuasion from the arm twisting point-of-view...jaded by the political climate, here. #phdchat

@SueFolley - @debbiefuco not too bad thanks :) - hard to know on what to concentrate my efforts though :) #phdchat

@Judiebbrell - Descriptive writing is reporting what other people say critical writing is having an opinion on it #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Is being critical looking for similarities and differences in arguments between your work and that of other authors in the field? #phdchat

@tressiemcphd - Paper comments: An "A" with "valiant effort!" written beside it. Discuss. #gradschool #phdchat

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat @lizith #phdchat I think that being critical has as much to do with seeing connections as disconnections.

@SueFolley - critical writing is also being able to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in an argument someone is making #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @mkooleady ~ agreed. Also think I need to explore the weaknesses in some of my arguments more carefully. #phdchat

@erica_r_e_lewis - .@katmduffy #phdchat I'm new here - started my phd this week, but @thesiswhisperer and associated website have been great

@debbiefuco - based on your findings? RT @Judiebbrell: Descriptive writing=reporting; critical writing=opinion #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @mkooleady ~ need to focus on what is necessary in the writing and what is sufficient to bring word count down. #phdchat

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat #phdchat And issues of the underlying philosophical commensurability.

@RonaldArendse - "@SueFolley: critical writing is also being able to highlight the strengths and weaknesses in an argument someone is making #phdchat"

@SueFolley - @erica_r_e_lewis welcome!! :) Good luck with your phd :)) #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @SueFolley ~ agreed. Also like looking for different explanations to phenomena from other people's work. Different from my own. #phdchat

@ErinHillforts - @NSRiazat Maybe that's the start of it, but then you have to be able to weigh up the pros & cons of those arguements to be critical #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Assessing the strength of arguments made. #phdchat

@lizith - @erica_r_e_lewis welcome - good to have you on board @katmduffy @thesiswhisperer #phdchat

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat OMG. I'm so tired of working to word limits! #phdchat

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat exactly - looking at a point from a different perspective :) #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @mkooleady ~ me too - but if I didn't work to word limit I might end up writing equivalent of three theses in one document. :-) #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @ErinHillforts - agreed - some arguments are more justified than others depending on the context of the work. #phdchat

@mkooleady - @SueFolley @nsriazat #phdchat Good point. Different perspectives are rich sources of insight.

@NSRiazat - Did anyone have specific input in being crtiical as part of their course or is this a skill we develop ourselves? #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Have spent a lot of time going round in circles with my arguments. Mindmapping concepts and arguments/evidence helped. #phdchat

@JaneDavis13 - @NSRiazat: @mkooleady ~ agreed. Also think I need to explore the weaknesses in some of my arguments more carefully. #phdchat <- good point

@Judiebbrell - @NSRiazat been to workshop in critical thinking and writing but not alway able to put it into practice in writing #phdchat

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat #phdchat I must admit that my Findings chapter turned out much better after having cut 30% of the words. More concise.

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat I wish we did - as I think it is a difficult skill to develop :) #phdchat

@ai1sa - some critical thinking approaches are imbedded in philosophical underpinnings of method; eg activity theory, point is empowerment #phdchat

@ruthmassierose - @SueFolley: @NSRiazat I wish we did - as I think it is a difficult skill to develop :) #phdchat <- I agree

@SueFolley - @erica_r_e_lewis definitely - doing a phd can be isolating - nice to surround yourself with people who know how you feel #phdchat

@SueFolley - @ruthmassierose and everyone here on #phdchat are lovely and supportive :)

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat #phdchat No. Nothing specific in courses. I think it happens with critique from peers, instructors, and journal/conference reviews

@explorstyle - #phdchat Maybe critical writing involves the confidence to connect literature to our own work; descriptive writing allows us to hang back.

@lizith - @ai1sa I sometimes wish I had found myself a clear method, rather than spending too much time convincing sups on merit of method #phdchat

@mkooleady - @ai1sa #phdchat Interesting. Please tell me more . . .

@NSRiazat - @Judiebbrell @mkooleady @SueFolley @ErinHillforts @ruthmassierose ~ think we are left to develop it as we progress through. #phdchat

@ai1sa - Some philosophical underpinnings 100% critical, eg Habermas or Marx or Foucault or feminism= power relations /imbalances to redress #phdchat

@ErinHillforts - Takes a long time to develop & depends on confidence too- is it able to be taught? I struggle & I'm coming up for half way through! #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Wish I had left more time to assess strength of arguments in papers I have read earlier on in writing process. #phdchat

@ErinHillforts - @mkooleady @NSRiazat so do you think conference papers are important for this? Im scared of the criticism-some academics lack tact! #phdchat

@ai1sa - & some dont. ANT = descriptive, but also uncovers relationships, dynamics, points to how things dont have to be the way/s they are #phdchat

@Judiebbrell - @NSRiazat @mkooleady @SueFolley @ErinHillforts @ruthmassierose I agree sometimes it comes easy sometimes it just doesn't! #phdchat

@SueFolley - My supervisor was helpful in pointing out where I had been critical well and where I hadn't -so could compare :) #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Seems (from personal perspective) that as soon as have learnt basics of academic writing - it is time to hand in the thesis.:-) #phdchat

@Janshs - key point MT @NSRiazat Wish I'd left more time to assess strength of arguments in papers I have read earlier on in writing process. #phdchat

@ai1sa - another form of critique/beinng critical is the ability to name where mixed methods clash, or where solo methods might have 'holes' #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Congratulations to @NSRiazat for being mentioned as one of 50 Education Leaders to Follow on Twitter! http://t.co/AHvx25up #phdchat

@lizith - @SueFolley that sounds really helpful! Wish mine would do that! #phdchat

@SueFolley - Being critical is also not taking everything you read at face value - look for evidence of claims made #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @ErinHillforts ~ as long as we believe that feedback is constructive (however delivered) & intended to help us be better academics. #phdchat

@SueFolley - @lizith it was really helpful :) #phdchat

@ai1sa - @SueFolley @lizith mine had to tell me when to pull my head in as my method is less critical more descriptive #phdchat

@Janshs - I really do think you need to write thesis in order to know how to write a thesis #phdchat

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat sounds about right :) #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Like! RT @explorstyle: #phdchat Critical writing = confidence to connect literature to our work; descriptive = allows us to hang back.

@SueFolley - @ai1sa loll - I should have chosen that method then :)) #phdchat

@Judiebbrell - @debbiefuco @SueFolley @NSRiazat congratulations #phdchat

@ruthmassierose - @ErinHillforts I wasn't confident wrt to confs having seen some "academic tact" but found them immensely supportive #phdchat

@lizith - I think there is something abt balance - some of writing is informative, some descriptive and some building argument #phdchat

@debbiefuco - So, true! RT @SueFolley: Being critical is also not taking everything you read at face value - look for evidence of claims made #phdchat

@mkooleady - @ai1sa #phdchat For me, discovering my philosophical position/tendencies gave me a base upon which to examine others. And . . .

@mgto_org - Dailypic: Going in for the Thesis Defense.. http://t.co/bcCp1PAj #phdchat #academia

@debbiefuco - @NSRiazat You SO deserve the accolades! Bravo! #phdchat

@scottcowley - Academic Journals That Could Be Broadway Shows If An Exclamation Point Were Added http://t.co/MNcD3KC4 #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @SueFolley @Janshs reading other thesis from your discipline also helps understand what is expected for phd #phdchat

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat very well deserved! Congrats :)) #phdchat

@SueFolley - @strictlykaren @Janshs yes true - I did that and found it incredibly useful - and made it seem doable as well :) #phdchat

@ErinHillforts - @ruthmassierose Most are supportive, I agree, but some seem to constantly criticize & they have the loudest voices... #phdchat

@mkooleady - @mkooleady @ai1sa #phdchat Also, examining other philos shapes my philosophy . . . Co-construction.

@lizith - @strictlykaren @SueFolley @Janshs but there's a problem when what doing doesn't quite fit discipline or crosses boundaries #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @mkooleady @ai1sa ~ also about critiqueing the argument and not the author themselves. #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @SueFolley @janshs yes, that was turning point for me. I read a few and thought "I CAN do this" #phdchat

@SueFolley - @strictlykaren @janshs yes totally - me too! Up till then I didn't think it was a reality :) #phdchat

@michaelslav - Pls RT #phdchat Meaningful, well-paid, part-time work for PhDs: check out @BrilliantClub. We want researchers to inspire bright pupils!

@ruthmassierose - @strictlykaren:reading other thesis from your discipline also helps understand what is expected #phdchat esp ones with the same supervisor

@mkooleady - @NSRiazat #phdchat Absolutely. I think that when students are new to doctoral studies, they think they must go on the "attack".

@explorstyle - @Janshs @NSRiazat Absolutely! And, paradoxically, that knowledge means that we shouldn't linger too long in the writing phase. #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @lizith @suefolley @janshs true but you can read some examples from each side of the boundary #phdchat

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat @mkooleady @ai1sa yes that is an important point! #phdchat

@nataliematosin - @thesiswhisperer RT Are you a first generation PhD student? Sure am. Proudest day of my parents life = day I graduated from Honours #phdchat

@SueFolley - @thesiswhisperer yes I'm a first generation PhD student. My parents have no academic qualifications, so even a BSc was a big deal #phdchat

@JackieKirkham - @NSRiazat Bingo! ;) #phdchat

@explorstyle - The critical/descriptive distinction breaks down as our own argument emerges because we know what needs to be said in our own text #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Yep. Wonder what the stats are on that? RT @thesiswhisperer: Are you a first generation PhD student? #phdchat http://t.co/n6TrewzB

@lizith - @strictlykaren @suefolley @janshs there is merit obviously in reading other theses, but danger of cloning rather than originality #phdchat

@Judiebbrell - @ruthmassieros very easy to get lost in British library can waste days reading other peoples work instead of writing! #phdchat

@lizith - @strictlykaren @suefolley @janshs when pulling ideas/framework together in unconventional way, more difficult to find helpful model #phdchat

@blueanna - @NSRiazat #phdchat learning to think and read critically is something that I'm having to pick up as I go along.

@strictlykaren - @lizith @suefolley @janshs I wasn't really suggesting cloning, rather more for confidence in how to write, level of critique etc #phdchat

@nataliematosin - Podcast Episode 8: Live #PhDchat with the Thesis Whisperer Inger Mewburn http://t.co/SEB7Hu5g via @litreviewhq

@ai1sa - @mkooleady yes i would agree #phdchat

@explorstyle - @ruthmassierose @strictlykaren Nobody ever writes a novel or a poem or a memoir without reading at least a few examples first! #phdchat

@lizith - @strictlykaren @suefolley @janshs fair enough - I'm over-sensitive abt being made to fit particular sausage skin & not buying it! #phdchat

@ruthmassierose - I agree, the level of critique is difficult as it can stray from descriptive to critical - it's such a tough balance #phdchat

@qui_oui - "The academic migrant experience": yes, things are different for "first in the family" PhDs. http://t.co/bGvGtX6v #HigherEd #PhDchat

@strictlykaren - @lizith oh that's funny, I like that analogy, I may clone that ;) #phdchat

@ai1sa - my stuck point was multiple realities being valid but still having own voice, fortunately other writers give guidance #phdchat

@lizith - @strictlykaren :) maybe that is actually the point about finding our own voice, which may not match the expected model #phdchat

@ai1sa - @strictlykaren @lizith I used my blog for practicing voice- taking the writing of others and following a similar line of argument #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @ai1sa @lizith I'm not very good at blogging regularly enough, must try harder #phdchat

@ai1sa - @lizith good part of crossing disciplines is the scope for post doc writing in multiple directions #phdchat

@ai1sa - @strictlykaren im irregular alos. But i use it especially when stuck and when curiousity piqued #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @strictlykaren @ai1sa @lizith I also must start blogging more, set up an account but never really got it off the ground #phdchat

@lizith - @ai1sa that's true! but it's also finding the right outlets if being less conventional - we are expected to join tribe, not all do #phdchat

@ai1sa - @Paully232000 e b polite in blogging, had the author of an article i attempted to critique respond #phdchat

@mkooleady - @SueFolley #phdchat Did you find ways to help them understand your interest and what the degree means?

@ai1sa - @lizith yes, i chose to join a tribe #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @blueanna @NSRiazat I remember having some critical analysis assignments at MSc level, but mostly has been self-developed #phdchat

@Janshs - @lizith @strictlykaren @SueFolley sorry I wandered off to the tumble dryer for a while there .... all good points re non-conformity #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @ai1sa Was the author pleased with your thoughts? #phdchat

@Janshs - @lizith @strictlykaren @SueFolley whilst still addressing the need to meet requirements! not easy to balance #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @TeachNorthern @SueFolley - good point about not taking arguments literally at face value-looking at vested interest/expertise etc #phdchat

@mkooleady - @ai1sa @lizith #phdchat I'm hoping the tribe will let me join! He he he!

@lizith - @Janshs @strictlykaren @suefolley I suspect the biggest prob with not conforming is finding right examiners #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @NSRiazat @TeachNorthern @SueFolley and then looking for counter-arguments, or other pieces of work that back up first argument #phdchat

@ai1sa - @Paully232000 polite, http://t.co/5RVl6Nks agreed in part, disagreed in others #phdchat

@lizith - @mkooleady @ai1sa I think my problem is I don't really identify with any tribe I've so far encountered - hmmm #phdchat

@Janshs - @lizith certainly #phdchat

@ai1sa - @lizith i would agree, important to have markers who are prepared for difference. Do you get input into this? #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @ai1sa Sure it was useful to be able to discuss your thoughts with the author, not sure how often that would happen #phdchat

@SueFolley - @mkooleady they were supportive really - just didn't fully understand. Explained it was important for future career :) #phdchat

@lizith - @ai1sa been discussing options with sups - biggest issue will be internal examiner - there are interesting options for external #phdchat

@ai1sa - @Paully232000 at conferences possibility- but i'm too in awe, i need more reflective space. #phdchat

@NSRiazat - 8.30pm BST brings us to the end of live #phdchat for this week - thank you all for contributions as always - see you all next week. :-)

@strictlykaren - @lizith do you have any say in who examiners are #phdchat

@NSRiazat - Great to catch up with the #PhD community as always - if there is a topic you would like to see on poll please let me know. #phdchat

@mkooleady - @SueFolley #phdchat Yeah. It seems that others need an explanation that makes it tangible-- some scaffolding.

@ruthmassierose - @NSRiazat thanks for an interesting hour #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @NSRiazat thanks for organising again, and well done on being in top 50 #phdchat

@SueFolley - @mkooleady is it the same for you? :) #phdchat

@lizith - @strictlykaren I've been suggesting names and identifying probs with some suggestions - biggest issue is internal #phdchat

@RitaBusyWoman - A good article always tells a story. #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @ruthmassierose ~ thank you - you're welcome. Hope to catch up with you next week or on #phdchat - have a great week. :-)

@Paully232000 - @NSRiazat Thanks, pity I missed the first 1/2 hr, but can read through it all. Last 1/2 very interesting. Look forward to next one #phdchat

@mkooleady - @lizith #phdchat Oh, yes. Finding examiners would be difficult. Maybe find a middle ground. Must get "done". Fight later!

@lizith - @strictlykaren I'm based in sociology dept, but just not a sociologist, so really need somebody else local who understands my work #phdchat

@strictlykaren - @lizith I think external carries most weight though so it might balance out if you get someone good ext and some1 reasonable int #phdchat

@Paully232000 - @ai1sa #phdchat I think I will be like that at my first conference, but must get over that and talk to the speakers if given the chance.

@NSRiazat - @Paully232000 ~ great to see you on #phdchat - I think it is archived on the #phdchat wiki.

@lizith - @strictlykaren that's what I'm hoping - one of sups is not sociology & she's on case! #phdchat

@pauldoshea - Doing a PhD is a currency of communication between fellow researchers, but it can be a conversation stopper with those who are not! #phdchat

@ai1sa - @RitaBusyWoman i agree, & it stimulates ongoing conversation. good article/thesis /paper enters into a conversation (slow though) #phdchat

@erica_r_e_lewis - @NSRiazat #phdchat - yes thank you for bringing us together. Looking forward to future discussions.

@SueFolley - @NSRiazat thanks for #phdchat tonight - great discussion :) #phdchat

@ai1sa - converse might also be true. A bad thesis/paper etc stops the conversation Here i blog Foucault on critique http://t.co/jdTonPK1 #phdchat

@lizith - @mkooleady I think I would take that line if younger, as it is, this is bit of last shot! Not worried about outcomes though #phdchat

@mkooleady - @pauldoshea #phdchat Good point. But, find something they can relate to. Make it real. Example coming: from a friend. . .

@lizith - time for supper - been good to talk - see you around :) #phdchat

@mkooleady - @pauldoshea #phdchat My friend says: I'm doing an EdD -- I'm like someone who designs learning spaces like Facebook. People get that.

@qui_oui - Feeling like a slob today even though technically I worked on my dissertation all day. It's the whole "not going outside" thing... #phdchat

@mkooleady - @lizith #phdchat I love the way you phrased that! "The final full stop."

@mkooleady - Night everyone! #phdchat

@Galindes - Are Grad students more depressed? Yes - and humanities slightly more than sciences. (Via @ThesisWhisperer). #PhDChat. - http://t.co/gH5nZxwQ

@raulpacheco - #acadjobs #ECRChat #PhDchat #PhDAdvice RT @professor_evy: Anthropology tenure track position at Guelph http://t.co/633oxLBu

@SueFolley - @mkooleady night - nice chatting to you :) #phdchat

@Janshs - good #phdchat rhis eve - thanks to @NSRiazat and all

@raulpacheco - St Anne's College, Oxfordinvites applications for Global Justice Research Fellowships http://t.co/KQMApJDI #PhDChat #PhDAdvice #ECRChat

@cdp_xe - Inviting co-authors (also read the very interesting comments on undergrad co-authors!) http://t.co/eXqW4CIq #phd #phdchat

@NeuroFi - Fantasizing about an art project: "Capturing the different faces of despair" featuring the members of my stats class. #phdchat

@laurapasquini - This article title had me at "Hello" => Going Rogue - Manage Your Career -http://t.co/WVhI7dl1 #phdchat #gradchat #drphd

@MargaretEdits - 5 More Reasons Why All Students Should Be Bloggers http://t.co/TpfoNfY9 #Phdchat #writing

@GradStudentWay - Customize Your #Science #Training: Extra #Skills To Get Attention From #Industry: http://t.co/Ck64tDqF #biotech #phdchat #phdforum #highered

@NazlinBhimani - @NSRiazat You're welcome! Expecting a lot of the MPhil/PhD and MRes students from @IOE_London to follow #phdchat!

@SueFolley - @EmmaBurnettx morning! you missed a good #phdchat - in fact I think it was your suggestion for topic :)))

@EmmaBurnettx - @londonaesthetik @suefolley It did occur to me that I should have waited until I got back to suggest this topic! #badplanning #phdchat

@lynntrinko - Congrats @NSRiazat for being one of 50 Education Leaders to Follow on Twitter! http://t.co/ugRALXGE #phdchat

@SueFolley - @EmmaBurnettx @londonaesthetik yes it was a popular topic - maybe they will add the chat to the wiki so you can catch up #phdchat

@LuxePHD - 10pm. Leaving the office. With a headache. #PhDchat

@m_m_campbell - Depression isn't a personal failing or weakness. Helping grad students & postdocs. http://t.co/qsBltcaN by @VirginiaGewin #phdchat

@DamaraKautz - The two best phrases in graduate school: "free food" and "open bar." #gradchat #phdchat

@PhDForum - @KimMadden01 Wow, how wonderful for you that the end is in sight, you will get there #onedayatatime :-) #phdforum #phdchat

@justinohearn - How should I prepare for the qualified exams? #phdchat http://t.co/ws7xuPHE

@Paully232000 - @NSRiazat great thanks I will have a read of the #phdchat wiki

@EmmaReid01 - Any suggestions for analysing tweets that I have favourited as phd fieldwork? #phdchat

@strictlykaren - Storify from last week's #Acwri on how to avoid losing work/words http://t.co/c0dHoIHx #phdchat

@thetrudz - If you have a PDF of your CV you sent in when applying to a PhD program & don't mind sharing, please tweet! #phdchat #gradchat

@researchwhisper - MT @dr_krystal The human cost of metrics in academia: ECRs at risk. Insightful post by @JennyRohn http://t.co/QTt4UIIf #ecrchat #phdchat

@PetaFreestone - Note to self: You get bored easily. Never again sign up to study one topic for four years. Do some fun new eclectic ugrad thing. #phdchat

@PhDForum - http://t.co/LeD6UChf via @mailandguardian #phdchat #highereducation


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