Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers

Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers

Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers

Successful Writing for Qualitative Researchers


It is always difficult to know how to write up research, and as academics and postgraduates alike come under increasing pressure to improve rates of publication a text like this one is essential reading for all researchers. The book discusses all aspects of translating research into writing, including: * getting started and keeping going * putting into words what you want to say * ways of organizing your work * coping with problems, blockages and sustaining morale *style and format *editing your writing *writing alone and writing in a team *approaching problems and getting published. This book will be of use to students, researchers and writers concerned with getting their research written and having it published.


The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.

(Samuel Johnson, 1757)

Good writing comes from complex sources: intense motivation and sensibility, passion and cultural curiosity, from energy and craft.

(Malcolm Bradbury, 1998)

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.

(Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism)

The writing of this book was not at all straightforward, quite the opposite in fact, since chapters were written in reverse order, and I did get stuck on occasions (see for example Chapter 2). I wondered at times what authority I had to write a book on 'successful writing'. But then I persuaded myself that these were not uncommon experiences among writers. What mattered was not whether they suffered writer's block or tackled several chapters at once in reverse order, but whether and how they got going again, how they put the final product together, and whether they managed to finish it.

As well as 'getting it written', however, there is the question of quality. How can one write a successful book as well as succeed in writing it? This kind of success depends on one's aims. There are many forms of writing, and writers have a number of different purposes. I am mainly concerned in this book with academic writing such as appears in books, learned journals, theses and dissertations, conference papers, research reports, commissioned articles, and the professional media. A successful product, therefore, involves work being judged of sufficient quality to be accepted for such things as publication-and receiving reasonable reviews from one's peers, the award of a postgraduate degree, lodging in the British Library by a research agency, or a conference presentation.

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