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Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Strategies for Getting Published (Kamler/Thomson) – my reading notes

While I’ve followed and interacted with Dr. Pat Thomson (University of Nottingham) for a very, very long time (and I really like her), I haven’t read all the books she’s published. She’s someone who not only studies scholarly writing, but also does A LOT of it. But I am looking forward to reading more of her work. Nevertheless, I have read a few works of her that are really important for academia as a whole. Her volume with Barbara Kamler, “Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals: Strategies for Getting Published” is one of those.

There is A LOT to like about the Kamler and Thomson book, but I am particularly fond of the Tiny Texts’ approach.

There are four moves in Tiny Texts’ construction, as shown below.

  • LOCATE: Situating the paper/book/contribution within the larger context.
  • FOCUS: Narrowing the discussion to an examination of specific questions we want to address.
  • REPORT: Describing how the research was conducted so as to provide answers to the questions addressed.
  • ARGUE: Theorising and analysing and outlining the contributions. As Kamler and Thomson indicate, it links back to the LOCATE component by discussing “so what” and “now what” questions.

I linked to Pat and Barbara’s approach in my How to Write an Abstract of a Paper blog post. But I wanted to make sure to publish a post on their actual book because I believe it offers way more than just an approach to write abstract. As Pat and Barbara indicate in their book, there are 3 and 5 moves’ Tiny Texts.

In the 5 moves’ Tiny Text, the additional category (ANCHOR) goes right after focus, as it provides more grounding (methodologies’ description and contextualization).

In the 3 moves’ Tiny text, right after LOCATE, and instead of FOCUS and REPORT, the author is expected to PROBLEMATISE and create a more theoretical discussion. Then ARGUE provides the overall argument for the paper and the expected contribution and future research.

Overall, I strongly recommend Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals. It’s a really good book, and not only for the Tiny Texts’ concept, and the Four Moves, but for delving more deeply into what we do as scholars.

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