The Craft of Writing Effectively

Lei Xun – My takeaways:
1. This course is not about writing rules, rules are for low-value writings 3:04
2. Stop thinking about rules and start thinking about readers 3:55
3. The problems that domain experts have in their writing 4:00
4. Domain experts use writing to help themselves with thinking 4:51, if they don’t do it this way, they can’t think to the level they need
5. The challenge: the way that experts do their writing (to help with their thinking) is different to the way that readers can understand 6:53
6. The consequences 8:10 – 1. readers need to slow down and re-read many times 2. readers can’t understand or misunderstand 3. readers give up
7. Readers read things that are valuable to them 11:52
8. Writings need to be clear, organized, persuasive and VALUABLE 13:45
9. Valuable to the readers of a research area (not everybody in the world) 15:20
10. An example of comparing two writings 17:16
11. Writing is not about communicating your ideas, it is about changing readers’ ideas 21:24
12. Nothing will be accepted as knowledge or understanding until it has been challenged by people who have the competence to challenge 23:24, this determines the readers of our writing
13. A piece of writing is important, not because it is new and original; It is because it has value to some readers 25:16
14. What does the world of knowledge look like 28:00
15. Every research communities have their own code to communicate VALUE 31:30
16. Why does it take 5-6 years to get a PhD? 34:30 50% of the time is used to know the readers in the field
17. Using these words to show that you are aware of the research communities: widely, accepted, and reported 35:24
18. Flow/transition words can help to make writing preservative and organized: and, but, because, unless, nonetheless, however, although, etc. 36:00
19. Do things under the code of the communities 42:00
20. Another example 44:25
21. The function of a piece of writing is to move a research area forward, not to be preserved for 500 years 46:54
22. Writing is not about to express what is in our head, it is about changing other people’s thoughts 48:50
23. The instability words that create tension/challenge: anomaly, inconsistent, but, however, although 54:00
24. Bad writing style: backgroud+thesis 55:07 and a better style: problem+solution 56:18
25. Learn the language code from the target publications 1:01:30
26. Literature review is used to enrich the problem 1:02:50
27. Problem vs background 1:06:47
28. Gap in the knowledge is dangerous 1:08:45
29. Identify the right readers (research communities) is important, but it could be difficult for interdisciplinary research 1:11:57