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Train the Trainers Workshop – Writing about Research and Methodology

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Course Information

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This workshop examines how you can write with impact about your research and how you can help others (your students and research assistants) to do so. It takes a publishing-insider’s perspective and examines how you can improve your research writing to improve the chances that your article, book chapter or research report will be read and cited by as wide and significant an audience as possible. The course draws on Patrick Brindle’s 11 years’ of experience as a Research Methods publisher.

Participants will be asked to bring a short example of their writing to work on, and will be given advice on how to prepare mss to maximise the chances of getting published and improving the online discoverability of the work after publication. The workshop will examine the different narrative devices that can be deployed to write powerfully about research and methodology.

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Understand how online platforms have changed how research outputs are discovered and read, and can start to adjust their writing accordingly
  • Have a wider repertoire of practical strategies to improve their own research writing
  • Better understand how to write about methodology as well as about research findings
  • Be able to make strategic choices about how, where and when to publish their research
  • Understand how to prepare their writing to maximise its discoverability online and to reach the widest possible readership
  • Understand the purpose of methodological writing
  • Better understand the needs of different audiences and be able to adjust their


Participants ideally should bring their own laptop and a short example of their own research writing in Word.

Course Code


Course Dates

24th May 2017 – 25th May 2017

Places Available

Course Leader

Dr Patrick Brindle
Course Description

Day one: Writing about Research – core principles and practice

Day one of the course covers:

  • An introduction to the globalised nature of today’s academic readership and what that means for research writing
  • An overview of the shift to online and mobile platforms in academic publishing and insight into the new skills needed for researchers to make their work readable on screen and discoverable via online search engines 
  • Concrete writing tips to improve the flow and power of your writing
  • Exercises to boost confidence in the use of narrative techniques such as metaphors, analogies and comparisons
  • Insight into specific narrative tools for making research writing compelling, meaningful and vivid
  • Guidance on how to write examples, vignettes, data presentations
  • Guidance on how and when to write about ‘dry’ subjects such as methods, data and analysis
  • The thorny question of narrative voice in research writing
  • An introduction to clear titling, sub-titling and the all-important abstracts, introductions and conclusions
  • How to write ‘accessible’ summaries for publishers and discoverability services
  • Help with how to plan your writing
  • Defining and presenting your unique contributions
  • A quick guide to how to present your data for different readerships
  • Tips on overcoming anxiety and writer’s block
  • Exercises and case studies to deploy/reflect on your own writing in the class


Day two: Writing about Methodology

Day two of the course covers:

  • An introduction to the role and purpose of methodological writing (as opposed to research writing)
  • Defining methods sections and methodology chapters
  • Identifying the points of interest and points of departure when writing about methods
  • Showing methodological innovations and unique contributions
  • Benchmarking from your research problematics
  • Explaining your key choices and decisions
  • Drawing on the methodological literature
  • Showcasing your data and field experience in your methods section
  • Warrant, validity and reliability in writing (as well as in research)
  • Common issues when writing about quantitative methods and statistics
  • Common issues when writing about qualitative methods
  • Showing as well as telling
  • Justifying your methods (in what terms?)
  • Good housekeeping in methodological writing
  • Can you get a methods publication from your work?
  • Writing a methodological article or book chapter
  • A quick run-through of common research writing mistakes and how to avoid them


Full programme to follow

Target Audience

 The course will be tailored as a train-the-trainers event and will be suitable for faculty members and researchers involved in providing training and supervision to students and junior researchers/faculty who need to write about and publish from their research in research journals, books and social media. The course is applicable for all subject areas across the social sciences.

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