I hope this post finds you well!
NOTE: I took a bit of time to update some of this blog’s pages. If so inclined, have a look around. Nearly every blog page has been updated. For example, the Video and Soundtrack for the Journey page now contains a smattering of videos, and the videos and forms and information on the Accountability|Focus page have all been updated. This blog’s blogroll (to the far left) has been updated. I tried to make everything current. 🙂
I hope you enjoy and/or benefit from some of the changes. On to the main topic of this post . . .
Developing Your Authorial Academic Voice
How did you or do you do this? I spent so much time in the literature that I knew what everyone else thought but not what I thought.
Here are two strategies I’ve been using of late that have actually helped me to develop my own, authorial voice.
Strategy #1: Take notes and/or extract quote excerpts from sources. Then, begin typing ONLY once you’ve internalized paraphrases of them.
My method here is to study the notes I’ve taken in order to internalize them, then talk them aloud (into a recorder or to hubby). Then I check what I’ve said against the notes. I do this 1-3 times until I’ve really internalized the material and am explaining it in my own words, with extra examples and such.
Then and only then do I attempt to type from my new knowledge base, which fares VERY differently than typing from a (sometimes very large) collection of unfamiliar notes.
I just started this strategy a few days ago, and it’s really made a difference. It takes a bit of time upfront, but this approach MORE than makes up for that on the back end. If I have more than 3 pages of notes, I break up the internalize+paraphrase and typing into batches.
I “mentioned” this to someone at PhinisheD who concurred wholeheartedly. He (or she) uses this strategy and feels it’s a great approach. I was glad to hear the affirmation.
Caution: Take care to PARAPHRASE. Do not plagiarise!!! Your credibility as a scholar goes down the toilet once you are known to steal others’ thoughts or ideas or — also incredibly troubling — are known to not understand the basics of source attribution.
Strategy #2: Take notes in a he says, she says, I say format.
As I read a group of articles the other day and sought to synthesize their content, I took notes like this:
Jones (2004) says: Basketball is fun but is bad on the knees. Too much shock from impact of running up and down the floor.
Keitherson, Mateo, and BeanieMan (2012) say: Suck it up! Your knees’ll strengthen. Stop cryin’!
I say: In light of Jordan’s (2007) findings, K, M, & B neglect the psychological detriment of exercising with pain. Aversion to exercise can develop, as CouchPotatoSmith & Allen (2008) found in their study of ___ participants . . .
This structure helped me to begin to connect what I was reading.
What About You?
Do you write as an AUTHOR and not just as a CITER? Were you from the beginning sort of just a natural at this, or did you work at this? Do you have advice, tips, or strategies to share? We’d love to hear from you!