This is a rewrite – a inopportunely-timed power cut meant that I lost the first draft.
This was nearly not a post. It was nearly an addition to my previous post, but after thinking about some recent things I have enjoyed reading in academic writing blogs I decided to make it its own post. Several academic writing bloggers have posted over the last few months on the messiness of research, which is seldom seen in the pristine products that are published articles, reports or books. What we don’t get to see often is the process behind that shiny article, engaging presentation or significant book. That includes the shit first draft (with deference to Ernest Hemingway on this point) and iterations of additions, edits and rewrites that go into the finally final version. The Thesis Whisperer and patter recently did a series of posts on their work for an #acwrimo project that made some of this a little more transparent. My aim in this blog is not especially didactic or pedagogical, but I figure if I find it helpful to read about others’ process of developing thoughts and ideas then sharing mine may be interesting or helpful to others. That includes a next series of thoughts come a few days or a week following and require adding or amending stuff that I wrote earlier.
Over the last few days, I have been delving deeper into one of the landmark studies by a massively influential key author within one of my research interests. This key author’s approach is very different from mine in both background and perspective so it has been a fair bit of hard graft to get a handle on the methodology and its implied epistemological standpoint. What this has highlighted for me is that research most often presents a partial picture with varying degrees of claim to universality or generalisability.
So, some of my further questions …
- is this the only shit out there?
- are there other forms of shit?
- if not all shit is the same, what does this mean for our concept of shit?
The scatological spin continues to amuse me, now extending to recall of the Bristol Stool Scale … you never knew you could categorise poo, did you?