Author Archives: Andrew Defty

Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences

There is a tendency amongst some students looking for an approach for their undergraduate dissertation to claim they want to do “library based research”, by which they mean they are going to look through whatever literature is available to them … Continue reading

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Writers on writing: Stephen King

I’ve just finished reading Stephen King’s, On Writing: a memoir of the craft. It is part memoir and part guide book for the aspiring writer. I have observed in the past that while, one hopes, there may be significant differences between what goes into a work of … Continue reading

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Beware the alibi of photocopies

There are many intellectual aspirins in Oliver Burkeman’s weekly, ‘This column will save your life’, in the Saturday edition of The Guardian. The column ‘What unread books can teach us’ is particularly pertinent to the budding researcher. In it Burkeman, drawing on observations by … Continue reading

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Writers on writing: Ian Rankin

On the face of it there may be little similarity between the social sciences and crime fiction, but I often find that there is a great deal to be learnt from professional novelists. The one thing we do have in … Continue reading

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On the importance of literature reviews

In a recent article in The Washington Post, Daniel W. Drezner, professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, neatly summarised the importance of literature reviews in academic papers: Done well, a literature … Continue reading

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