2. How to write
There is no rule on this. Either you are a Leonardo da Vinci or a Pablo Picasso. Either you
write like Charles Dickens or tweet like Trump. Either you write in prose or write to rhyme
your words. Either you write in abstract form or in simple language. Your writing is a style
unique to yourself. Let your writing express how you talk to yourself. Write at your own pace.
Do not rush. You can scribble down all that comes to you. Or you can list down points you
want to discuss. There is no general method to this. You will only know when you begin. You
will only get better if you write frequently.
“It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly”.
§ Start small: write a paragraph or write two or three sentences
§ Write between 50 - 200 words daily
§ Be bold: write a full/partial draft chapter/paper every two/three months
§ Work with an outline
§ Write along the borders of your research plan
§ Use a white board to map out your thoughts
3. What to write
Write what you want to write but have a strategic plan. Your writing has to get you somewhere.
It has to get you to an answer to your research question. So, write what you have to. But not
all that you write will be thesis material. Write what it takes you to understand the topic and to
draw insights from it. Write on everything you read. Write summaries of each paper you read.
Write of the ideas you get from all that you read. Write to ask questions. Write about the history
of the scholarship area from whence you derived your idea. Write about how the scholarship
has developed. Write about what scholars have said. Write about what the scholars have not
said. Write about why you think your writing will contribute to more knowledge. Write to tell
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
§ Write about the what, how and why.
• What is your research question?
• How are you going to address it?
• Why is there limited scholarship addressing your research question?
§ Write on the importance of the school of thought you are relying on to support your
§ Write out your methodology
§ Write a historical background
§ Write out your viewpoints on a particular scholar’s argument
4. Why write
Your writing shows your growth as a scholar. Your writing is your compass to assess your
growth. With it you measure your knowledge. Writing is how you communicate your thoughts.
It is your greatest invention. Writing is giving life to your thoughts, your ideas. Writing is the
doorway to wisdom. You live a new life with every page you write. Writing is a process of
discovery. You will not know the content of your draft– until you write it. Writing is listening
to yourself, on paper. When you write, you are telling a story.
“Telling a story is speaking out anew
what you always knew you knew
but didn’t know you knew it
until you heard yourself saying it
and in the telling of it, you,
the teller, become the listener too.
The teller and the listener
together both discover
the process of finding out
what the story is all about
as one draws the story out of the other
and the story tells itself from cover to cover.”
Draw inspiration from:
The Eagle – she targets her prey and dives in.
The Cheetah – she measures the distance to capture her prey and makes the bold dash. It does
not matter whether or not she captures her prey, what matters is that she made the move.
“Write while the heat is in you. … The writer who postpones the recording of his
thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
Henry David Thoreau
Do not be like:
The Vulture – who waits to feed on carcass and left overs.
The Pig – who wastes time digging through crap that does not benefit it.
The Queen Bee – who sits and grows fat while others work.
“If you want to be a writer, you have to write everyday. You don’t go to a well once but
6. The joy of writing:
§ When your grammar improves following your constant thesaurus checks to avoid
§ You can actually brag on paper with the use of words such as ‘epistemology’,
§ You have good reason to justify your support for one scholar over the other.
§ You are making a strong well-reasoned point.
“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will
turn over half a library to make one book.”