All posts by deanramser

About deanramser

Happily married to Cindy who has shared and supported my GED2EDD journey. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” ― Charles Dickens as of August 15, 2019 use:

writing a publishable literature review paper – four options


After you’ve spent loads of time reading,summarising and synthesising the literatures for your research, it’s hardly surprising that you might wonderwhether all of this work can be turned into something publishable. I certainly encounter many doctoral researchers who want to do just this. I was a bit surprised to see thatwhile there is a lot of material around about how to do different kinds of literature reviews – for example this,this and this – there is actually very little around about how to write a publishable paper afterwards – a paper based solely on ‘the literatures’.

Surely the tome is not all there is... Surely writing The Tome is not all I can do with all thatreading? I do need to clarify here what I mean by literatures. I don’t mean literature as in fiction/non fiction/poetry and plays but rather, the books and papers that are written by researchers about them. I don’t mean archival materials…

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beginning the literature review – taking notes


The purpose of the literature review shapes the way that noting is done.

And the purpose is to situate your study in the field – that is, to establish a space for the work you are going to do – and to find concepts and approaches that are helpful, that you can build on. It is also important to understand key debates and differences in the field so that you can position yourself in relation to them. The literature review thus typically discusses a field of knowledge production and key concepts and lines of argument within it.

The literature review is not finished in the first year of doctoral study, and the ways in which texts are used to develop a research proposal in year one may not be the same as their use in the final thesis text when the findings and argument are known. But whether it’s early…

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#litreview – getting to argument, part 2.


Writing about literatures doesn’t mean writing a summary of what you have read. You dont want a paragraph by paragraph laundry list of the texts you’ve been reading organised into a rough kind of order. Of course you write summaries as a means of making sense of your readings, but it’s not where you stop.

In writing about what other people have written you are: 

  • evaluating and interpreting, pulling out major points and
  • connecting these interpretations to your topic.

So what you are writing then is not a report, but an argument. You are saying how you work sits in the field and how the field informs your work. This is arguing a case. Your case. Your argument is based in what you think the literatures mean and how you have understood them. You must then not only establish where your research fits in relation to the topic, what you…

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Flowers For Socrates


In 1895, Japan was at war with China for supremacy over Korea, which was China’s most important client state. Japan wanted access to Korea’s coal and iron, and to use it as a buffer zone to prevent Chinese or Russian incursions.

Only 42 years earlier, American Commodore Matthew Perry, aboard the frigate Susquehanna, led his squadron of two steamers and two sailing vessels into Tôkyô harbor. After 200 years of Japan’s Sokoku (closed country) policy, which limited trade with Europe to a single Dutch factory (trading post) at Dejima in Nagasaki, Perry’s version of “gunboat diplomacy” forced Japan, which had no Navy whatsoever, to make a trade agreement with the United States. Other Western nations were quick to follow.

When the First Sino-Japanese War began in 1894, China looked like an obvious winner. But Japan had been on a modernization crash-course since the arrival of Commodore Perry, and their forces were better equipped and…

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Mercedes Scheider: My Students Are Wearing Masks!

Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider is back to work teaching high school English in Louisiana. She is doing her best to keep her students socially distanced, though she hasn’t figured out how that will be possible when her class size reaches 24.

But the silver lining is that her students are wearing masks! They are not acting stupid and refusing to protect themselves and others! That’s good news for them and for her.

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