Daily Archives: December 18, 2013

Writing = Thinking

Pooja DharamshiAs a doctoral student, learning to write academically has been a challenging process. My doctoral supervisor shared a piece of wisdom, but it was not until I began writing on a daily basis that I understood what she meant. “Writing is thinking,” she often said. As a novice writer, a blank page was a daunting and, often, an overwhelming sight. Through practice, I have learned that getting my ideas out on paper as soon as possible (without worrying about style, grammar, or clarity) is an invaluable strategy for me as it kick-starts the writing process. Once I see my ideas on the page, I begin to make more sense of them and begin the revision process. I have come across two helpful books related to academic writing: 1) Style: Lessons in clarity and grace (Williams, M. & Colomb, G., 2010) and 2) The clockwork muse: A practical guide to writing theses, dissertations, and books (Zerubavel, 2001). Both  booka emphasize and articulate my supervisor’s advice that writing is thinking. Zerubavel notes: “One of the most common misconceptions inexperienced writers have of writing is that it is simply a mechanical process of reproducing already-formed ideas on paper. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, writing is virtually inseparable from the process if developing our ideas.” (p. 48).  Pooja