Leaving the blood in - Using autobiography and narrative to tell the story of research into experiences with academic writing: How to get it write/right?

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Academic writing can be difficult to accomplish and disengaging to read (Monchamp 2007), the result is that often when we carry out research, our final readership can be miniscule. While reading and writing for the purposes of research should be informative, insightful, rigorous and challenging, is it also possible to make these processes entertaining or even pleasurable? Can the researcher give some personal insight into their world view and also from that of their interviewees instead of pretending that they play an entirely passive and objective role in the research process? Many qualitative researchers (Grumet 1981; Cortazzi 1993; Charmaz 1995; Ely, Vinz et al. 1997; Erben 1998; Usher 1998; Denzin and Lincoln 1998, 2003; Ellis and Bochner 1998, 2003; Richardson 1998, 2003; Bruner 2004; Perselli 2004; Antoniou and Moriarty 2006; Short, Grant et al. 2007; Sparkes 2007; Caulley 2008; Trahar 2008) have started to push the academic writing borders and explore new ways to write up research. This assignment seeks to provide a rationale for using narrative as a research method to tell the story of my research and to trial these methods on a small-scale project. A professor with an extensive writing portfolio has been interviewed in order to access some of her experiences with academic writing. The author seeks to use a emotionalist approach to the interview process by obtaining the participant’s view on their authentic experiences through open ended and unstructured interviews (Silverman 1993) with the aim of encouraging the interviewee to share their thoughts while discussing the author’s own observations and attitudes towards academic writing. This is in order to provide ideas and insight that might help other academics with their own approaches to the writing process.
Date of Award2008
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

Cite this