Literature Review – vortex of ProQuest

Today I intend to complete a “road map” for Chapter 2: the  Logically I know this should be wrapped up by now…BUT…I keep stumbling down different ProQuest paths chasing after “article elixir”.  This inevitable takes me right back to my initial problem – what’s the institutional log-in code for RefWorks, because I’m Locked out yet again……and I didn’t write it down the last time it happened, so now that ONE “cure-all” article is lost again! 

A KickStarter Project: Conquering The Great Wall of Paragraphs

Over the past six weeks I have spent a great deal of time  contemplating on what words and titles go where in chapter two, the Lit. Review.  This should not be so hard – logically I know this, so how come the words stay in the ether and I choose to blog about my lack of productivity? 

My sincere thanks of gratitude to The Thesis Whisperer’s Dr Inger Mewburn for providing a plan to help me climb the Great Wall of Paragraphs.

Here is the PEELL method reproduced – Enjoy and thanks once again Dr. Mewburn!!

A follow-up to the Thesis Whisperer’s Powerful Paragraphs article! Use the PEELL approach to writing your paragraphs:

P- point: make one!
E – expand on/explain the point made

E – cite evidence to support your claim (refer to or quote)

L – link your information to the topic you are discussing
L – make a link to your next paragraph

To take the final paragraph you came up with Inger in your Powerful Paragraphs article: P: Talk is identity work; the stories we tell about ourselves signal to others what kind of person we think we are and reinforce our sense of self.

E & E: The concept of identity work has become a useful way of understanding the process of

becoming an academic (Green and Lee 1998;; Johnson and Lee 2000;; Barnacle 2005;; Dall’Alba

and Barnacle 2007; Petersen 2007), the production of thesis texts (Kamler and Thompson 2007;

Dunleavey 2003), the management of supervisor student relationships (Johnson, Lee and Green

2000; Green 2005) and in the practices of everyday doctoral life (Barnacle and Mewburn 2010).

L & L: No one has yet studied talk and identity in PhD candidature. This paper argues that

telling stories about themselves ‘in trouble’ is not always complaining, but a strategy PhD

students use for all sorts of reasons: to bond with others, to troubleshoot their experience and to

come to terms with their altered state of being.

FOLOW-UP: Take a piece of your own writing and see if you can highlight PEELL in a few

paragraphs (use different colours). By looking at the pattern of colours formed you can see how


A storyteller’s guide to knowledge

I remember my first night of a class in qualitative research methods.  I was convinced that the only kind of dissertation/thesis that I wanted to write had to tell a story.  It couldn’t be a boring 5 chapters of technical A.P.A formula.  Four years later  I am still wanting to write my research as a story.  A scientific journey using the metaphor of a microscope with my data carefully collated on glass slides.

I read this week David Griffiths post on “A storyteller’s guide to knowledge” immediately I was struck by how fortunate I felt to finally read a piece that made sense for me.  Bridging the ideas of knowledge construction and storytelling.  Griffiths speaks to blending storytelling and adult learning theory together.  This he suggests helps us to understand lesson events and lesson learning.  I won’t paraphrase his whole article – you can read it here

A storyteller’s guide to knowledge.

some more thoughts on structuring the thesis

there is more to each thesis chapter than Destination Done….dissertation


A little while ago I was asked a tricky question about thesis chapter: How much should each thesis chapter stand-alone? On pursuing this a little, it turned out that there was more to the question. The questioner also wanted to know: How much repetition should there be within a thesis chapter?

The quick answer to this double-barrelled question is that no thesis chapter stands entirely alone. The thesis text is an argument in which each chapter is one step, one move in the argument heading towards the inevitable conclusion. The chapters must therefore be in logical order. Each chapter must be connected to the one before and one after. Getting the sequencing right is critically important.

Now finding the logical order for chapters is much easier for me to write than for me and you to actually do. As soon as you get past using the default IMRAD, you…

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Legitimate Peripheral Participation

“to think about the surprisingly complex and contradictory and multi-directional character of learning is that we are always learning what we are already doing that makes us apprentices to our own changing practice”(Lave, 2012).

Learning through apprenticeship –  Vai & Gola tailors in Liberia[1970’s], the question arose as to whether it was possible for apprentice tailors to engage in common structured patterns of learning experiences without formal learning situations.  Everyday life and learning with Jean Lave

Published on Mar 15, 2012

(Visit: Social anthropologist Jean Lave argues that all theoretical problematics across the social sciences include assumptions about learning, whether explicitly or not. She says that learning is integral to conceptions of knowledge, inquiry, revolution, and changing practice, to name a few. Accordingly, social scientists have substantive stakes in the issue — historical, cultural, spatial, political, and social. Series: “UC Berkeley Graduate Council Lectures” [3/2012] [Humanities] [Education] [Show ID: 23201]