You can’t over signpost your argument.

Research Degree Voodoo

Via andrewinmelbourne Via andrewinmelbourne

I’ve often said in talking to candidates and students and researchers I work with, “You can’t over signpost”. But I’ve found that isn’t clear enough, and they come back with terrible writing that is boring and repetetive, but has lots of signposting in it.

After a few of these crossed my desk, and I was trying to explain what they were doing wrong, I had an ‘ahah’ moment. When they were writing, they were doing exactly what I told them to do. 

So what you need to do here, I would say, is to write “in this chapter, I will discuss X, you know, this part of my overall scope. Then you’ll explain your argument in some steps, perhaps include a description of your methodology here. Then give me the conclusion and its implications.”

So of course, what I’d get is:

In this chapter, I will discuss…

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