The writer’s voice is how position yourself in the text that you write. It’s how you make your writing unique and it’s how you convey your own ideas and interpretations on what you have read. (Blog www.literaturereviewhq.com)
I’ve just read this small passage about the writer’s voice on the blog, after spending a morning reading The Thesis Whisperer blog about writing and tips for getting started and keeping yourself motivated. This is exactly what I need now – to keep myself motivated to do my Literature Review. I have started last week and it was going well, however, then I stopped and now – I need to get back on track.
Also, I realised this might be a good opportunity for freewriting and actually, working with my reflexivity. How is my voice as an author? I could say it is pretty weak – I feel that I take things for granted – I take other scholarly text, as it is so – it is the way they said so. I know it is kind of a ‘wrong’ approach, as I need to be critical on their work. However, even citing their work in my paper is already part of critical thinking, so I can still comfort myself thinking that I am in line with the academic requirements. Not that I care so much about the academic requirements, but I do care for making a good research. That’s why this sentence ‘how you make your writing unique and it’s how you convey your own ideas and interpretations on what you have read’ struck me. Do I really interpret everything I read? How?
I am not so sure about that. When I am reading academic work, I put down interesting quotes – citations I think say something important to my work what I might use later in the paper, connecting with my points. Does it count as interpretation? Actually, I think it is only ‘cut and paste’ easy-to-do technique. I haven’t found myself writing sentences, or paragraphs after these citations, about how I might use it in my research, what are my thoughts about it, how does it fit or opposes my research in this moment, etc. Somehow it seems that I should be doing it. Pat Thomson suggested that (as far as I remember, but can’t find the exact blog post now). Well, I can have the approach of ‘if Pat Thomson says so, than I must do it – as it will produce something good. However, thinking of interpretation of text, I really wonder how other PhDs are doing it – what are these thought that they put on, how can I know will they be relevant for the research? Or, on the other hand, is that exactly what reflexivity is about? I will definitely need to explore that interpretation much more.
But I also wonder – is the interpretation of other texts what I actually need to put my ideas across in the paragraph – chapter – paper? Does it work in the way that I can cite someone, then say my opinion about it, and perhaps even my idea, that finally – that all together forms a scholarly text? If I analyse academic writing now – that could be what it is all about!
Another thing that stroke me in the initial quote is ‘how you make your writing unique’. Well, I’ve already heard it many times before – I swear! However, was I thinking about it actually? How is my writing unique? Firstly what comes to my mind is the Introduction section in every paper/essay I have written so far. I always position myself in the context, field, and provide reasons for this research. However, now I feel something’s telling me – that is not unique writing! Everyone will do it. Of course, it will always read differently as we are different, have our won research stories and backgrounds to tell and obviously, our research differ. So what is it then unique about my writing? So far I was thinking about it (not too much, I need to say) as writing my voice in the research, as writing in first person, etc. But – ‘I can see clearly now’ – that’s not unique about my writing?
Well, then what is it??
I am really keen to know how can we be unique in our writing. Is it the layout I use usually in formatting, or colours of my headings? Probably not. I think it could also be the way I start or structure my section. I usually finish with some semi-conclusion or summary, but that is also more to do with the structure then with my uniqueness of writing. I seriously need to figure that one out!
I know, you might say ‘Join the club!’
But I ask you ‘Any ideas?’