1 Collaborate – Think Critically: Learn from researchers who have been in your shoes – use their examples and experiences to explore how their ‘lessons learned’ can improve your own research approach. Take it one step further with additional thought-provoking questions online.

23.1 Overcoming panic

Talk to colleagues about their experiences of writing up their data analysis. Did they experience any fear or anxiety and how did they overcome obstacles during this process?

How would you respond to these challenges in your own writing up, and how could you change your approach to data analysis where necessary?

23.2 The redrafting process

Sally and Kay used the redrafting process to better support their argument and highlight the main findings of their research. How will you decide what is central and what is peripheral to your argument?

Like Kay, will you make decisions on what to cut based on what is most ‘distinctively original’ in your research? Like Sally, can you compress or combine chapters that are more peripheral to your argument?

23.3 Telling a Story

Harry Wolcott has written about ‘the two most powerful ideas I have about writing’: ‘you must think through how you plan to reveal your story – the sequence you will follow – and you must have something down on paper before you will ever have an opportunity to work with it’.

What kind of story do you plan to tell through your data analysis and why? Like David’s case study, would a mystery story suit your research project best, or would an analytical or hypothesis story be more appropriate?

Try drafting some short summaries of your research following different narrative structures, and show them to a colleague Which do they think is most effective and why?