Enter the Conversation: Find Your Voice in the Scholarly Literature

in Articles from our Newsletter

Social network members seen from aboveAre you intimidated by the review of the literature section of your project? Is it hard to figure out what to include and why?  You can get around that if you imagine yourself in an ordinary conversation.

Entering a Conversation
How do you enter a conversation? When you are new to a group of people, does it take a long time to find your voice? When some of the people are more well-known than you are, do your words get stuck in your mouth? When you are interested in the conversation and have something to contribute, is it hard to figure out how to start? Do you sometimes feel you blurt out a thought?

I bet your apprehensions about writing your review of the literature are similar! So use the same strategies! In ordinary conversation, how do you speak up?

Conversation Strategies
Here are some strategies you probably use as you make your way in a conversation:

  • Listen quietly awhile to the tone of the conversation and then say something: “This dog park controversy you are talking about….where I used to live there was one and an issue there was …”
  • Frame your agenda as a question: “Does anyone know a good novel about a dog?”
  • Pick up on a comment and extend it: “You said you have a little dog, and I think they are getting much more popular than ten years ago.”
  • Refer to a resource you find useful: “The dog-training books written by Carol Lea Benjamin are my favorites because…..”
  • Ask for advice about your plans: “I’m traveling by car with my dog; what kind of crate should I choose?”
  • Challenge someone’s opinion: “You claim off-leash dogs in a secure area are dangerous, but the evidence demonstrates…..”

Click here for: Enter the Conversation: Find Your Voice in the Scholarly Literature



Single, Peg Boyle, Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text, Stylus, 2009

Belcher, Wendy Laura (Belcher, 2009), Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success, Sage Publications. 2009.


**Warning: Shameless Plug Alert:

Join the Academic Writing Club. It will give you the ongoing encouragement, gentle nudges, and a group of supportive colleagues to help you get clear that You are the experiment, and your behavior is the data. Joining the writing club will help you get real about your work and get on with it.

Previous post:

Next post: