top of page

Writing coaching

Alessandra: Trying to do too much

A recent writing coaching session developed this way: A researcher at an Austrian institute of social sciences

Too much.jpeg

sent me a diagram on a PowerPoint slide, packed to the edges with text in different-colored circles, intersecting lines and arrows, and all the themes she could fit in. From this diagram, she needed to develop and write her third PhD paper.

I've seen this many times with researchers: trying to do too much, trying to pack  everything into one paper. Alessandra needed help narrowing her focus.

At the beginning of the session, I asked her to identify the most-important problem in her area of research. Next, I asked her to come up with possible ideal solutions. We narrowed the list to three solutions, abstracted all three into a working argument, and from there mapped out which literatures she would need to connect with in her Introduction and Theory sections. By the end of the hour we had developed a rough outline and structure of her paper.

Conference committee.jpeg

Oscar: All over the map

Oscar, a postdoc in applied economics, had a slightly different problem: Two of his papers had been rejected by the conference committee. He wanted to know why.

I read both sets of reviews and both papers, and I started to see some clear patterns and a reason why these papers hadn't made the cut.

I spent four hours reviewing both the comments and the papers to prepare for our session. It was clear that without a clearly stated research question and with paragraphs that introduced seemingly unrelated topics without context, reviewers had struggled to understand and see the contribution.

Oscar coaching comments

During our session, I shared and discussed my comments, and by the end of the hour Oscar started to see patterns in his own writing he hadn't seen before. He realized that the criticisms had merit and understood why. With this new understanding, he had a clear path for revising both papers and sending them out for review in his target journals.

Oscar coaching comments

Oscar coaching comments
Oscar coaching comments.jpg

No writing coaching session is the same, but Alessandra's and Oscar's sessions reflect the typical struggles of researchers who come to me for help in writing-coaching sessions.

Oscar coaching comments

Coaching built on 14 years of experience

My name is Marc Abernathy, and I help researchers get published & funded

From organization studies to economics to ecology, the researchers I work with publish in the Academy of Management Journal, Digital Government, and Nature Communications, among others - a broad spectrum of research from the social and natural sciences to medicine.

  • LinkedIn
1:1 writing coaching.jpg

Photo: Joanna Pianka

The best way to see how writing coaching can help you is to schedule an online get-to-know-each-other session. Click the "Book Now" button below to find a day and time. I look forward to talking to you.

Free consultation

Book Your Spot

bottom of page