Writing the first paper

Simon writes:

Dear Lisa

If the script notion doesn’t help with the flow, you might try another (perhaps) mechanical technique that I’ve found useful when I don’t fully understand what I’m saying:

1. Write one sentence that describes what you would like your reader to remember about what you have said;
2. Support this sentence with one paragraph that explains ‘why’ as succinctly and clearly as you can;
3. Look carefully at the words you have chosen in each sentence of this paragraph and expand each sentence into paragraphs with at least one illustrative example.

For example, you might say:

In one sentence…

Animation can help us understand that our knowledge about the Antarctic landscape is filtered through different kinds of perceptions.

Supported by…

It is important that we fully understand the changes recorded in the Antarctic landscape because they are indicators of global changes that will impact on us all. Our knowledge of these changes is derived from documented observations that are at once scientific, psychological and aesthetic. Improved transport and communications are rapidly changing the relationship between humans and the Antarctic landscape. Gestures and sounds can reflect the connections and distances evident in the observations in the past and the present. Experiences can be shared through an online repository using animation to interconnect responses and encourage participation.

You then expand these 5 sentences into the following subsections…

1. More detailed descriptions and examples of changes in the Antarctic Landscape;
2. More detailed descriptions and examples of the kinds of observations (scientific, psychological and aesthetic);
3. More detailed descriptions and examples of how the relationship between the observer and the Landscape is changing;
4. More detailed descriptions and examples of the way that you intent to use gesture and sound to reveal more about the nature of observation;
5. More detailed description of the progress of your online work with examples.

Note that the succinct paragraph now becomes your Abstract.

Of course, you might reject this entirely, but it is a suggestion.

Oh, there is a small character encoding bug (apostrophe) when cutting and pasting from Word. But it’s easily fixed by editing by hand. For example see para below Mawson picture.

Best wishes



One Reply to “Writing the first paper”

  1. Dear Simon,

    Your suggestion for achieving flow is a good one, and will require a
    complete re-write. Or a rearrange.

    I like the concept and will look at how it can improve what I’ve written.

    My immediate response is that I certainly do not fully understand how
    “animation can help us understand that our knowledge about the
    Antarctic landscape is filtered through different kinds of
    perceptions.” It seems too presumptuous a statement at this stage.

    The focus is on the background to the research – what has led me to this

    Perhaps that is for the next paper, when I have SEEN more of the animation
    I have done.

    I have taken lots of short sequences, but not actually done anything with
    them yet.
    I haven’t had the software going. And now my computer has died.
    At this stage I feel I am all talk.
    Perhaps this is coming through in the paper.

    What do you think?

    Oh, and I had lots of those little text artifacts and thought I’d got them

    Thank you for the reading.

    Best wishes,


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Posted on Saturday, June 30th, 2007