Writing, bare bones and metaphor – the importance of structure


After a break for a holiday to catch up with family in the UK and a short stop over in Hong Kong, a city I’ve never previously visited, I’m promoted to reinvigorate Doctoral Education To Go…by an excellent short piece by Susan Carter on the Doctoral Writing SIG.

I’m interested in the issue of metaphor and doctoral education and Susan’s blog post is a good example of how a well-chosen mental picture or metaphor can stimulate the research writer’s thinking about and then executing an article or, indeed, a full thesis.

Using the metaphors of bare bones, skeletons and X-rays shines a light on the importance of the underlying structure to a piece of writing which may be hidden by the flesh of the argument but, without which, the flesh (that is your data and argument) just doesn’t stand up. Without that skeleton, it is highly probable your article or thesis will become something akin to a jellyfish.

Well worth a quick read and a think about.

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