I am an advocate of direct, concise and lively writing. Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck communicated well. Unfortunately, many authors like long, meandering sentences. Writing is a skill, something we have to work at, whether undertaking an MA, a Ph.D or our fourth book. A well-crafted paragraph of two or three sentences often communicates better than several paragraphs of turgid prose. The poverty of academic expression explains why so much of our writing is little read. Figures and tables are usually a poor substitute for good writing and should be kept to a minimum.
Most of us write badly and must practice in order to write well. To assist in this objective I recommend reading Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Pocket Books, 2002), William Zinsser, On Writing Well (HarperCollins, 30th anniversary edition, 2006) and Paul J. Silvia, How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing (APA Life Tools, 2007).
I am interested in supervising smart, well-motivated people with initiative, who wish to undertake research focused on, amongst other things, the politics of global finance, private authority, global governance, and institutional change in market societies.
I recommend David Sternberg, How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation (St. Martin's, 1981), Aaron Wildavsky, Craftways: On the Organization of Scholarly Work (Transaction, 2nd edition 1993), and Peter Burnham (ed.) Surviving the Research Process in Politics (Continuum, 1997) as good introductions to the Ph.D experience and scholarly development.
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