Seminar on Academic Writing with Natalie Reid // Семинар по академическому письму с Натали Рид

Seminar on Academic Writing with Natalie Reid // Семинар по академическому письму с Натали Рид

August 15, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


Dear colleagues, I’m very glad to meet you here, at our seminar. Not all of the participants have come, but I think it is high time to start Our today’s seminar on academic writing is part of a greater programme of the RIAC, which is named “Global Science”, launched in late 2012. The programme was aimed at improving the status of Russian research in the global knowledge market And the need for this is quite apparent while looking at the position of the Russian science in world university rankings and in general at the position of the Russian science in the world This is to a great extent due to very few publications made by Russian scholars, by Russian scientists in foreign scientific peer review journals. Our programme has to do primarily with young Russian scholars in the entire aspects, spectrum skills needed for publications in foreign peer review journals. A publication in an international scientific journal always was and is a sign of success which can promote international recognition of a particular scientist. However, Russian scholars face a lot of difficulties in realising these cherished dreams, since such successful publication requires much effort. As part of this big programme, programme the RIAC regularly organizes workshops and seminars on different aspects of academic writing. Today’s seminar as usually will be held by our prominent expert in academic writing, Natalie. She has been teaching English language skills throughout Europe, Japan, the Pacific, the US etc. She has been teaching for over 20 years, specialising in academic writing, journal analysis and technical writing. So, I would like to give word to Natalie. OK, that sounds fun. Forgive me for using the microphone, you can hear me, but a couple of days ago I came down with a nasty cold and I don’t wanna stress my voice. I had to do a 4-hour lecture yesterday and interestingly enough it was at the university it was on the same topic and they gave me 4 hours and I have an hour and a half now, so I want to make the most of it. Everything I do and everything I say is based on Five Days of Intensive, highly intensive training, which is all covered in the book. This is my old one, I was going to bring the revised edition, but the client yesterday bought all the copies. So, they are gone, but they are more available. I understand that today I am to talk about the research process, but primarily about the argumentation and how one argues in English. This is a huge topic because it involves knowing a number of other pieces and parts before we can even get to argumentation. But about the research project, I understand that you’re all from various universities and so I’d like you to just raise your hand if you come from a university that gives you access to all the journal articles in English that are published throughout Europe, and the UK, and the US and Canada and so on. How many of you are at the university that does that? 1, 2 , 3. And you are from where? It’s the Free University of Berlin. And you are? ―MGIMO University. Okay. Yes, I understand that MGIMO and Higher School of Economic are both doing this. Most of the other universities have not yet, according to my sources, which could be wrong. The problem is you can’t do research and get published if you don’t have access to the articles, because in English research is based on reading everything that’s been published in your area figuring out, finding a research project from all of the reading that says “Ah, but nobody has looked at this aspect, or this part of it or this element, and it has to be an important one. Oh, nobody has looked at it, I can write about it, because nobody wrote about it, nobody cares about it, it has to be important, and it has to be new. And if you don’t have access to the journals, how can you know? And that is the problem I have been throughout Russia, and it that’s been very deeply troubling to me because I worked all over Europe and in Asia, Asian countries, the developed Asian countries, in Europe, in the States, in Canada, in the UK, in Australia. Everybody, research institutes and universities, everybody has access to all the journals. Univirsitiy or a research institute subscribes to all of them. There are a number of ways of doing that, but they cost money. And my advice to the rectors of universities, whether I have the chance to talk with them, is to say ‘put your money there!’ Because you can’t do anything if you don’t put your money there, or at least pick up two biggest departmnets that you wanna become famous for and put your money there. I really feel sorry for you and I can’t help you that way with how to develop a research project, if you can’t get access to the journals. So maybe find a friend at MGIMO, or find a friend at the Free University of Berlin, or find a friend, I’m serious, find a friend at the Higher School of Economics and see if you can use their email to get in and get your hands on these articles. If you can’t read the articles, you can’t do publishable research. It’s as simple as that. I hate to be disappointing, I hate to be negative in this way, but it’s the truth. When I first worked in Russia 6 years ago I was shocked that Russian students didn’t have access. How can you do research? It has to do with the history of Russian academic success, it had nothing to do with getting published and now there’s everything to do with getting published and if they’re not helping you, how can you do it? So, enough sad. But I worry for you and I wish you luck and I hope that things will change. As to argumentation in English and how to argue Everything that I do is based on the linguistic theory of contrastive rhetoric. And this particular branch of linguistics was developed about 40 or 50 years ago among American teachers of writing to people from other languages. And they found that the best students, who were the best at grammar and the best at conversation and the best at everything turned in horrible pieces of writing. Their writing was terrible. They would sit down with the student and say, “This is what you do first, this is what you do second…” and the student’s next paper would be worse. And the teachers began talking to one another and they discovered that when the student got nervous, the student said, “But then back in Russia, back in China, back in wherever, I was successful, so, I have to do what I did there and then it will work”. So, every time you try to think about what made you successful in your first language, essentially you screw up writing in the second language. And that is basically the point. When a language is a way of understanding the world, or framing the world, of giving words to what it finds in the world… Some languages are more emotional, some languages are more structural, I mean they’re all different. And they all have different ways of organizing and presenting what they find in the world. So that every time you change languages, you have to change your complete way of looking at the world. That, I think, makes you bigger, not smaller. But if you want to write in English, you can’t think like a Russian. Just as if I want to write in Russian, I can’t think like an American. Do you understand me? Because it won’t work. It turns out that thinking about “What do I do in my language” completely ruins any possibility of success in the second language. And the whole point is that no language is any better or any worse than any other, they’re simply all different. And much like a tragic actor, who suddenly tries comedy for the first time, has to stretch his or her idea of what it means to be an actor, when you start writing in English you have to stretch your idea of what it means to do academic writing. You have to change it. You have to look through different eyes. And that’s all. It’s a lot, but it makes you more, it doesn’t make you less and it doesn’t diminish the value of the way you write in Russian. Am I clear about this? Okay. So, let’s get to work. First of all, basically writing in English is almost 180 degrees different from writing in Russian. It’s almost the entire opposite. Number one, we write in the Active Voice. We find that the Passive Voice is useless, because it leaves out information, it takes longer to deliver the information, and the mark of the intellectual in English, unlike in French, Russian or German, the mark of the intellectual in English is the person who can deliver the most information in the fewest possible words without leaving out any necessary information. We don’t believe in wasting the reader’s time. We think all of that nice, stylistic, whatever, that sounds so good, that’s fine for literature. But we’re busy. We want to get access to information. We don’t wanna be interrupted by somebody’s idea of good style, we wanna get in there and find out what’s the data, what’s the research, what’s the method, what’s the theory, how did the person do it, do we think this is good science etc., and what do we get that’s new out of it. And we wanna get it fast and wanna get it clearly. The most important thing in English is clarity. The writer must be 100% clear for every word. That means no assumptions about what the reader knows. My experience with the Russian writing is that it’s Passive Voice, it’s great development of theory and all of the details like who, what, where context are left out because the reader is supposed to know it. In English it’s the opposite. An English paper, just if you remember nothing else I say today, remember this: an English paper is a self-contained universe Everything that the reader needs to know for that paper is in that paper in black and white on the page in the right order. And the right order has to do with Aristotle’s empirical logic, but I’ll get to that in a minute. The point is that the reader should never have to leave the page. The reader shouldn’t have to read mention of a theory “I remember that theory, I read about it 2 years ago, now what did that theory say, or when was that war?” People sometimes, my European students will write about the financial crisis. And I laugh and I say, “since 1929 there’ve been a lot of financial crises, which one do you mean?” Oh, the last one.
I say, “you mean the 2008?” ―Yes
― Well, you have to put that in. ― I do?
― Yes, you do. All the details have to be there. And I’ll give you a very simple example out of the field of welfare states studies. Everybody knows that the classic typology of welfare states is by Esping Andersen: the liberal welfare state, the corporatist welfare state and so on. But if your paper is going to say, “actually, he was wrong and there’re really only 2 types because two of these types are really related, or maybe there’s a fourth type”, at some point in your argument you have to mention the typology. Everybody knows it? It doesn’t matter. It’s the right place in the argument to say, “the classic typology for welfare states, of course, is Esping Andersen’s type A, type B and type C”. Type A is this, type B is that and type C is the other. That’s the right place to put it. All the readers know it but you have to make a mathematically precise argument with all the pieces in the right place, and the reader will skim it because the reader already knows it, but it has to be there. Otherwise, you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. OK? In English, even when we’re writing a theoretical argument, we don’t theorize a paper, we don’t narrate an idea, we don’t discuss an idea. We create a mathematically precise argument according to Aristotle’s empirical logic, OK? And we have learned to write that way since we were 13 y.o., except we weren’t told that was Aristotle. OK? And nobody else argues according to Aristotle except for the Greeks. They may have grammar problems, but they know how to argue because they grew up on Greek logic. It’s Euclid and it’s Aristotle. And Russians, to my understanding, in my experience, write primarily according to Aristotle’s rationalism, which is that you don’t have to prove things. Certain things can be understood and intuited as being true. So, you don’t have to prove them, the writing is about theory but not about proofs. English writing is the opposite. It’s only about proofs. You say, “here’s a topic, here’s an issue in this field that nobody has looked at and it’s important because… this paper will deal with it. We’re going to use this method, not that method, because this method is better because and here is why and so on and so forth… and we’re going to follow this theory, not that theory, because this theory is more applicable, and we explain. In English the reader should be able to live in your mind. So that when the reader reads your paper, the reader is walking through your mind and your thinking logical step by logical step all the way down to the conclusions. So am I right, this is different from Russian? Yep. It’s learnable. The Danes, the Norwegians don’t learn any system of writing. The French argue according to Hegel: thesis, antithesis, synthesis. The Germans learn that you have to have an introduction, a literature review, a theory, a method. Familiar? And I say to them, “Yes, but has anybody told you what goes in the introduction?” And they, “No.” English is extraordinarily structured, once you learn the structure and once you get the idea of the structure you can then start analysing papers in journals. But analyse the ones by native speakers. They will tend to be the best – not necessarily the best writing – just like all Russian write “All Russians are not great writers”, right? in Russia Not all Americans, Canadians are great writers in English but they argue very well. And you can start seeing the pattern of their argument and how they put an argument together. And little by little by studying these papers, because my experience with Russian scholars is that you’re all very bright, okay? You study them, you can learn how to imitate that style. But one thing you have to do, no matter what and no matter how good you’re is when your paper is done, and that’s after you’ve talked about it with your colleagues and rewritten it, after you’ve gone to an international conference and read it and had people comment on it, when you finally rewrite it, and you have to rewrite your paper at least 8 to 10 times to get it perfect. Because in English every word has to be perfect. Native speakers write their papers 10, 12, 15 times. I teach writing skills and when I wrote the first draft of this book 9 years ago I sent it to 5 people to have a look at. And each of them had certain comments on things that I’ve missed because I was too close to the material. We always go to editors and that’s in our first language. And for you it’s your second language, of course you would go to an editor. Never think that because there are certain things that a native speaker will see that you will miss. That’s just the way it is. So, in English there are 3 things that are extremely important. I’ll go for an hour and a half and then I’ll take questions. is that alright? I’ll try to get 4 hours into 1,5. There are 3 major elements of the writing process in English. One is analysis. And I assume that you would be very good at analysis depending on what you field is, what you do and so on. The second is synthesis and that’s where writing as briefly as possible comes in. For example, for this book I read all or parts of 15 to 20 books by or about Aristotle and synthesised what I needed for the book down to 2 pages. I couldn’t put it all in, no matter how interesting. What mattered for the argument of my book. I wasn’t writing about philosophy, logic or Greek logic. What was the most important thing that Aristotle had to say that had to do with books, with writing, that’s what I put in. It’s synthesis. When we do an introduction we have only…and I’ll get to this in a bit, 3 paragraphs to do a great deal of work. We have to synthesise only the most important elements in those 3 paragraphs. And then give it in detail later because the introduction is that, it’s a short introduction. So, synthesis is very important. And then something called framing. And framing is something you’ve pretty much don’t do in Russian. Well, to explain framing I think I’ll go to the board and give you some diagrams. Hold on. Can you hear me If i talk like this? OK. So, a linguist named Robert Caplan back in early 1950s came up with a number of symbolic diagrams for the rhetorical systems of various languages. They were quite interesting. One of which for Russian, by the way, and I’ll get to that. So, for example, when you write in semitic languages, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, you would start with your subject, then you would go to zero degrees, to 180…and you would conclude for one side or the other only with no grey in the middle. That’s how they argue in the Middle East. I’ve lived in the Middle East for a while, it’s true. Now, in Norway, which calls itself the peace country, everything is grey in the middle, and when they get to extremes they get very nervous. They don’t like extremes. They like everything nice and grey in the middle. If you’re from Japan, China or Korea, to go straight to the point is very uncultured and barbaric. So you use all kinds stylistic tropes the way you like it in Russian and… you kind of circle around like this until you get to the point. Also, I’m not in the sciences, but say, in the social sciences or the humanities you would never write a conclusion. You would say, “this is all the famous scholars in the field had to say about the subject, this is what I, humble little me has to say,” and you stop. Because to write a conclusion would be to insult your reader. Why? Because the Asian languages are 100% reader-responsible languages. The reader is supposed to figure everything out. The writer has no obligation other than not to go straight to the point. To put a conclusion would be to say to your reader, “You’re so stupid, you can’t figure this out by yourself”. Interesting, isn’t it? If you’re writing in the Romance languages ― Italian, Portuguese, French, Spanish ― you start here and then you take a digression, could be a theory, you don’t say why, you just kinda wander off, and the reader goes “OK”, and comes down and then maybe takes another digression And like that. And in Russian, according to his symbology, the digressions are really huge, way off the page. And it reminds me of being 16 and reading the Brothers Karamazov in English, of course. Turning the page, and all of a sudden the brothers are gone, there’s this grand inquisitor, and who’s the prisoner and what’s going on. And I’m looking back and sayimg, “Are some pages missing? Did the printer make a mistake? Did I miss something?”. I was totally confused, whereas a Russian will read it and just hang with it, it’s just heading off somewhere and then it’ll come back, everybody waits, right? So, given the things I’ve said about English, what do you think a diagram of English would look like? Anybody wanna guess? Give it a shot. What would a diagram of English look like? A mathematically structured one Structured, yes. What would it look like maybe?Like a stairway. Oh, you’re the first one who’ve said that, I like that. Like a stairway, in a way. Up? What most people say, I’ll give you some help, is a straight line. Because English is that direct. But it’s actually an arrow. Because everything in English… and you know, you don’t have to know much about archery to know that if you are wobbling, you’re not gonna hit the target. You’ve got to aim at something. What do you think an arrow in English is aiming at? What part of the paper? Conclusions, absolutely. Everything is aiming at the conclusions. That doesn’t mean we can’t have digressions, but we have to frame them. Framing means, you tell the reader what you’re doing, why are you doing it and where’re you going next. So that the reader can follow everything in a logical smooth way. Each idea leads to the next…and the logic is made clear to the reader. Instead of zipping off like this, it has to be woven into…the theory, or the method, or the extra method, or the extra discussion has to be woven into the direction of that arrow. Everything has to be aimed towards the conclusion. There are some people, not everybody, because you don’t start writing until your research is done, there are some people who will write their conclusions, put them on the board or on the wall in their office and say “OK”. “Now how am I going to organize the paper so I end up there? What do I need to start with, what needs to come next?” And we move pieces around all the time. I’ll give you a quick example. I finished recently a manuscript in another field, I have another life, and I gave it to an editor-friend of mine who liked it a lot but said she thought I should started differently than the way I started and took my first 2 chapters chapters and moved all the pieces around. I didn’t like the way she moved them around but I understood her point that I should start with some other things. I just came back from 3 weeks in Altai, where I went for a holiday. I took the beginning pages with me to the river. And I set by the river and for 4 days all I did was move pieces around, find if I move this here then I have to add a piece here, but I had to take this piece, and if I move this, I’d have to do it a different way and moved and moved and moved pieces around for 4 days until I got it to work in the way that I want it. Do you see what I mean? We’re constantly doing that. What do I need to do to organize my paper so I end up at the conclusions. The conclusions should never be a mystery, it’s not a detective story, it’s not, you know, Erast Fandorin. I love these books and the last three aren’t in English yet, it’s driving me crazy. I wanna read them! My Russian is lousy. I can’t do it. Anyway, it’s not a mystery. When you get to the conclusions in English, the reader should say, “Of course. It’s obvious”. It’s not a mystery. Because if the reader gets to your conclusions and says, “How did they get to here from there?”, one of two things happen. One is the conclusions are wrong, that’s usually not the case. What happens is the writer didn’t structure the paper well enough. So that when they got to the conclusions it was logical. It’s all about empirical logic. And people say “but I’m writing a paper about theory”. But you have to deliver your paper about theory in Aristotle’s empirical logic. And someone says “But I’m writing about Hegel? Can’t I write about Hegel in Hegelian logic?” Not in English. You could write about Hegel but you have to write about it according to Aristotle. It’s the style of delivery. It’s not the content. Are you with me? I’m not changing your content. Although sometimes I tell people to take content out, because in English the only thing that matters is the argument. Anything that distracts from your argument, even for 30 seconds, take it out, save it for another paper. The argument is the only thing that matters. It’s the heart and soul of your paper. The argument. OK? That’s…I think the basic background on the biggest differences between Russian and English. OK? So far so clear? Yep.
I’ve worked with Russian students and even though they took my course and spent 6 days with me, and some of them read the book, when I had to edit their papers it wasn’t just editing every sentence it was editing every single line. And I give you a simple example. One was about Russian-Georgian relations way back with the Ossetia stuff. And it said “shots were fired, something like that. And I’m writing to the guy and say, “Andrey. did the Russians fire at the Georgians or did the Georgians fire at the Russians, the shots were fired by whom?” The reader wants to know, the reader has to know. Well, each side said “the other side started shooting first”. I said, “Why didn’t you say that?” “Each side accused the other side of starting the shooting”. And he wrote back and said, “I can say that?” So, that’s also a political issue. But in research, yes, you have to tell the truth. So, there are all these issues that are involved. Also, in the field of international relations, how many of you are in IR? A number of you, OK. Papers take a long time to get written, rewritten, rewritten. In IR you can’t wait that long. Because if you keep, you go with an idea to a conference, if you go here, if you go there, by the time you do it, the situation will have changed in that country and your paper will be dead. And that’s what happened to the student of mine. He waited too long. That’s why in international relations papers are not of the writing quality that you see in other fields, because people don’t have time to polish them as well and make the writing perfect. Because it’s gotta get it out know before there’s a revolution and the whole subject is dead and your paper is dead. And a really good research paper about Turkey just went down tubes because
he waited too long and if he’d sent it a year earlier it could’ve been published. So, you have to think about those things as well.
So, let’s get into Well, let me just ask – any questions so far? Anybody? Let’s get into argumentation itself. There is, he’s still alive I think, an American linguist named John Swales who asked a really interesting question, the best research comes out of interesting questions, a good research question. And he said, “OK, to get published, people have to find some way to create a space in the literature, in that field for their research, that the research is interesting enough that the journal wants to publish it. How did they go about doing that? And he read hundreds and thousands of papers in all kinds of fields and discovered that basically 99% of them all did the same thing. And he calls this method, and it’s not the method he developed, it’s a method he observed, And he calls it CARS, ‘cause that’s easy to remember, all in caps C-A-R-S. And let me explain to you how it works because this is how you have to start your research paper, and start your argument. I want you to think of research, of THE literature, it’s not literature, it’s called THE literature in any field, as a solid block of concrete. And your job is to find a little hole, or a little chip, or a little scratch in it where your paper can go so it can become a part of THE literature. OK? So, he said there was a 3-step process. I think he left out a step and I’m going to add it. The first one is to establish the territory you begin your paper (sorry, my handwriting stank when I was a child and it hasn’t got better) establish the territory. What does that mean? Watch me for a second. This is international relations. It’s huge, nobody can write a paper about international relations, or political science, it’s too huge. What is the territory within that field in which your research takes place. So, if it were about labour…or economics, economics of the family, is it labour economics, is it econometrics, is it economics of single-family house, single-parent households, do you see what I mean? What is the territory? Are you looking at these particular countries, are you looking at these particular types of economy, are you looking at a political struggle between two countries, what is the territory? Are you all with me? So, I’ll give you a sample generic sentence. “Most studies in the field of X focus on the relationship between A and B”. OK? That sets up your territory and you get a paragraph or two, something about that, explaining the territory. So, that’s the first thing you have to do. The second thing you do is to establish your niche. Your niche is “what is missing in the literature?” “However, very few studies have looked at this, or almost no studies examine that”. What’s missing in the literature, that’s the niche. And unless you can’t have access to the literature, how are you gonna know what’s the niche is? I mean, my heart goes out to all of you who don’t have access to the journals, I don’t know how are you can do it? Try to find a friend at one of those other universities, who will let you use their email, I’m serious. I don’t know what else you can do, because if you can’t read all the papers in your field, how will you know what’s missing in the literature so that you can deliver something new. And your literature review part in most papers shows that you’re familiar with all the literature. “So and so says this and so and so says that”. And the purpose of all literature review, which usually comes after the introduction but not necessarily, it depends on the journal, the purpose of a literature review is to show: a) that you actually know all the literature, but that you can prove that these papers did this and these studies did that, and this study looked at the same thing your study is looking at but from a different angle and for a different purpose, and yours is the first to do something new and important. OK? So, what Swales left out, and let me give you a niche sentence. “However, almost no studies look at the relationship of B to B+1″. The problem is, the reader says, “Never heard of it, who cares?”. So, what Swales left out is it’s not enough to establish the niche, you have to sell the reader on the importance of your niche. Never ever assume anything in English, never assume the reader sees it’s important because you see it’s important. We say in American English about the word assume ― ASSUME. When you assume smth you make an ass out of you and me ― ASSUME. OK? No assumptions in English, everything’s explicit, nothing in English is implicit, not one thing in English is ever implicit in writing. In speech ― yes, in academic writing ― no. That’s why I said a paper is a self-contained universe. The reader should never have to leave it to think about the theory, to remember when a war was, to remember when someone was assassinated, whatever, OK? This is really critical. So, you have to tell the reader it’s important. I’ll show you an idea of how you would do that. You could say, “the territory is most studies in the field of whatever focus on the relationship between A and B. Almost no studies, however, examine the relationship of B to B+1- comma a relationship critical for our understanding of the important process or the important dynamics XYZ. Do you see what I’m saying? Now the reader says, “Oh, I’ve never thought of that, that’s interesting, I wanna read this paper. You have to sell it. It’s a whole different way of thinking, isn’t it? You have to sell the reader on the importance of your niche. You can’t assume the reader will see it just because you do, just because you’re interested in it. Never use the word ‘interesting’. It’s a student word, it’s a kiss of death. You think I’m kidding, I’m not. The reader is a very selfish creature who doesn’t care at all about you or what’s interesting to you. The reader says I’m very busy, I only got time this week to read 2 papers which are the most important for me, that are gonna give me data and information and theory and method that will be valuable for me and MY career, me, me, me… So, the reader doesn’t want something that is interesting, the reader wants something valuable, important, critical, essential, necessary, crucial, useful, helpful. You got it? Yep. So, that’s why everybody needs a good native-speaking editor to get rid of all those words and make them stronger and so on. I can make anybody sound like a native speaker and a really good writer, as long as you’ve done your work right and you’ve got everything in the right order and argued well. Do you see what I’m saying? And that’s how I get people published all the time in some really top journals. And it makes me really happy because I feel…I’m the midwife. I didn’t’ make the baby, I didn’t carry the baby, I didn’t birth the baby but I helped bring the baby out healthy. So, that’s my part and it’s a nice part. So, now let’s get on to Step 3. So, as 2a ― establish your niche ― this is what I’m adding that Swales didn’t say ― and it’s importance. And then Step 3 is to occupy the niche. And you occupy the niche with a purpose statement. Now, a purpose statement is a misnomer. Misnomer means…it’s a wrong word but it’s the term everyone uses. The purpose of writing a paper is to get published so that you can have a career. It’s the only reason anybody writes a paper. Nobody would write a paper otherwise, we’re all very clear on this concept. It’s the framing sentence for the entire paper. It tells the reader, not in tiny little details but in a real broad brush stroke what the paper is going to be about. And it’s active voice and it uses the strongest verbs possible. Let me see if I can quickly pull something out of here, some examples…I thought I had some here, but maybe not. Anyway, an example might be, “this paper analyses the relationship of A to B and shows its economic impact on the lives of these people in this country.” OK? That’s what the paper is going to do. And then your paper has to do exactly that. Using…often people use “Using…” phrase at the beginning: ”Using famous scholars theory of this and applying other famous scholars method of that, this paper analyses the relationship of B to B plus 1”. OK? Then you can say more. “Specifically, it uses data from Russia bla-bla-bla…”. But it’s one sentence and you have to write it very well because it’s the only sentence that will appear twice twice in your paper, and maybe even 3 times. It will appear in your paper abstract, in exactly the same words, and it will appear in your introduction. And it may even reappear at the end of the paper in the conclusion, it depends. OK? Depends on how they write conclusions in that journal. So, this is how you start a paper. But here’s where synthesis comes in. You have to do all 3 steps in the first 3 paragraphs of your paper. The latest that your purpose statement can come is the first sentence of paragraph 4. And your paragraphs cannot be long, OK? Just like we like short sentences in English, we like short paragraphs, short being relative. So, let me explain what the short English sentences…I can’t give you numbers of words because it depends if they’re big, if they’re small. So, there’re two ways to tell when a sentence in English is too long. Because a sentence in English does one thing or possibly two – well, but no more than two ever. It can’t just keep going on and on, and on, like a German sentence. So, if you have paper with, let’s say 2,5 center minimum margins all the way around, and you use a Times New Roman 12.5, NO sentence in English should EVER be longer than 3,5 or 4 lines. And 4 lines is pushing it. 3 lines is better than 3,5 or 4. You can have the occasionally really long sentence, but if the sentence is over 4 lines, find a way to break it up and make it two. People hate reading long sentences. And they feel the same way about paragraphs. So, let me ask you, in Russia when you’re a student at High School, or whatever, do you study paragraphing? -Yeah. – You do? – You mean English classes? -No, Russian. – No. – No, I mean in Russian. So, in English classes you study paragraphing, how, can you give me an example of, like what? – Thesis statement, evidence, arguments, conclusion. – No, a paragraph, not a paper, just a paragraph. – The same structure in a paragraph. -Ah, OK, types of paragraph. Because we study types of paragraphs, we start when we’re 12 or 13. We study descriptive paragraphs, or instructive paragraphs, or narrative, storytelling paragraphs, comparative – looking for things that are the same, contrastive – looking for things that are different and so on and so forth. And we study them and we’re taught that the paragraph is the essential unit of meaning. So, that the reader should be able to read it in one sitting without having to stop in the middle to understand it and keep going. So basically, that means for academic writing, or, paragraphs can be a little longer than out in the regular…let’s say, public, the regular public. No paragraph should ever be over 14 lines. And you’re better off keeping your length at 12 rather than 14, with only the occasional 14-line paragraph. The other thing, very quickly, is that in English, as in Russian, we believe that you shouldn’t repeat certain things, right? shouldn’t repeat words? But we understand it differently. We don’t repeat adjectives, adverbs and verbs. We don’t say “quickly, quickly, quickly”, we say “quickly, speedly, fast”. We don’t say “examine, examine, examine”, in one sentence it’s “examine”, in another it’s “analyzing”, in another it’s “INVESTIGATE”, but we never change the noun, NEVER. We never change the main noun of our paper, EVER. That’s not done. Some for example, let me think…I see papers written by Europeans, it’s very funny. They will write “teenager” in one line, then “adolescent” in the next line, then “young people” in the next one, then “youth” in the next one, and then they’re desperate..and they write “youngsters”, which is wrong because that’s pre-teen and that’s incorrect. You analyse the journal. What word shows up most in that journal? If “adolescent” is the word that shows up most, you use “adolescent” as your noun and that’s the only word you use for your entire paper. That’s it, memorize that. For us it’s like changing the name of a character in a novel every other line. It’s crazy, like, who’s this character, what’s the character’s name? Character has a name, don’t change it. It’s the same principle. It’s so strict that, if we write “committee” with a capital C in one line and 5 lines later we write “committee” with a small c, the reader thinks we mean a different comedy. So, don’t mess with the nouns. I think that giving the reader a long paragraph is like giving the reader a half a kilo steak at the end of a fork and saying, “it’s all yours if you can eat it in one bite”. And the reader goes, the person goes, “I can’t do that, I can’t even get it in my mouth, let alone digest it”. The reader in English sees a very long paragraph and says, “I can’t digest that in one reading”. And the reader goes into what Americans call MEGO reading, all in caps M-E-G-O. And it stands for “My Eyes Glazed Over”. Have you ever been reading a paper or a book that you have to read for a course at your university, or something, and all of a sudden your eyes glazed over and you said, “I don’t wanna read this anymore”, and you just put it down. And if you didn’t have to come back to it, did you ever go back to it? No. Do you want an editor to do it with your paper? Do you want a reviewer to do it with your paper? No. The whole purpose of everything I’m teaching you is to help you get your paper sent out for review. But it can’t be sent out for review if the editor thinks it’s not well-organized, it’s not well-written, it is illogical, it doesn’t make sense, the grammar is bad, OK? It’s called a desk-reject, in 24 to 48 hours your paper comes back saying, “sorry, we can’t use it”. You wanna avoid that. You have no guarantee about the reviewers you get. 90+% of the time they’re great, every so often there’s the reviewer from hell. Maybe that person wants to publish on the same subject and wants to publish first and doesn’t want you to publish. Maybe you said, “Method A is better than method B”, and that reviewer championed method B and is angry at you. You never know. So, sometimes you get a crappy reviewer. Most of the time they’re good. And most of my students tell me that 90% of the time they learn more from the reviewers, they’re really, really happy with what they get for the reviewers, and it makes it a different paper. If your paper is published, it’ll never be the paper you first submitted. It’ll always be a different paper, because the reviewers will want something different. And you better be good at cutting out all the words you don’t need. Because if, let’s say, 6000 words is the limit, and you’re at 6000 words, and they want another analysis, another discussion. And you’re gonna have to add 1000 words. You’re gonna have to take out 1000 words from your original paper, you better be good at this. And that’s why I teach my students all the time, as part of argumentation, to use only content words, only the words that count, and any word that isn’t content to keep as short as possible. For example, “due to the fact that it’s cold outside, I wore a jacket”. So, “due to the fact that”, 5 words, means what? What does it mean? “Because”. Why do 5 words, when you can do one that gives you 4 more words in your sentence for content? The reader should focus on content, not on all those fancy words. Don’t say “in the month of August”, what else is August, a kapusta? Come on, it’s a month. Or, some people say, “the year of 2018”. So, what else is 2018? Or, “in a professional manner”. No, “professionally”. Or, “to a large extent”, no, “largely”, “to a great extent” – “greatly”. KEEP THESE SHORT. So that you have room in your sentence for what? For content. Learn to cut those words out. I can go through almost any 20-30-page paper and cut out 300 to 500 words with no trouble, because there’re ways to cut them out and tighten the sentence. Every word should count in English, there should be no wasted words. And your style comes out of being clear in the fewest possible words. That’s what makes good style in English, not all the nice things that you would do in Russian. They don’t work in English. Am I right, it’s almost opposite? In some ways? – Depends. – Depends? For example? – Some people in Russia like minimalistic style. – Yeah, minimalistic works as long as you don’t sacrifice meaning. You have to have all the details. The reader wants context: who, what, where, why, when? The reader always wants context, the reader needs the necessary details, not unnecessary details. And it takes practice figuring out what those are. It’s something like, instead of saying, “the financial crisis of 2008”, you write, “the 2008 financial crisis”, and one word is gone. And if you need to cut down words to get under the limit, that’s one way to do it. There’re all kinds of tricks. And the thing about writing in English, as writing in any language, is the more you do it. The first paper is the worst, because that’s your learning curve, your very high learning curve. After that you get an idea. “OK, now I know what to do. Now I know how to start. Now I know where to go”. In introduction, depending on the journal, journals are all very different, made an organization paragraph that says, “this paper is organized as follows”, or “the rest of this paper proceeds as follows”, it’s just the same words over and over like that, section 2, cause the introduction is section 1, section 2 does this, section 3 does this, section 4 does this. It’s nice if they have numbered sections. If not, it’s a lot harder to say, “the next section will present a method followed by a section on the theory of blah-blah-blah, then comes whatever”, it’s a little harder to write, but it works. What you have to do, I have an entire, not chapter, section, on the journal analysis, and it’s part of your argument. You never start thinking about your argument until you’ve eliminated all journals that will not fit this paper. And then analyzed the most recent years worth of papers in that journal for organization, for language, for content. Do they use “we and I”, but not in the abstract? Do they use Past Tense for the conclusion, or do they use Present Tense? If they have a discussion in a conclusion, is the discussion short and the conclusion long, or vice versa, and what order are they in? Do they give method first, or theory first? And I remember one paper when I first developed journal analysis, where the young woman was writing for a journal that had a contest for young researchers. And if you won a contest, you could have your paper published, even if you didn’t have a PhD or whatever. And she wrote a really good paper and you could follow from the theory, how the theory led in to the method, and it was wonderful. But I was looking through the journals and I said, “Mariam, all of these papers have the method before the theory”. And she started talking, “that doesn’t make sense, because bla-bla-bla”. I said, “Shh. Do you want to be right, or do you wanna get published?” She said, “give me 20 minutes”. She was fast, she’s always fast. And she came back, she’d rewritten that and she tied for first place. OK? You do it the way they do it in that journal, because the editor likes it. And you make the editor happy. In English the only person who counts is the reader. You don’t count. It’s very hard, you know, after a whole education, where we’re supposed to learn things and maybe people wanna know what we think, teachers wanna know and so on, to all of a sudden discover that you’re not important. Only your data, only your research, only your argument. So, our job is to make the reader happy. Not because the English reader is stupid. The English reader is not stupid, anymore than a Russian reader is stupid. The point is that from the time we learn to write, we’re taught that total clarity and framing and explaining, and bla-bla-bla, and everything else I’ve said so far, is the writer’s responsibility. Because the opposite of Chinese and Japanese, English is, an academic English in particular, is the world’s only 100% writer-responsible language. The reader has no obligation to understand something that isn’t there, to fill in missing information, to know what the writers means when the writer mentions something but doesn’t explain it. You have to, when you mention a term, you have to define it instantly. My European writers will always say, “But I’m going to define this in the next section”. Too late, you’ve already confused the reader, the reader doesn’t want to be confused. You give a very brief definition, then in parentheses say “the method section will describe this, whatever it is, in greater detail”, close parenthesis. That’s it. And the reader knows, “OK, I got the idea of what it is, now I know, and I know more as coming later, and I’m happy”. OK? We want happy readers, we want readers who think we’re brilliant because our writing was so easy to read. Not dumb writing, not writing for 10-year-olds. So, you might be asking how do we show our sophistication in English if we don’t repeat nouns, if we keep our sentences short? How we do it in English is to almost never have 2 sentences in a row of the same grammatical form. We’re constantly changing our grammar. We’re beginning with a subject in a verb, with an independent clause, then maybe the next sentence starts with a dependent clause and then the independent clause, maybe it starts with an ing-phrase or to+a verb-phrase, maybe it starts with a prepositional phrase. And we do this and use the language to build our argument. So, our use of every word and phrase is to build our argument and to strengthen it. We also never have paragraphs of the same length in a row. Psychological research shows, if you have three or four 8- or 10-line paragraphs in a row, the reader starts getting uncomfortable. We vary our sentence length, we vary our sentence structure, we vary our paragraph structure. That’s how we show our sophistication, it’s in the writing. And in the way in which we create and strengthen and deliver our argument. The first part of journal analysis is, very quickly, is to eliminate, as I said, everything that doesn’t fit the paper. If your paper is heavily theoretical, then you can eliminate all the primarily empirical journals. If your paper is maybe half theoretical, half empirical, you need to find a journal that is comfortable with that kind of paper if not – and you need to be doing this while you’re doing your research – bacuse if not, you maybe wanna structure your research and you write your paper differently, so that you have more choices of journals. You see my point? There are some journals that have the entire theory plus the literature review, both, in a very, very long introduction. And some introductions are only 4 paragraphs. They are all different. So, you need to find one that’s a match. One of my Russian students in IR had a problem, had to do with Russia’s relationship with the Far East. She had to find an English language journal that considered Russia part of Asia. Now think about this. If we look at the whole ‘Federatsiya’, we look at everything including Syberia, what do we get? 1/9 of the entire land of the entire planet, right? And yeah, the Europeans don’t consider Russia European, the Asians don’t consider Russia Asian. Russia, and I studied Russian history so I know some things, has never decided if it’s European, if it’s Asian, if it’s gonna go both ways, or if it’s going to forget everybody. It keeps changing its mind, as I recall, OK? So, she had to find a journal about Asian Studies that would publish an article on Russia. And she looked at all the journals and it narrowed down to 2. There’re only 2. And in the last 4 years one of them had published an article on Russia. And the other one hadn’t. So, she was really limited to one, more or less. Fortunately, that one took the paper, and it’s a very good journal. But you see what I mean? You have to really think what are the questions you need to ask in choosing the right journal. Often rejections come not because it’s a not a good paper, but because the person chose the wrong journal. They didn’t do a proper journal analysis. And what I found is that the people I was teaching many years ago and worked with, who were getting published a lot, in a particular research insitute, three of them in 6 months, got a rejection. And that was really unusual, They were getting published, their publication percentages , you know, went up, they were happy, they hired me all the time. So, what went wrong, and I went to all three people, and they all said the same thing: “I picked the wrong journal”. They’d gotten a little bit lazy, they’d got in the habit of analysing the journal they chose rather than being careful first about choosing the right journal. So, if you want to get, say, into a top journal, a really, really good journal, at the top of the field, they want something huge, they want an entirely new method, an entirely new theory, they want something that will change the field. And often the subject you’re writing about is an illustration of a larger problem, or a larger method, but the subject you’re writing about isn’t the main thing. When you get in a little bit lesser journals, it’s different. And when somebody sends back a paper saying, “It’s a really nice paper, but it just isn’t a big enough issue for our hugely varied international readership”, that screens bed journal analysis, OK? So, these are things you have to keep in mind that when you create your argument, you create it in terms of the journal, “does the method come before theory, or vice versa? Do they not have a theory section and they go straight to method? Do they write more in…” Some journals in IR are more like essays, they’re not really research. That’s a different breed, but then how do they set up their essays? You have to analyze. How do they start, where do they end? What are the patterns? So that you can mimic that pattern. You have to make your abstract look like the abstract to the journal. What does the first sentence tend to do? Is it territory, is it nische? Or do they start with, “This paper”, and do they use “paper”, or “article”, or “study”, what word do they use? You wanna use the word they use the most. You wanna make your abstract look like theirs, because that’s what the editor likes. Find the patterns. They all have to be 50% or 80% patterns. If 80% of the papers are all different, but 20% of them do something the same way. The editor likes that, do it for your paper. This is to maximize your chance of getting your paper sent out for review. OK? Yes, question. – Does the journal analysis proceed the writing of the paper? – Absolutely, and you should do it while you’re planning your research. While you’re planning your research, you should be looking at the journals. You should be looking at possible journals saying, “this kind of research, this kind of paper, nah, not that one”. One of the things that… a bit of a surprise to me as a native speaker of English is that the Brits, the Americans, the Canadians, the Australians, by the time they’re in a PhD program, actually by their senior year of the bachelor’s degree when they know they’re going to go on, they’re becoming journal-literate, they’re knowing all the journals. They’re planning what journal they could send their senior thesis, if it’s turned into a paper to be and so on. And in Europe, it seems to me that in Europe and in Russia people become familiar with the journals only much later. And that puts you at a disadvantage. Because we’ve been studying them from the beginning, reading journal articles in our undergraduate, being familiar with what these journals tend to publish. Whether it’s history or sociology, or political science, or whatever else. So, you have to really work at this. I mean, I’m recommending my book to everybody not because I make money on it. I just did the revision and I tried for over a year to to get European publishers so that it could be distributed in Europe, cheaper for everybody. And one publisher wanted to change it, another one didn’t wanna give royalties, and was back and forth, and back and forth. And finally I said, “Forget it”. So, I created a publisher and I did it myself. And I’ll never make the money back on it. But it’s my gift to Europe and to Russia…They’re both gone now, but I had a European parent and an American parent. One was an artist, one was an engineer, and they constantly talked past each other. And I was the eldest child and it was my job to mediate their language and their marriage. And, of course, being a child I failed. But I grew up trying to understand and being interested in how different cultures make people think differently. They were using different language, but they meant the same thing and they ended up arguing, because they used different words and they thought they meant something different. So, I won a level for playing field so that all of you have a chance to compete with native speakers of English, that’s the whole point. And that’s why I wrote the book. I know it’s expensive for Russians, ‘cause it’s 60-dollar text book. But it just came out and Amazon doesn’t have the MIA and I’m having someone doing research into what Amazon would charge for shipping. I can get 3 books into one envelope and that’s 11 dollars shipping per book because I can keep it down. I want it to get to you the least expensive way, I don’t care if it’s my website or Amazon, but I wrote the book for you. For you to study, for you to work with, because if you do everything in there, you’ll be able to succeed succeed and I want you to succeed. As I said, I’ll never make the money back on it, it’s my investment in what I believe in, which is your chance to succeed. I’m looking at the time and I’m realizing, if we wanna have time for questions, we should probably get into it now. I can talk a little more about argumentation but I think you’ve got the idea. A lot of it is like a big river with hundreds of tributaries along the way. And your trick as a writer to figure out, OK, your main river is your argument, but where do you bring in this method and where do you bring in the alternative method, and where do you bring in this idea, and where do you bring in that analysis. So, the trick for every writer is to figure out where those tributaries should go. And it isn’t easy, but the more you practice, and the more you do it, and the more you study the way native speakers of English do it, the better you’re going to get at it. Argumentation is the hardest thing I teach because it isn’t just a technical skill where you can memorize the pieces and parts. It involves a huge amount of thinking and especially in Political Science, in IR, you’re creating a structure, you’re creating an argument on your own, you don’t have a form, economists have a form. They say, “Here’s a model, there’s the problem, we have an answer. We use so and so’s method, we do this analysis, we do that analysis, we do the other. Now we do these 5 analyses to check whether we did it right or not, and now we conclude”. So, they have the same model they follow all the time for all their papers, it’s easy. It’s not easy in your fields. You have to really practice thinking in a new way. The more you can get your hands on English language articles then the better off you gonna be for figuring out how to do this. I think it’s a good point to stop and ask if anybody’s got questions. I’m sure you have a few. – How important is the status of the writer? As a Master student, how many opportunities do I have to publish a paper? It doesn’t matter what your status is, it matters what your argument and how good your paper is. But one of the things you would do in journal analysis is look at where, and that’s a very good question, where the authors come from? If the authors are all from Oxford and Harvard, and Berkley, you know, whatever, and they’re all professors, then maybe not. But otherwise, why not? Nobody cares who you’re, status isn’t that important, it’s what you have to say, is it important enough. For example, yesterday in the 4-hour lecture I had time to give people a 6-paragraph introduction that I use in the book and analyze how the author created her argument, word by word, sentence by sentence, line by line. How she followed Aristotelian argumentation, I do wanna say a few things about that. The thing is this was her first paper, it was an incredible paper, it was qualitative, inqualitative. It was 46 pages before the bibliography. And I thought it was one of the most brilliant pieces of argumentation I had seen. After I got permission from the publisher to use it, you get permission for books, you don’t need permission for papers, but you need permission if you’re doing a book, I googled her, ‘cause I knew she was at Tulane, New Orleans because I wanted to send her a copy of the book and let her know I was using this. I thought she’d like it. Somebody else thought she was good too, because she’s now teaching at Harvard. And that was her first paper. But it was that good and it changed the field. She showed that everybody else in the field had made incorrect assumptions, and that she had a better method, and it worked better. But also, two other things. One is to create a research base, you have to find fault with the literature. “Somebody’s method doesn’t work as well, research is lacking, nobody’s looked at something”. Be very careful to use nice language, not insulting language about the people whose writing or conclusion you’re criticizing to create your argument because one of them will be one of your reviewers. And this woman basically wiped the floor with all of her colleagues. She showed they were all wrong by her second paragraph but she did it so nicely that she made friends out of everybody, it’s brilliant. It’s in the book, I mean it’s totally brilliant. Instead of saying “you’re a bunch of idiots”, she said, “Well, here’s a dilemma, what alternative or additional material do WE need”, and it was brilliant. Now, Aristotle. Let me talk a little bit, because English argumentation is based on Aristotle. Aristotle systematized the study of rhetoric and he defined, let me quote, he defined it as follows, and of course, translated by somebody from the Greek, he defined rhetoric as “the art of finding the best available means of persuasion in any situation”. So, the purpose of rhetoric, the purpose of writing is to persuade. You wanna persuade the editor that your paper is good enough to send out for review. You wanna persuade the reviewers that it’s so good that they should recommend publication, right? You want to persuade readers to cite it because it’s so exciting. Now, Aristotle conceived of persuasion as a strategy and he came up with 3 tactics for that persuasion, for that strategy. And you have to have all 3 in your paper. The first one is obviously logos ― good logical reasoning. That’s good analytical reasoning. Second one is ethos. And this gets back to your question. Nobody’s heard of you, nobody knows who you’re. You send in a paper, I’m the editor, how do I know that you have the right to stand in the community of scholars as an equal? How do I know that you know anything about the field? How do you show me that you know something about the field? Right from the start of your paper. Anybody? What do writers do over and over in English papers to show that they are knowledgeable in the field? – Cite? – Cite. Citations. So, for example, in this introduction I was talking about from yesterday, every single sentence in her first paragraph had a citation, or two, or three, or four. Why? Because in an introduction, almost every sentence at the beginning of the introduction is going to be a conclusion that you haven’t proved. For example, “Most papers in the field of X focus on the relationship between A and B”. That’s a conclusion. But if I follow it with, “famous scholars 1999, famous scholars 2001, famous scholar 2003”, and you put the most important ones showing that you’ve read them and you know them. That means that these papers have all passed the double blind anonymous review process and been recognized as legitimate good research. Now because these people have found this conclusion, these are now facts in the field, and you’re not making a conclusion, you’re citing a well-known fact in the field. Do you see what I mean? And your introductions will be top-heavy with lots and lots of citations, literature review citations, theory section citations, methods citations. When you get to your research, and your work, and your conclusions, and your findings, that’s when citations kind of disappear, because that’s your work. So, that’s how you show your ethos, that’s how you show that you know. And I read a paper recently that I had to consult on and I was pretty shocked, because what the person did was, everytime he or she would say, “So and so, 2010 wrote [quote]” it was all quotations of what these people said. And I said, “You cannot do that, because than you’re not writing a paper, all you doing is quoting what they say. You have to paraphrase what they say, you can quote the most important words, but you have to paraphrase it to show that you understand the main point of what they’re saying, you can not just quote everybody, OK? So, did that answer your question? Plus-plus? Good. Somebody else? – What is the third? – Oh, the third. This is what happens when I have a cold, my brain decides, it wants to get tired. The third is pathos. Pathos is, pretty much in your fields, it would be appealing to the values most deeply held by the reader. And the values almost always are, we want the best. We want the best possible data set for working with this issue. We want the best possible theory for understanding how this works. We want the best possible method… do you see what I’m saying? And you have to show that this method is the best, for doing such and such because the other methods do this and that but they don’t cover this area. And my new method covers what they cover plus it covers this new area, so it’s a better method. People always want that. They always want the best. And you have to say that, and I show that in the analysis, yesterday of that introduction, how she used ethos, how she used logos, how she used pathos. All three elements have to be in your paper but of course, in your introduction. OK, this is very, very important. You have to sell the importance of what you’re doing. It’s not quite like, you know, haggling with a ‘babushka’ on the corner about how much to pay for the ‘yabloki’, or whatever. But it’s still a form of selling, a form of advertising. Someone yesterday said about this particular introduction, “she’s claiming a whole lot that she’s doing, she’s saying that she’s doing this, she’s doing that”. I said, “yes, but it’s a 46-page paper and everything she said she did, she did”. That was the point. You don’t claim, you know, that you’re saving the world, or that your paper is the only paper anybody should about, but you have to tell the reader why what you’ve done is important, because otherwise they’re not going to know. So, you don’t wanna be arrogant, but you wanna sound confident. It’s very important in English to sound confident. And the big secret is that if you organize your writing well and you use the fewest words possible, you look really competent and confident. When your sentences get very, very long you look like you’re not in control, like you’re trying to hide things. And don’t use hedge words. Hedge words are, oh, Scandinavians use them all the time, I think it’s Scandinavian purism, “Who am I to think that I’m the only one who…maybe I didn’t read a paper, maybe I missed one”. So, they say, “this seems to suggest that under certain circumstances one could possibly understand this, whatever is maybe meaning..”, and they go on and on like that. They will kill you in English, because you sound like you’re not confident about your own research. You’re in control of your research, you believe in it. You believe that your research is good, that your conclusions are good, your methods are good. You have to sound confident, not arrogant. A friend told me recently about a colleague who never gets published, because they always write, “everybody else in the field is an idiot and I’m the only one who knows bla-bla-bla…”, and he’s so puzzled that he doesn’t get published, he thinks all the reviewers are stupid, ‘cause he’s so arrogant. So, other questions? Anything, no matter how wild. Off the topic. – May I ask you? -Yes! – I would like to ask you about methodology. You’ve mentioned that the researcher should use the method which is better suited for this topic, for this research. But as we got to know, in Russia in IR and in Europe researches most often use mathematical methods and in Russia we don’t use mathematical methodology a lot We use historical methods, different others. And what about common practice in foreign journals, I mean, does a specific journal prefer a specific method or a combination of methods, or you can really be free to decide? – No, you have to analyse the journal. It’s a really good question. I wasn’t aware of mathematical problems in IR? – Statistical models. – OK. Depends on the journal. You have to look at them. If people do historical methodology, this is a guess, I’m just guessing off the top, people could look at this as more of an essay and less of a research. Anybody can read the history, where’s your research? You would want for more historical perspectives to find a journal that does more essay-type writing, like, Foreign Affairs? Something like that? That does that kind of writing rather than the research, or learn the statistical methods and apply them. You’d have to see what the journals do. That’s part of the journal analysis. You could do whatever you want, but if you send it to the wrong journal, it’s almost guaranteed to be rejected. Please? I was just going to say, for example, in Sociology, Ethnography, there’re quantitative and qualitative papers. And one woman said, “I wanna send in this paper to bla-bla-bla journal”, and I happened to help a lot of people to get published in that journal. And I said to her, “Your work is totally quantitative. And that’s a qualitative journal”. And she said, “No, one out of every 7 papers is quantitative”. I said, “Yes, maybe, but first of all those are lousy arts, and second, those people are used to reading qualitative papers so you would have to change a lot of your language to be qualitative, because if you did all your usual quantitative stuff, it’s not going to fit that journal”. She said, “well, they should have studied quantitative methods when they were at school”. “Hey, it’s not my problem”. So, of course, it came back immediately rejected, “very interesting paper, but too quantitative for our journal”. Duh! I don’t know about lot of the journals, but it’s obvious to me that it’s the wrong journal, it’s the wrong journal. So, that’s an issue, that’ll come up. Don’t ever get your heart set at, “Oh, I wanna be published in -bla-bla-bla journal”, that’s a big mistake. Be very honest about what your chances are for a certain paper. – In this relation, what about self-publishing and what about self-promotion? How legitimate is that? – So, self-publishing, like how? – For example, I’ve seen a lot of scholars, they were not publishing in like really famous journals but they were publishing those papers they would just put them online, and actually, like most of those papers, I should admit, they were like really helpful, but I couldn’t use it for my paper, but still, some of them were giving hands and in some ways like really, really small percentage of them, they could’ve been used for my paper as well. – Except you couldn’t cite them because they weren’t published in journals. -Yes. -Right. There’s a big discussion on researchgate.com about that, about self-publishing. Somebody asked the question, “What about people who just wanna get papers out there that journals don’t want?” And basically, if the journals don’t want the paper, 9 times out of 10 there’s something wrong with the paper. OK? So, I wouldn’t do it, unless you got so many rejections, you just say, “to hell with it”. But you’re also opening yourself up to the possibility that people will look at this and say, “that’s a not very good paper”. OK? If you follow all the steps, and you argue well, and you figure out that they have a new section every so many pages, and you have a new section so many pages and you keep everything, kind of like the journal. If you chose the right journal, you should have a good shot. Now, there’re professors, mostly the older professors, in Europe, who would tell their students, “No, no, no, don’t write for the journal. Write a generic paper, because if it gets rejected by journal A, you can immediately send it to journal B. And my answer in my usual tactful way is that that’s very stupid advice, because there’s no such thing as a generic journal. So, it won’t fit any of the journals. So, if you write a research paper, not an essay paper, but a research paper, and you send it to journal A, and alas! poor paper, it gets rejected. Well, your method is still the same, your theory is still the same, your data is the same, right? Your findings are the same, your conclusions are the same. You have to rewrite the abstract, the introduction, the conclusion, but you don’t have to rewrite everything to send it to a new journal. And that’s what happens, people turn it around, fix the beginning, the end, and it gets accepted by the second journal, OK? All of these are great questions. Nobody else? Are you being shy, or have I bored you? So, it’s up to you. I can keep talking about something, or we can go home, it’s your seminar, what do you want? – Probably one question from me possible? – OK. – I would like to ask you about research task and how to specify it. I mean, should it be quite narrow, or not, and at what extent? – It all depends on what you wanna do. There’s research that is very long-term, you look ar thirty years worth of patterns, and there’s research that looks at a 6-month period and digs very, very deeply and narrowly into economic, political, social and other factors in that period that cause a change. So, there’re longitudinal which are broader and wider, and then there’re deeper and narrow ones, you wanna look as part of your journal analysis, what do they do most in that journal. More longitudinal, more narrow and deep, or mix of the two. I think, you have to decide what is it you want to research? But you can’t really know what you want to research until you’ve read what other researchers have done on that topic? The one thing that all of you probably will miss that I enjoyed when I was younger because it was before the Internet. When I studied history at Berkeley, if we were in the Honors program, in the second half of our bachelor’s studies, we got what we called stack priviledges. That meant that instead of ordering a book out of the book catalogue in the library, waiting for it to come, we could go back into the stacks of books and we could go to look for the book we wanted, that we knew about, but then we could look at the book next to it, and the book next to it, and the book above it, and the book bellow it, and the book near it, and often those other books had the really good stuff that we wanted, but we hadn’t heard of those books. And the problem with the Google search, or any searches like that, is that it narrows you down by the words you give it and you don’t get a chance to go a little bit outside the box and get new ideas. And that I remember as a wonderful thing. You don’t have that anymore because books aren’t kept like that, but that was something special. And I would suggest for everybody, it may not be appropriate in your field, but sometimes people like theories that come from another field, kind of like cross-pollination. For example, you might take a theory from geography and apply that to something in IR or Political Science, and get something really neat out of that. I would say, pick a related field, not something totally different like ice hockey, but I mean something related that interests you, and do a little reading in that field as well, because it might give you ideas for bringing in something new. I’ve seen it when people bring in something from psychology into anthropology. The psychologists all know it, but the anthropologists are all excited ‘cause it’s something new. And bringing in the theory from somewhere else, so, don’t be so narrow that you only have one subject, try to read a little bit on the outside as well because it helps you to get new ideas. That’s why, if I see a footnote in the book, I try it to another book, I get that book and that book has footnotes in it which take me to another book, and three or four books down I find that one that really excites me, and then I see how I can apply that to my work. So, I would recommend that. Yes? – More or less a practical question from my side, do you know how does it work with intellectual property, if I write a paper in my university, is it mine, can I suggest it or propose it to a journal, or is it property of the university? Because I’m not quite sure if we’re really familiar with those legal… – That’s a very good question, I don’t know, I suspect that rules on copyright may be different from country to country. But usually, if you’re doing research in a university as an employee, and you get a patent, there is a patent on something you develop, that patent will often belong to your employer, not to you. But as for a paper, when that paper is published in a journal, that is your paper with your name, and that’s it, that’s your paper. It doesn’t belong to the university, it belongs to you. – So, even my Bachelor’s thesis… – Yes, absolutely. That’s yours. As far as I know, unless the laws here a very different from every other country I know, and it could be, I don’t know. But it’s yours because it’s your work. And you weren’t an employee, you were a student, that’s different from being an employee. Anyone else? How are we doing, it’s almost…Yes? – in case of employee, does it belong to the employer? – Yes, I think so, at least, in the U.S., it does. There’ve been a lot of cases in the U.S., where somebody said, “I invented it”, and the company said, “Yes, but you invented it while working on company time, therefore, it belongs to the company”, and the company almost always wins. – Does it mean that the name of the head of the company should be mentioned among the authors.. – Oh, no, not for a paper. I’m thinking of patents and inventions. Now, in the German-speaking countries the professor’s name goes on everybody’s papers, it’s really bizarre. So, these professors have huge amounts of publications, because every time one of their students gets published, their name goes on it making another publication. Their theory is, “but I help the students with the paper”…Scandinavians are not like that at all. Ok, you write a paper, whoever wrote the paper, that’s the person on it. If the professor did a lot of work on it and helped them a lot, well, then the professor really worked on it, then the professor’s a partner on the paper, but otherwise, no. And everybody wants at some point a single-author paper. In certain fields you have multiple-author papers a lot, like economics, because you’ve got the person doing the econometrics, you’ve got the person doing something else, then you’ve got all these other aspects where you need specialists of various kinds. But everybody tries to get at least one single-author paper and the ones in the German-speaking go crazy because they can’t get them. And some professors insist that, “You’re mine for the rest of your life, my name has to go on everything you publish, or I’ll sue you”, and it’s like…You know, you can’t escape the famous professor. No, the head of the university doesn’t go there, because the head of the university didn’t write the paper, didn’t work on the paper, no, no, no. But you give the name of your university, and therefore, your paper gets cited, and somebody looks at your paper and they see that you’re at that university and then everybody is happy. OK, because then the citation for that university goes up. All right? Anybody? – Can you speak of, let’s say, instead of citing texts, like, students take them from the Internet, and are there any recommendations how to reword the text when… -When you say they take them from the Internet, the papers on the Internet, or they just get information from the Internet. – Papers. – Well, papers are usually available online everywhere, you should quote them, and if you don’t quote them, you can say, “so and so, 2016, said bla-bla-bla, and then you have to put it in your own words, you could put it in your own words and then you don’t quote, but you still have to say that they said this. You can’t claim it, in English, the minute you don’t put a citation, the assumption is that you’re saying this. So, you have to be very careful about what YOU’re saying and what somebody else is saying, and attributions, it’s what it’s called, it’s very, very important. You don’t wanna claim that some idea was yours that’s from somebody else, it’s considered very, very bad. I remembered the first time I worked in Russia, and one of the students said, “Well, what about famous professors recycling papers?” And I said, “What? You mean they’re quoting from their old papers, they have to cite that paper?” “No, they take their old paper, they give it a new title, they take it to a new journal, and it’s the exact same paper, and now they have a new publication”. And my eyes kept getting bigger and bigger, and I said, “If they did that anywhere in Europe or in the States, or the UK, they would be drummed out of the academic world”. You can’t do that. Evidently, famous professors were doing it here. So, I’m learning something new all the time. I just wanna wish you all the best of luck. I really feel bad for those of you who don’t have access to the journals and the journal papers. And that, as I said, try to find anybody, somebody, who’s got a friend, who’s got a friend at MGIMO, at Higher School of Economics so that you can use their website to get hold of the papers you need. Someone at the university that I shall not mention, in Russia, said that a professor had gone to some university in the States as a visiting scholar for 2-3 months. And spent every night, and every weekend in the library with dozens of flash drives downloading papers, downloading papers, downloading papers, copying papers, copying papers to bring home for his students. Because that was the only way he could get them to them. And that just seems so sad. I really wish you luck that the universities will start investing and that you’ll get the help you need. And I hope that this talk today has been useful for you. Thank you.