Sam (they/she) Profile picture
Feb 9, 2019 21 tweets 2 min read Read on X
Shigehiro Oishi, Roy Baumeister, Susan Fiske, Timothy Wilson, and Laura King are going to be speaking about their writing habits and tips. I’m going to live tweet it bc I need to take notes on this anyway lol #SPSP2019
Roy Baumeister is talking about narrative reviews, which is something that isn’t really learned in grad school.
In narrative literature reviews, you can address grander theoretical questions. Defining terms and describing specific directions for future research is more important in narrative reviews than original data reports.
Lit reviews can be a good career strategy for those who are big picture theorists or those who are interested in a lot of things (I.e., “intellectually promiscuous”)
Although our field needs more scientists to collect original data, literature reviewers play a very valuable role.
A good review includes details about specific studies with info like sample sizes. Distinctions between what someone said and what someone found also important
Susan Fiske - we are social psychologists so we know how to write - we know about persuasion, empathy, motivation, etc. *We should use our science to write our science*!!!!!
When writing, set the self to the side. This isn’t about you - this is about the audience. - Susan Fiske
Don’t tell the reader what to think. Don’t use words like “interestingly” - if it’s interesting, you shouldn’t have to tell them it’s interesting. Tell them *why* it’s interesting.
When to write - if you can schedule daily times to write, do it so you can easily remember where you left off. This avoids extreme start-up time.
Don’t just read, but memorize the book, “Elements of Style”. It’s great for even seasoned writers.

Big points are: 1. Omit needless words, 2. Use active voice, 3. Use plain English - nouns and verbs. Use adjectives sparingly and never use adverbs. - Susan Fiske
Susan Fiske likes to write while looking out a window, having a couple cats around, listening to classical music.
If you’re early career and you’re wondering whether to add in an entertaining part in your writing, just don’t even do it.
Have a growth mindset for your writing ability - Timothy Wilson
Learn writing tips from others. Timothy Wilson’s PhD advisor got writing feedback from his secretary.
Tell a story with an informal voice.

Adopt a lively style to your writing - find real-world examples.

If a reader says your writing is unclear, by definition it is.
Suggested reading - APA publication manual Ch. 3 - Writing Clearly and Concisely
Write to generate ideas, not just record them.
journal articles - don’t be afraid to tell a narrative. Timothy Wilson says HARKing is ok, *as long* as you’re honest and don’t pretend to have predicted it beforehand.
Final tip - “edit, edit some more, then edit again.”
Final *final* tip - grad students should utilize their peers and edit each others’ work.

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