Some miscellaneous writing advice, especially for those writing up their JMP right now.

1. Completing a solid draft will take a lot longer than you think. Plan accordingly (i.e., spend as much of your research time writing as possible).
2. Ask your letter writers NOW when they want a polished draft for letter purposes and plan accordingly. Don't give them a half-finished (or 3/4 finished) paper; it will hurt your letter quality.
3. What SHOULD a full empirical paper consist of? Don't worry about getting every single possible robustness check and extension in there for now. The 100-page appendix will naturally appear as you make your way through the market.🤷‍♀️
4. Plan and make your main paper figures and tables FIRST, then write the paper around these, it will be much easier. Of course, you may end up shuffling things around later, but having an initial results roadmap is key.
5. Think very carefully if you end up with >10 tables+figures in the main paper. Do you really need so many? What does the reader get out of each one? Cut unnecessary figures/tables and put marginally important ones into the appendix.
6. Don't try to make your writing great on the first try, you will get stuck. Get words down on paper and then edit and edit and edit and edit. And then edit some more. Good writing takes many many rounds of editing.
7. When editing, always keep the reader in mind. What do you want him/her to get out of each paragraph (yes, you should ideally think about each paragraph!)? Will the average reader follow the paragraph?
8. Your introduction/conclusion should be easily accessible to most PhD economists. It's ok (and expected) to get more technical in other sections, but make sure your contributions in the introduction are clear to all economists not just those in your field.
9. How can you tell if it's clear to others? Ask a graduate student outside your research area to read your introduction and then verbally state back to you what it is you do in the paper and what your contributions are. If they can't, it's not clear enough.
10. Give yourself time and space to rest. Writing is hard work and mentally taxing (as a general rule, I can't write for more than 2 hours/day). Start early and write often but also take care of yourself first.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Tatyana Deryugina

Tatyana Deryugina Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @TDeryugina

19 Aug
We are crowdsourcing existing paper summaries for our social science wiki. Contribute yours and spread the word to help us get more!

All you need to do is (anonymously) paste a summary you have lying around into this form:…
What kind of paper summaries might you have lying around? Ones you wrote for a referee report, for a literature review, for field exams, for a class, or for a new research project, among others.

No summary is too long or too short.
Note that Google Forms doesn’t give us any identifying info about you, so even if your referee report summary is posted verbatim, no one will be able to trace it back to you (we will clean up & post suitable summaries ourselves).
Read 6 tweets
8 Jan
A new blog post with some basic guidelines for how to conduct robustness analysis in quasi-experimental empirical work (+ some general tips).…

Overarching principle: think first. Do not try every possible permutation of samples/fixed effects, etc. Think about what concerns readers might have & design robustness checks to address those.
Pick your preferred regression specification/sample before you know what your results are. You are not necessarily wedded to this, but it will help you be on firm ground conceptually.
Read 7 tweets
25 Mar 20
The current COVID-19 situation reminds me in many ways of Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. I've studied the latter disaster in my research, and I think we can learn a lot from it. Summary follows, full post is here:…
Both COVID-19 and Hurricane Katrina are large external shocks that have nothing to do with overvalued housing markets, excessive leverage, or a sudden drop in consumer confidence. Let me tell you more about Hurricane Katrina.
Hurricane Katrina flooded most of the city of New Orleans, making it unlivable. It killed nearly 2,000 people, most of them elderly. Hospitals, schools, and businesses closed for extended periods of time. Across the Gulf region, an estimated 230,000 jobs were suddenly lost.
Read 20 tweets
13 Mar 20
Some general paper-writing advice for students who are going on the job market next year (though this advice can be applied to any paper).

(No, it's NOT too early to be writing up your JMP!)
First and foremost, writing up your research results is difficult. Thus, prepare to spend a lot of time on it and do not worry if it is going slowly. If writing seems easy to you, you are either a prose genius or doing it wrong.
If you haven’t started writing up your JMP yet, but you know what it is going to be, I suggest you start now and write a little bit every day. Starting now will give you the time and space you need to think carefully about how to structure the paper and polish your writing.
Read 15 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!