Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The PhD: Broadcasting Your Research

This is a guest post by Earl Harper. Earl is currently in the final year of his doctorate at Bristol University. He is studying ecological gentrification in response to apocalyptic imaginaries of climate change and has previously worked as a science communicator for the Science Museum Group, on their education team. 
Before entering academia, Earl volunteered as a radio host and producer for a community radio station. A recent experience with a national radio broadcast made Earl wonder about how researchers should engage with the media, particularly early in their careers.
Out of the blue, a few weeks ago, I received an email from a producer at the BBC. He had apparently found my work through Twitter and Academia.edu and was interested in phoning me to discuss an upcoming series of Radio4’s FutureProofing show, and wanted to arrange a date.
Naturally I was flattered, and apprehensive, but agreed to have a chat to see what I could offer. Having spoken to colleagues at all levels of academia about doing media interviews, I was nervous about being roped in to saying something I wouldn’t be comfortable with or having my words edited to change the points I was making. As I research climate change, and the BBC are reasonably well-known for giving equal weight to climate science and climate denial, I was also nervous about taking part in a staged debate on such an important issue. But, here was a chance to get my words out there, to perhaps make that all-important ‘impact’ that we have to be able to demonstrate in our careers.
The phone call was great, we had a 90-minute discussion in the evening about my work. The producer, Jonathan, was excited by my work, ideas flying back and forth between us and several aspects of my research which had been troubling me for weeks began to click into place. I felt confident that I could contribute to his show on ‘Apocalypses’ and he thought so too, so we agreed to talk again soon.
The weeks went past, no word from Jonathan. I began to doubt how successful the phone call had really been. Did my work have value? Had he found somebody more eminent (after all, he asked me to give him a list of names of people he could also contact, which I dutifully did)? Did the show get cancelled? I decided that the flattery was nice, but maybe the show was never meant to be and continued on with my write-up.
Eventually, an email arrived which asked me to contribute formally to the series, but not in the ‘Apocalypse’ show, in the ‘Home’ show. Now, my work is on Ecological Gentrification in Cities in response to Apocalyptic Imaginaries of Climate Change, so the new show was still within my realm of knowledge, but not what I would have liked to be known for. But it was still a way to get my words out there, so I agreed. After much discussion over when the interview would be and whether the BBC could pay for a low-carbon transportation method rather than their default option of flying, everything was set up and ready to go.
I travelled to London, I met with Jonathan and Leo Johnson (the presenter) in my PhD fieldsite, a site I had become very familiar with over the past 3 years and I felt like I was on home ground, I could hold my own. Leo and Jonathan didn’t know much about the site, so I had the upper hand. The interview began, I used my words carefully and advisedly, weaving an argument which focused on the three main points of my research – I had been advised by a colleague that I should have three things to say, and say them over and over again. After the interview was over, Leo revealed that he had read a few of my papers, watched a recorded conference presentation I had done two years ago and done a heck of a lot of research on the field site, although from a sustainable economics background, not a climate change one.
I also had some concern about my research ethics. I was standing in my fieldsite, the producer had asked me to tell the audience where I was and what the topic of my research is. I immediately l mentioned to the presenter that I was stood in Elephant & Castle, south London, where LendLease (a major, global urban planning and architecture company) was involved in the displacement of a large South American migrant population and wholesale gentrification of the neighbourhood. Whilst all of this was true, I had just named the site, the company and the type of population they were displacing. 
I use visual research methods in my work, so my thesis will have a clear record of the site, easily identifiable, which means the name of the corporation would also be identifiable – but, I had taken solace in the fact that not many people outside academia would read my thesis. Radio 4, on the other hand, has a listenership of almost 11 million people per week. Somebody, surely, was going to hear my statements… could they be considered slander? Would my somewhat detached description of the research upset someone who has lived through the evictions and displacement? Would a potential employer be listening and now decided that it was risky for me to work for them? Does this broadcast open up the field site to other researchers who may be able to publish faster than I can complete my thesis, making my work unoriginal at viva time?
I could have let these questions drive me mad, but I did my best to put them out of my mind and hoped for the best. I would be interested to hear what other researchers feel about them.
The weeks passed, the show aired (you can listen to the show here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00045b3– I’m near the end!), I listened on the bus on the way home. My section was near the end, and after a whole bunch of corporate CEOs and R&D managers talking about smart-homes and digital data doubles. A travel blogger talked about the lack of physical structure for her sense of ‘home’ and then Leo talked about how capitalism has turned homes into economic tools and occupants into sources of income … I knew I was next.
I listened to my section, wondering when I was going to say something substantial. I didn’t. I had been the victim of some pretty good editing. Whilst they hadn’t misrepresented what I had said, and hadn’t been unfair, they had taken one of the three points I made, and disregarded the other two. It just so happens the point they used, was not the one which I thought was most exciting or original. A few of my friends messaged me, offering congratulations, but also confusion as to why I didn’t say something more radical.
So, here are some of the things I learned from this experience:
  1. Three points are two points too many. If you give the media a choice between several points, they will take the one which is most palatable. Because most of what we do as academics is original, cutting-edge and outside-the-box, that means that most of what we do isn’t what the media feel can be broadcast. They have to have appeal, nudge from the edges, cut across political boundaries – calling for an end to gentrification by overthrowing capitalism, doesn’t necessarily fit that agenda! Much better to appear narrow focused and give the same answer repeatedly – that way they either won’t use you or your message gets out unadulterated.
  2. Remember that, ultimately, without you, they don’t have a show full of experts. They need you a lot more than they will let on. Let that give you confidence. They have asked you to speak because they know you have something special to contribute. But, don’t let that mean that you become over-confident.
  3. Remember when they edit your interview, you are likely to sound much more authoritative than you feel, so your words have to be confident, whilst still conveying any uncertainty in your field. Avoid saying “I think that …” and say “Research suggests …” instead, they’re less likely to cut that out and it still gives you wriggle room.
  4. Finally, have fun with it. Interviewers and producers are much more likely to edit you sympathetically if you have been human and friendly to them. It is healthy and natural to go to the interview with a scepticism (after all, the media are famous for changing the slant of interviewees), so be sure of your ideas, but polite and warm as well. If the interviewer suggests, for example, that climate change isn’t a settled issue, and you know full well that it is because you are a climate scientist, stand your ground and don’t be afraid to walk off, but do so in a way which doesn’t seem disrespectful – you have to make the interviewer look like the idiot, not you.
So, with these things in mind, you should be able to ace that media interaction, get (most) of your message out there, and come across as knowledgeable and intelligent. A great thing to do is to get some friends and colleagues to listen in when the broadcast happens. In my experience, they’ll tell you you sounded great, and it was a shame that ‘x’ happened, or they didn’t make more of ‘y’, which gives you some idea of what to do better next time!
Image by er.c st.mmel on Flickr Creative Commons

Saturday, April 27, 2019

What I Wish I Knew When I Started My PhD

Starting a PhD comes with certain hopes and expectations, but the journey itself can bring some completely unexpected ups and downs. Here are some of the surprises Maria encountered, and what they taught her.
When I started my PhD, I was filled with enthusiasm. My new journey, I imagined, would be smooth-sailing, and once finished, I’d jump with glee into my academic career.
Boy oh boy was I wrong! Here I am, six years later, a PhD rollercoaster survivor, and working outside academia. To put it mildly, things did not go according to plan. Here, I talk about my top three takeaways from my PhD journey.
1. Obstacles are like turbulence
My BA and MA went so well that I thought my PhD would also go by without a hitch. Here’s the catch though: taught degrees are nothing like a research degree.
This was the largest, most complex project I had ever undertaken. More than once I started feeling like I didn’t really know what I was doing since I didn’t have any experience with such extensive work. Things got especially confusing when one supervision came with encouraging feedback, and the next pointed out that my chapter had many flaws.
Moreover, a PhD typically lasts at least three years, time in which many destabilising changes can occur in an individual’s personal life. In my case, there was a split-up with a long-term partner, losing touch with dear friends, and witnessing some sad family events.
Each of these obstacles made me doubt my own determination and the worth of my project. But my fears, I later saw, were much like my fear of flying. When I am on a plane, turbulence make me feel extremely anxious, yet, though unpleasant, they do not put the plane in danger.
So with obstacles on a PhD journey – a scrapped chapter won’t be the end of the world, though it may seem so in the moment, one such incident won’t make or break a career. Like turbulence on a flight, obstacles are unpleasant, maybe scary, but ultimately harmless.

2. It’s not just you

Also, with each new bump in the road, I thought: “This could only have happened to me.” Missing deadlines? It must be me, I’m terrible at staying on track. Bad conference experience? It must be me, I’m a bad public speaker. Didn’t finish the PhD on time? I fail at life.
Except, about two years into my PhD, once I had made more close friends at my university, I was able to learn that it wasn’t just me. Once I started talking to more of my peers and confessing to my embarrassing experiences, I realised one thing: my friends, colleagues, and even mentors had similar stories to share.
Many people had had issues with their research or struggled with impostor syndrome. It’s just part and parcel of the messy process of being a new academic, though it doesn’t only happen to researchers. In fact, studies have suggested that an estimated 70 per cent of people will have experienced impostor syndrome at least once in their lives.
So if you should ever feel that you’re an exception among your peers when you receive negative feedback on your work, or go through some other unpleasant research experience, my best advice is: even if it makes you feel bad, share this with colleagues whom you trust.
Most likely, you will find out that it’s not just you, and your friends and colleagues may be able to help guide you in how best to solve your PhD problems.

3. Your PhD does not define your life

Like many, during my PhD, I thought my research degree would and should be my life. As I drew closer to my viva, however, I started doubting all this.
Maybe I wouldn’t be able to get any sort of academic position, or maybe I wouldn’t even want to, and then what? My thesis had ruled my life for years, would I be able to live beyond it, while still staying in touch with my academic interests?
Short answer: yes. Long answer: whatever happens to you and your project throughout the PhD years, you are, really, only gaining experience and building up skills.
Whatever you choose to do with your life going forward, your PhD will not confine you to a tiny box labelled with your narrow specialisation. In fact, all the practical knowledge you will have gained thus far will offer you the freedom to build the life you want, with just a little open-mindedness and creativity.
I learned that this was true when I decided to take the leap and apply for the non-academic job that I was sure I didn’t qualify for, only to later find out I was the employer’s top choice! (I will write about this experience in more detail in a future blog post.)
And always remember, as John Lennon allegedly said (and later Sonny, in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): “Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK, then it is not yet the end.”
What are the main things you wish you’d known before starting your PhD? Or if you’re just about to start your degree, what are your main questions and worries? Tweet us at@ResearchEx, email us at libraryblogs@warwick.ac.uk, or leave a comment below.
Maria Cohut recently finished a PhD in English and Comparative Literary Studies, and now works as a medical journalist. In her spare time, she writes poetry, weird fiction, and occasionally creates taxidermy pieces. You can reach her on Twitter, @mariascohut.
Cover image: Notetaking / dtravisphd / CC0 1.0
Image 2: Teamwork / priscilladupreez / CC0 1.0

Friday, April 26, 2019

800+ Treasured Medieval Manuscripts to Be Digitized by Cambridge & Heidelberg Universities

by Colin Marshall, Open Culture: http://www.openculture.com/2019/04/800-treasured-medieval-manuscripts-to-be-digitized-by-cambridge-heidelberg-universities.html
Western civilization may fast be going digital, but it still retains its roots in Ancient Greece. And so it makes a certain circle-closing sense to digitize the legacy left us by our Ancient Greek forebears and the medieval scholars who preserved it. 

Cambridge and Heidelberg, two of Europe's oldest universities, this month announced their joint intention to embark upon just such a project. It will take two years and cost £1.6 million, reports the BBC, but it will digitize "more than 800 volumes featuring the works of Plato and Aristotle, among others." As the announcement of the project puts it, the texts will then "join the works of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking and Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Cambridge Digital Library."
These medieval and early modern Greek manuscripts, which date more specifically "from the early Christian period to the early modern era (about 1500 - 1700 AD)," present their digitizers with certain challenges, not least the "fragile state" of their medieval binding.

But as Heidelberg University Library director Dr. Veit Probst says in the announcement, “Numerous discoveries await. We still lack detailed knowledge about the production and provenance of these books, about the identities and activities of their scribes, their artists and their owners – and have yet to uncover how they were studied and used, both during the medieval period and in the centuries beyond." And from threads including "the annotations and marginalia in the original manuscripts" a "rich tapestry of Greek scholarship will be woven."
This massive undertaking involves not just Cambridge and Heidelberg but the Vatican as well. Together Heidelberg University and the Vatican possess the entirety of the Bibliotheca Palatina, split between the libraries of the two institutions, and the digitization of the "mother of all medieval libraries" previously featured here on Open Culture, is a part of the project. 

This collected wealth of texts includes not just the work of Plato, Aristotle, and Homer as they were "copied and recopied throughout the medieval period," in the words of Cambridge University Library Keeper of Rare Books and Early Manuscripts Dr. Suzanne Paul, but a great many other "multilingual, multicultural, multifarious works, that cross borders, disciplines and the centuries" as well. And with luck, their digital copies will stick around for centuries of Western civilization to come.
Related Content:
Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Why the World is Due a Revolution in Economics Education

by Joris Tieleman, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/why-the-world-is-due-a-revolution-in-economics-education-112785

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Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock.com

Economic thinking governs much of our world. But the discipline’s teaching is stuck in the past. Centred around antiquated 19th-century models built on Newtonian physics, economics treats humans as atomic particles, rather than as social beings.

While academic research often manages to transcend this simplicity, undergraduate education does not – and the influence of these simplified ideas is carried by graduates as they go on to work in politics, media, business and the civil service.

Economists such as myself tend to speak in tightly coded jargon and mathematical models. We speak of “economic laws”, tacitly positioning these as analogous to the laws of physics. We wrap a thick layer of technical jargon around our study material and ban all moral or ethical discussions from the classroom. We attempt to take cover under the protective white lab coat of “real science”, a phenomenon described by Nobel Prize winner Friedrich Hayek as scientism.

In short, economics has become a rather quaint and highly guarded discipline. We urgently need to update economics education to change this – because economics, as taught in universities, does not reflect or speak to many of the issues of the real world, be they political, environmental or social.

The political economy

Take the tricky entanglement between politics and economics, which economists tend to try to avoid. Such an attempt is futile. Sidelining politics, history and broader ideas while teaching economics, as most professors do, is like studying the “natural” flows of water in the Netherlands without taking into account that there are people living there who are steering it, building dikes, reclaiming land and channelling the water – and ignoring that they have been doing this for thousands of years already. You can’t study the system while ignoring the people who make it.

Adam Smith. Wikimedia Commons

Politics and economics are inextricably intertwined, as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Karl Marx knew all too well. Somehow this has been forgotten. This does not mean economists need to get political or choose sides. But it does mean that we ignore politics at our own peril – by blindsiding ourselves or dismissing it as “external stuff”, we hamper our understanding of the very system we study.

Economists speak in numbers only, clinging to statistical data and quantitative models. We do so in the hope of looking objective. But this is counter-productive – “data” cannot tell us everything. Other social sciences such as sociology and anthropology use a broader range of methods, and consequently have a broader perspective on society. If we take our societal role of adviser on economic matters seriously, we will need to open up and adopt the insights that these other disciplines bring us about how the economy works.

It is true that academic economists are aware of the shortcomings of their discipline. But unfortunately, this awareness of the complexity of the economic system does not necessarily extend to those who leave university after their degree. And this is what the vast majority of economics graduates do. These are the people who go on to work in big business, governments and central banks, who shape policy and create our “economic common sense”.

Commuting into the City of London. R.nagy/Shutterstock.com

Educational blinders

So what sort of ideas do these undergraduate economics students take out of university and into some of the most important careers in our societies?

Concerned student groups everywhere have started to systematically map this out. Student members of the University of Manchester Post-Crash Economics Association wrote a book surveying 174 economics modules at seven leading UK universities. They found that fewer than 10% covered anything other than mainstream economics. In the Netherlands, students found that real-world problems, from climate change to inequality, were seriously treated in only 6% of all modules and that only 2% of methods courses were not focused on statistical work.

A series of subsequent curriculum review projects, including one covering 13 countries from Argentina to Israel, found similar conditions in economics programs everywhere.
Undergraduate economists all over the world learn theories from textbooks that have barely changed since the 1950s. Those theories are based on individual agents, competing in markets to maximise narrowly defined “economic utility” (for people) or profit (for firms). The principles are taught with the same certainty as Newtonian physics, and are as devoid of value judgements.

This is absurd. Clearly, there are values; mainstream economics values efficiency, markets and growth – and puts individuals over collectives. Yet undergraduates are not taught to recognise, let alone question, these values – and the consequences are serious.

The models taught in our education ignore inequality, while our societies are being torn apart by it. In our classes, relentless economic growth is an unquestioned dogma, yet this same economic growth is rapidly ripping apart the ecological foundations of our world. And while we all may individually donate to charities, separate our trash and feel guilty about flying too much, we are collectively handicapped in reforming the very system that drives these problems.

Hope for change

There is hope for change, however. In the UK, a number of economics programmes are gradually becoming more pluralist in terms of theory and methods in response to the movement. Goldsmiths College in London, for instance, has renewed its PPE programme to include the same, and add other disciplines. And the Schumacher College in Devon now offers an Economics for Transition MSc which explicitly ties together economic and ecological systems. Meanwhile, an international accreditation system for pluralist Masters programmes is being set up.

But we need renewal on a much broader front: a new approach to economics education, one which does not hide behind the self-imposed limits of 19th century physics-style modelling, but instead considers the societal role of economists seriously. We need an economics which focuses on the entire economic system and which acknowledges all relevant sources of knowledge, rather than apprehensively clinging to statistical data. And one which addresses the issues that are most pressing for society, not those that comfortably fit within its mainstream method.

Let’s hope that we don’t have to wait for the present generation of economists to retire before this can happen. By that time, it might be too late.The Conversation

Joris Tieleman, PhD Candidate, Erasmus University Rotterdam

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The PhD: Revising a Thesis Chapter

by Pat Thomson, Patter:  https://patthomson.net/2018/10/15/revising-a-thesis-chapter/

You’ve written a first draft of your chapter. Hooray! That’s an achievement. You can’t get anywhere without a first draft. Pat yourself on the back. And then …
Step away from the desk. Take a break. Leave your draft and do something else. Then come back with a different head set.
This is the time to be tough-minded.
Now is the time to mobilise your internal critic and ask some hard questions of your (crappy first) draft.
Yes, you will find some obvious little mistakes when you read through the draft, but this is not the time to get down and dirty with the finer points of editing. You are not proof reading. You need to attend to the big picture first.
It’s often useful to approach a text with something in mind, to have a question or a set of questions you can ask of it. And with a first draft text you do intend to find something quite particular from your reading. You are looking to see how the draft can be improved. You want to see whether the text hangs together, if everything is in the right place, where you need to do some more work, what you might need to change.
So here’s a beginning set of questions that might be helpful when you approach your draft, questions specifically for the reading-the-first-draft-of-the-chapter stage.
  • What was your intention in writing this chapter? Did you make this clear at the outset? Will the reader be able to understand why they are about to read all of the words that are coming? Is there an explicit statement about what the chapter is going to do? Does this follow on logically from the chapter that came before?
  • Is the chapter located in a wider scholarly conversation? Does the chapter seem to say no-one has ever researched in this area, or spoken about this topic before? Not all chapters have to refer out to other scholarly work – but do check at this early point if it ought to, or if it would benefit from connecting with other scholars’ work.
Within the thesis as a whole:
  • Does the reader have sufficient background information to make sense of what is in this chapter? Does the chapter need to refer back to something that has happened before or offer succinct summary? Where? How often – and is it too much for the reader to keep flicking back and forth?
Within the chapter:
  • Does the chapter offer clear steps leading to a logical conclusion? Are there places where it seems that things are out of place or don’t fit? Are there any places where you as a reader seem to fall down a hole? Are there any places where you are reading the same thing twice – or over and over again? If you answer yes to any of these, you have a structural issue and need to go on to examine it in more detail perhaps using a form of reverse outline.
  • Are there any places where you need to offer more definitions or explanation? (Look for code words.)
  • Does your conclusion match the purpose you stated at the start of the chapter? If not, what needs to change – your purpose or the chapter? If it’s the chapter, don’t despair, just think about what needs to go or be put in? At this point, you might go back to storyboarding to sort out where the problems of content and argument actually sit. You may have to move things around between chapters, or add/subtract content.
  • Will a reader see you as an authoritative researcher? Are you leading the reader through the text? How are you using meta-commentary to stage your argument? Do you leave a lot/too much up to the reader to conclude for themselves?
  • Is the evidence you have presented persuasive? What might strengthen it? Have you highlighted the most important and strongest reasons/evidence you offer? Have you considered counter arguments at all? Should you? Are any of the reasons/evidence you offer weak – could they be made stronger?
  • Do you think the case you make in the chapter is plausible and reasoned? (if you don’t, there’s no way the reader will).
  • Is the text well organised and easy to follow? Have you made enough use of headings and subheadings? Could you use tables, graphs or diagrams to advantage to emphasise a key point or summarise data? Is there too much of the tables, graphs or diagrams?
  • How are quotes, if any, used? Are they explained or is it left up to the reader to interpret them?
  • Could your introduction be made more interesting? Does it really capture a reader’s interest?
  • Is the conclusion sufficiently strongly focused? Does it ‘crunch ‘ the case you have made – or is it a summary that is too long and will give the reader deja vu? Does the conclusion anticipate where the next chapter will go?
Enough already. That’s a start on questions for first draft chapter revisions. You may have more to add and that’s fab.
But it’s probably useful and good to know that the questions above are much the way that your supervisor will approach your draft – or ought to. They’ll look for the big picture first of all.  Editing typos and grammar is always secondary to getting the big stuff sorted out.
Image credit:
What do you mean: Jon Tyson on Unsplash; Why:  Ken Treloar on Unsplash

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The PhD: My Supervisor Says I Need Help With My Writing

by Kay Guccione, Doctoral Writing: https://doctoralwriting.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/my-supervisor-says-i-need-help-with-my-writing/

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Dear Thesis Writer,
Thanks for contacting me and for being proactive about developing your writing!
My first question is to ask you whether you have got specific and detailed feedback from your supervisor(s) about what they think and how you can improve? Have you talked to them about the feedback they have given you, so you can understand how to move forward? This is the most personalised and relevant way to improve writing, as it is within the context of your discipline area, and specific to your learning needs. It’s well worth a chat if you haven’t already, as it means you aren’t operating on assumptions about what they think.
If you have had this discussion about your feedback, and agreed with your supervisors(s) that you need further opportunities to develop — below are some ideas you can try out:
Are you taking into account that writing at this level needs a couple of ‘drafting and editing’ cycles before it’s ready to be seen by others? I suggest you write a first draft on one day, and then edit and refine it the next day, often that’s a way we spot a lot of our own mistakes and inconsistencies, and it saves our supervisors the time of going over small details.
Once it’s ready to be seen by others, do you have a colleague, perhaps another PGR or a post-doc, you can ask for some help? A friend in a related discipline? Maybe you could reciprocate and proof read each others’ work?
Here are some very simple thesis writers tools that help you keep track of reading, plan writing, and integrate your findings with the literature. Adapt to suit your needs and share as you wish.
This book is in the Uni library, and I also recommend this one by Pat Thompson and Barbara Kamler.
I lead the Thesis Mentoring programme which is about building writing habits, planning-writing cycles, and keeping up momentum with a neutral supporter. In this way it complements the role of the PhD supervisor (as described above they should and feedback on the content, style and format of your entire thesis). Habits, routines, daily practices (whatever you want to call them) are as important in crafting good writing as knowing the facts. You have to sit down, write, get to know your own bets ways of working, and build up your stamina for writing!
If you are having trouble motivating yourself to sit and write perhaps a retreat type space would help? See this post here on how to run one for you and a few colleagues, based on Prof. Rowena Murray’s very effective framework.
Here are some blogs on academic writing you might like, they give very good advice to PhD writers:
A couple of general University of Sheffield study skills support ideas are below (those at other institutions you are very likely to have similar services, but the names can vary):
And finally — here’s a collection of articles on academic writing (requires some picking through). Don’t feel you have to read all these resources, it would take you years worth of time you don’t have and the most important thing is that you keep writing, redrafting and keep getting feedback from peers and supervisors.