Listen to this interview of Rachael Cayley, Associate Professor in the Graduate Centre for Academic Communication at the University of Toronto, Canada. Rachael also blogs. Her Explorations of Style is a wide-ranging discussion of topics associated with graduate writing. In our interview, we talk about mindset and drafting and revision and structure and writing, writing, writing — basically, all the great stuff in Thriving As a Graduate Writer: Principles, Strategies, and Practices for Effective Academic Writing (U Michigan Press, 2023) for you, the graduate writer!
Rachael Cayley : "You should have an Introduction, and I believe strongly that you should write the Introduction first. But you shouldn't polish an Introduction first. A student of mine — after I'd explained this — said that it sounded like making an IKEA table. So, you don't want to tighten the first leg of the table too much before you've started tightening the other legs, because you need all the connections in place first before you can flip the thing over and have a stable structure. Well, it's the same with an Introduction: you tighten a little bit here, and you move to the next part and tighten there, and so on, gradually round and round that part of your text, until you've got something solid."