Storyboarding for Academic Writing

Ever run out of time, or lost sight of the overall picture by the time you are ready to write your thesis/article/paper?

Could it be that your literature review has taken too long to finalise or has moved away from the core of the research question or you can’t actually confirm your hypotheses because of problems with your data? If you are collaborating with other writers maybe the team members have unknowingly moved their focus. You realise the deadline is looming and you need to present your supervisor or lecturer with a coherent “story”.

This is where storyboarding can be of assistance when used from the beginning of your work. Storyboarding allows you to visualise the big picture, to plot the research process, and the individual elements you want to include in your finished work. As you come across unforeseen obstacles, or discover new material, storyboarding (example) lets you organise and sort the pieces of your writing puzzle. You can use a variety of formats for storyboarding your research or project including PowerPoint, StoryboardThat, an online storyboard creator, and downloadable templates.

For more on this topic see what Prof Pat Thomson (Story-boarding the thesis structure), University of Nottingham, and Prof Patrick Dunleavy (Storyboarding research: How to proactively plan projects, reports and articles from the outset), London School of Economics and Political Science, have to say.