Module outcomes:

  • Reflect on who you are as a SoTL researcher
  • Focus thinking around aspects of your completed SoTL project
  • Identify the components of and practice writing an academic abstract
  • Become aware of the key aspects and structure of a piece of SoTL writing.

Watch the video: Barbara Grant – Joining the SoTL Conversation
as a starting point for thinking about writing up your research in SoTL.


 Beginning to write your research can be challenging. Brown's eight questions (DOCX, 14 KB) are a tried and tested means to assist you in the process of focusing your ideas. Follow these instructions on the attached document ensuring you take sufficient time to conduct the exercise.


 Having completed Brown's 8 questions, make a blog entry related to how it will assist you in beginning your writing process. What are your next steps?

Watch the video: Tai Peseta - Three Rules When Writing For Publication
which will provide you with valuable reminders of important things to keep in mind as you begin writing up your research.

Writing an abstract is actually quite simple if you follow this straightforward approach.
Structure your abstract to include Why (the rationale for doing the study), How (what methods you used for data collection and analysis), What (what findings did you make), So what (what is the relevance or wider implications of your findings).

Below is an example with the WHY, HOWWHAT and SO WHAT colour-coded to illustrate how it comes together.

Despite the vast research by Americans on the Vietnam War, little is known about the perspective of South Vietnamese military, officially called the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces (RVNAF). The overall image that emerges from the literature is negative: lazy, corrupt, unpatriotic, apathetic soldiers with poor fighting spirits. This study recovers some of the South Vietnamese military perspective for an American audience through qualitative interviews with 40 RVNAF veterans now living in San José, Sacramento, and Seattle, home to three of the top five largest Vietnamese American communities in the nation. An analysis of these interviews yields the veterans' own explanations that complicate and sometimes even challenge three widely held assumptions about the South Vietnamese military: 1) the RVNAF was rife with corruption at the top ranks, hurting the morale of the lower ranks; 2) racial relations between the South Vietnamese military and the Americans were tense and hostile; and 3) the RVNAF was apathetic in defending South Vietnam from communism. The stories add nuance to our understanding of who the South Vietnamese were in the Vietnam War. This study is part of a growing body of research on non-American perspectives of the war. In using a largely untapped source of Vietnamese history; oral histories with Vietnamese immigrants; this project will contribute to future research on similar topics.


 Try writing 75-100 words for each of the “Why”, the “How”, the “What” and the “So what” of your SoTL research project. If you can achieve this you will have your abstract written!


As you explore various SoTL journals, whether they are general or discipline-specific, you will notice that there is a range of ways in which they are presented. A variety of headings are used to structure the writing. However, a good generic structure, particularly for a scholar new to SoTL, is to use the following format:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Background/Literature Review
  • Method
  • Results/Findings
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

You may wish to try this approach. Once written it is a good checking process to read, or even better to have someone else read, just the Introduction and Conclusion. If this is well written the reader should be able to have a good understanding (without all the detail, of course) what the article is about and what the findings are.

Watch the video: Tai Peseta - Four Things Reviewers Look For
Tai will give you four salient guides to keep in mind as you begin your writing.

You have completed Module 4

Page last updated on 12/02/2020

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