Academic Writing

As your supervisors, we strongly recommend reading the amazing “Economical Writing” by Deirdre McCloskey. It is an entertaining and insightful book that should help any student become a better writer. Furthermore, it is short, efficient, and to the point. “The big secret in economics is that good writing pays well and bad writing pays poorly.” Stephen Kinsella already did a great job in summarizing the main points.

Throughout the years, we noticed that most thesis students tend to struggle with exactly the same things. Unfortunately, to ourknowledge, there is no (or at least not yet) user’s guide to thesis writing with easy to implement tips and tricks. We can imagine how frustrating it must be for students not to have a set of guidelines on how to write a thesis. Similarly, it is quite frustrating for supervisors to see the same mistakes being made over and over again. Some days we feel like Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in the movie Groundhog Day, who seems to be living the same day over again. Therefore, we have compiled a list containing a set of general recommendations that may help you in writing your thesis and avoiding some of the pitfalls that unwarned thesis students fall into. Additionally, we have prepared a presentation, including some “best writing practices”.

Good luck with your writing! And remember: Edit Edit Edit! Sloppy writing signals sloppy research…


  • Bartunek, J.M., Rynes, S.L., & Ireland, R.D. (2006). What makes management research interesting, and why does it matter? Academy of Management Journal, 49, 9-15.
  • Bono, J.E., & McNamara, G. (2011). Publishing in AMJ-part 2: Research design. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 657-660.
  • Colquitt, J.A., & George, G. (2011). Publishing in AMJ-part 1: Topic choice. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 432-435.
  • Davis, M.S. (1971). That’s interesting!: Towards a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of phenomenology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 1, 309-344.
  • Grant, A.M., & Pollock, T.G. (2011). Publishing in AMJ-part 3: Setting the hook. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 873-879.
  • Rogelberg, S.G., Adelman, M., & Askay, D. (2009). Crafting a successful manuscript: Lessons from 131 reviews. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24, 117-121.
  • Sparrowe, R.T., & Mayer, K.J. (2011). Publishing in AMJ-part 4: Grounding hypotheses. Academy of Management Journal, 54, 1098-1102.
  • Whetten, D.A. (1989). What constitutes a theoretical contribution? Academy of Management Review, 14, 490-495.
  • Zhang, Y., & Shaw, J.D. (2012). Publishing in AMJ-part 5: Crafting the methods and results. Academy of Management Journal, 55, 8-12.

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