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ACADEMIC WRITING - MY WAY
Gergely Farkas
1
Good morningeveryone!IamGergelyFarkas,a younglecturerfromthe Universityof Szege...
criticsyou can go inthe wrong wayfor too long.How can you write the perfectpaper?Icannottell
the rules;I can tell storiesa...
positionof the firstauthor.The bigquestionishow toget intothat position.Iwill share mystory,but
first
I have some question...
14
National Conference of ScientificStudents'Associationsisthe mostimportantcompetitionfor
universitystudentsinHungary.The...
20
As youcan remembermotivation wasmytopicuntil mymasterthesis.SoI startedto explore family
businessesfromthisdirection.Im...
26
In 2015 I washere withmy bestpaperso far.The feedbacksfrom the conference were veryuseful.
Aftera yearand three hundred...
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DOKBAT 2016 Plenary speech

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DOKBAT 2016 Plenary speech

  1. 1. ACADEMIC WRITING - MY WAY Gergely Farkas 1 Good morningeveryone!IamGergelyFarkas,a younglecturerfromthe Universityof Szeged.Thank youfor choosingmypapertwice ina rowas one of the bestpapersof thisconference.TodayIhave a great opportunitytoteachsomethingforyouaboutwritinggoodpapers,topublishinawesome journalslike Journal of Competitiveness,orjusttell astoryabout how didI gethere on thisstage.It will be anhonestreviewaboutmyworks,tohelpyouwrite betterones. In positive psychologyflowisamental state whenyou are so immersedinyouractivity,thatwhen youare finished,youcannottell exactlywhatandhow happenedinthe process,butyouare sure youlovedeverymomentof it. 2 Do youknowthe feelingwhenyouwake upenergizedearlyinthe morning?Yougofor a few kilometersof runon the beachand aftera hot showeranda deliciousbreakfastyouspendyourday inthe library.There youworkonyour paperin a modernandelegantenvironmentorina hall filled witholdbooksand paintingsof professorsfromthe pastof youruniversity.Youcanfindanybooksor journal articlesinthe computersystemof the library,andall youhave to do isto thinkaboutnew scientifictheoriesall daylong.At the endof the day,you go home toyour familyorfriendsandyou justput aside the workuntil nextday.Doyou know whatI am talkingabout?You don’t?Me neither. I can rememberafewmomentsof flow,butthe realityisfarfromthe mentionedformost scientists. 3 I couldtalkabout manythings,butI want to make thisspeechmemorable.There are somany differentways. 4 Can I make an academicwriting101 course in30 minutes?Ithinkeveryone canreadHow to write a thesisfromUmbertoEco, or readadvicesof editorsonjournal websites.Probablyyoureadthem already.Youcan work onmany fieldsof economics.Ihave differentpublicationswithstrong connectionstopsychology,education,marketing,finance,law,andevenconservative dentistry. Some of themwon a prize,some of themwenttothe drawer aftera short conference.Butyou shouldknowone thing:whenyoustarta studyyou have to thinkaboutpublicationgoalsalso.There isno way to finishsomethingasgoodasyou can, because yourtime islimited.Inwritingyoucan alwaysaddto your text.Youcan write ashort summaryor a longtextbookaboutthe same thing. Making a biggerventure inatopic isa riskythingbecause youneedmonthsforresearch,other monthsfor analyze resultsandwrite the paper.Anditneedsevenmore time togetback the opinion of reviewersandreacton themwithgoodquality.There isabig competitiontogetinhighvalued journals,andthere isa pressure fromuniversitiestopublishmore andmore. Andthere are trends and expectationsyoushouldkeepupwith:new topics,new statistical methods,new software for analyzingdataand presentingresults.Yourtime islimited,soyoushouldsetrealisticgoalshow you will contribute tothe knowledge of mankindwith apublicationwhileyoukeepyourjoborpassyour exams.Icannot give youinstantanswersforyourlife.Youcan challenge yourselfwithhard theoretical problems,commityourself tofindsolutionsforpractical problems.Itisupto you.But anythingyoudo,lookfor publishingandpresentingopportunitiesbecause withoutreactions,and
  2. 2. criticsyou can go inthe wrong wayfor too long.How can you write the perfectpaper?Icannottell the rules;I can tell storiesaboutmyexperience only. 5 ShouldIjust tell mysuccessstoryand pairit withsome quotestomotivate you?Thissentence from Steve Jobsisveryappealingbutitisonlya wishful thinkingaboutmeaningof life.Iwill talkabout these dotsandI want to believethere isahiddenpattern,a greaterentitywholooksafterme evenif I have hard times.Butdo youheardthe story aboutthe scientistwhoworkedharddayandnightbut no journal withimpactfactoracceptedhispapers?Neverever.No?Because nobodytellsthese stories.Storiesaboutdotslike the onesSteveJobstalksabout,alwayshave ahappyending.Youcan change the world;youcan affectthe life of people.If youare a scientistyoucanbe famouswithouta goodlook,or talentinarts. If I make a greatmotivational speechaboutscientificwritingIcanchange your viewpointforafewdays.But aftera day or two youwill face problems,andfacingthem withouta quicksolutionisademandingtask.Ithinkall of youwant some goodadvice how to write betterpapers,howtopublishmore thanthe personwhoissittingnexttoyou now. 6 There isan article fromJay Barneyabout firmresourcesandsustainedcompetitive advantage.Ithas almostfiftythousandcitations.Ithinkitsimportance isbeyondstrategicmanagement.Whenyou wantto be betterthanothersinqualityyoucan use these rules. Make somethingvaluable. Last yearI presentedaverycomplex studywithadvancedstatistical methods.Ithinkithas a value forfamilybusinessresearch.ThisyearIjusttranslatedashort, but unique literaturereview.Ithasno strict methodology;itdoesnotstate new ideas.Itisvaluable because itsummarizesarapidlychangingtopicfroma specificviewpoint.Andthisisinterestingfor the audience.Probablyyouwill thinkabout everypaperof yoursas a highvalue thingbecause you have manyhours of work init.But afteryou have the topicand before youstartto sketchyour researchplanplease thinkaboutwhoandwhere will readaboutit.How will itbe valuable? Be rare. I heardsuch complainsmanytimes:“Icannotadd any new resultstothisfield.”and “Nobodyresearchedthistopic,Icannotwrite theoretical backgroundwithoutsources.”Bothmeans youneedmore time to searchand readsources.You donot have to craft a new theoryor save the worldineverypublication.Findanewcombinationof constructs,findanew methodtomake a betterresearchforan oldtopic,or do somethingwhatwill be importantinthe future.Justkeepin mindittakesa yearor two to publisha goodresearchand youhave to answerquestionsof readers inthe future.Here isa riskbecause valuable topicsare usuallymore interestingforothers,sothe competitioncanbe stronger.Sothinkaboutsome unique sellingpointof yourresearch. What is imperfectlyimitable? Of course notyourresults.If theyare,youdo it wrong.Butyour personal experience,yoursocial capital is.Keepconnectionwithpeersandprofessors.Askfor reviews,discussyourideas.Iwill talkaboutmymentors,butIdon’t thinkyoucan or youshouldtake the exactsame way. Theytransformedme intothe scientist Iamtoday,but I cannotbe objective aboutthe successof thisproject.I thinkconferenceslike thisone are veryimportantforeveryone to getunique experience whatyoucannotgetin yourhome environment. The last one meansyou cannot substitute yourwritingskill withsomethingother.Youcansay you can joina researchteamand do justa part of the job.That is gooduntil yougatherthe knowledge and wisdomtomake yourown research.Justbe aware to do not getstuck,because a research assistantisreplaceable.Youshouldcome upwithyourownhypothesizessoonerorlaterand getthe
  3. 3. positionof the firstauthor.The bigquestionishow toget intothat position.Iwill share mystory,but first I have some questionsforyou.There are now goodor bad answers.Please be honestand answer quicklyevenif youcannotconnectitto the current topic. 7 Who likestoeatsausage? Please,putyourhandsup!Thank you. 8 Who likeskids? Please,putyourhandsup!Thankyou. 9 Who likesscience,toreadinterestingscientificpapers? Please,putyourhandsup!Thankyou. 10 If you answeredyesforanyof the questionsIsuggest,youshouldnotknow abouthow they are reallymade.Because youcame here toknow more about itof course I will give yousome answers. Do not be afraid,I will speakonlyaboutmakingscientificpapers,andnotthe othertwothings I mentionedbefore it. 11 On thispicture Iam the DJ.There was 2003 whenmyfriendFerencPolyákandIdecidedwe will make a difference.We will chase agoal not inside the boundariesof the departmentof psychologyat the university,butwiththe resourcesof it.Aftersurvivingthe firsttwosemesterswe startedtowork on our firstresearch.We got some helpfromexpertsoutside the university,andthe professorsat leastdidnottry to stop us. 12 Dr. LászlóTóth is a formercolonel of the HungarianArmy,a formerambassador,andhe didmany thingsformake the formerYugoslaviaabetterplace afterthe war.He usedhisnetworktoletus make a researchabout motivationof soldiers,butnotbefore he trainedus.Itwasa bootcamp for writing.Istartedwithshortletterstoofficialsforclearancesrequired forthe study.He pointedout everysingle errorinthose things.Ingrammar,instyle,incontent.Imade half a dozenversionsfor everypage until itwasgood enough.Now Idothe same withmyself andwithmystudents.As journal editorsusuallysay:youcannotmake enoughproofreading. 13 In myfirstresearchthere were a bigsample,agreat numberof variables,andahuge responsibilityto create somethingvaluable forthe army.Itwas our studentproject,butwe metmanyhighranking officers.The resultsremainedpartiallyconfidential.The mostinterestingpartswentinthe drawer because the resultswere notvaluableenoughforthe armyto use iton the longrun, butit wouldbe valuable forspiesof otherarmies.We wonaFirst Prize of Regional Committee of HungarianScience Academyin2005 and in2007 withparts of the study.Itwas an importantsteptoestablishmy confidence inresearch.
  4. 4. 14 National Conference of ScientificStudents'Associationsisthe mostimportantcompetitionfor universitystudentsinHungary.There are manyfieldsandsectionsbutanysmall prize meansyouare inthe league of the bestinyourprofession.Here youcansee the headof the psychology department,myfriend,andme onthe picture.We got a reviewerfromthe fieldof behavioral economics.She didnotlike ourworkat all until I presentedthe resultsandexplainedeverydetailof it to her.We came home withan emptyhandandI learnedthe lesson,thatIneedmore experience inwritingif I wantto convince the readerswithoutmypersonal presence. 15 I wentback to the school andI wrote my masterthesisandpassedthe language examswhatwas requiredforgetthe diploma.FinishingeverythingwasnotwithoutproblemsbutIusedmyfree time to improve myskills.IdiddataanalysiswithSPSSandwrote resultssectionsforothers. ThiswayI metmany people inotherfacultieswithdifferentresearchinterests.Thisbigpile ismypapersbefore the applicationforthe doctoral school. 16 How I became aneconomicpsychologist?There wasagood opportunitytomake some moneywitha small projectinthe departmentof economics.Aftersome successful cooperationGáborDávidKiss, whois here withme now,invitedme tobe a thirdauthorin a publication.Andthatpaperwas acceptedforthe 5th DOKBAT in2009. So if I lookat it thatway ittook me six yearsto write a better paperfor thisconference. 17 Thiswas my firstdeskatthe Facultyof Economicsand BusinessAdministration.Thatcomputerwas so slowthateven typingwasa pain.I switchedfora laptopandI startedto work onmy research aboutextreme stressindecisions.Iworkedwithpolice officersandIparticipatedinexperiments involvingguns,EEG,anda lot of unforgettable moments.Itwasa veryinterestingtopic.After2 years I realizedIwill notgetenoughresultsinthe foreseeablefuture formydoctoral thesis.Now if Ilook back I knowI couldpublishitbecause otherstudiesinthe lastfive yearscame tothe same conclusion as I did.But itwas a deadend. 18 Here I have to say thanksfor mytwo mentors.Theybothinspire me toimprove myself.Most importantlytheygive me the time andfreedomtofindmyownway.Theyalwayshelpedme whenI askedthem, andtheyhave the patience towaituntil I write mynextpaper.Theyare both an example forme howtowrite papers,butthisis the part youcannot copy.I suggestfindthe importantpeople of yourfieldinyourcountryandmake connectionswiththem. 19 My topicisfamilybusinessnow.Asyoucan see onGoogle Street View myfatherisnota businessman.Iworkedinmanyprojectsfromcustomersatisfactionatairportstofinancial literacy.A consultingcompanyfounduswiththe ideatoworkwithfamilybusinesses.Fromthe academic viewpointitwasunderratedinHungarywithjusta few publications.The FamilyBusinessReview,the mostimportantjournal of the fieldwasaround20 yearsold,butin Hungarythere were onlyone bookabout familybusinessmanagement.
  5. 5. 20 As youcan remembermotivation wasmytopicuntil mymasterthesis.SoI startedto explore family businessesfromthisdirection.Imettwodedicatedstudents.Theyusedmymasterthesisasa base and theymade a much betterpaperat the end.I wasunexperiencedasa mentor,andI did not realize howgoodare theyinadvance.Theywonthe firstprize of the National Conference of ScientificStudents'Associationsinthe fieldof economicsinthe sectionof management.Theyleftthe academicfield afterdegree,buttheyinspiredme tolearnmore aboutthisfield.Theywere the proof that thistopicis valuable,butrare inHungary. 21 I startedto attendconferencesabroad.FirstIwasin Exeter,England.MyEnglishwassobad in the abstract theysentme in the postersection.The conference maintopicalsodidnotfitmy research.I didnot wantto make the same mistake twice sonextyearIwentto Bordeaux,France fora family businessconference.There Iwasina discussionsessionwhatmeansnoreal publicationinthe proceedings.Butitwasa stepforward,and I meteditorsandfamousauthorsfromthe field.Itwas inspiringtoworkharderon mylanguage skillsandaimforpublicationsinjournals.ButIalsorealized that Hungaryis a small and exoticbutuninterestingcountry inthe westernworld.We startedtolook for an opportunitytoparticipate inaninternationalresearch. 22 We startedto workwithprofessorKrausandhisteam ona researchproject.Throughthis cooperationIcame aware of many differencesbetweenourcountrieseconomicsystems,andI learnedaboutnewresearchmethods.Myadvice istolookfor opportunitiesof international cooperationbecause youwill learnhowtopresentyourstudyina wayscientistsfromother countriescanunderstandandworkwith. You have to thinkaboutall the readers’interestsand needs,if youwantto publishinaninternationaljournal. 23 I had a side projectwithfacultyof dentistry.BecauseIcannotmake everyinterestingstudyalone I gave it to a student.She wonthe firstprize inCulture,healthandmarketingsectionatthe National Conference of ScientificStudents'Associations,butourgoal wasa journal publication.Until we realizedthere issome problemwiththe theoretical backgroundof the studyandevenwhole rewrite cannot make itgood enoughtopublishitina journal.The lessonisevenif yourworkhard,youneed a solidtheoretical background.She isastudentof Universityof Southern Denmarknow andprepares for a Ph.D.programme. 24 He ismy thirdstudentwhowonthe above mentionedprizeinthe economicpsychologysection.By that time,Ihad practice about supervisingotherswork.Because inthatperiodIfocusedonmyown papers,I wasnot involvedsomuch.Ireviewedthe textandmade a few suggestions.Imeanmore than five hundredcorrections.Workingasa reviewerisveryuseful because youexperience the way otherswill readyourwork. 25 I am the supervisorof manybachelorandsome masterstudents.Theygive me new inspirations,I can practice researchplanningwiththem, andtheyremindme where Istartedmylife asa scientist.I alwaystell them:Learnnow,or youwill enduplike me:youwill be foreveratthe university.
  6. 6. 26 In 2015 I washere withmy bestpaperso far.The feedbacksfrom the conference were veryuseful. Aftera yearand three hundredgrammarand style correctionsyoucanread itin the lastissue of Journal of Competitiveness. 27 Thisyear I justusedwhatI have learnedsofar.There is no empirical researchinmypaper. There is no newtheoryinventedbymyself.Ijustgatheredall the evidence aboutatopicfromthe literature and presentedinawaythat can be interestingforthe wideraudience of economists.Andnow Iam here,lookingforinternationalcooperationand publicationopportunities.Youcanfindme around thisposterlaterat the social evening. 28 I summarize myadvicesonthisslide.Findsomeone whocansupervise youuntil youcanstandon your ownfeet.Improve yourlanguage skillsandfollow the trends onyourfield.Makingreviewsand supervisingothersisagood wayto improve yourownwritingskills.Lookforopportunitiestoworkin teamsand learnnewthings.One minor,butimportantthingistokeepyoursourcesandcitations organizedsomehow.Iuse onlybasictools,butthese thingscanspare you a lotof time.Finally developyourpresentationskillsandattendconferencestogetfeedbackaboutyourwork.There is no goldenpathbutI believeyoucando it. 29 As PhilipZimbardothe famoussocial psychologistsaid:“Academicsuccessdependsonresearchand publications.”Ido notknowthe contextof thisquote,butit isverytrue. Drive Your KnowledgeandBe a Scientist!ThankyouforyourAttention! 30 -

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