use a vignette – #wakeupreader


Most readers, even academic ones, like a bit of a story. And a vignette is just a bit of a story, a condensed version. A vignette is brief, evocative and descriptive. It provides information about key points of an event or interaction. It illustrates a particular point.

A vignette is intended to provoke a response. It might be written in a way intended to elicit feelings. It might be designed to start a line of thought or an argument. It might be meant to challenge values or belief.

Vignettes are often used as a qualitative research method. And they are used in academic writing too.

Helen Sword suggests that one of the characteristics of ‘good’ academic writing is that writers offer stories and examples. Readers can see what the writer is getting at – they combine an abstracted discussion with an example from everyday life. The example animates and grounds…

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