That uncertain feeling in the valley of despair: The joys of the research and writing process

Every teacher is a writer. We write texts of all lengths and in all styles. I find myself writing so much too, and in so many different contexts. As an Extended Essay supervisor (See my website here about the IB EE) I help students develop their research and academic writing craft. For quite a while now, I have explained the process to them with a graph which is based on my own feelings towards research and writing. Mind you, I love/hate it, but I will keep on doing it because the satisfaction, challenge and joy is greater than the hatred. I have finally committed this graph to the computer, rather than just whiteboards. So here it is:

Do you recognise your own writing struggles in this?

It is based on a post I wrote in 2013, when I had learned about Carol Kuhlthau’s research into “information seeking behaviour”. That old post is here.

I made a student handout to share with my students, you can download the PDF here: The uncertainty principle_valley of despair_research process_kuhlthau. It contains the key info from Carol Kuhlthau and the graph.