IOE Writing Centre


Add More Explanation

Adding more explanation means writing down the reasons why something might be the way it is. These examples come from the a discussion of ethics within a student proposal.

In Example A, below, some claims are made without enough explanation. The writing appears vague, and the reader is left asking further questions about the claims.

Example a

The respondents may be worried about their responses, and there are various ethical considerations. Interviewing staff members also brings various ethical issues. Confidentiality will be central and I will need to use pseudonyms for the participants.

In Example B, below, the student has added more explanation. This includes reasons why something might be the case.

Example b

As the respondents will be discussing changes within a small organization, any individuals they mention may be identifiable to other organization members. As a result, respondents may worry that they will be seen to be passing judgement on friends and peers. In terms of ethical issues, uncomfortable feelings may be provoked, both for respondents and possibly for non-participant staff or students.

In addition, staff members may worry that if they speak freely about the small organization, some of their thoughts may be considered irresponsible, unprofessional, "discreditable or incriminating" (Lee & Renzetti, 1993:ix), for example if they were to talk about difficulties at work, or problems within the organization. This means that confidentiality will be central, to protect the respondents and to mitigate their concerns about speaking freely. I will ensure that the organisation is disguised in the way it is written up, and use pseudonyms chosen by the participants. I will also reassure the respondents about these measures before they participate.