Relevant dates

The Workshops will be held on June 11, at Stockholm University’s Kista campus

Description of Workshop/Tutorial

Have you ever written and submitted a paper and received reviews that complain about your paper’s language? Have you ever received a rejection that was blamed in part on poor writing? Have you ever sent your paper to a copy editor but the editor was unable to help improve your paper because the content was beyond what the editor could help you with? Are you struggling to combine writing about advanced concepts while making your research interesting and persuasive? Have you ever been impressed with how good papers use simple English to somehow describe advanced topics and yet are so enjoyable to read? I am a non-native English speaker who struggled to write and improve my own research writing, and I understand how difficult it can be not just for non-native English speakers but also native English speakers to write effectively.

Over many years of writing papers and as associate/senior editor for several IS journals, I’ve seen and collected many common mistakes related to writing that researchers repeat over and over again that prevent their papers from being accepted. In this tutorial, I will share with you some of those common mistakes that researchers make and also suggest many tips on how to enhance the theoretical contribution of your research. Writing cannot be divorced from its content and no amount of copy-editing can improve a paper unless both its writing and its content are in sync. Unfortunately, very few research resources address this relationship between writing and its research content, especially IS content that straddles both the human sciences and technology. In a full-day structured tutorial consisting of topics that address both IS theory and how to write well, I will help you build your personal toolset for writing that should help you for the rest of your research career.

This will be a full-day workshop, organised as follows:

PART A (Morning Sessions)

Common mistakes in the mechanics of writing – building simple sentences to explain complex concepts
Building stronger and more persuasive sentences – avoiding the causes of bad writing while telling the story
Coherently communicating your research ideas – it’s all about structures and patterns: topics, thesis, the main point and flow

PART B (Afternoon Sessions)

Enhancing theoretical contributions – building the right discourse and asking the right questions
Enhancing theoretical contributions – Using analogies, metaphors, paradigms and models
Hands-on workshop to improve your research writing

Participants will gain access to a 700-page writing and theorizing online resource.

Submission Requirements/Limits

There are no Submissions or Submission requirements, although the venue will support a maximum of 25 attendees.

Facilitating individuals, their institutions and contact emails

Nik Rushdi Hassan, University of Minnesota Duluth,

Every year he chairs the very successful SIGPHIL@ICIS Workshop which have focused on theory development. He is currently working with Leslie Willcocks on an edited 3-volume series titled Advancing Theories in Information Systems.


Hassan, N.R., Mathiassen, L., and Lowry, P.B. forthcoming. "The Process of IS Theorizing as a Discursive Practice," Journal of Information Technology.

Hassan, N.R., and Mingers, J.C. 2018. "Reinterpreting the Kuhnian Paradigm in Information Systems," Journal of the Association for Information Systems (19:7) pp. 568-599.

Hassan, N.R., Mingers, J., and Stahl, B.C. 2018. "Philosophy and Information Systems: Where Are We and Where Should We Go?," European Journal of Information Systems (27:3) pp. 263-277.

Hassan, N.R., and Lowry, P.B. 2015. "Seeking Middle-Range Theories in Information Systems Research," International Conference for Information Systems (ICIS), Dec 13-16, Fort Worth, TX. (Runner-up Best Paper at ICIS)

Hassan, N.R. 2014. "Useful Products in Theorizing for Information Systems," International Conference for Information Systems (ICIS), Dec 14-17, Auckland, NZ.