Where research becomes story.
If you’re someone who pursues new answers to hard questions, who seeks to turn confusion into clarity, then you’re in the right place. ScholarShape is where you can find the tools, resources, and conversations to refresh and inspire you in the long and unpredictable process of building new knowledge.
What is knowledge-building exactly? It’s part research — collecting and reasoning about information — and part product development, packaging your findings into a form that is coherent and useful to your target audience. When you build new knowledge, when you shape it into a knowledge product, you’re creating something that will help your audience think, believe, and act in more productive and satisfying ways.
The knowledge products we focus on at ScholarShape are research-based texts like books, articles, and proposals. The most compelling of these texts balance argumentation and storytelling without sacrificing accuracy, rigor, or nuance. They advance evidence-based claims about their subjects while also weaving meaningful narratives about how these claims connect to larger themes and patterns in the universe.
The term I use to refer to such a text is Story-Argument.
Story-Argument (noun): a knowledge product that reveals one main point about its subject, supports that point with evidence and reasoning arranged in sequence, and references a larger theme beyond the subject.
A Story-Argument is an intricately engineered sequence of claims and evidence, organized around a single central claim, that carries the reader forward, whether across 30 pages or 300, with a sense of urgency, suspense, and unfurling illumination, culminating in a sense of resolution as well as raising of new and better questions that invite readers into meaning-making of their own.
Knowledge products such as Story-Arguments are built through prototyping and iteration. The process is long and often circuitous, the outcome uncertain, and we must rely on our intuition as much as on our powers of logical reasoning. We are moving through unmapped realms with only the stars to guide us. Knowledge-builders draw on a combination of strategy, skill, and integrity to craft books, articles, and other knowledge products that will make their findings understandable and usable.
ScholarShape supports knowledge-builders by offering tools for purposeful navigation, resources for understanding the nature of the process, and conversations where we can engage in the kinds of collaborative interactions where new knowledge takes shape.
Hello! I’m Margy Thomas, Ph.D.
I founded ScholarShape in 2013 to support knowledge-builders in their work. My specialty is helping academics and other researchers package their findings into books, articles, and other texts that make complex findings understandable and useful to expert audiences.
In my one-on-one services, I work with researchers all around the globe from the ScholarShape Headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. Read more about the ScholarShape story here, and check out the tools and resources below!