scholarshape margy thomas knowledge-building

We are defined by the questions we pursue.

What we wonder about—what we are trying to understand—shapes the projects we launch, the potential we cultivate, the enterprises we grow, the books we write.

Our curiosity is what drives us to build new knowledge: creating models of reality that let us think and act in more productive, satisfying ways.


Knowledge-building is the key to a rich, meaningful life—but it’s incredibly difficult to do.

The process defies all formulas and templates; no step-by-step instructions or experts can lead us where we need to go.

We don’t even really know what our destination looks like.

So how do we navigate the process?

Just like our ancestors navigated the mapless oceans: by recognizing the constellations and currents. By learning the deep, invisible patterns and structures that give the process coherence.

These deep patterns and structures point us to the questions we can ask ourselves anytime we need to get our bearings and decide which direction to move.

scholarshape margy thomas knowledge-building compass





Who, What, Why, How: these are the four moves of the knowledge-builder. Recognize the Who. Listen to the What. Envision the Why. Live in the How.

ScholarShape is dedicated to helping you find your way through the knowledge-building process.


margy thomas phd scholarshape durham nc

By the way, I’m Margy,

and I’m glad you’re here. My life’s work is to help people construct and communicate knowledge, especially those who identify as scholars and researchers. Based in Durham, North Carolina, I support people all around the globe in understanding and navigating the deeply human process of building new knowledge: creating models of reality that improve our lives. It’s a process I’m constantly engaged in myself. You can find the inside story of ScholarShape written in my tattoos.

Margy Thomas, Ph.D., founder of ScholarShape