This autoethnographic paper is about how my first paper took its tangible form. When for the first time I attempted to write an academic paper meant for a conference presentation, I struggled to speak in my own voice. In the process of discovering a distinct manner of speaking, I inevitably and spontaneously engaged in multiple and constant dialogic verbal exchanges between me and the others: myself, my mentor, the authors of the texts, and the other people around me. These exchanges were not always smooth; in fact, most were filled with conflicts, doubts and inconsistencies. Subscribing to Bakhtin's theory of language as discourse, I make explicit that each phase of conducting and writing research is essentially dialogic. Further, I illustrate how the dialogic dimension of the whole research process is irremovable because capturing the multiple realities in a qualitative research paradigm presupposes a dexterous and careful use of an indispensable tool called language. Finally, I argue through my stories that heightening my awareness of the potency of engaging in dialogue is crucial in my attempts to legitimise my own voice and in my desire to occupy some intellectual space in my chosen field.Â
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