Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 31, 2020

This week’s collection of articles from around the web contains many strategies for writing that can make your writing process more effective and your results more powerful.

We begin our collection with misconceptions about being a writer, tips for reaching your writing goals, and being a trustworthy researcher. We continue with advice on writing what you want to know, writing imperfectly, organizing your writing, improving your essays, and reading to improve your writing. Finally, we explore revision strategies, tone, writing with a busy schedule, blogging, and fostering racial empathy through your reading and writing practices.

According to Margaret Atwood, “A word after a word after a word is power.” This week, focus on putting one word after another to move your projects forward. Happy writing!

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Copyright, Covid, and the Virtual Classroom

With the fall semester fast approaching, faculty are intensively preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, in the face of continually changing information and circumstances. A number of our higher education clients have had questions about copyright issues relating to the transition of traditional in-person classes to online or hybrid formats. We have also been reviewing software agreements for various services that allow institutions to shift more of their offerings online. Here we discuss four common issues we have encountered. Although the answers are seldom black-and-white, we thought it would be useful to share some of the questions and possible approaches to them.

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Too tired to write?

Do you often find you’re too tired to write? If so, you’re suffering from a widespread malady: Too Tired to Write Syndrome (TTWS). I know it well. Late at night, after three hours of primetime soaps/CIA adventures/sports/reality shows/80s reruns, we solemnly promise ourselves we’ll tackle our latest writing project early the next day. Or we solemnly assure ourselves, early in the new morning and jolted by a surge of caffeinated joy, we’ll write later today between 3:00 and 4:00.

But then . . . our promise to ourselves to write drowns in the rest of our lives. With all we have to do, we’re just too tired.

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11 Aspects of clear academic writing

In a recent TAA webinar, professional coach Caroline Eisner shared ways to write clearly across academic disciplines. Specifically, she discussed the components of clear academic writing and how these components apply to the discourse conventions across the disciplines.

Below is a summary of eleven aspects Eisner identified as essential to producing clear academic writing across the disciplines.

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TAA’s 2021 Conference Call for Proposals Is Open

TAA announces a Call for Proposals for its 34th Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference which will be held June 18-19, 2021 in Indianapolis, IN. We invite the submission of presentations relevant to writing, publishing, and marketing textbooks and academic works (textbooks, academic books, journal articles, and monographs). Interactive, hands-on sessions are encouraged. The proposal deadline is October 7, 2020. 

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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 24, 2020

How do you define improvement, achievement, and success? Benjamin Franklin said that “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” So, how do you maintain continual growth and progress to gain improvement, achievement, and success in your academic writing?

Our collection of articles from around the web this week may offer some ideas for consideration. First, find the time to write, share what you know, and be open to the value of discussion. Second, look at ways to increase impact, use the right tools for conducting and disseminating research, and remain optimistic in the face of uncertainty. Finally, consider video as a way to promote yourself as an author, promote your work, and deliver better presentations online.

Whatever your writing goals and definition of improvement, achievement, and success, I challenge you to focus on growth and progress this week to meet those goals in the future. Happy writing!

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Writing an award-winning book: Interview with Dr. Cheryl Poth

Innovation in Mixed Methods Research: A Practical Guide to Integrative Thinking with Complexity won the 2020 Most Promising New Textbook Award from the Textbook & Academic Authors Association. In 2019 Dr. Poth was awarded TAA’s McGuffey Longevity Award as co-author of Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design. Given that last month we focused on mixed methods and this month we are focusing on careers, I wanted to chat with Dr. Poth about her book, and strategies that might help prospective textbook authors succeed.

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Digital is coming for your textbooks

While it has long been prophesied that the print textbook would disappear, it has actually taken quite a bit longer than people anticipated.

In the final session of TAA’s Summer Webinar Series, “Digital is Coming for Your Textbooks” at 2pm ET on July 30th, Christopher Kenneally, Director of Business Development, Copyright Clearance Center and Independent Publishing Industry Consultant, Michael Cairns, will review the latest developments in the creation, sourcing, and delivery of digital textbooks and will examine the looming fight for control of usage data.

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What are you not being told?

Your royalty statements only tell part of the story regarding the success of your textbook. Join Juli Saitz, Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting Group at 2pm ET on Thursday, July 23rd to understand “5 Things Your Royalty Statements Don’t Tell You“.

The goal of this next session in our TAA Summer Webinar Series is to help authors understand what information is provided by their publishers and help identify gaps in that information.

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What to do when you receive a revise & resubmit decision

In her recent webinar, “An Editor’s View From Journal Article Submission to Publication”, Micki M. Caskey discussed the aspects of a Revise & Resubmit (R&R) decision from a publisher and what authors should do in response to such a decision.

First, she says, “celebrate the decision”. Then, respond to the reviewer feedback.

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