The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 17, 2017

"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~Louis L'AmourAs we reach the halfway point of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, the posts this week reflect an increased awareness of the disruptive nature of Open Access in academic publishing, ways to increase diversity in scholarly writing, tips for productive reading and distraction resistance while writing, ways to beat your fear of writing, tools for academic writers, improving your use of comparisons, strategies for quickly tackling a writing project, and how to market your academic journal articles. Whatever you are working on this week, remember the words of Louis L’Amour and “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” [Read More…]

Q&A: How can I get started working on textbooks?

Woman writing and working on laptopIn a recent post to the TAA LinkedIn group, Dr. Anna Bucy, a humanities instructor with over 20 years of teaching experience, asked the question, “How can I get started working on textbooks?” A simple question to which several group members shared their professional advice.

Professional editor of textbooks and scholarly articles, Ann Greenberger: “Are you thinking of elementary-high school textbooks, or college? If college, then you might look on LinkedIn for college textbook publishers and acquisitions editors in your field (education). Sometimes they need content specialists to write or edit supplements such as testbanks or instructors manuals. That is just one route to go, but would get you started.” [Read More…]

12 Ways to use creativity to separate your book project from the competition

You’ve determined to dive in and write that monograph or textbook. You know it will be countless hours of work, but it will be worth it. Right?

No one wants to spend time on a “me too” project; going over ground already covered in other books. By spending time up front using creative thinking, you can increase your project’s chance of success.

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 10, 2017

This week, November 6-11, 2017, was not only the first full week of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2017, but it also marked the sixth annual #UPWeek event in celebration of University Press Week. Throughout the week, there were a lot of great resources being shared throughout the academic community, no doubt inspired by these events. Our collection this week has something for everyone beginning with some humor illustrating the life of a grad student and tips about academic writing; exploring the scholarly process involving university presses, scholars, and reviewers; taking new perspectives on the publishing process, idea development, and resulting impact; increasing accessibility of scholarly resources; and sharing ideas with a broader audience. As stated by Oliver Markus, “The secret to good writing is to use small words for big ideas, not to use big words for small ideas.” Now go, write, and share your big ideas!

4 Key requirements for building an author website

In part 2 of her webinar series, “Designing a Web Presence for Your Book (Beyond the Publisher Website)”, Dr. Katie Linder, creator of The Academic Book Promotion Toolkit shared detailed insight into technical requirements to consider when designing a web presence for your book. Among these requirements were domain names, hosting providers, content management systems, and themes, widgets & plug-ins.

In this article, we summarize key aspects of these four technical requirements as presented by Dr. Linder.

Academic Writing for Social Good – TAA Webinar 12/4

Academic writers want to disseminate their research for many reasons. Many are motivated by university requirements for certain kinds of publications. Others want to contribute to their fields by communicating with other researchers. Some of us want to communicate with professionals or practitioners, entrepreneurs or activists, makers or inventors who work outside the ivory tower. We hope our findings can be applied to make a difference. How can we use our research and insights in ways that contribute to the social good?

Join us Monday, December 4 from 3-4 p.m. ET for “Academic Writing for Social Good”, where textbook writer Janet Salmons and environmental non-profit leader Lynn Wilson will  share examples and suggestions for socially beneficial ways to think about our publication strategies.

#AcWriChat TweetChat with TAA & Janet Salmons 11/17 at 11 am ET

TAA and SAGE Methodspace are co-hosting a series of Tweetchats for the exchange of ideas and resources about academic writing and publishing. Join SAGE Methodspace’s Janet Salmons and TAA’s Eric Schmieder on Twitter at 11 a.m. ET today using the hashtag #AcWriChat.

Tech Tip: Managing academic reference sources in Microsoft Word

Although a number of software tools are now available for managing citations and references for research papers and journal articles, I have found that using the tools built into the latest versions of Microsoft Word provide a single tool for document creation and reference source management. The reference features of Word support a variety of manuscript styles, allow for quick and accurate citations, automate the development of bibliography or works cited pages, and support the reuse of sources across multiple documents with ease.

In this article, I will discuss the basic steps for implementing the tools to manage your academic reference sources in Microsoft Word.

TweetChat Recap: #AcWriChat 11/3 – Get Organized

On November 3rd, TAA co-hosted its first TweetChat event with SAGE Methodspace as part of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). The focus on this event was getting organized with your academic writing projects.

Six questions were presented during the hour-long event on type of project, inspiration, organization steps, audience influence, desired impact, and next steps. The full conversation is available in the Storify record below.

Mark your calendar and join the discussion this Friday, November 17th at 11am ET as we discuss writing productivity. Simply log in to your Twitter account and search for #AcWriChat. As questions are posted, tag your responses with the #AcWriChat hashtag. See you there!

Open educational resources or traditional textbooks?
3 experts weigh in

An August 15, 2017 article in the Lansing State Journal, “LCC takes aim at pricey textbooks, offers free course materials”, shared a decision by Lansing Community College to offer students freely available open educational resources (OER) rather than traditional textbooks during the fall 2017 semester. Sixty-four professors in 24 courses will be taking part in the initiative.

The decision to use OER materials, said Regina Gong, a librarian and open educational resources project manager at LCC, was based on the College’s desire to reduce the “cost for incoming students who have to take introductory courses before moving on to higher end classes.”

In a recent discussion about the article in TAA’s LinkedIn group, three experts weighed in on LCC’s OER initiative, answering the question: “How many of you are working at schools considering or adopting this model? Thoughts?”