The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: Holiday Edition, Part 2

Happy New Year 2016Happy New Year! This week’s most useful blog post takes a look at some of the most popular articles featured in this weekly series. This is Part 2 of a two-part series (see Part 1 here). May your year be full of accepted manuscripts and writing that flows easily on to the page.

Happy writing in 2016!

In Students’ Minds, Textbooks Are Increasingly Optional Purchases
“The average amount that college students spend on course materials appears to be declining. But not necessarily because textbooks are cheaper.” Whether you are a textbook author or a professor, this piece is well worth the read. The comments at the bottom are also insightful and worth reading.

Tips from a journal editor: being a good reviewer
Michael Alvarez, professor of Political Science at Caltech and co-editor of Political Analysis, gives an in-depth overview of what makes a good reviewer. As Alvarez states, “Being a good reviewer is not easy, but it is an important part of being a member of the scientific community.”

Perfectionism, Shame, and Writing
This is your must read of the week. It’s so great I’m not even going to give you any hints as to what it is about (other than the title) in hopes that you are now so curious you have to read it. You’re welcome. 😉

This University Is Eliminating Textbooks
Consider this your industry news piece of the week: An east coast university, that has about 84,000 students, is doing away with textbooks. Is this a trend more colleges and universities will follow? As a textbook author, is this alarming to you?

On the need for reflection in academic writing
“Our profession is all about ‘think hard, reflect, expand your horizons’ and the reality is, we have become paper-churning machines.” Interesting thoughts on self-reflection are shared in this piece by Raul Pacheco-Vega. (This piece has been very popular among the academic Twitter community.)

3 Techniques for Writing Productively
Another excellent post by Meggin McIntosh that I highly suggest you read. I love her third piece of advice! It will make you re-think how to reward yourself.

Academics: you are going to fail, so learn how to do it better
Rejection and failure in academia is like resolutions and the New Year, they are always going to occur. Read this piece to learn how you can “fail more successfully in your academic career.”

blogging helps academic writing
Pat Thomson shares what benefits blogging has for academics. The points she makes are both excellent and valid. I’m a strong advocate of blogging and encourage all of you to blog! (For interesting data on why doctoral researchers blog, check out this post by Thomson.)