The not-always-obvious ‘infrastructure’ of journal articles: Abstracts and textual linkages

Journal article infrastructureNot all who wander are lost. In fact, some who wander are not lost but just exploring the terrain. Yet, when I read a journal article, I do not want to wander and wonder where the work is headed. Partly because of my busy schedule and largely because I am seeking ideas, information and even inspiration, I want to know right away what the scholarly work is about. Scholars can guide readers along a smooth reading road by paying attention to the not-so-obvious infrastructure of typical journal articles and writing their submissions with this structure in mind. [Read more…]

Harness the power of habits for writing productivity

Have you ever heard a writer say – I’d really like to break my pesky writing habit? Likely not. Writers generally agree that writing habits work: Momentum drives progress. Each day becomes easier to overcome resistance and start producing. Additionally, with regular progress, planning becomes more predictable.

Surprisingly though, despite motivation, as writers, we often know markedly little about research in habit building. In lieu of research, unhelpful myths circulate, such as: If I could just write for 21 straight days, then my habit would be in place. Thankfully, there is worthwhile research on habit building, so let’s look at a few key principles and the framework underlying any habit.  [Read more…]

Join us 2/22 for the TAA webinar, ‘Tips and Techniques for Enhancing Your Approach to Visuals’

Bethann Garramon MerkleToo often incorporating images isn’t part of our initial project planning, if it is ever part of the planning at all. Join us Wednesday, February 22 at 1-2 p.m. ET, for the TAA webinar, “Tips and Techniques for Enhancing Your Approach to Visuals.” Author and illustrator Bethann Garramon Merkle will share tips and hands-on techniques for enhancing your approach to visuals by using illustrations in publications and presentations. [Read more…]

6 Techniques to jumpstart writing efficiency and productivity

Vintage typewriterIn our writing projects—dissertation, article, book, presentation—after the first brilliant idea or paragraphs of exhilarated creation, our enthusiasm may turn to mud. From my own experiences with tortured writing and those of my academic coaching and editing clients, I recommend the following six techniques, with credible rationales, to help you work more efficiently and write more productively.

1) Make Separate Files

As simplistic as it seems, start by making separate files for each part of the work—prefatory pages, introduction, chapters, sections, reference list, appendices. Refer to your university handbook, journal specs, or publisher’s requirements to construct your file in the correct format. If a template is provided, use it. Later, you’ll combine all files for the finished work. [Read more…]

Join us today @ 3pm ET for the TAA Webinar: 5 Steps to Creating a Publication Strategy

Janet SalmonsYou have research. You have academic papers, a thesis, and/or a dissertation. You may have written reports or social media posts. Now what? The tasks involved with moving forward towards developing publishable articles or chapters seems overwhelming. Where do you start?

Join us today from 3-4 p.m. ET, for the TAA Webinar, “5 Steps to Creating a Publication Strategy”. Janet Salmons, an independent researcher, writer and consultant with Vision2Lead, Inc., will share practical tips and a step-by-step process for evaluating your current status, and making a plan to achieve publication goals. [Read more…]

5 Web tools to help you manage and organize citations

citationsWhen it comes to academic writing, it is important to be diligent about collecting and organizing sources that will support your statements. The success of the overall project is often determined by the organizational skills you show during the research stage, and if you lose track of the sources of your ideas, you may also end up inadvertently committing plagiarism.

The following five tools can help you manage your sources and organize citations in accordance with whichever citation format you follow. [Read more…]

International Forum for Teaching and Studies journal seeking papers

American Scholars PressThe International Forum of Teaching and Studies (IFOTS), a journal that focuses on the development and improvement of teaching within international contexts, has announced a call for papers for future issues.

IFOTS publishes articles, essays, and scholarly studies about education, teaching, learning, and culture studies within themes, including 21st Century learning, distance learning, K-12 education practices, faculty development/professional education, and more.

For more information on submitting a manuscript, visit the IFOTS website.


TAA members can submit their call for papers for inclusion in a new announcements page we are developing. Information should be sent to Kim Pawlak at Kim.Pawlak@TAAonline.net.

5 Key takeaways from the TAA webinar, ‘5 Ways to Use Your Dissertation for Publications’

Dissertation to publicationsJanet Salmons, PhD, mined every element of her dissertation to launch a publishing strategy that has resulted in five books and numerous chapters and cases, articles and blog posts. She created a typology of five options for drawing from, building on, or applying student writing, which she shared in the May 18 TAA Webinar, “5 Ways to Use Your Dissertation for Publications”. Here are 5 key takeaways from the presentation: [Read more…]

Quote or paraphrase? Three tips from a pro

quotesIt’s a pity when surface problems scuttle otherwise strong scholarship. As an academic editor, I’ve noticed that poorly handled quotations are particularly damning. Inelegant use of prior scholarship can give the impression that a writer is unsophisticated, or even amateur.

Naturally, research does involve mining books and articles to inform our own arguments, which are ideally novel and substantial but still reference that prior work. Often there may be temptation to repurpose existing literature that seems to say exactly what needs to be said in order to get to ideas that are original. It can certainly be difficult to think around the particular ways in which influential scholars have formulated cornerstone concepts. [Read more…]

How to find and work with an illustrator

academic writingIllustrations are an important part of many textbooks and peer reviewed papers because they can help explain concepts in ways that photographs can’t. According to Joanne Haderer Muller, a board certified medical illustrator and Chair of the Board of the Association of Medical Illustrators: “Illustrations have many advantages over photographs. For example, illustrations can show readers an average, rather than a specific, example of a concept, procedure, animal, or anatomical arrangement. They can show detail that may be lost or hidden in a photograph, can help explain things at a molecular or cellular level, and can show how a process unfolds over time to really explain the author’s message.” [Read more…]