The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 11, 2018

"You're writing someones 'future' favorite book." ~M. KirinOne thing’s for certain in life. The future is always unwritten. No matter the past experiences or institutional standards, we must change, adapt, and grow with each day – and our writing must as well.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with writing habits, creative research methods, practices for overcoming writer’s block, and ways to evaluate data sources. It continues with exploration of fears and uncertainties related to sharing grant applications and pursuing a PhD as a single parent. Finally, we close with considerations of changes in subscription models, including cancellations of traditional journal subscriptions by universities, and the impact of recent changes in how Facebook is sharing data with the research community.

M. Kirin reminds all authors that “you’re writing someone’s ‘future’ favorite book.” Despite any challenges, fear, anxieties, or past experiences, I hope this week you can focus on the future and share your message through your writing. [Read more…]

How to avoid the need to secure permission

Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade PublishingMaybe it was something you saw in a magazine or at a bookstore. Maybe it was something you saw online. Maybe it was something that caught your eye in a grant application or proposal…a good idea in poorly skilled hands seemingly not up to the task. In any event, wherever you first saw it, it inspired you to develop and publish your own article or book on the subject.

Anyone who has worked in an intellectual or creative endeavor knows that many new works build to one degree or another on the earlier work of others. But getting a head start by leveraging the intellectual work product of another is potentially problematic. When does inspiration cross over into infringement or a breach of scholarly integrity? The lawyer’s answer is: it depends. [Read more…]

Your writing accountability partner this summer: The TAA Writing Gym

Writing GymFlex your writing muscles in the TAA Writing Gym. This 6-week work-out-on-your-own gym time will serve as your writing accountability partner as you work to achieve your writing goals. The gym is free with your TAA membership, and is open to those writing textbooks, scholarly journal articles, and dissertations.

The gym will be open 24 hours from July 16-August 26, 2018. The deadline for signing up is July 9. [Read more…]

5/1 TAA Webinar: ‘Demystifying the Literature Review’

Literature reviews are one of the more challenging genres of academic writing. Join us Tuesday, May 1, 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Demystifying the Literature Review”, presented by Dr. Daveena Tauber, Founder of ScholarStudio, to talk about strategies for reading, making sense of, and writing about the literature. Whether you’re writing a literature review for a dissertation, an article, or the introduction to your book, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to get clarity on this important part of your project. This webinar will help you understand not only what it means to synthesize the literature, but will also give you tools for doing it.  [Read more…]

Co-authoring & writing collaboration: Planning strategies for success

Writing a book or an article is a demanding process in the best of circumstances. We must balance a number of internal and external factors. We must figure out how to convey our insights and experiences, research and analysis, in writing. At the same time, we must interface with the external world: schedules and deadlines, editors and publishers, and ultimately with our readers. We add another set of factors when we work with co-authors. How can we navigate all of these dimensions in ways that allow us to collectively produce our best work? [Read more…]

Inspiration for a successful writing practice: TAA writing workshops

Writing is like a sport-you only get better if you practice. -Rick RiordanA good writing practice takes just that–practice, as well as inspiration, organization, and determination. Support is also important, and institutions can play a key role in supporting and celebrating faculty authors by hosting writing workshops. Workshops provide faculty motivation, information, and resources that can help them achieve greater publishing success. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: April 20, 2018

"Writing is the light of imagination playing over shadow of thoughts" ~Khaled TalibThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a lot of advice for academic authors including key writing skills, tips for communicating with your dissertation chair, coping strategies, and books on writing productivity. It also contains information on changes in research and edtech, including Google’s “Talk to Books”, a study on uncited research, necessary support and incentives for sharing data, and a scam involving forged acceptance letters from journals. Finally, we have an article on a technology platform for textbook authors designed to keep textbooks current.

According to Khaled Talib, “Writing is the light of imagination playing over shadow of thoughts.” This week let your imagination drive your research and creativity to enhance your writing. [Read more…]

Rejecting the premise of writer’s block: Write your way out

When you talk with academic writers about productivity, you are likely to hear the term ‘writer’s block’. Despite the prevalence of this term, I am resistant to identifying common academic writing difficulties as writer’s block. Most writers who are struggling with their writing are actually struggling with their thinking. That isn’t just a semantic quibble: it matters that we grasp exactly what is inhibiting our writing processes. When we diagnose ourselves as having writer’s block, we can start to believe that we aren’t currently able to write. If you find yourself with a sore leg, it may well be that avoiding walking is a sound strategy. If you find yourself unable to write, might it be a sound strategy to avoid writing? The answer to that question is almost always no. Not writing has little-to-no curative power, in my experience. [Read more…]

4/25 TAA Webinar: ‘How to Structure and Write an Article Abstract’

Mark PedrettiWhat makes for a strong article abstract? How much is too much, not enough, and just right? What goes in and what stays out? The abstract to your article is often the first thing that readers and reviewers see, and setting the right tone up front can influence the way the rest of your text is received. Join us Wednesday, April 25 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “How to Structure and Write an Article Abstract”,  presented by Mark Pedretti, Director of the Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Claremont Graduate University. [Read more…]

Pre-order your copy of TAA’s newest book: ‘Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing’

Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade PublishingLearn what you need to know to avoid and manage copyright infringement claims that arise from the publication of your book, article, or media project with TAA’s newest book by intellectual property attorney Stephen E. Gillen, Guide to Rights Clearance & Permissions in Scholarly, Educational, and Trade Publishing. In this book, now available for pre-order, Gillen covers the unique rights clearance and permission issues related to writing scholarly works: [Read more…]