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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 13, 2015

“Don’t be afraid to write crap because Don't be afraid to write crap because crap makes great fertilizer.crap makes great fertilizer.” This quote by Jessica Brody not only put a smile on my face but also rang very true for me. Sometimes our words barely flow or are incoherent in those first drafts, but that’s okay. As John Dufresne says, “The purpose of the first draft is not to get it right, but to get it written.” It’s easy to use perfectionism as an excuse not to get words down. Maybe the “crap” that you write will not be salvageable even for fertilizer, but even so, it will get the words flowing. So next time you sit down to write, remember, even “crap makes great fertilizer” and allow yourself to just write. Happy writing!

Ebook: Finding Your Academic Voice
I found this great, freely downloadable, ebook by Amber Jane Davis, Finding Your Academic Voice. To download click the title above and follow a few simple steps—enter your email address and first name, wait for the email with a link to click and voilà, it’s yours! Included in this 48-page ebook are strategies for finding your core argument, how to use supporting literature in your argument, structuring your article, the writing process, and more. This is jam-packed with great information.

Data for Discovery
This is a very interesting read on the future of personalized data discovery for scholars. Or, in other words, services that can anticipate which publications may be of interest to a certain individual based on previous searches or publication history. The author of this piece questions what this could mean for academic libraries, scholarly publishers, and discovery services.

Have Fun
If you’re feeling the need to add a little more fun and balance into your life I recommend this delightful read by Kerry Ann Rockquemore. You may even find that adding in a little more fun can lead to greater productivity and creativity.

writing course – the conclusion
For what your conclusion should and should not include, read this piece by Pat Thomson. It’s as simple as that. ☺

Creating Color-Blind Accessible Figures
Do you take into consideration those who are colorblind may not be able to fully understand the figure you placed in your journal article or textbook? This is a great article to learn more about colorblindness and resources for creating colorblind accessible figures.

Writing Your Way to Happiness
This piece is actually about a study that was conducted on how the power of writing one’s story can lead to behavioral changes and improved happiness. I’m including this because I find it to be a rather interesting study. Could this be something that you could incorporate into your writing life to help you become a more confident writer?

How to write 10,000 words a day
Is it really possible to write 10,000 words in a day? It seems like a daunting feat, but as explained in this article all you need is three conditions and you will be well on your way to conquering this feat. Of course, you just have to read the article to find out what those are!

Dear Student: It’s February and You Still Don’t Have Your Textbook?
This is your “fun” read for the week. Chances are you can probably relate to these responses and maybe even wished you could have said the same things to your students at times. This is an entertaining, and well worth it, read.

Take our poll: Do you write your first drafts free hand or with a word-processing program?