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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: April 3, 2015

Can you believe it is already April"Write 1000 wrods a day, five days a week, before you do anything else. If you do it first thing in the morning, then you won't get distracted by all the things that tempt you not to write." -Lisa See and Easter is already this Sunday?! I love the warmer weather and the ability to sit on my deck and write. This week’s most useful posts have two sort of unintentional themes: peer reviews and productivity. There is also a sprinkling of other posts worthy of your time. One of my favorite posts this week is, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers, Courtesy of Alexis Landau.

Speaking of productivity, do you like to write first thing in the morning before anything else so you don’t get distracted but rather get things accomplished as Lisa See suggests in the quote I choose for this week? If you could give one tip for being productive, what would it be? Share it with me in the comments below.

Happy writing!

Writing Academic Book Reviews
Wondering how to structure your book review? This is the perfect read for you.

Productivity Takes Work
Have you been struggling with productivity, feeling as though you always run out of time? The author of this piece, Melanie Nelson, does an excellent job describing the faults of looking for a quick fix and explains another approach to take.

Writing the textbook: Why professors assign their own publications
Assigning one’s own textbook to teach was a popular discussion in our online community and so I thought it was interesting when I came across this article. Many of the viewpoints are similar to those that were expressed by our textbook author members but there are some interesting differences and perspectives.

Is peer review just a crapshoot?
This is an interesting look at the impact reviewer recommendations have on editor decisions. The study also examined if Chinese authors faced more barriers to publishing than authors from English-speaking countries. Find out if the review process is a crapshoot by reading this article.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Writers, Courtesy of Alexis Landau
I love this piece. Yes, it’s a fiction writer sharing her highly effective habits, but they can most certainly be applied to that of academic and textbook writing. I think part of the reason I enjoyed this piece so much is that it is so relatable. This quote rings especially true, “The best ideas happen at any time, so one must be ready to receive them.”

Ask about what doesn’t work- a guide for peer reviewers
Richard Threlfall argues why he believes peer reviewers should always ask for a few “negative results” in papers they read. Do you agree?

Science Publishing: Sharing articles via academic networks
If you publish a paper in an academic journal are you allowed to share a PDF version on a collaborative academic platform like or Mendeley, or any other publicly accessible site for that matter? Do you know what language to look for in your agreement to know if scholarly sharing is allowed? If you’re unsure how to answer these questions, this article is your must read.

Co-Authoring with a Professor
This article is perfect for any graduate student considering working with a professor on a project for publication. Strategies are given to help ensure the process is a smooth one.