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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 28, 2015

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” –Stephen King "The scariest moment is always just before you start." Stephen King quote

I cannot say with certainty that, “the scariest moment is always just before you start.” I have to think that I am not alone in thinking the scariest moment is right before submitting the final draft. As a perfectionist I always strive to get it perfect, yet in writing (and most everything in life), I know that it will always have errors. An extra comma or two are almost always inevitable. If you too face the internal struggles of perfectionism and knowing that it will never be perfect, than you will appreciate a few of this week’s articles below. Maybe you are more of the 95-percenter (see The Thesis Whisper’s The last 5%) and the perfectionism struggle does not apply. Fortunately for you there are many other great articles this week that are well worth the read. 😉

Happy reading and, as always, happy writing!

The Semester Is Over! It’s Time to Write!
Summer has arrived and you may have ambitious writing goals for the summer. But how do you plan on meeting those writing goals? For some excellent advice on summer writing, read this piece by Joli Jensen, Hazel Rogers Professor of Communication at The University of Tulsa.

Finding the Right Academic Editor
If you are about to seek out an academic editor for your work, read this informative piece first. Margaret Puskar-Pasewicz offers solid advice on the different types of academic editing, how to find a qualified academic editor, and what to ask when hiring an academic editor.

What Makes a Good Abstract and More
This is a very informative presentation, just over 40-minutes long, on what makes a good abstract and how your title and abstract impact your paper’s discoverability. (Note: Audio is lost from about minute 6:30-11:40.) Once you create an account (doing so only takes two minutes), you can listen to other Wiley webinars like, Time Management for Authors and Researchers and Publishing for Early Career Researchers.

8 Rules for Writing Killer Articles
Instead of summarizing what this piece is about I’m simply going to ask, what do you think of Todd B. Kashdan’s eight rules?

‘Evolving manuscripts’: the future of scientific communication?
This is an interesting piece on Sir Mark Walport’s idea of the “evolving manuscript.” I’m not sure that this will ever be practice, but it’s an interesting thought for the future of scientific communication anyway.

The last 5%
Are you a 95-percenter or a 100-percenter? I really enjoyed this piece by Inger Mewburn this week and I think you will too.

How NOT to do a PhD #7: Until It’s Perfect
I like this piece for it’s reminder that sometimes you can’t get it perfect, but you can get it as close as you can and that you have to submit it anyway. If you wait for perfect, you’ll never make it.

In A Digital Chapter, Paper Notebooks Are As Relevant As Ever
No, this isn’t a piece on writing advice, but it is a lovely piece on the act of writing. I have always loved notebooks, always having multiple notebooks on my shelf—some written in and others too beautiful that I can’t bring myself to write in them. This article also looks at the science of note taking my hand versus on a laptop. Do you have a notebook you write in?

7 Things I’ve Learned So Far, by Jessamyn Hope
Although Jessamyn Hope is a fiction writer, I think her list of ‘Things I’ve Learned’ can also be applied to textbook and academic writers. Number five is an excellent reminder and number seven is something you must always keep in the back of your mind that will help push you through to completion.

The Future of Higher Education
Is personalization of educational materials the future? Listen to what Cengage Learning CEO Michael Hansen believes in this short, two-minute video.

7 Reasons Writing a Book Makes You a Badass
I smiled reading this post and hope that it makes you realize how incredible it is that you wrote a textbook or academic book! If you are in need of a little encouragement today or a break from writing, read this.