Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 29, 2019

This week’s collection of articles from around the web has a spring-like atmosphere of newness, pruning, and growth. We begin with two questions: “What does academic work look like?” and “Which academics are happy?” We then explore emerging trends in the academic publishing lifecycle, revision processes, and synthesis in a literature review. We close with new ideas on re-reading and technological support for peer review.

Kelly Barnhill once said, “That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.” Whatever revisions face your writing (or writing practices) this week, find the magic that helps you grow. Happy writing!

The What: Defining a research project

During Academic Writing Month 2018, TAA hosted a series of #AcWriChat TweetChat events focused on the five W’s of academic writing. Throughout the series we explored The What: Defining a research project; The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment; The When: Setting realistic timeframes for your research; The Who: Finding key sources in the existing literature; and The Why: Explaining the significance of your research. This series of posts brings together the discussions and resources from those events. Let’s start with The What: Defining a research project.

Before moving forward on any academic writing effort, it is important to understand what the research project is intended to understand and document. In order to accomplish this, it’s also important to understand what a research project is. This is where we began our discussion of the five W’s of academic writing.

Aggregate your fixed time commitments on fewer days

When I’m coaching and teaching academics, I recommend that they designate and protect four kinds of time: Free, Fixed, Focus, and Flow. Previously in this series, we looked at Free time.

In this article, let’s look at Fixed time. This is one of the areas where you can get control. And, you need to get control as quickly as you can, which requires that you be intentional about making the necessary changes.

Veteran academic authors Stevens, Caskey, Reeder, and Bertrand Jones to speak at TAA’s June Conference

Veteran authors Dannelle Stevens, Micki Caskey, and Julie Reeder of Portland State University, and Tamara Bertrand Jones of Florida State University will present “From the Blank Page to the Published Journal Article: Let’s Practice Strategies to Ensure Success” at TAA’s 32nd Annual Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference. The conference will be held in Old City, Philadelphia, June 14-15, 2019.

This hands-on presentation will focus on three key strategies designed to take you from the blank page to the published piece. From these four accomplished faculty, three of whom are journal editors, session participants will learn how to identify the most compatible journal for their work, carefully structure articles to meet expectations, and respond appropriately to feedback from journal editors.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 22, 2019

“I’ve discovered that sometimes writing badly can eventually lead to something better. Not writing at all leads to nothing.” This advice from Anna Quindlen frames our collection of articles this week.

Recognizing the quality of our efforts and focusing on ways to improve our contribution to the field is core to writing success. We begin this week’s collection with an examination of effective feedback, finding the gap in the research, and getting into a habit of data management. We then explore the challenges and benefits of balancing family and academic lives. Finally, we close with a look at textbook subscriptions in the publishing market and how to construct a CV for the academic job market.

Whatever the state of your writing or career this week, start where you are, no matter how bad, it can eventually lead to something better, but doing nothing will certainly lead to nothing. Happy writing!

Doctoral writing circles: Learning to write and collaborate

Graduate students will graduate, and at that point they’ll need to write with others. In academic positions they’ll work with colleagues on committees and research projects that result in written materials, books, or articles. In professional positions they’ll work on project teams and write plans and reports. Yet while they are in school, especially at the dissertation stage, students’ work is typically conducted on their own.

First, let’s define the term collaboration to describe “an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently” (Salmons, 2019).