Writing groups: When, why, how, and best practices

Academic writing can be a solitary, isolating experience for many authors. While that may work for some, solitary writing can leave many writers feeling unmotivated, lonely, and lost. I propose, and research has proven, taking a more collaborative, community-based approach to writing can be highly beneficial in terms of productivity, success, and enjoyment.

From feedback to accountability, to pop-up groups to writing retreats and workshops, when faculty meet and talk about their writing, they reduce isolation and improve their craft. Consequently, over time, faculty become more productive and less stressed because they are accomplishing their goals. In addition, they become part of a community of writers.

In Memoriam: William E. Boyce

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Distinguishing features of academic writing #3: Formality

American poet, W.S. Merwin once said, “The idea of writing, to me, was, from the beginning, was writing something which was a little different from the ordinary exchange of speech. It was something that had a certain formality, something in which the words were of interest in themselves.” Perhaps this same sentiment is the foundational principle from which academic writing has gotten its distinguishing feature of formality – to provide something in which the words are of interest in themselves.

In our third discussion of the distinguishing features of academic writing, we discussed what makes academic writing formal, the purpose of such formality, effect of formality on tone and word choice, whether there are levels of formality acceptable in academic writing, and ways to improve the formality of academic writing efforts.

Textbook rights reversion: How to get them back

Most publishing contracts are for the life of the copyright, so how could an author ever get their rights back? In her TAA webinar, “A Second Bite at the Apple: Getting Rights in Your Book Back”, Brenda Ulrich, a partner at Archstone Law Group, discussed the role of reversion clauses in a publishing contract, which allow rights in a book to revert to their authors under certain circumstances.

The issue of rights reversion can confound many authors, said Ulrich, especially as it relates to how broad the grant of rights is in any traditional publishing contract. “It’s a very broad, very wide, very long, license,” she said. “You are giving the publisher permission to publish the book, but you are not signing over the book to them forever.”

2020 Textbook Contracts & Royalties Survey

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Thank you for visiting the TAA blog, Abstract. Article content is reserved to active members of the Textbook & Academic…

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 14, 2020

Since this week’s collection of posts from around the web falls on Valentines Day, we hope that you find something to love in the links below, beginning with stories of inspiring women in science.

Of course, love requires risk, and it’s important to be cautious with matters of the heart, so it may be worth exploring things like public engagement, personal statements for PhD programs, and open access agreements a little more before committing yourself to them completely. Finally, collecting memories and continuing to improve your relationships is essential for long-term success, and we see these practices in action through SAGE Research Methods curation features and the review of OhioLINK’s affordable textbook initiative which close our list.

As with love and relationships, our research and writing efforts may require exploration of options, putting ourselves out there, and being heartbroken a time or two before finding out where we belong. However, as Jim Valvano said, “Never give up! Failure and rejection are only the first steps to succeeding.” Happy Writing!