Two weeks from today, TAA will kick off its 2020 Summer Webinar Series with its first session on Friday, June 12th at 3:00pm ET. Spotlighting six sessions from our cancelled 33rd Annual Conference, we are excited to meet with you virtually to explore topics impacting scholarly writing, share ideas and strategies, and network with peers. Presented on Zoom, these webinars are designed to be interactive events. We hope you will join us!
Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 29, 2020
This week’s collection of articles from around the web have a spirit of hope and resiliency among them. In this time of uncertainty, disruption, and change, we have opportunities to embrace what is new and build what we desire from the state of what is. As researchers and academics, much of our careers are based on new pursuits and exceptional goals.
Whether writing the introductory chapter of a thesis or dissertation, planning for a post-PhD career, or exploring the modern researcher ecosystem, we seek for identity and success. Change is abundant as well in the way we hold conferences, publish and access research, and achieve visibility. All of these topics are found in this week’s collection.
The key, regardless of the state of your career or writing is to believe in yourself, to embrace opportunity, and to move forward. As Cassandra Sanford said, “If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it…simply keep forging forward because success will come.” Happy writing!
Effective reading is the source of better writing
According to the University of Richmond Writing Center, “Reading and writing are very closely related. If a writer doesn’t understand the material they are reading, chances are they will not be able to write about it successfully.” This premise was the foundation of our May 15th AcWriChat discussion on Twitter where we discussed effective reading habits of academics.
Event participants, Danielle Apfelbaum, Marc A. Ouellette, and Sonal A. Mehta added personal perspective to the discussion. During the TweetChat event we asked about ways to make reading efforts more effective, strategies to improve notetaking, post-reading processes, and how reading outside your discipline can improve your academic writing. Below is a summary of key insights from the discussion.
10 Steps to becoming a prolific scholar
Last week, Tara Gray, author of Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar, shared insight on scholarly productivity and publishing in a series of articles on our blog. Gray also shared her experience and wisdom in a two-part TAA webinar series in March where she outlined a 10-step approach to drafting and revising scholarly manuscripts – quickly and well.
Polishing your scholarly manuscript–and letting it go
In this post, the fifth in a series of five, you will learn how to polish your prose by reading it out loud “backwards”—and then letting it go.
Before submitting your manuscript, read the manuscript out loud read it out loud s-l-o-w-l-y (Goodson, 2017, p. 36). To force yourself to read slowly, try reading your prose paragraph by paragraph backwards. That is, start with the last paragraph in your manuscript and move backward paragraph by paragraph until you reach the first paragraph. You will read more slowly because reading backwards is somewhat jarring. You will focus on each paragraph so you see problems that were previously invisible to you. You will read as though you were reading for the first time. You will divorce yourself from your prose and gain some distance from—and perspective about—your writing. You will see your manuscript through a new lens because what you were thinking at the time that you wrote and what you actually wrote can be different.
Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 22, 2020
This week’s collection of articles from around the web is filled with hope and encouragement for writers. Despite many still being locked down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the posts we found this week explore ways of strengthening writing habits, enhancing productivity and creativity, and recognizing the vast amount of work done by authors beyond the published production counts.
There are resources on self-care, fresh perspectives, and cutting yourself some slack. There are also guides for mixed methods research, issues related to scholarly communication, the problem with enhanced ebooks, and a new milestone in open access publishing by Springer Nature.
Especially in uncertain times, it can be easy to focus on the lack of opportunity, the disruptions to our normal way of life, or the seemingly insurmountable challenges we face, but if we choose to do so, we can find hope and encourage ourselves to explore new perspectives for even greater results ahead. Brian Tracy suggests that you “Make your life a masterpiece; imagine no limitations on what you can be, have or do.” Happy writing!