Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 14, 2020
This week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics common to academic and textbook authors. Specifically, how to go from idea to completion, dealing with writer’s burnout along the way, essay writing in 2020, research contributions beyond publication, Digital First textbooks, the ‘later on’ PhD pursuit, and responding to R&R decisions.
The common thread through the collection is finding a way to finish what we start. Jim Ryun once said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” If you are currently motivated, work on building a sustainable habit. If you’re working your plan, keep it up. If you’ve begun to burn out, develop a habit that can keep you moving forward. This week, find the habit that will keep you going and happy writing!
An expansive framework to go from idea to abstract to introduction to table of contents to full paper/dissertation/thesis/book
Because I’ve been thinking about research all the time over the past few years (the mechanics and strategies of doing research, different methods to frame, design and answer a research question, how to effectively design a research project, etc.) I’ve also been wondering how can I craft a single, unified framework that can help writers develop their papers, book chapters, dissertations, theses, books. After a lot of thinking, I think the model I’m presenting here should be helpful.
When I mention writer’s burnout, many people get the wrong idea about it, so I thought I’d mention a few of the most common myths about writer’s burnout first and then get into the facts about what it is and what causes it.
If you’ve ever burnt the midnight oil trying to put together the right words for forcing that essay to sound good, you probably need some quality tips to make your essay skills work. Why is it so difficult to write a good paper?
We all know that there are many different ways that researchers contribute to progress beyond just the publication of their own results: peer review of all shapes and forms; serving on editorial boards and as editors; volunteering in their scholarly community or association; helping plan conferences; and participating in promotion, tenure, and hiring committees, to name but a few. We also know that many contributions to research are made by people who aren’t themselves researchers, such as librarians, data specialists, lab managers, and others. And yet, despite the best efforts of initiatives like DORA, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (now signed by over 2,000 organizations and more than 16,000 individuals), metrics that focus primarily on citations, primarily of journal articles, remain the tool of choice for many — probably most — organizations that evaluate research and researchers.
As print textbooks eventually do give way to courseware, industry analyst Michael Cairns says, college professors, administrators and students will appreciate an education delivered in 21st century models.
People who do doctorates after a significant period in work may well have come from a profession – think for instance of education, nursing, law, architecture, business, theology, engineering, journalism, art, music, medicine, social work. But there are also ‘mature age’ (as they are called in some places) PhDers rubbing shoulders with ‘straight through’ PhDers in other disciplines. And actually in some professional areas, such as my own, Education, it is pretty rare to see ‘straight through’ PhDers at all, even among full-timers.
I’ve admitted this clearly from day 1: I ALWAYS HAVE A TERRIBLE TIME DEALING WITH REVISE-AND-RESUBMIT MANUSCRIPTS. Yes, I know that Dr. Sara Mitchell would say “R&R is the goal”, but still, it’s SO HARD for me to cope with reading reviewers’ comments and making the revisions.