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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 5, 2021

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~Arthur AsheNo matter where you are in your writing career, I can promise you two things: 1) you have the knowledge and experience necessary to move ahead from where you are and 2) you still have further you can go. Early career writers have a tendency to look at themselves as anything but a author and remain paralyzed by imposter syndrome. Veteran authors often question how much more they have to contribute. Arthur Ashe reminds us that no matter the current situation, you should “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we have advice on finding the angle and argument for your current manuscript, choosing methodologies for online studies, writing more compelling sentences, and triumphing over writer’s block. We have some resources on qualitative methodologies and journal impact factor rules. Finally, we look at author issues related to book marketing and publishing contracts.

Wherever you are today, start there, use what you have, and do what you can. Happy writing!

Writing for publication – finding an angle and an argument

This is a story, a my story, which leads to eight pointers about writing for publication. I’m currently writing a paper. Well, yes, always writing something. But right now it’s a paper. A paper designed to do some thinking work that will then inform a book. I’m not writing this paper by myself, but I am doing most of the first draft with some crucial and well-timed help from my co-researcher Chris.

Choosing methodologies for online studies

Each qualitative methodology is a distinct school of thought, with its own philosophers and practitioners. Each offers a different vantage point from which to view the research phenomena, the environment or social context, the participants, and their thoughts, feelings, experiences or expressions. These vantage points may readily fit into a particular field of research or discipline; however, the sense of fit may evolve as research questions and contexts change. When you look at qualitative methodologies, don’t be constrained by previous uses of that approach.

How to write a more compelling sentence

Like many academics, I get to my office every morning and battle the problem of Too Much To Read. To tell the truth, most days I give up the fight. Under pressure to publish or perish, academics are producing mountains of text every year, even in a tiny sub-specialty like research education.  I don’t have enough time to read all the new papers in my discipline just to ‘stay informed’. I only read academic papers if I absolutely have to; usually when writing a literature review.

Battling the bump: Triumphing over writer’s block

As we all know, writer’s block is no fun. Writer’s block is when you want to keep writing, but you feel like you can’t. Like the words and the inspiration won’t come. Let’s go back to when you were first starting to write your book.

Qualitative methodologies: Phenomenology

This month we are looking at issues associated with selecting the methodology best suited for the study. Throughout the month we’ll highlight various methodologies, link to open access articles that explain and/or apply them, and point to relevant texts. Let’s start with phenomenology.

Changing journal impact factor rules creates unfair playing field for some

The move to a counting model based on the date of electronic publication has been long-expected. Nevertheless, the new model may lead to unexpected swings in JIF scores and journal rankings because Clarivate lacks online publication data for about half of the journals it indexes. More importantly, the disparity is determined by publisher. At present, Clarivate has e-pub dates for Springer-Nature journals, but not for Elsevier journals, for example.

Stop worrying, start selling. Change your author mindset with Sarah Painter

How can we reframe book marketing as a creative and essential part of the author life? How can we manage fear and self-doubt in order to write? How can we embrace our ambition and aim high while still managing the day to day writing life? Sarah Painter talks about all this and more in this interview.

Pros and contracts

Here’s our deep dive into the subject of contracts in the publishing business. We can only go so deep during a fifteen-minute episode, so we ran about twice as long as usual. We discuss some of the things you should look for, things you should watch out for, and resources that can help you out.