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Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 28, 2021

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” ~Sydney J. HarrisDo you ever feel like your writing needs a change of perspective? Do you feel as though your creativity has run short or that you see your own bias in your writing rather than the true results of your research? According to Sydney J. Harris, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.”

As we see in this week’s collection of articles from around the web, there are several ways to shift our perspective on our research and writing including organizational methods, processes for increasing creativity, alternative ways to conduct research, overcoming issues with research integrity, and applying suitable structure to our writing.

As you approach your writing projects this week, consider ways to shift perspective – even if ever so slightly – to turn mirrors into windows and develop a fresh view on your subject. Happy writing!

Organizational writing methods for messy minds

Long-time Wrimo and soon-to-be published author Anna-Maria Ninnas is a Project Manager with a talent for organizing chaos into coherence. She has been test-driving software to find novel solutions for myriad rampant writerly woes and has put together this comprehensive overview to share some of her best technology-based tips with the community!

7 Ways to quickly increase your creativity

Creativity is a high form of intelligence, and when you are functioning at high levels, it is great to be active. But before you can think creatively, you need to have access to the right high energy. You need to be in a state of flow when the possibilities that come with creativity are present.

Doing archival research: On and offline

When I was conducting an action research case study for my Masters thesis, I stumbled across historical antecedents to the project. One thing led to another, and I wound up doing extensive archival research in the Cornell University Library and the Rockefeller Archive Center. By archival research I mean taking letters out of envelopes to read the original handwritten materials. The most critically relevant material was in the personal correspondence, so I would not have found this information in published literature. Writing about archival research now, I wondered: how might this kind of study be conducted today, given that so much historical material is available electronically?

Hidden barriers to maintaining research integrity and how to overcome them

The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) provides guidance on how to manage the most common publication misconduct scenarios, but, as well as issues of editor workload, unrecognised in-house tensions can slow down or even block their resolution. Fear of reputational damage, legal concerns, poorly defined responsibilities between editor and publisher and reluctance to share information can easily derail efforts to correct the published record.

Structuring and sequencing chunks of writing

It really is helpful to understand the most common ways to structure academic writing. When we know what the options are, we can consciously choose the way we want our readers to encounter our material and to engage with the case we are making. So academic writers are, like any other writers, choosers. Choosers from a range of possible structures.