Crafting compelling and purposeful titles: A five step process

Although the old adage states “you can’t tell a book by its cover”, in academic writing it is crucial that the title of an article or book “tell” the essence of the work. The title is the first critical decision point for a reader. Its goal is to invite the reader to peruse the abstract, read the article, and, hopefully, cite your work.

The title does a lot of work for your manuscript, and there are many good reasons to pay attention to crafting short, content-rich, and engaging titles. First, for you, the author, spending time crafting a title forces you to distill your detailed, multi-page manuscript into 10 to 15 words, a daunting task.

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.

5 Key principles for a sustainable writing practice

Why write? The old adage, “publish or perish” is alive and well, and there can be negative career consequences resulting from not publishing. In addition, writing and publishing bring career-enhancing rewards, visibility among our peers locally, nationally, and, even, internationally, and, as Boice (1990) underscores, writing is a form of “self-education.”

The expectation that faculty write and publish presents a number of challenges, not the least of which is fitting writing in with the other

The not-always-obvious ‘infrastructure’ of journal articles: Abstracts and textual linkages

Not all who wander are lost.  In fact, some who wander are not lost but just exploring the terrain. Yet, when I read a journal article, I do not want to wander and wonder where the work is headed. Partly because of my busy schedule and largely because I am seeking ideas, information and even inspiration, I want to know right away what the scholarly work is about. Scholars can guide readers along a smooth reading road by paying attention to the not-so-obvious infrastructure of typical journal articles and writing their submissions with this structure in mind.

Stretch, reach and fall back: Targeting your submission to the journal

Deciding where to submit your journal article can be a daunting task. Not all journals are created equal. Journals differ in content and, of course, in the more elusive, status within the discipline. What I will write about here is how to select and refine your submission based on the journal’s status within your discipline. Two strategies can smooth out the submission process. The first strategy illustrates one way to decide on the journal in which you want to publish. The second strategy is how to analyze the articles within that selected journal to focus your writing to that audience.