What is this business we’re in – the business of education? John Dewey once said, “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” For textbook and academic authors, I think we’d certainly agree. We live both to educate others and to continue our own education in our discipline. But how do we make education more than a tool or career and rather a lifestyle?
With membership in TAA, you are not alone. You become part of a diverse community of textbook and academic authors with similar interests and goals. We are pleased to announce the addition of 11 new TAA members who joined us in May 2021.
As textbook and academic authors, we often know where we want to go, perhaps have some idea of how to get there, but are often caught with feelings of ill-preparedness, lack of knowledge or resources, and a general sense of self-reliance to produce our results. From the outside looking in, we may appear to be working hard with nothing to show for the effort.
Abraham Maslow once said, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” In this time of change in academia, catalyst by the past year of adaptations to learning processes as a result of the pandemic, there have been a multitude of problems and challenges. If there is a positive to the situation, however, it is that such problems have invoked creative responses and new tools shaping our future efforts.
In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we see some new ideas for the future of our academic writing efforts.
In his presentation “Why Your Journal Articles Are Confusing, and How IMRaD Can Help”, Thomas Deetjen, author of Published, offered advice for tightening your articles’ structure around the IMRaD format as a method for getting jumbled thoughts into words that your readers will understand.
Deetjen says, “If you know where things are supposed to go, then you can write your article that way in the first place, and you can edit your articles in a way that will move information around into the correct places.” He advises, quite simply, to put information where readers expect to see it.
How often do we look at the results of our work with frustration, disappointment, or even anger at failed attempts? As another semester of teaching came to a close, I found myself once again with students who were not satisfied with their overall grade in the class, seeking ways to make up for lost time to get better results. The problem, however, is not with the results, but with the effort (or lack thereof) throughout the process.