Can I help you in any way? Learning objectives

Can I help you in any way? Learning objectives“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real” (as opposed to an automated bot). Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions.

In this post, we’re focused on a question about the importance of learning objectives when writing a textbook. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 14, 2018

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." ~Jack CanfieldEndings can be challenging. Whether it’s the end of a project, the end of a semester, the end of a life phase, or even the end of a calendar year. What makes ending so difficult is often the uncertainty of what’s next rather than the closure of what has been.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with an example of a fourth year PhD candidate working toward completion of the program and advice on transitioning between career or writing phases. It continues with guidance on how to start collaborative projects, a challenge to dance your PhD, and eight ways to write theory very badly. Finally, we close with the uncertainty of the publishing industry for textbook authors, an introduction to branding, and ways to work with contributing authors in an edited book.

As we approach the final few weeks of 2018, we encourage you to look back over the year and your accomplishments with your writing projects. Close off what has earned completion status in the weeks and months that have come to pass, and prepare yourself for all that 2019 has in store. Look at your next project, career opportunity, or calendar page with excitement rather than nervousness. After all, as Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 7, 2018

Starve your distractions : Feed your focusOur weekly collection of posts from around the web contains a variety of topics beginning with the mental health of academics and the process of giving feedback on academic writing. We then explore some academic elements often challenging to writers: statistics and theory. Next we look at industry concerns when setting up a new academic journal and the impact of Plan S on society publishers. We continue with discussion of the relationship between measurement systems and impact goals as well as concerns related to scientific misconduct. Finally, as we approach the holiday season, we have a list of gift ideas for the academics on your list.

This week, as the end of academic semesters approach for many of us and the holidays add new elements of obligation to our already busy schedules, focus on this simple message – Starve your distractions : Feed your focus. Happy writing! [Read more…]

AcWriMo 2018: A month in review

typing on a laptopEach November since 2011, academic writers from around the world have committed themselves to a month of forward progress in their personal academic writing efforts through an event known as AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month). To achieve greater levels of accountability and connectedness with other academics, many take to Twitter and other social media outlets to share their plans, challenges, accomplishments, and resources using the hashtag #AcWriMo.

While originally inspired by the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) concept, AcWriMo does not share the objective of completing a single project (i.e. a novel) in the 30 calendar days of November, but rather provides a means for focusing individuals on their own academic writing project(s) during that time. If you participated in AcWriMo 2018, we’d love to hear about your accomplishments in the comments below. If not, perhaps you can gain some inspiration from the documented efforts of others shared in this article. [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: November 2018

Welcome to TAAWith 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 13 new TAA members who joined us in November 2018.  [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 30, 2018

"The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with." ~William Faulkner“The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.” Wise words from William Faulkner frame our collection of posts from around the web this week.

We begin with a discussion of whether it’s acceptable to use first person in academic writing, the way that animals (our own or others) can support our academic journey, and a way to clearly express the collection of work we create. We then explore some of the things editors want and how to get to the end of our comfort zone to find our voice. We close our collection with an understanding of frameworks, publication strategies with tips from an editor, and the impact digital publishing is having on the scholarly publishing value chain.

If you dream of perfection, your work will certainly reach levels of greatness. So as you go through the next week, believe in yourself (even if you aren’t writing in first person), find your source of support, identify your goals, and stretch your comfort zone. Follow the standards or create new ways of thinking. Whatever you do, dream of perfection, and happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 23, 2018

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~Albert SchweitzerThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes advice on writing for impact, ways to reduce fear of theory, changes in the affordability of textbooks, and an author’s perspective on self publishing from a dissertation. We also found articles on invited keynotes, more creative presentation delivery practices, and a new podcast for PhDs.

Albert Schweitzer said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” At TAA we are grateful for our members, followers, and supporters who light a flame within us every day. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 16, 2018

Research and innovationHalfway through AcWriMo 2018, this week’s collection of articles from around the web explores topics of where to write, new options for sharing research efforts beyond the published results, and topics of etiquette and legal requirements in the modern communication age.

The collection begins with an article highlighting some of our discussion points from the 11/9 #AcWriChat TweetChat event hosted by TAA, written by Janet Salmons on the SAGE MethodSpace blog. We follow with thoughtful consideration of research theory, different methods for disseminating research efforts beyond words on a printed page or digital replicate, and new places for sharing our research, including public forums, podcasts, and new open access platforms. Our collection closes with topics of communication etiquette and the information needed for informed consent.

We hope that you are finding success in your writing as we enter the back half of AcWriMo 2018. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 9, 2018

"You can't think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block." ~John RogersJohn Rogers said, “You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” The ways in which we approach our academic writing impact the mindset that drives progress and success. In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have found several suggestions of ways to improve your writing practice that may just get you through your next “thinking block”.

First, we found examples of habits leading to writing productivity and satisfaction, and a connection between teaching, research, and writing. [Read more…]

Welcome new members to TAA: October 2018

Welcome to TAAWith 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 seven new TAA members who joined us in October 2018.  [Read more…]