Can I help you in any way? Revisions and editing

Can I help you in any way? Revisions and editing“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”. 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 academic principles for revisions. [Read more…]

Self-editing: Making your work its best possible self

self-editingThe thought of editing your work evokes many responses. While some people do enjoy refining their writing, some people view it as a chore. Others feel insecure about their ability to edit anything, let alone their own work.

Here are some self-editing best practices to smooth the tasks ahead: [Read more…]

Choosing an editor: Making sure you are on the same page

choosing an editorAcademic authors often feel confident in their subject matter expertise when writing a book or journal article. Many authors, however, feel less secure about their writing and editing skills. In my twenty-five plus years of experience, this assessment is usually off base. Most academic authors actually have solid skills needed to express themselves and their complex material.

Nonetheless, authors many times want editorial support prior to their submission or while they are writing their work. I have previously written about whether to “Go it alone or with a Guide.” If you have decided to utilize an editor, this post will focus on how you go about choosing one? [Read more…]

Editing: Going it alone or with a guide

editingYou have a vision of the work you want to write. You’ve laid out a plan for a textbook or monograph (or article). You might have a book contract, or you may be doing the work prospectively. The writing is done. You breathe a sigh. But how about the editing?

Many writers and academics feel comfortable with the content creation, that is the writing. But they may feel less qualified with that pesky editing. Split infinitives, that or which, ending a sentence in a preposition, and a thousand other archine rules haunt some writers and sap their confidence about their work. [Read more…]

4 Principles of academic revisions

Academic revisionA recent visitor to the TAA website communicating with us over chat said: “I would like to know some academic principles we can use for revisions.”

As authors, revisions can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. Most writers create easily but find it difficult to critique and edit their own work. Regardless, the revision process is essential for producing polished and effective manuscripts.

Short of hiring a professional editor to review your work and offer guidance on needed revisions, here are four principles you can use when revising your academic work. [Read more…]

4 Tips to help you lose the stress and enhance your writing

At the 2017 TAA conference, Robert Barlow, author of 10 legal and business studies textbooks, shared “10 Tips to Enhance Your Writing & Take the Stress Out of Polishing Your Work”. As he presented his tips, a common theme of planning and preparation seemed to provide the key to reducing stress in the writing process.

Barlow shared foundational tips in grammar and style. He also shared ways to frame the destination of your manuscript around the needs of your audience and the style of your discipline. However, the four organization tips shared by Barlow – organize, research, scaffold, and review – were the key takeaways for managing stress throughout the writing process. We focus on his thoughts below. [Read more…]

5 Key principles to building clear text transitions

A common weakness in novice academic writing is a Vintage typewriterlack of flow; for readers, this lack of flow means they can’t easily see how one thought follows from another. To combat this problem, we need to learn how to make effective transitions between sentences. Such transitions are usually managed in one of two ways: through transition words or through evident links in the text. Both strategies have a role to play, but novice writers, unfortunately, often see transition words as their main way of moving from sentence to sentence. [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: Be strict about the type of editing that is suitable for each stage of the revision process

writing centerAdvice about academic writing often stresses the iterative nature of the writing process; the creation of an effective final draft generally requires multiple drafts and extensive revision. A crucial corollary to a commitment to extensive revision is an acceptance that revision mustn’t be allowed to go on indefinitely. Otherwise, a certain mania can set in: any draft can always be other than it is. After a certain point, we have to ask ourselves about diminishing returns and about the very real possibility of messing up what is already working. [Read more…]

TAA PODCAST: The Art of Revising

academic writingIn this TAA podcast, “The Art of Revising”, Rachael Cayley, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, shares strategies to help you revise your academic writing. In particular, Rachael talks about different sorts of revision and the optimal way to sequence the revision process. By developing your overall capacity for revision, you can enhance your experience of writing and improve the eventual reception of your writing. Read Rachael’s article, “The Craft of Revision”, which is based on this podcast, on her blog, Explorations of Style.

Download PPT [Read more…]

Use this revising strategy to make your writing flow

writingQ: What strategies do you use during the revision process?

A: Mike Kennamer: “Before I send the article to an editor, I always read it out loud as part of the editing process. I also try to get colleagues to read it and provide input before I send it off to the editor.

When a section just doesn’t seem to flow as I would like, I will print the article and (literally, with scissors) cut out each paragraph and lay it on the floor in the order that it is in for the article. Then I will start to move certain paragraphs around to see if that helps with flow. I use the floor because it gets me out of the normal place where I write. There is something about sitting on the floor with my work in little paragraph-sized slips of paper that helps [Read more…]