Three unmistakable signs you need to revise

revisionBetween bouts of hating what we write, we may secretly admire our creations. And we’re entitled to. But there’s a difference between these feelings and excessive love of our own words. Such love blinds us to editorial blunders, judicious cutting, and revision, and reduces the possibilities of publication. [Read more…]

3 “Not-so-obvious” tips for article submission and review

Q: Speaking from your perspective as Associate Editor for Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior for the past five years, what three “not-so-obvious” tips can you offer academic authors regarding the journal article submission process?

Julie Reeder, Associate Editor, Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior:

I will start with a few tips that might seem obvious at first, but based on my experience as an Editor, are often underappreciated by authors. First, an early visit to your target journal’s website is a must. Don’t wait until you are nearing submission to make your first review of its contents. [Read more…]

5 Rhetorical moves for writing abstracts

An article abstract is often the first thing that readers and reviewers see. Setting the right tone up front can impact whether your readers continue reading, influence the way the rest of your text is received, and, in terms of reviewers, it may determine whether your article is accepted to be published. What makes for a strong article abstract? What goes in and what stays out?

According to Mark Pedretti, Director of the Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Claremont Graduate University, there is something very commonsensical about writing an abstract. In his webinar titled “How to Structure & Write an Article Abstract,” Pedretti recommends thinking of an abstract as a cognitive roadmap for your readers; it generates the expectations that are going to inform how the reader approaches the text. The abstract signals to the reader what to pay attention to and where to expect transition, organizing the reading experience before it ever takes place. [Read more…]

3 Tips for writing an effective figure caption

Research with figureIn a recent post on constructing effective tables and figures, I noted the need for figures to include captions that “succinctly describe the accompanying content.” In this post, we will discuss the purpose of captions and how to write one that is effective.

It is important to remember that figures should be clearly understood, even in isolation from the rest of the manuscript. The caption provides an opportunity for the author to provide context and connection to the rest of the article, as it relates to the visual element. [Read more…]

7 Tips for constructing effective tables and figures

Figures with writingIt’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and for this reason using visual elements within your manuscript can help to keep the writing concise and effective. But how can you be sure that the words conveyed are delivering the right message?

Below you will find seven tips for incorporating tables and figures into your work.

Use visuals that enhance the manuscript

Most scholars agree that if the idea conveyed by a table or figure can be done with a sentence or two, the visual is likely unnecessary and the concept should be written in paragraph form. For larger data sets, complex ideas, or schematics, however, the use of visuals can simplify the understanding and reduce the overall word count needed to convey the information. [Read more…]

How to write a cover letter for your academic journal article

Cover letterIn this age of electronic submissions and instant gratification, the simple courtesies of yesterday are sometimes lost in the speed of today’s processes. Regardless, most people agree that good manners never go out of style.

As a result, introducing your article with a well-written cover letter to the editor can be the catalyst to a favorable review and acceptance of your submission for publication. These tips can help you write a cover letter that sells your research to the journal editor. [Read more…]

How to select effective journal article keywords

Can your audience find you?Unless potential readers are searching for your article by title or are reading the journal your work is published in, chances are they are going to find your article through a research search engine. If effective keywords are not associated with your article, the search engine uses content in your title, abstract, and article to determine if your article is relative to the user’s search efforts. As a result, your target reader may never see your work.

To improve your chances of getting in front of the right audience, keywords let you identify places where your work is a relevant choice for the reader. Below are five ways to select effective keywords for your journal article. [Read more…]

How to write an engaging title for your academic journal article

Writing a titleWe’ve all been told to “never judge a book by its title” and yet, we all do. In a world with abundant information, indexed and cataloged into a series of links on the screen, the title may be the only part of your work a potential reader ever sees. Unless, of course, that title encourages them to click the link and read more. [Read more…]

5/1 TAA Webinar: ‘Demystifying the Literature Review’

Literature reviews are one of the more challenging genres of academic writing. Join us Tuesday, May 1, 3-4 p.m. ET for the TAA Webinar, “Demystifying the Literature Review”, presented by Dr. Daveena Tauber, Founder of ScholarStudio, to talk about strategies for reading, making sense of, and writing about the literature. Whether you’re writing a literature review for a dissertation, an article, or the introduction to your book, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to get clarity on this important part of your project. This webinar will help you understand not only what it means to synthesize the literature, but will also give you tools for doing it.  [Read more…]

Beware of fake journal acceptance letters

Fake journal acceptance lettersAn April 18, 2018 article on the Society for Scholarly Authors’ blog, The Scholarly Kitchen, called attention to a scam in which unknown individuals, using fake acceptance letters, are promising publication in the journal of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The article’s author, Angela Cochran, ASCE’s associate publisher and journals director, said that over the last five years, the society has become aware of seven fake acceptance letters for its journals. [Read more…]