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…]

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…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: November 2, 2018

"I'm writing a first draft and reminding myself that I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles." ~Shannon HaleAs we enter into Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo)  2018, the focus of many is academic writing practices and ways to improve the results and experience of academic writing. At TAA, we will be maintaining a fundamental focus on academic writing this month around the theme of “The 5 W’s of Academic Writing“. It is therefore fitting that our collection of articles from around the web this week focuses also on such challenges and practices.

Our collection begins with the challenges of academic writing, revising with a reader in mind, and starting new research topics as a post-doc. We continue with topics of experimental control and collaboration with peers. Finally, we explore the wildcard of examination, a holistic publication strategy, and the ethics of conference speakers.

Wherever you are in your own writing process, we hope that you can find ways to build a stronger writing practice over the coming weeks. Shannon Hale once said, “I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” So whether you are simply shoveling sand or finishing a castle, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 26, 2018

Excuses don't get it written.Several weeks ago, I saw a woman at my son’s karate dojo with a shirt that read “Excuses don’t burn calories.” This became the inspiration for this week’s quotable image, “Excuses don’t get it written.” Beginning this week’s collection of posts from around the Web is the topic of procrastination. Following that are strategies for reading, writing, revision, and data analysis. We then explore the problems of success, and close with some Open Access Week related content on OER and equitable participation in open research.

Whatever you’re working on this week, don’t put it off. After all, excuses don’t get it written (or burn calories). Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 19, 2018

Writing workspaceThis week’s collection of posts from around the Web begins with a couple approaches to collaboration – first in purpose, second in process. We then found some posts on improving existing work – revising drafts, converting a PhD into a book, and the art of book design. Finally, we brought together some industry interests – the value of peer review, innovative & inclusive teaching, and content syndication.

Whatever writing projects you are working on this week, 1) know that you are not alone – TAA is here to support you with our community of authors and collection of resources; 2) know that your work is not finished – writing is more than a single task and whether revising a first draft or reworking a thesis, your continued contributions are needed; and finally, 3) know that these solitary efforts contribute to a bigger picture and have value beyond the immediacy of your project. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 12, 2018

"Start with Why" ~Simon SinekThis week’s collection of posts from around the web have a common theme of clarity and transparency in scholarly writing efforts. Beginning with a look at personal clarity in our revision processes or where we focus our time and energy as researchers to matters of impact and public trust, we have also found opportunities to improve transparency in textbook revisions and scholarly communications.

Wherever your writing efforts take you this week, as Simon Sinek says, “start with why” and be clear in your personal and professional purpose and intent. That clarity will produce results. Happy writing! [Read more…]