Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 14, 2021

“If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.” ~Buddhist proverbHow 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.

An old Buddhist proverb says, “If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.” What are you doing during your writing process to nourish it in a way that produces the results you intend?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we see advice on making everything count, sharpening and revising our work, supporting peer review excellence, and using datasets to conduct research better. This week, focus on taking deliberate action at each step of the writing process to nourish your work in the direction of your future goals. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 7, 2021

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” ~C.S. LewisAcademia serves a purpose of feeding the future, of taking minds with a limited set of knowledge and helping them realize that while they may have a perspective of vast understanding, the potential for growth and development of their understanding exists in a limitless amount of barren space. It is from this mindset that I believe C.S. Lewis claimed, “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

I have read that quote numerous times, and as an educator and author myself, taught and thought from the perspective that in a world of information overload, we are in a different era than Lewis and have a new responsibility of cutting down jungles to help our students see clearly. As I write this week’s article and review the resources shared below, I instead think that our job, particularly as textbook and academic authors, must be to take our readers to the edge of the jungle, show them the desert that exists beyond that edge, and then irrigate it so that the jungle of knowledge continues to expand even further for the next generation of students and educators.

As you write this week, I challenge you to find the edge of your field of knowledge, to irrigate your own deserted landscape of potential, and to find ways through your writing to bring others to that point. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 30, 2021

“The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” ~Alexandra K. TrenforAlexandra K. Trenfor once said, “The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don’t tell you what to see.” Life, especially in academic settings, is about seeking knowledge, exploring possibilities, and making our own unique discoveries. Textbook and academic authoring provides an outlet for us to share those discoveries with others to fuel their own journeys.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have some things worth looking at to see where they may fit your current and future needs as an author. These include developing a social media strategy, post-doctoral pursuits, saying “no”, data collection, licensing, editing, and open access opportunities.

Be on the lookout this week for teachers, whether people, places, or simply ideas that can guide where you look next and find out what you see as a result. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 23, 2021

“To teach is to learn twice.” ~Joseph JoubertOne of the most unique and rewarding features of textbook and academic authoring compared to other genres is the intentional sharing of learned knowledge with others through our writing. In addition to authoring, I have had the opportunity to teach college level courses for nearly two decades and continue to be amazed at how much I learn with each class I teach and with each book or article I write.

This week is no exception as the preparation of this article has opened my eyes to a citation revision strategy, improving conceptual framework development through theoretical alignment, and new opportunities in publishing through the pandemic, in the digital age, for dissertation publication, and in self-publishing and open access arenas.

Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” This week I challenge you to learn something new (or learn something old in a new way) and then teach it through your writing so you get to learn it again through your own voice. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 16, 2021

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” ~Zig ZiglarAs we enter the back half of April, many of us in academia are finding students nearing the end of their academic term looking at their grades and considering what it will take to pass the class and avoid failure. Many of us, also as writers, may be facing deadlines or revisiting our goals and expectations for our writing during the same time and feeling this same sense of success or failure in our own efforts.

The spirit of academia, of learning, and of writing is one of process more than events. While we often focus on the events that define the process – graduation, publication, even final grades or first drafts, we need to remember the words of Zig Ziglar who said, “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.” Even when faced with events of failure, the process continues.

Our collection of articles this week includes processes of developing good habits, revising our writing (sometimes into multiple papers), defining the right methodology and tools for our studies, and exploring new opportunities along the way. Wherever you are in your process, keep your goal in mind. Treat failures as events and don’t lose sight of your process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 9, 2021

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” ~Chinese ProverbAcademic and textbook authors are in a unique position of being both active learners and teachers (even if not in official teaching positions) through our writing. In order to make contributions to the field, we must continue to explore, learn, and grow in our discipline, but through our writing and contributions, we also write with the intention of teaching others.

This week’s collection of articles has some great resources for continuing to learn to be a stronger writer. We begin with designing an ethical study, overcoming writer’s block, taking notes, and mapping your research design. We then look at strengthening our manuscripts and the revision process. Finally, we explore industry trends of email newsletters, version of record, open access, and hybrid publishing.

A Chinese Proverb says, “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” This week, I challenge you not only to continue opening doors for others through your written teachings, but also to find some new doors to enter yourself whether in your discipline or in your writing and publication processes. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 2, 2021

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” ~Og MandinoWhat are you planting today? As you research, write, teach, learn, and market your work, what is your long-term objective for future harvest? Is it a reputation? Position? Legacy?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore topics of ethics, the benefit of PhDs, resilience, self-improvement, self-promotion, and mentoring.

Og Mandino once said, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” As you approach your writing practice this week, ask yourself whether you are giving your best to your efforts and what you are planting today that will influence you harvest in years to come. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 26, 2021

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy ParkerHas the pandemic life got you bored? Are you seeing a wealth of new challenges to your writing practice or are you exploring new opportunities and remaining curious about what the future (post-pandemic) research and academic environment will look like? Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

I challenge you to be curious this week – whether looking at new paths to success, new opportunities for collaboration, new topics to research, new ways to edit or market your work, or new technologies on the horizon that may impact your academic writing. If your writing practice is growing stale or you are becoming bored with your academic efforts late in the term, change your mindset and get curious instead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 19, 2021

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” ~James DewarWhat are you open to this week? New opportunities? New writing practices? New perspectives? James Dewar reminds us that “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find encouragement to be open to new mindsets, time management strategies, and motivation elements in our writing practice. We also find information on research methods, open science, and sociocultural frameworks. Finally, we explore topics of diversity and transformative agreements in scholarly publishing.

If you want greater opportunity and success in your academic writing, I encourage you to focus on being open to new ideas this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 12, 2021

“If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.” ~Ludwig WittgensteinWhat part of your writing makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you sometimes feel silly trying something new like building a writing habit or saying the word “Pomodoro”? Oftentimes our self-doubt or fear will increase these feelings as well.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we look at where to put our focus while writing, facing down fear, overcoming the blank page, and habits of a successful student. We look next at research ethics, editing your writing, and treating networking like something familiar – a research project. Finally, we explore support for authors in open access publishing.

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.” So I challenge you to embrace the silly this week. Try something new, face down your fears, approach your writing from a different (perhaps even absurd) perspective, and see what intelligent results you produce. Happy writing! [Read more…]