4 Tips for writing a literature review

library stacksLiterature reviews are common elements in academic writing, found in dissertations or theses, but also in journal articles, book introductions, book chapters, and even course exercises. Despite its prevalence in academia, the process of writing a literature review is often daunting to an academic author.

In her recent TAA webinar, “Demystifying the Literature Review”, Dr. Daveena Tauber, founder of Scholar Studio, shared four tips that can make the process easier. [Read more…]

Publish & Flourish: Revising around key sentences

Dr. Tara GrayAt the 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, Dr. Tara Gray presented on her twelve-step program, “Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar”. Steps 7 & 8 of the program focus on the revision process by identifying and using key sentences in each paragraph as follows:

Step 7: Revise paragraphs around key sentences

Step 8: Use key sentences as an after-the-fact or reverse outline

In order to complete step 7 and revise paragraphs around key sentences, it’s important to first identify the key sentence in each paragraph. So, what is a key sentence? [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…]

Write with purpose, publish for impact

This post was originally published on SAGE MethodSpace and has been republished with permission.

SAGE MethodSpace logoWhen we put our thoughts into writing and publish them, we tell the world something about who we are. We move beyond circles of people who know us — colleagues and friends– to reach readers we will never meet. They learn about us from the choices reflected in our writing. What messages do you want to convey to your readers? [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…]

How to write an effective journal article abstract

Hand extended welcominglyHave you heard the saying “You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression”? For most research articles, the abstract is the first – and possibly the last – impression an author has on a potential reader. If ineffective, the researcher will move on to the next abstract in the search results. If effective, your article will be read further, and potentially cited in the new research.

The ability of your abstract to encourage the researcher to read further determines whether you have an opportunity to make an impact with your article. So how do you ensure a quality first impression? [Read more…]

Build a better plan: How to bounce back when your semester feels out of control

Get Back on TrackIt’s the middle of the semester. You want to spend all your time writing but you have to grade midterms. You’re not nearly as far along in your articles as you want to be – that manuscript you said you’d submit in February is still sitting on your desk. There’s no end in sight – completing it seems like a distant goal. What do you do?

Good news…You’re not the only one who’s feeling discouraged because you didn’t finish a project when you thought you would. People grossly underestimate the time it takes to complete a project, and this is especially the case for complex projects. [Read more…]

Common errors leading to journal article rejection

Red pen correcting paperAccording to the American Psychological Association’s Summary Report of Journal Operations, 2016, the 29 journals included in the report received a combined total of 12,166 submitted manuscripts with an overall rejection rate of 71%. This means that on average less than 3 of every 10 submitted manuscripts is accepted for publication.

To better understand the common reasons journal articles are rejected, we sought the insight of several TAA members experienced in the academic journal article publishing process. [Read more…]

AcWriMo is here!

Male and female hands making notes or writing working planThe month of November is Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). Throughout the month, TAA will be sharing resources and information to support your academic writing efforts. Look for information shared by TAA on social media with #AcWriMo all month long and join the conversation. [Read more…]

Recommended Reading for Academic Writers


Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar by Tara Gray

Destination Dissertation: A Traveler’s Guide to a Done Dissertation
by Sonja Foss and William Waters

Becoming an Academic Writer: 50 Exercises for Paced, Productive, and Powerful Writing
 by Patricia Goodson

Journal Keeping: How to Use Reflective Writing for Learning, Teaching, Professional Insight and Positive Change
by Dannelle D. Stevens and Joanne E. Cooper

Writing for Publication: Road to Academic Advancement
by Kenneth Henson

Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing by Robert Boice

Academic Writing: Individual and Collaborative Strategies for Success (The New Forums Scholarly Writing Series) by Ed Neal

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing
by Paul J. Silvia

Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd Edition: Essential Tasks and Skills (Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes) by John M. Swales and Christine Feak

“They Say / I Say”: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (Third Edition)
by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein

Stylish Academic Writing by Helen Sword

Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success by Wendy Laura Belcher

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Eighth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) by Kate L. Turabian, Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb and Josephe M. Williams 

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis by Joan Bolker

Telling a Research Story: Writing a Literature Review (Michigan Series in English for Academic & Professional Purposes) by Christine Feak and John M. Swales

Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article: Second Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) by Howard S. Becker and Pamela Richards

Publish and Flourish: A Practical Guide for Effective Scientific Writing by Amar A. Scholapurkar, K Ramnarayan and Shobha Tandon

Working with Faculty Writers by Anne Ellen Geller and Michele Eodice

Handbook for Academic Authors by Beth Luey

Publish and Prosper: A Strategy Guide for Students and Researchers
by Nathaniel M. Lambert

147 Practical Tips for Emerging Scholars: From Publishing to Time Management, Grant Seeking, and Beyond by Kathleen King and Ann Cranston-Gingras

PhD: An uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life by James Hayton, PhD

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