Getting ready for #AcWriMo 2018

#AcWriMo 2018In a little over two weeks, we will begin our annual celebration of Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo) for the month of November. When Charlotte Frost at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) started the first #AcWriMo event in 2011, she “aimed to develop an event that would push her and her colleagues to work on their respective academic writing projects and create a writing ‘team’ among them and the wider global academic community.” (Source: Wikipedia)

During #AcWriMo 2018, TAA plans to continue this tradition of motivation and collaboration with a focus on the 5 W’s of Academic Writing. [Read more…]

Academic writers tackle social issues

Social IssuesWhether the discussion is about changes to our global climate or our cultural climate, the dominance of uninformed opinions can aggravate those of us who want to see the need for evidence derived from empirical research.

Academic writing for social good supports efforts for change to improve the well-being of people in our communities or around the world. While we might hope that all academic writing has potential to benefit society, the kinds of writing we are considering here have an intentional purpose. In a TAA webinar offered last year, Lynn Wilson and I discussed four ways that scholars and researchers can frame their writing. (View the recording here.) Let’s look at each one. [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 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…]