Writing for readers

Writing for ReadersI am in that singular stage of insanity called finishing a book. My mind is full of details and questions such as, “did I already cover this in Chapter 1” or “do I have too many diagrams in this chapter”? At the same time, I can’t help but think about my reader.

I hope that my reader will hungrily devour the book from start to finish, stopping only to make notes about how she will put my ideas to use. I hope it will be dogeared, full of notes and highlights my reader will return to time and again. But seriously, how can we plan for the realities that will occur when masterpiece is in someone else’s hands? Here are some of my apprehensions, and the strategies I’m using to address them. [Read more…]

How to explain complex ideas in a simple way

Explaining complex ideasAs teachers and authors, we are often faced with the challenging task of conveying information that, although second nature to us, is completely foreign to the students learning the material. Several experienced textbook authors share their best practices for explaining complex ideas in a simple way, including the use of metaphors, visuals, procedures/processes, and hands-on multisensory activities to improve learning success. [Read more…]

4 ways to use your academic writing for social good

Academic Writing for Social GoodIn their TAA webinar, “Academic Writing for Social Good”, Janet Salmons, Methods Guru for SAGE Methodspace and an independent researcher, writer and consultant with Vision2Lead, Inc., and Lynn Wilson, contributing faculty in the PhD in Walden University Public Policy and Administration Program, shared insight into how academic writing can be used to influence the greater social good.

Salmons and Wilson define social good as “writing that supports change to improve well-being of people in our communities or around the world”, and shared how research and academic writing can be used to inform, organize, advocate, and propose solutions contributing to social good. [Read more…]

Learning from teaching in the anxiety zone

AnxietyI knew I had to do it. For too long I’d sat planted in front of my computer and wallowed in my old-quilt routine: writing, eating, tv-ing, sleeping, client manuscripts, gym, occasional grocery stocking, writing, eating, clients, tv-ing, sleeping. But I couldn’t deny that edge of vague dissatisfaction.

What do the gurus say? Stretch yourself, challenge yourself, get out of your comfort cocoon. It was time to get out and teach a writing workshop. [Read more…]

Subject matter experts wanted to review virtual reality modules

reviewAn EdTech company is seeking subject matter experts in biology, physics, chemistry, and math to review content for virtual reality modules. Qualifications include: experience writing content, reviewing textbooks, designing curriculum, or developmental editing.

The scripts for these virtual reality modules need to be reviewed for pedagogy, accuracy, and general writing style. There are two phases to the review process: a Preflight, which requires an evaluation of an outline, and a Blueprint, which requires reviewing a complete script. Each preflight requires about 2 hours; each blueprint 4-5 hours. The turnaround time is 2 days. [Read more…]

Academic writing: Counting words of meaning?

Academic WriterOur priorities are reflected in our sense of professional identity. Are you an academic or a writer? Are you an instructor/researcher/research supervisor/committee member/conference presentation planner (not to mention parent, community volunteer and…) who is compelled to write in order to get, keep, or advance in a desired career? Do you see yourself as a writer who uses what you learn from your life and work to inspire others? Or are you looking for the right balance? [Read more…]

#AcWriChat TweetChat: Not on Twitter? Watch live here on 1/12 at 11 a.m. ET

acwrimoJoin TAA on Twitter on Friday, January 12 at 11 a.m. ET using the hashtag #AcWriChat for our latest TweetChat focused on setting goals and planning a writing project.

Not on Twitter? Not sure what a “Tweet Chat” is? Follow us here (you won’t be able to actively participate, but you will be able to follow the chat live).

[Read more…]

Become the master of your writing universe

We are all up against a relentless stream of competing demands when we are trying to write. These demands often seem urgent, and while they can be compelling and tantalizing, they also represent ever-present obstacles to getting our writing done. To combat this problem, and better enable yourself to achieve your writing goals, author, professor, and writing coach Kathleen P. King suggests that you become the master of your writing universe.  [Read more…]

To rejuvenate, consider closing your writing shop

ClosedAre you dragging when you think about your current writing project, or writing itself? Do you long to regain that old surge and rush of excitement? Maybe, like companies that close temporarily for renovation or universities that close for a holiday break, you need to close your writing shop for some needed rejuvenation.

It’s tough, I know. When we think of closing, even for a little while, reams of ingenious excuses rear up. Any of these sound familiar? [Read more…]

How to minimize distractions and disruptions while writing

Do not disturbUnlike most writing disciplines, textbook and academic writing must be balanced with the distractions and disruptions of the many demands of academic life, including teaching, committee assignments, and research.

Five TAA members share how they minimize distractions and disruptions while writing, including how they eliminate electronic distractions, make time for writing, use music to focus, and edit later. [Read more…]