Why thank the editor?

Craving publication, we may view journal editors as the enemy, obstructing our fame, fortune, and at least one publication. And when the acceptance finally arrives (and with relentless perseverance, it will), we rejoice, send out email blasts to everyone we know, and reply to world-renowned conference directors with gracious replies. Before all this, though, we should do one thing that’s both considerate and diplomatic: thank the editor.

This action makes sense for several sound reasons:

How to shut down your inner editor

It can blare out while you’re working on any piece, anytime, anywhere. You’re writing along like butter, and suddenly a stomach-wrenching jolt slams you up against a concrete wall. That thunderous voice in your head rebukes: “THAT’S THE WORST, MOST HORRIBLE, STUPID PHRASE SINCE . . . .” And you’re paralyzed.

Take heart. Such a message doesn’t have to plunge you into a full block. Recognize it for what it is—your ever-present inner editor, often old programming, maybe residue of parental strictures, telling you that you shouldn’t be writing, you’ll never be a writer, and you might as well go sell burner phones (if that’s not your day job already).

Strategies for revising and editing

During our last #AcWriChat Tweetchat event on June 12th, we discussed the difference between revision and editing in addition to strategies for completing both of these essential elements of the academic writing process. Chat participants Marc Ouellette and Sonal Mehta added their perspectives to the discussion.

Below is a summary of the ideas and resources presented during the event.

Revision as the road to success

The creation of great content (whether a book, journal article, dissertation, or something else) involves many stages. These stages include: concept creation and formulation, initial research or investigation, the actual research, gathering information and data, outlining the communications, writing the first draft, revising your writing, feedback from others, additional revisions, final checks, submissions, and release or publication. Revising your work might be the most crucial (and overlooked) step in the process.

Some may view it as drudgery. “I did all that research and writing and now I have to check the grammar!” I suggest you abandon this mindset and embrace the revision stage as critical to the acceptance of your work (in both senses) and having it make an impact with the reader.

How to edit your work for proper format and quality presentation

Last week during TAA’s bi-weekly #AcWriChat TweetChat event on Twitter, we discussed how to edit your academic writing for proper format and quality presentation. Included in the discussion were the three common style guides (APA, MLA, and Chicago), common practices and mistakes, and the effect of poor formatting and presentation on credibility of the work. We also discussed how to evaluate flow and what elements of consistency should be evaluated during the editing process.

Revising academic texts: Efficiency & style

Kaizen – translated to mean a change for the good – is Erin McTigue’s word of the year and the guiding principle behind her 2019 TAA Conference Presentation, “Revising Academic Texts: Efficiency & Style”.

Delivering a dynamic and interactive session, McTigue shared useful strategies to improve the flow and readability of your writing efforts through effective revision. Below we summarize six of those techniques that you can apply to your current manuscript to make your own change for the good.

Can I help you in any way? Revisions and editing

“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about academic principles for revisions.

Choosing an editor: Making sure you are on the same page

Academic authors often feel confident in their subject matter expertise when writing a book or journal article. Many authors, however, feel less secure about their writing and editing skills. In my twenty-five plus years of experience, this assessment is usually off base. Most academic authors actually have solid skills needed to express themselves and their complex material.

Nonetheless, authors many times want editorial support prior to their submission or while they are writing their work. I have previously written about whether to “Go it alone or with a Guide.” If you have decided to utilize an editor, this post will focus on how you go about choosing one?