In her academic writing blog, “Explorations of Style”, Rachael Cayley offers three key principles for strong academic writing: 1) using writing to clarify your own thinking, 2) committing to extensive revision, and 3) understanding the needs of your reader.
Subconscious productivity: Accessing your inner self
As a writer, I battle with procrastination, always have. At times I also find it strangely hard to revise my work. But in graduate school I hit upon a way of using my procrastination to produce nearly final copy the first time. The “method” was suggested to me by reading the Autobiography of Bertrand Russell.
Featured Member Brittany Rosen – A student of the POWER writing model
Brittany Rosen is an assistant professor in the College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services at the University of…
6 Tips for a productive summer break
Summer vacation can be a great time for academic writers to get ahead on their writing projects, but all too often professors and graduate students find themselves scrambling to get something—anything—finished as summer comes to a close, and wondering how the summer slipped away from them.
Think of yourself as a writer
Authors need to understand the process by which their manuscript will be evaluated and take that into account when they submit. If a smart recent college graduate can’t decode what your book is about, you’re in trouble.
When I graduated from college I hoped to land a job working on a dude ranch in Wyoming. Instead, I fell into a career in scholarly publishing, acquiring books for Oxford University Presses. I realize now that as an editor I didn’t pay nearly enough attention to the prose. I cared more about the ideas than about how well they were expressed, at least that’s what I told myself. It wasn’t true.
The writers’ workshop at work
When I first went back to graduate school in creative writing, after a lifetime in the publishing ‘hood, I told my friends that if they ever heard me use “workshop” as a verb, they should shoot me.
But now, with one foot in the academic world and the other in the muck of teaching creative writing, I think the writers’ workshop is an appropriate model for academics who want to make their manuscripts better. Creative writers have been “workshopping” each other’s stuff for a long time. The workshop model can lead to tears, to bruised egos, and, occasionally, to black eyes. But the right group can produce better work.