Strategies for revising and editing

strategies for editing and revisingDuring 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. [Read more…]

Revision as the road to success

successful revisionThe 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. [Read more…]

How to edit your work for proper format and quality presentation

AcWriChatLast 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. [Read more…]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #5: Accuracy

accuracyIn our final discussion of this series on distinguishing features of academic writing, we focused on accuracy. Specifically, we considered what it means to be accurate, how understanding and vocabulary affects accuracy, how to check for accuracy in sources we use, how accuracy affects the structure, style, and grammar of a manuscript, and why accuracy is important in academic writing. Below is a summary of the discussion. [Read more…]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #4: Objectivity

fresh work area with a blank screen on the laptopA good researcher is objectively seeking answers to their research questions and reporting those findings objectively to the community at large. But what does it mean to write objectively? How do we maintain objectivity where possible? Finally, how do we make efforts to identify and avoid bias in our academic writing?

In our fourth discussion of the distinguishing features of academic writing, we discussed all of these questions. A summary of the discussion and related resources is below. [Read more…]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #3: Formality

formalityAmerican poet, W.S. Merwin once said, “The idea of writing, to me, was, from the beginning, writing something which was a little different from the ordinary exchange of speech. It was something that had a certain formality, something in which the words were of interest in themselves.” Perhaps this same sentiment is the foundational principle from which academic writing has gotten its distinguishing feature of formality – to provide something in which the words are of interest in themselves.

In our third discussion of the distinguishing features of academic writing, we discussed what makes academic writing formal, the purpose of such formality, effect of formality on tone and word choice, whether there are levels of formality acceptable in academic writing, and ways to improve the formality of academic writing efforts. [Read more…]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #2: Complexity

complexityAlbert Einstein is credited with saying, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” If this is true, why does it seem that academic writing is distinguished by complexity?

In this second discussion on the distinguishing features of academic writing, we aimed to understand why complexity is not only present, but acceptable in academic writing, and the challenges and benefits of reducing complexity while maintaining academic rigor. [Read more…]

Distinguishing features of academic writing #1: Precision

precision - pencil line being drawn with ruler on paperDuring the course of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) in November 2019, we explored five distinguishing features of academic writing – the first of which being precision.

What does it mean to write with academic precision? In this article, we recap the event where we sought the answer to this question. During the discussion, we also explored the importance of academic precision and the effects of word choice, active voice, redundancy, and organization on the goal of precision in our manuscripts. [Read more…]

Can I help you in any way? Revisions and editing

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. [Read more…]

Self-editing: Making your work its best possible self

self-editingThe thought of editing your work evokes many responses. While some people do enjoy refining their writing, some people view it as a chore. Others feel insecure about their ability to edit anything, let alone their own work.

Here are some self-editing best practices to smooth the tasks ahead: [Read more…]