Doctoral writing circles: Learning to write and collaborate

writing circleGraduate students will graduate, and at that point they’ll need to write with others. In academic positions they’ll work with colleagues on committees and research projects that result in written materials, books, or articles. In professional positions they’ll work on project teams and write plans and reports. Yet while they are in school, especially at the dissertation stage, students’ work is typically conducted on their own.

First, let’s define the term collaboration to describe “an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently” (Salmons, 2019). Sometimes writers collaborate to produce one piece of writing, other times they collaborate on the process, while each produces their own piece of writing.

With those possibilities in mind, as instructors, mentors, or dissertation supervisors, how can we create opportunities for that help students collaborate to generate their best writing and at the same time, learn to collaborate so they are prepared to succeed in a team-work world? [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 15, 2019

"Reading sparks writing." ~A.D. PoseyIn this week’s collection of posts from around the web we found a variety of topics of interest to textbook and academic authors. We begin our collection with articles focused on perspective: on the PhD and employment, on Belbin roles in collaborative writing efforts, and on visualizations of scholarly workflow. Next we explore topics on finding the gap and keeping track of your literature review. We continue with a couple articles on open access. Finally, we close with technology-related articles on sharing research, conducting online surveys, and protecting privacy in digital resources.

A.D. Posey once said, “Reading sparks writing.” As you read through this week’s collection of articles, we hope that the ideas and topics presented serve to spark your writing efforts for the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 28, 2018

Reading books is like wearing clothes; it covers and warms up the body of your soul.

While most of the academic and textbook community contributors have been quiet throughout this holiday week, we were able to find a few resources that may be of interest as you close out 2018 and prepare for the new year ahead.

At TAA, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and hope that you will continue to engage with us in 2019. Happy writing!

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The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 14, 2018

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." ~Jack CanfieldEndings can be challenging. Whether it’s the end of a project, the end of a semester, the end of a life phase, or even the end of a calendar year. What makes ending so difficult is often the uncertainty of what’s next rather than the closure of what has been.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with an example of a fourth year PhD candidate working toward completion of the program and advice on transitioning between career or writing phases. It continues with guidance on how to start collaborative projects, a challenge to dance your PhD, and eight ways to write theory very badly. Finally, we close with the uncertainty of the publishing industry for textbook authors, an introduction to branding, and ways to work with contributing authors in an edited book.

As we approach the final few weeks of 2018, we encourage you to look back over the year and your accomplishments with your writing projects. Close off what has earned completion status in the weeks and months that have come to pass, and prepare yourself for all that 2019 has in store. Look at your next project, career opportunity, or calendar page with excitement rather than nervousness. After all, as Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 19, 2018

Writing workspaceThis week’s collection of posts from around the Web begins with a couple approaches to collaboration – first in purpose, second in process. We then found some posts on improving existing work – revising drafts, converting a PhD into a book, and the art of book design. Finally, we brought together some industry interests – the value of peer review, innovative & inclusive teaching, and content syndication.

Whatever writing projects you are working on this week, 1) know that you are not alone – TAA is here to support you with our community of authors and collection of resources; 2) know that your work is not finished – writing is more than a single task and whether revising a first draft or reworking a thesis, your continued contributions are needed; and finally, 3) know that these solitary efforts contribute to a bigger picture and have value beyond the immediacy of your project. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Successfully building collaborative authoring relationships

collaborationDeveloping a collaborative relationship with other authors can be both rewarding and challenging. For many, writing is an individual effort, so how do you determine when it is beneficial to partner with one or more other authors on a manuscript? To learn more about the advantages of author collaboration, we sought the insight of several TAA members who have been successful in developing manuscripts with co-authors.

Q: What are some advantages of finding a collaborator?

A: Drew Curtis, co-author of Abnormal Psychology: Myths of ‘Crazy’“Collaboration offers numerous benefits, which is why most academic disciplines encourage it. [Read more…]

Three new writing templates added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library

Templates and SamplesThree new templates have been added to TAA’s Templates & Samples Resource Library – a grant requirements matrix template and writing collaboration planning and progress templates.

The grant requirements matrix template was contributed by Erin Comeaux, a grants coordinator with Pasadena ISD, and Jennifer Travis, a professor of mathematics at Lone Star College-North Harris, who use it to keep track of each grant requirement, as well as the solicition/RFP page number or URL, paragraph number or URL, and who is responsible for drafting each requirement, to make sure all the grant’s instructions are being followed. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 12, 2016

Roses are redAcademicValentines_TAA blog
Violets are blue
‘Revise and Resubmit’
Roses are a prickly bush or shrub
Violets are a herbaceous plant
Watch for more #AcademicValentines on Twitter throughout the weekend—you don’t even need a Twitter account to see all of the hilarious tweets!

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Select 2015 TAA Conference presentations now available on demand

On Demand PresentationsSelect presentations from TAA’s 2015 TAA Conference in San Antonio, TX are now available on demand. Access to these presentations is free for all TAA members. Learn how to jump-start your academic writing, reach your productivity peak, publish a disciplinarily education paper, make your textbook more memorable to your audience, design and author better assessment exercises, be an effective collaborator, write a non-fiction book proposal, and more! Visit TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: July 10, 2015

I love this quote because it reminds me of Anyone who says writing is easy isn't doing it right.a fitness quote I also love (and as you may know, I am a fitness fanatic), “It never gets easier, you just get stronger.” I think this is also true for writing. It never really gets easier, but you do become a stronger, more confident writer the more you write. Don’t you agree?

Happy writing! [Read more…]