Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 23, 2021

“To teach is to learn twice.” ~Joseph JoubertOne of the most unique and rewarding features of textbook and academic authoring compared to other genres is the intentional sharing of learned knowledge with others through our writing. In addition to authoring, I have had the opportunity to teach college level courses for nearly two decades and continue to be amazed at how much I learn with each class I teach and with each book or article I write.

This week is no exception as the preparation of this article has opened my eyes to a citation revision strategy, improving conceptual framework development through theoretical alignment, and new opportunities in publishing through the pandemic, in the digital age, for dissertation publication, and in self-publishing and open access arenas.

Joseph Joubert said, “To teach is to learn twice.” This week I challenge you to learn something new (or learn something old in a new way) and then teach it through your writing so you get to learn it again through your own voice. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 9, 2021

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” ~Chinese ProverbAcademic and textbook authors are in a unique position of being both active learners and teachers (even if not in official teaching positions) through our writing. In order to make contributions to the field, we must continue to explore, learn, and grow in our discipline, but through our writing and contributions, we also write with the intention of teaching others.

This week’s collection of articles has some great resources for continuing to learn to be a stronger writer. We begin with designing an ethical study, overcoming writer’s block, taking notes, and mapping your research design. We then look at strengthening our manuscripts and the revision process. Finally, we explore industry trends of email newsletters, version of record, open access, and hybrid publishing.

A Chinese Proverb says, “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” This week, I challenge you not only to continue opening doors for others through your written teachings, but also to find some new doors to enter yourself whether in your discipline or in your writing and publication processes. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 2, 2021

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” ~Og MandinoWhat are you planting today? As you research, write, teach, learn, and market your work, what is your long-term objective for future harvest? Is it a reputation? Position? Legacy?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore topics of ethics, the benefit of PhDs, resilience, self-improvement, self-promotion, and mentoring.

Og Mandino once said, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” As you approach your writing practice this week, ask yourself whether you are giving your best to your efforts and what you are planting today that will influence you harvest in years to come. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 19, 2021

“Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.” ~James DewarWhat are you open to this week? New opportunities? New writing practices? New perspectives? James Dewar reminds us that “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when they are open.”

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find encouragement to be open to new mindsets, time management strategies, and motivation elements in our writing practice. We also find information on research methods, open science, and sociocultural frameworks. Finally, we explore topics of diversity and transformative agreements in scholarly publishing.

If you want greater opportunity and success in your academic writing, I encourage you to focus on being open to new ideas this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 12, 2021

“If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.” ~Ludwig WittgensteinWhat part of your writing makes you feel uncomfortable? Do you sometimes feel silly trying something new like building a writing habit or saying the word “Pomodoro”? Oftentimes our self-doubt or fear will increase these feelings as well.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we look at where to put our focus while writing, facing down fear, overcoming the blank page, and habits of a successful student. We look next at research ethics, editing your writing, and treating networking like something familiar – a research project. Finally, we explore support for authors in open access publishing.

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.” So I challenge you to embrace the silly this week. Try something new, face down your fears, approach your writing from a different (perhaps even absurd) perspective, and see what intelligent results you produce. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 5, 2021

“We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” ~Lloyd AlexanderAs academics, we seek to gain and share knowledge, we look for answers and question the ones we know, and we encourage students and colleagues to continue learning and expanding their breadth of knowledge. But what happens when we don’t find an answer or, worse yet, don’t feel like we have the answer to give to someone else?

As academic and textbook authors, we are the authority – the knowledge source – in our discipline, so how could we possibly not have an answer to give, and if we don’t, then maybe we need to question whether we belong in that position of responsibility as a writer after all, don’t we? Lloyd Alexander once said, “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” In other words, the pursuit of knowledge (and the efforts we make to help others pursue knowledge) are actually of greater benefit than the knowledge itself.

This week’s collection of articles begins with some limiting beliefs of many writers, includes suggestions for developing your academic writing through process and practice, and ends with a modern suggestion for overcoming writer’s block. As you write this week, spend time looking (and helping others look) for answers rather than feeling as though you need to already have or provide the answers themselves. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 26, 2021

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” ~Mark TwainWhat are your writing goals? And, more importantly, what are you doing to reach them? According to Mark Twain, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

For many authors, the first step is a shift in mindset to seeing yourself as an author. In addition to facing this potentially overwhelming task, our collection of articles has advice on taking other steps along the way too. Whether defining a writing agenda, exploring the process of writing a book, figuring out what to do, writing and revising, or planning the next phase of your academic career, we have posts to help. There’s also information on joining a writing community, rights and royalties for spoken word, and the democratization of knowledge.

Whatever the task ahead, break it down, focus on the first step, and get started. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 19, 2021

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. BurnsHow do you define success? As you refine your writing practice, especially in an environment constantly changing, it’s important to be able to answer this question. David M. Burns cautions, however that success does not equal reflection. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” Success requires overcoming fear and moving forward.

Our collection of articles this week includes some practical advice on common challenges academic authors face. First is the challenge of knowing our readers, their preferences, and their expectations so we can meet them. Second is designing the research and dealing with a revise and resubmit decision on a submitted manuscript. Third is employing new tools and methods to our work. Fourth is maintaining successful habits and avoiding the effects of burn out. And, finally, is the need to deal with changes in the industry as they relate to publishing processes, book proposals, rights retention strategies, and self-publishing options.

There is no shortage of challenges authors face in the writing process, but the way forward is to move through the challenges and to define success somewhere short of perfection. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 29, 2021

“Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” ~Chinese proverbThere’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” Whether advancing our field of research or honing our craft as an academic author, the goal for each of us should be one of continuous learning and advancement. This may involve learning new skills, changing our perspective, revisiting things that have worked in the past, or exploring challenges and setbacks as opportunities.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice on all of these aspects of advancement. We begin with advice for those new to essay writing and a method for skimming articles and note taking that can benefit even experienced students and authors. We then look at identifying our perspective on research questions, revisiting the tools that have been successful in the past, and the benefits of academic reading groups. Finally, we identify challenges associated with different styles of writing, setbacks and mistakes, COVID-19, and digital services provided by publishers and academic libraries.

As you face new challenges in the week ahead, look at them as opportunities for advancement. Keep moving forward even if you feel like you’re fighting the current. It’s the only way to avoid dropping back. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 22, 2021

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.What a week! As we seemingly race to the end of the first month of a new year, most new academic terms are in full swing and this week in the US it has been a week of emotion and words for many. The week began with the celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and peaked at midday on Wednesday with the inauguration of the 46th president, Joe Biden. Through it all, one thing is certain – words matter, your voice as an academic author matter, your contribution to the education of our society matters.

King once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Are you meeting this goal in your education or the education of others through your work? In this week’s collection of articles, we share advice on restarting an unfinished book, getting your “Creator” and “Editor” on the same page, and how “Words Matter”. We continue with practical strategies for hypotheses, use of ethnographic field notes, and facilitating group discussions online. Then we close with industry and social interests related to publishing, sharing your research with others, and perspectives amidst the ongoing pandemic.

As you approach the week ahead, know that words matter and, more specifically, your words matter. Choose them wisely. Think intensively. Think critically. And build both intelligence and character through your words. Happy writing! [Read more…]