TAA PODCAST: The Art of Revising

academic writingIn this TAA podcast, “The Art of Revising”, Rachael Cayley, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, shares strategies to help you revise your academic writing. In particular, Rachael talks about different sorts of revision and the optimal way to sequence the revision process. By developing your overall capacity for revision, you can enhance your experience of writing and improve the eventual reception of your writing. Read Rachael’s article, “The Craft of Revision”, which is based on this podcast, on her blog, Explorations of Style.

Download PPT [Read more…]

Use this revising strategy to make your writing flow

writingQ: What strategies do you use during the revision process?

A: Mike Kennamer: “Before I send the article to an editor, I always read it out loud as part of the editing process. I also try to get colleagues to read it and provide input before I send it off to the editor.

When a section just doesn’t seem to flow as I would like, I will print the article and (literally, with scissors) cut out each paragraph and lay it on the floor in the order that it is in for the article. Then I will start to move certain paragraphs around to see if that helps with flow. I use the floor because it gets me out of the normal place where I write. There is something about sitting on the floor with my work in little paragraph-sized slips of paper that helps [Read more…]

Poll: Do you edit while you write?

In a recent TAA webinar presented by Ashley Sanders, “How to Overcome the Perfectionism, Procrastination & Fatigue That Get in the Way of Your Writing,” a participant asked whether you should wait to edit until after you have completed a first draft, or if you should edit while you write. What do you do? Please use the poll below to record your answer.

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The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 17, 2014

It is hard to believe it is the middle of October already. Make writing a scheduled part of your day.Hopefully you have settled back into a routine; most importantly a writing routine. The posts I’ve gathered for you this week focus on a variety of topics, from journal submission to author branding, to textbook prices and crowdsourced editing. If you are struggling to write daily and need an excuse to set goals, be social, and write, I strongly encourage you to participate in Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). If this sounds like you and you only have time to read one thing, read the first article on my list. Happy writing! [Read more…]

6 Do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation

EdtPicture this: You’ve just finished up the last paragraph of a section in your dissertation. Now comes the time to read over the whole chapter and edit it, even though you feel that you’ve been over it a million times, so maybe you’ll be fine without editing—right? Wrong. Editing your dissertation is one of the most important things you’ll do before submitting it and earning your doctorate, so here are some do’s and don’ts of editing your dissertation. [Read more…]

Textbook writing strategies: Create your own editorial style guide


Starting with the first edition, physical geography textbook author Robert Christopherson developed an editorial style guide specific to his books. Although The Chicago Manual of Style, now in its 16/e, and the AP Stylebook, for more than 60 years, are essential guides, he discovered that a custom style guide, specific to his work, assisted editors and production.

Here is a sample of some the items he includes in his style guide: [Read more…]

Self-publishing workshop offered at TAA’s 27th annual authoring conference

2014 TAA Conference logoTAA’s 2014 Conference on Textbook & Academic Writing in Baltimore, MD, June 20-21, will include a new track on “Self-Publishing”. The track will feature a workshop designed for both novice and veteran authors who want to experience a hands-on approach to marketing their book to readers and buyers. Attendees will learn how to raise money to get a book printed and marketed, what to look for in hiring an editor, and how to find a publisher for a manuscript. [Read more…]

A student of the POWER writing model: An interview with Brittany Rosen

Brittany Rosen

Brittany Rosen

Brittany Rosen is an assistant professor in the College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services at the University of Cincinnati. A recent Texas A&M University doctoral graduate, Rosen credits the POWER writing model with providing the structure and strategies that helped her complete her dissertation in a timely manner and achieve publishing success.

Here Rosen explains the benefits of the POWER writing model.

TAA: You are a self-described student of the POWER writing model. Can you briefly explain the basic steps of the model?

Brittany Rosen: “The POWER (Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research) writing model encompasses principles and practices allowing you to establish a stress-free writing habit, increase your writing productivity, and improve your quality of writing. [Read more…]

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.

Journal author and editor offer advice for writing articles for scientific journals

Elaine Hull

Elaine Hull

Ushma Neill

Ushma Neill

Writing journal articles can be demanding for an academic writer in any field, but authors seeking to publish their work in scientific journals face unique challenges.

Elaine Hull, a prolific writer in the fields of psychology and neuroscience, and Ushma Neill, an editor for The Journal of Clinical Investigation, offer the following advice for science writers:

  • Find good coauthors. Collaborating with coauthors is often necessary to gain access to the equipment and experimental techniques you need to fully test your hypotheses, so it is very important to develop good relationships with colleagues. Hull urges writers in academia to seek out schools and departments with high levels of collegiality so it is easier to find collaborators.
  • Start with your results section. When you’re ready to write, Neill recommends tackling the results section of an article first because what you end up including in the results section of the paper will influence what you need to discuss in the article’s methodology section and introduction. [Read more…]