The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: March 6, 2015

Wednesday was National Grammar Day.talk grammar to me, baby Twitter was abuzz with grammar haikus, pet peeves, and funny cartoons. It’s a day filled with fun to remember all we love, and maybe hate, about grammar. Why you ask is National Grammar Day different than say any other day? No one explains it better than Dennis Baron in his article, “Why is National Grammar Day different from all other days?”

So without going on and on, and in fear of making too many grammatical errors, I leave you to read all the great articles I’ve gathered for you this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: Be strict about the type of editing that is suitable for each stage of the revision process

writing centerAdvice about academic writing often stresses the iterative nature of the writing process; the creation of an effective final draft generally requires multiple drafts and extensive revision. A crucial corollary to a commitment to extensive revision is an acceptance that revision mustn’t be allowed to go on indefinitely. Otherwise, a certain mania can set in: any draft can always be other than it is. After a certain point, we have to ask ourselves about diminishing returns and about the very real possibility of messing up what is already working. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: New Year’s Edition

It’s a new year, which means new goals and quote_sit and readresolutions. I’m sure during this past week you’ve put some thought into what writing milestones and goals you want to reach in 2015. What are you doing to ensure that you stick with those habits to reach your end goal? In other words, what will you change about your writing habits from last year to see success in this new year? Share your goals and resolutions in the comments below. The best way to be inspired is to share with others. Happy New Year and happy writing! [Read more…]

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.

[socialpoll id=”2226880″]

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

Geosystems

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…]