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How to use social media as an academic writer

Social media has become an influential force in both our personal and professional lives. According to Mark Carrigan, social media trainer and sociologist at the University of Warwick, social media offers many benefits for academic writers. In a recent TAA webinar entitled, ‘What On Earth Will I Tweet About?’: Feeling Comfortable with Social Media as an Academic, Carrigan shared some of those benefits.

“One advantage of social media for academic writers is that it allows you to have an independent presence online so if you switch institutions, you can still easily be found,” Carrigan said. Since many academics work at multiple educational institutions during their careers, an independent online presence can be an invaluable networking and promotional tool.

How to extract articles from your dissertation

When I finally got around to writing my dissertation (that’s another story), I realized that its organization easily fell into several relatively self-contained chapters. Once I defended, I needed to convert as much of the dissertation to publishable articles as I could, for the “hound of tenure” was fast on my heels.

I realized that I had written each chapter with a possible article based on it already in mind. In philosophy one often takes on positions articulated by others, and seeks to attack them in a way that makes one’s own view more plausible and defended against those who would, or should, attack it. So, I “carved” the dissertation into three chunks and wrote them up as independent articles. I sent them to the same journals that had published the articles I was attacking, and they were accepted (usually subject to some revisions). Hence, my first three publications, followed by a fourth when one of my attackees sought to defend himself in print. Those, plus a couple of short pieces, secured a tenured appointment.