If you’re writing your dissertation, you’ve probably experienced the all too common range of emotions, from initial elation to paralyzing fear to plunging despair, and in between many starts, stops, and freezes. Here I suggest how you can at least cut down on those maddening swings and coax, invite, and entice the Flow.
Work made for hire is writing that is done as part of a person’s job or as an independent contractor who signs an advance written agreement that the work is “work for hire” or “work made for hire.” Authors of a work made for hire have fewer rights than authors who sign a copyright transfer agreement. In effect, the organization that hires the author owns the work. That organization can, within the constraints of the agreement, do whatever they want with the work including adding drastic changes or deciding to not publish it. If the work made for hire is done as part of the author’s regular job, the author will not receive royalties unless a written agreement assigns royalties to the author.
Academia serves a purpose of feeding the future, of taking minds with a limited set of knowledge and helping them realize that while they may have a perspective of vast understanding, the potential for growth and development of their understanding exists in a limitless amount of barren space. It is from this mindset that I believe C.S. Lewis claimed, “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”
I have read that quote numerous times, and as an educator and author myself, taught and thought from the perspective that in a world of information overload, we are in a different era than Lewis and have a new responsibility of cutting down jungles to help our students see clearly.
There exists no attribute more central to the human condition than one’s identity. Our identity – whether it is cultural, professional, ethnic and national, religious, gender, or disability – is a central tenet of representation. It affects how we communicate with others and our communication about others. Thus, it is important that we as scholarly writers and professionals are as cognizant of the identities of our audience as we are of our own.
Although the old adage states “you can’t tell a book by its cover”, in academic writing it is crucial that the title of an article or book “tell” the essence of the work. The title is the first critical decision point for a reader. Its goal is to invite the reader to peruse the abstract, read the article, and, hopefully, cite your work.
The title does a lot of work for your manuscript, and there are many good reasons to pay attention to crafting short, content-rich, and engaging titles. First, for you, the author, spending time crafting a title forces you to distill your detailed, multi-page manuscript into 10 to 15 words, a daunting task.
As authors who have recommitted ourselves to the ideas of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our professional lives, one of the many struggles we face is making access to our content inclusive. However inclusive of race, gender, age, and other aspects of humanity our writing is, it is important to also ask ourselves whether all potential readers are able to access it.
As an author, I have often left accessibility issues completely in the hands the professionals among our publishing team. However, I realize more and more that, in many ways, that sort of inclusion starts with me.