Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 20, 2019

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” – Ernest HemingwayThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is laden with questions. How do I approach an inter-disciplinary thesis? I’ve passed my comps – now what? How do I plan my first draft and get the right stuff in the right order? What are the ethical issues of working with literature? How can I be a good peer reviewer? How do we support research engagement? How can I deal with the growing complexities of international collaboration? And the theme across Peer Review Week 2019, how many ways can you define quality in peer review?

Ernest Hemingway once said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” As we come to the close of Peer Review Week 2019 it is fitting to remember that our peers are apprentices as well in this craft. None of us have all of the answers to the questions above or the countless others that face us as academic writers. We learn from each other and grow stronger in our writing and disciplines as a result. This week, embrace your apprenticeship status and Happy Writing! [Read more…]

How to efficiently blend multiple writing drafts

Q: “I find that I am forever writing different versions of the same thing, leaving me with the problem of collating them, or blending them together. It also wastes time, of course, to duplicate effort like that. Can you share some ideas for a more efficient process?”

A: Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., Professor of Holistic Education, Department of Special Education, Minnesota State University, Mankato:

“Words put order to chaos/thought. My process —

1. Start with draft in written form.

2. Put garbage on the page — Most people get stuck trying to get it perfect … At this stage you are a potter throwing a blob of clay on the wheel.

3. Then start shaping — take away — add.

Outlines are flexible ways to get you thinking ahead — However, trust your unconscious mind. Slow the mind. Focus on one sentence at a time. Then one paragraph at a time. Then one section at a time. Let other things leak out onto the page but focus just on the sentence, paragraph, section. The time to take a holistic sense of your article is when you are printing off a hard copy during the editing stage.”