The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 25, 2018

"That isn't writing at all, it's typing." ~Truman CapoteThis week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with advice and perspectives on research cases, grant applications, using figures in your papers, and developing a strategic publication plan for your research. We then explore changes and challenges in academia including a look at the modern day scholar and mixed methods research. Finally, we see industry changes in library subscriptions, the school publishing industry, open access, and textbook distribution models.

Truman Capote once said, “That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing.” Whether you are writing or typing, continue to find ways to get your ideas onto paper this week. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: May 11, 2018

"You're writing someones 'future' favorite book." ~M. KirinOne thing’s for certain in life. The future is always unwritten. No matter the past experiences or institutional standards, we must change, adapt, and grow with each day – and our writing must as well.

This week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with writing habits, creative research methods, practices for overcoming writer’s block, and ways to evaluate data sources. It continues with exploration of fears and uncertainties related to sharing grant applications and pursuing a PhD as a single parent. Finally, we close with considerations of changes in subscription models, including cancellations of traditional journal subscriptions by universities, and the impact of recent changes in how Facebook is sharing data with the research community.

M. Kirin reminds all authors that “you’re writing someone’s ‘future’ favorite book.” Despite any challenges, fear, anxieties, or past experiences, I hope this week you can focus on the future and share your message through your writing. [Read more…]

Apply for a TAA grant to offset academic or textbook writing expenses

grant writing folderLooking for funding to offset some of the expenses related to publishing your academic works or textbooks? TAA offers publication grants and contract review grants of up to $1,000.

The next grant application deadline is October 1. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 21, 2015

Undoubtedly your semester has either ended or is very rapidly  “Writing isn't about racing to the finish line; it's about finding joy in each step of the process. If a writer focuses on the journey, the destination will take care of itself.”  ―Christopher Meyerhoeffer coming to an end. Will you take a small break from your writing? Time to unwind and focus on something else like family or vacation? This week I came to a revelation about writing and how much writing is like this favorite quote of mine, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination.” Now replace the word ‘fitness’ with ‘writing’. I often relate writing to fitness because like writing, fitness is a large part of my life and a major passion of mine. My revelation was that writing is a journey too. Sure there may be small destinations that you reach along the way—a published journal article, a finished manuscript, or a completed textbook—but there is always room for improvement. You may take small breaks from your writing to become re-inspired or recharged, but just as a fitness fanatic can’t stay away from the gym for very long, a writer cannot stay away from their pen or keyboard very long. There will always be another article or another book that you must write. So as someone once said, “Maybe it’s not about the happy ending. Maybe it’s about the story.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 1, 2015

The semester is rapidly coming to an end, with some ofWrite until it becomes as natural as breathing. you already finished. Have you given thought to your summer writing goals? Do you write more or less during the summer months? I love this quote, “Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious.” I’m not really sure if writing will ever feel as natural as breathing, no matter what amount of writing I do. However one thing is for sure: not writing does make me anxious. I have to get the thoughts out of my head and onto my computer screen (and sometimes paper). It’s like the throbbing pain in your knee, slightly annoying and always at the back of your mind. But, the only way to cure it is to keep moving, keep running, or it gets worse. Just like the only cure for that anxious feeling of not writing is to keep writing. I’m curious what you think: Is writing as natural as breathing for you? Does not writing make you anxious? And as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: April 10, 2015

It’s a gloomy day here in Wisconsin. Rain hasWriting is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. been falling steadily out my window since sunrise. You might think that on a day like today the words would flow easily on to my page, no outside temptation would be there to pull at my desires to be biking or running instead of writing. In fact the opposite happens. Raining days make me want to curl up in a blanket in my big comfy chair, read a book, and sip hot coffee from a large mug. On sunny days my motivation is in full force, the sun shining through my window and pushing me to work harder and faster so that I can get out the door and onto my bike. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: January 23, 2014

This week’s most useful posts are a great mix ofbook aisle quote academic, grant, and textbook content—plus a few “fun” pieces. Each week I roam the internet, from Google searches to Twitter feeds, to find articles that I think you all would be interested in. My hopes are that you find at least one or two every week that are helpful to you and your writing. This week is no different other than I have a favor to ask of you (I rarely ask for favors!). If you have a favorite scholarly, academic, or textbook writing blog, share the title or link in the comments section below. Even though I roam the internet there’s still more great bloggers and content out there. To bring you the best content I need your help in finding those hidden gems (a.k.a bloggers)!

Happy writing! [Read more…]

Grant-writing: A game you can win

grant writing folderGrant writing is fun! It’s a way to get a lot of money, and more. I love it because it’s a game I know I can win. You can, too, if you use my game plan.

A former University of Florida classmate, whom I believe to be one of the best football coaches in the country today, recently gave us the first key to winning. When losing a game, he said, “I guess we just didn’t want it badly enough.” Like sports, grant-writing is competitive. Winning requires a plan, and more; it requires passion. Here’s my plan. [Read more…]

3 Tips for writing a successful grant application

Q: “I need to write my first grant application. What are the elements I need to include to ensure that my project is funded?”

A: Elaine M. Hull, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, and the recipient of 20 years of NIH funding, shares three basics tips:

  1. The proposed research should answer an important question, have justification based on previous work and/or pilot data, and have a reasonable end point. Emphasize hypothesis testing, as opposed to a ‘fishing expedition.’ State how the outcome of the project will relate back to the ‘Big Issues’.
  2. Present the idea clearly. Organize paragraphs and write in short, clear sentences. Anticipate potential questions and criticisms. A diagram is worth more than the space it takes up.
  3. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It’s unusual to get funding from the NSF or NIH on the first try. Seek advice from a person in the grant agency or another expert in the field.

 

Tips to ensure your project is funded

Tips of the Trade ImageQ: “I need to write my first grant application. What are the elements I need to include to ensure that my project is funded?”

A: Elaine M. Hull, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Florida State University, and the recipient of 20 years of NIH funding, shares these basics tips for writing a proposal:

“1) The proposed research should answer an important question, have justification based on previous work and/or pilot data, and have a reasonable end point. Emphasize hypothesis testing, as opposed to a ‘fishing expedition.’ State how the outcome of the project will relate back to the ‘Big Issues’; 2) Present the idea clearly. Organize paragraphs and write in short, clear sentences. Anticipate potential questions and criticisms. A diagram is worth more than the space it takes up; 3) Don’t be discouraged by rejection. It’s unusual to get funding from the NSF or NIH on the first try. Seek advice from a person in the grant agency or another expert in the field.”

A: Kären Hess, the author or co-author of more than 30 trade books and college-level textbooks on a variety of topics including financial planning, dental marketing, art, literature, engineering, hospice care, reading, management and report writing:

“Key is a worthwhile idea about which the proposal writer is passionate, carefully formulated with a good chance of success. If there is an RFP, follow the guidelines exactly. Research the foundation and match the proposal to their stated mission statement.

Include a cover letter, a cover page, table of contents, statement of needs (problem statement), proposed solution or program strategy, goals and objectives, how and by whom implemented, timeline, pricing, how evaluated, qualifications of those involved (some grantors request resumes of all key personnel) and references if applicable.

As with book proposals, presentation is critical — – the axiom you never get a second chance to make a first impression applies. Use a good printer and quality paper with a professionally appearing binder. Never submit a handwritten proposal.”