Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 29, 2019

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.” – Ralph KeyesAs we come to the end of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) 2019, many of our TAA members and community have found themselves committing to 30 days of intentional habit building to improve their writing practice. As Ralph Keyes noted, “Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week addresses some of the other things that affect authors beyond the simple habit of writing.

We start with a Q&A from this month’s SAGE MethodSpace webinar on collaborative writing and some insight on where it is (and where it is not) acceptable to ask for help on your writing projects. We continue with some PhD-related topics about the experience of a PhD program, ethics and the literature review, and planning for the post-PhD job search. We then explore the use of meta-text and graphic presentations to enhance research impact. Finally, we close with the current and future prospects of open access and the open access movement.

As you close out the month of November, and your AcWriMo writing commitments, hold on to the routines that you have developed along the way to maintain a successful writing practice year round. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 8, 2019

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” – Samuel JohnsonAs we reach the end of the first full week of November, more affectionately known as Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) for most of our readers, we want to remind you of the importance of reading to improve your writing efforts. In fact, Samuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” This reading time may be immersed in discipline-specific journal articles, or in items such as the ones below that help improve your overall writing craft and understanding of the authoring industry.

This week our collection includes resources from SAGE MethodSpace’s AcWriMo focus on writing and publishing books, ways to address worry for writers, establishing a plan B (or C), determining your contribution to the literature, maintaining an appropriate writing voice, questioning our assumptions in publishing innovations, and exploring alternative textbook options, including OER.

Remember as you move forward in your writing this week, it is more than acceptable – it’s even necessary – to take time to read to broaden your understanding of both your discipline and your craft, in order to improve your results as an author. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 6, 2019

Trust yourselfThis week’s collection of articles from around the web begins with prompts to stimulate your thinking and methods for finding papers for your literature review. It continues with the importance of validating faculty research, consideration of your timeline for finishing a PhD, and expectations when presenting research to an industry audience. Finally, we have some noteworthy industry news on cost per use value models, the value of the big deal, the Cengage-McGraw Hill merger, and a new textbook model at UC Davis.

Neil Gaiman once said, “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” This week, trust yourself and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 30, 2019

“Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” – Mark TwainThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes several ways to advance your academic writing efforts and to focus on your personal definition of success. Our first article suggests that the first step toward success is in selecting your research topic. Our next two focus on the literature – first as resources, second as tips for conducting qualitative research. We then explore reasons you may not want to apply for external funding and methods for teaching the practice of research. Finally, we look at new possibilities in open access publishing agreements.

Mark Twain once said, “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” This week, consider your definition of success and your dream for your academic writing. Focus on that desire and see where it takes you. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The Who: Finding key sources in the existing literature

The Who: Finding key sources in the existing literatureSo far in this series we have examined how to define a research project – The What, how to construct an effective writing environment – The Where, and what it takes to set realistic timeframes for your research – The When. In this article, we will explore The Who: Finding key sources in the existing literature. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 29, 2019

spring blossomsThis week’s collection of articles from around the web has a spring-like atmosphere of newness, pruning, and growth. We begin with two questions: “What does academic work look like?” and “Which academics are happy?” We then explore emerging trends in the academic publishing lifecycle, revision processes, and synthesis in a literature review. We close with new ideas on re-reading and technological support for peer review.

Kelly Barnhill once said, “That’s the magic of revisions – every cut is necessary, and every cut hurts, but something new always grows.” Whatever revisions face your writing (or writing practices) this week, find the magic that helps you grow. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 15, 2019

"Reading sparks writing." ~A.D. PoseyIn this week’s collection of posts from around the web we found a variety of topics of interest to textbook and academic authors. We begin our collection with articles focused on perspective: on the PhD and employment, on Belbin roles in collaborative writing efforts, and on visualizations of scholarly workflow. Next we explore topics on finding the gap and keeping track of your literature review. We continue with a couple articles on open access. Finally, we close with technology-related articles on sharing research, conducting online surveys, and protecting privacy in digital resources.

A.D. Posey once said, “Reading sparks writing.” As you read through this week’s collection of articles, we hope that the ideas and topics presented serve to spark your writing efforts for the week ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 8, 2019

"I haven't finished writing my book, but it's on top of my list" ~Celeste AlexanderThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes practical advice from past experiences balanced with ideas to move us forward. We start with practical advice on mistakes to avoid when doing your PhD, what nobody tells you about ‘minor corrections’, strategies to manage work and enjoy life, and reviewing literature to situate it in a research tradition. We then share some articles with new ideas for mapping a text (beyond the traditional mind map or concept map), addressing global imbalances in scholarly communication, and training PhD graduates for jobs outside of academia.

Celeste Alexander once said, “I haven’t finished writing my book, but it’s on top of my list.” This week focus on that item on top of your list. What can you do to move closer to crossing it off? Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 8, 2019

"Most writing doesn't take place on the page; it takes place in your head." ~Susan OrleanSusan Orlean said, “Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.” Writing begins with curiosity, expands into a desire to identify, curate, and create knowledge and ideas, and ultimately affects those who read our work.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with ideas for developing a practice of curiosity, for establishing relationships with good critical friends, and for discerning helpful advice from awful advice. We then have some advice for reducing the fear of “the literature” and a discussion on the affect of activism in academia. Our collection closes with insight on the evolving landscape of research access, the words we use to describe new publishing paradigms, and the true cost of inclusive access.

As you write this week – whether in your head or on the page – consider the effect your writing has on your discipline and your readers. Start with a curiosity that leads to discovery and consider where your work fits in the ever-changing landscape of scholarly publishing. Happy writing! [Read more…]