Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 26, 2021

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” ~Dorothy ParkerHas the pandemic life got you bored? Are you seeing a wealth of new challenges to your writing practice or are you exploring new opportunities and remaining curious about what the future (post-pandemic) research and academic environment will look like? Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

I challenge you to be curious this week – whether looking at new paths to success, new opportunities for collaboration, new topics to research, new ways to edit or market your work, or new technologies on the horizon that may impact your academic writing. If your writing practice is growing stale or you are becoming bored with your academic efforts late in the term, change your mindset and get curious instead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 4, 2020

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself." ~Albert CamusWhat’s your purpose as an academic author? According to Albert Camus, “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” Our work as academic and textbook authors can have significant influence on our colleagues, our field, and society at large. So, do you know your purpose? And, are you fulfilling it?

We begin this week’s collection of articles from around the web with questions that probe the concept of purpose as researchers and authors. We then explore topics of support for our writing, pursuit of relevance, societal impact, and trust & credibility. Our list continues with practical advice on writing practices including note-taking, scheduling, literature review, perseverance, visual communications, writing groups, and a recognition that today is yet another opportunity to do more and to do better.

This week I challenge you to define (or refine) your purpose as an academic author and align your writing practice with that purpose for the remainder of 2020 and into the new year. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 2, 2020

“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” ~Andre Dubus IIIThis week’s collection of articles from around the web is full of questions. Questions about our writing practice. Questions about the science of academic writing and scholarship. Questions about the future of the publishing industry.

Beginning with “what’s the worst that could happen?” and ending with “what’s on the horizon for publishing and open access?” these articles inspire fresh perspective on our textbook and academic writing processes.

Andre Dubus III once said, “I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.” This week, use your writing practice to go deeper into the questions associated with your discipline and process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 25, 2020

“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” ~Harper LeeAs we come to the end of Peer Review Week 2020, this week’s quote from Harper Lee seems rather appropriate – “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” When we write and publish, we invite feedback on the results of our work.

Given the event this week, there are a number of posts in our collection related to the peer review process, but we also have some additional items of interest on such topics as literature reviews, motivation, productivity, and open access.

As you embrace the week ahead, work to develop both your writing talent and a “thick hide”. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 11, 2020

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” ~Elmore LeonardHow do you write? Why do you write? Who do you write for? And, are those answers clear in your writing practice? As authors in varying disciplines, we each have a unique style, purpose, and audience, so finding our voice is important. Elmore Leonard once said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” Our collection of articles from around the web offers additional advice on developing your own writing rhythm.

First, we are presented a challenge to explain our research in plain language, offered ways to build confidence in our nonfiction writing, and provided answers regarding the PhD trajectory. Next, we explore the structure of a literature review, how to overcome discouragement as an author, and rules for writing clear and persuasive prose. Finally, we discuss why authors should know their target audience, how open access diversifies readership, and the steps required to self-publish a book.

This week, challenge yourself to not let proper writing get in the way of your voice. If it sounds like writing, rewrite it. Focus on your audience, your purpose, and your style of communicating your message. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 7, 2020

“Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.” ~David GogginsTextbook and academic writing is hard work. It’s a tiring endeavor. It stretches the individual and the discipline with each new publication. To be successful, though, we need to consider the words of David Goggins who said, “Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.”

Whether you are starting a literature review, attempting to describe theoretical, conceptual, or analytical frameworks, editing a book, or simply editing your work for your reader, our collection of articles this week has some advice to keep you moving forward in your efforts to reach your goal. We have also included articles on promoting research through social media, entrepreneurial pursuits, Journal Impact Factors, the pandemic’s impact on open access, and how working from home has affected US publishing.

Whatever your current role and goal as an academic author, no matter how tired you may be in the process, move forward this week. And don’t stop until you’re done. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 19, 2020

“Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there.” ~Jim RohnAs we prepare for the official start of summer this weekend, sights may be set on vacations, rest, and relaxation in the academic “off season”, but as evidenced by Meggin McIntosh’s session yesterday in TAA’s Summer Webinar Series, much can be accomplished during this time, especially for those of us focused on writing.

Our collection of articles from around the web shares advice on finding time to write, planning your calendar, and developing a sense of purpose and routine. It continues with research considerations for what to read, practices in the covid era, digital defenses, and tips for becoming an indie researcher. Finally, we close with some global topics of large-scale open access agreements, combatting counterfeiting, and more inclusive and diverse publishing practices.

As Jim Rohn once said, “Remember when you see a man at the top of a mountain, he didn’t fall there.” Set your intentions this week, plan your writing time, focus on the long-term impact of your work, and happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 13, 2020

“If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” ~David BrinCreativity, imagination, diversity, and openness. These are the major themes found throughout our collection of articles from around the web this week. Amidst a global upheaval of normalcy due to the spread of COVID-19 this week, we may question our definition of “normal” and the effect of change on our writing efforts.

David Brin once said, “If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” This week, examine the elements in your life that enrich your writing habits, explore innovative ways to strengthen your environment, and imagine the potential ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 31, 2020

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael JordanHall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan once said, “You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” When writing for publication, we must expect great things from ourselves and our research in order to accomplish those goals of writing a journal article or textbook. This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers insight into just how to achieve the greatness we expect of ourselves and our work.

We begin with discussions about collaborating with others on research projects, choosing relevant literature for empirical studies, and understanding conference proceedings. We continue with measurements of commitment to research transparency and practical strategies for disseminating research in various ways. Finally, we close with a look at ways to manage a career in publishing.

Whatever your goals in this realm of textbook and academic publishing, expect great things from yourself and then do them. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 17, 2020

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” ~Ralph Waldo EmersonRalph Waldo Emerson once noted, “that which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased.” In our collection of articles from around the web this week, we see several suggestions on how to make our lives as academic writers easier by increasing our ability to do.

Suggestions include writing for the public for more impact, forming a brain trust, expanding our knowledge set with new literatures, collaborating around Big Data, and providing choice on how to pay for peer review and publication. This week, we encourage you to explore these and other ways to make your tasks as an author easier and to increase your ability to do. Happy Writing! [Read more…]