Pedagogy of book and chapter organization

knowledge typesDoes the organization of the textbook relate to pedagogical approaches used to teach with it? What pedagogical perspectives are represented by the organizational style we choose for a book and its chapters? These questions percolated through my work on a recently completed book manuscript. When thinking about the organization of the book, I reflected on ways people read books today and how they use them to learn. [Read more…]

TweetChat Recap: #AcWriChat 11/3 – Get Organized

AcWriMoOn November 3rd, TAA co-hosted its first TweetChat event with SAGE Methodspace as part of Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo). The focus on this event was getting organized with your academic writing projects. Six questions were presented during the hour-long event on type of project, inspiration, organization steps, audience influence, desired impact, and next steps. The full conversation is available in the Storify record below. Mark your calendar and join the discussion this Friday, November 17th at 11am ET as we discuss writing productivity. Simply log in to your Twitter account and search for #AcWriChat. As questions are posted, tag your responses with the #AcWriChat hashtag. See you there! [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: How do you track your ongoing projects and manuscripts?

White Board

This is an artist rendition of Kennamer’s white board.

“I use both a very low tech and a higher tech method. In my study I have a magnetic white board with which I track major projects. This is where I keep the ‘big picture’ components of ongoing projects. There are three columns labeled project, status, and comment. When I take on a new project I write in the project name and use a combination of writing and magnets to keep up with the status of projects. I continue tracking through receiving payment for the project. [Read more…]

Textbook Writing 101: An Interview with Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler

Michael Spiegler is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Providence College. A successful textbook and academic author for more than 40 years, he is the author of 16 textbooks, including Personality, now in its 8th edition, and Contemporary Behavior Therapy, now in its 5th edition, both of which have been groundbreaking as textbooks and in redefining essential conceptual perspectives in their fields. Spiegler has also authored a professional book, 14 book chapters, and 21 articles and has delivered more than a 120 professional presentations.

As a sponsored presenter in TAA’s workshop program, Spiegler offers a textbook authoring workshop entitled Textbook Writing 101. Here he shares some of his textbook writing insights and tips. [Read more…]

You’ve reached your maximum number of textbook pages, but lack content. Now what?

Q: “I am writing a book under contract and my chapters have been running so long I have already written the maximum number of pages negotiated with my publisher, yet have only fulfilled half the overall content promised. How should I approach this with the publisher? Should I renegotiate the overall content covered in the book or engage in some major editing?”

A: Laura Taalman, mathematics textbook author:

“This may not be an issue with you, but are you sure that YOUR page count is the same as theirs? Depending on what program you use for your writing, and what kind of format the graphic designers and compositors will use, your count may be very different from what they will be counting. Maybe your problem can magically go away?” [Read more…]