Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 23, 2020

“When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” ~Margaret LaurenceWriting takes work. Whether starting a PhD or working on another published book or manuscript, academic authoring is work and should be treated as a professional endeavor. Margaret Laurence once said, “When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” Our writing must receive focus and time for us to be successful.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we have advice on early career authoring, building an impact and brand, and current trends in publishing. As you embark on the week ahead, give your writing the focus it deserves. After all, everything else is just odd jobs. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 9, 2020

“I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” ~Ray BradburyIf you’re like most academic authors I know, you have an abundance of ideas that either keep you up at night or wake you up early in the morning. Ray Bradbury once said, “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” These ideas matter. Not all of them will become published manuscripts, but they all matter. They move you forward and it’s important that you get them out through your writing.

There will be periods of time when the ideas flow more readily and others where you may spend more time searching (or researching) for them, but wherever you are in that cycle, let them awaken you to the possibilities of what you have to contribute through your work. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 18, 2020

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~Larry L. KingHow do you get things done? When it comes to academic writing there is no shortage of strategy advice available to authors, but there are also no shortcuts either. As Larry L. King stated, “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” In this week’s collection of articles from around the web we found some helpful resources for accomplishing all three of these fundamental practices in the pursuit of your publishing goals.

Beginning with topics of project management and daily writing practice, you must be writing and rewriting to move projects forward. That writing takes reading – and we have advice on how to stay focused while reading scholarly articles. Next we have writing tips from some famous writers and suggestions for writing under deadlines. Addressing some current issues in academic writing, we turn our attention to part-time PhD pursuits, research practices during Covid-19, gaps in academic communication, diversity, inclusion, and equity strategies, and an equitable transition to open access publishing models. We close the collection with information on how American Journal Experts (AJE) partners with the Researcher app to produce a new form of author services.

As you explore the strategies and resources available to improve your textbook and writing practice this week, remember there are no shortcuts. Write. Rewrite. Read. Repeat. 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…]

Dragging your dissertation feet?

ProcrastinationIs your dissertation dragging you down? Are you dragging your feet, your manuscript in sorry tow behind you like an annoying younger brother? Are you doing the impossible already—on campus or online, like many other graduate students juggling family, work, and school? Your academic struggles are intensified by the stresses of such multiple responsibilities and, possibly, loss of your long-range picture.

From what I’ve learned and observed as a longtime coach of graduate students and writer of creative projects, here I address some issues that can trip you up. And I share some steadying remedies so you handle your dissertation and other creative projects with less dragging and more speed and even enthusiasm. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: August 14, 2020

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” ~Jim RyunThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics common to academic and textbook authors. Specifically, how to go from idea to completion, dealing with writer’s burnout along the way, essay writing in 2020, research contributions beyond publication, Digital First textbooks, the ‘later on’ PhD pursuit, and responding to R&R decisions.

The common thread through the collection is finding a way to finish what we start. Jim Ryun once said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” If you are currently motivated, work on building a sustainable habit. If you’re working your plan, keep it up. If you’ve begun to burn out, develop a habit that can keep you moving forward. This week, find the habit that will keep you going and happy writing! [Read more…]

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

“I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” ~Pablo PicassoSo, what are you unable to do…yet? As academics, we value the learning process. We seek change and opportunity to do things differently. Better. We explore new avenues for growth and development. Pablo Picasso might have summed up the life of an academic in his personal statement, “I’m always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

This week’s collection of articles from around the web incorporates this growth mindset at both the individual level and within the larger scholarly publishing industry. We found posts on opportunities to stabilize publishing practices, develop a safe haven for writing, and new ways to protect intellectual ownership rights. We also found insight into success as an academic parent and ways to recharge in preparation for the new academic year. Finally, we see new opportunities in transformative open access.

The only constant in life is change. This week I encourage you to do something which you cannot (yet) do, in order to learn how to do it. 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: June 12, 2020

“Be stronger than your excuses.”Someone once said, “Be stronger than your excuses.” It is certainly easy to make excuses for not writing, not moving forward on our projects, not accomplishing our goals – especially in a time of disruption like we have faced for the past few months. Or in time of “vacation” if we have the summer “off”. But to be successful, we have to be stronger.

Our collection of articles from around the web includes an 11-year-old’s advice on busting excuses, summer planning strategies, and actionable steps for developing a routine, being creative, and training your brain. There’s also information on how to improve the academic writing process, to make your research meaningful, and to be excited by the practices that have emerged from the pandemic. Finally, we have questions to ask before signing a publishing contract and useful websites for writers.

Explore the links below, refuel your passion, and be stronger than your excuses! Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 5, 2020

“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” ~Isabelle Lafleche“Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.” Isabelle Lafleche is credited with this quote framing our weekly collection of posts. So what is your passion? Where is your courage? And what do you need to align the two?

Perhaps some of the ideas below will help build the courage or clarify your passion, or both. We have found resources on enhancing visual thinking, organizing research notes, online learning, pursuing, planning, and progressing on a PhD, and additional writing quotes to motivate you on the journey.

We’ve also found information on current issues and events in the academic writing realm including diversity and inclusion, research impact, research career paths, copyright, and Read & Publish deals. Whatever your passion, find ways to build the courage you need to pursue it this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]