The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 28, 2015

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” –Stephen King "The scariest moment is always just before you start." Stephen King quote

I cannot say with certainty that, “the scariest moment is always just before you start.” I have to think that I am not alone in thinking the scariest moment is right before submitting the final draft. As a perfectionist I always strive to get it perfect, yet in writing (and most everything in life), I know that it will always have errors. An extra comma or two are almost always inevitable. If you too face the internal struggles of perfectionism and knowing that it will never be perfect, than you will appreciate a few of this week’s articles below. Maybe you are more of the 95-percenter (see The Thesis Whisper’s The last 5%) and the perfectionism struggle does not apply. Fortunately for you there are many other great articles this week that are well worth the read. 😉

Happy reading and, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: May 8, 2015

If you find you are stuck, that the words just will not flow, focus onFocus your attention on writing-and, if necessary, on why you write and on what inspires you to write-and you will write. why you write. Focus on what inspires you to write. Remembering why you started is a great way to get re-inspired and back to putting words down on the page. Nina Amir’s quote, “Focus your attention on writing—and, if necessary, on why you write and on what inspires you to write—and you will write”, is spot on. When the journey gets tough—when you want to give everything up—remember why you started this journey. Maybe the textbook you wanted to teach from did not exist and you knew you could create exactly the version your students needed. Maybe you are on the tenure track and getting published will fulfill your goals and dreams. Whatever it is, let that be your inspiration to move your writing project forward this weekend. Happy writing! [Read more…]

8 Academic writing blogs you should be following

BlogsWhen trying to find relevant articles to share on our Twitter feed I seem to always go back to the same blogs. These blogs (below) offer stellar advice for academic writing, from dissertations to journal articles, to book proposals and productivity. Here is my list of eight academic writing blogs you should be following:

The Thesis Whisperer—Developed ‘Shut up and Write!’ which “turns writing from a solitary, to a social experience.” You can either start a group near you or find a group in your area using their interactive map.

patter—Pat Thomson covers everything from thesis writing to journal etiquette and rejections, to how to get started on the page. I especially like Pat’s posts on writing for journals.

PhD2Published—This blog is packed with tips, so many that I’m not even sure where to start. You’ll just have to check it out for yourself.
[Read more…]

The three biggest mistakes academic writers make

academic_mistakesI grew up in an academic family. When we would gather around the table at holidays, everyone but my bipolar aunt had a Ph.D. My ex-husband once told me he felt I needed to get a Ph.D. to be considered a grown-up by my family. So I know the culture. I am fluent in tenure and promotion, refereed articles and revise-and-resubmit, and the heaven and hell of the sabbatical and adjunct worlds.

As a creative writer and scholar who specializes in teaching mindfulness and writing as ways of dealing with chronic stress and healing from trauma, I bring my expertise in stress-reduction together with my personal experience of what it means to “be an academic.” I want to share with you some insights about the three biggest mistakes I see academic writers making. [Read more…]

Visual: 7 Basic components of a book proposal for an academic press

Unless you are an established author and have publishers soliciting manuscripts from you, you will likely have to submit a formal academic book proposal to an academic press.

Here Tanya Golash-Boza provides generic suggestions for what should go in an academic book proposal.

19 Tips for getting published in academia

The value of using social media to broaden your academic reach: An interview with Tanya Golash Boza

Tanya Golash-BozaTanya Golash-Boza, Ph.D., is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of California, Merced. She is widely published, with her academic works including academic and trade books, textbook chapters for edited volumes, and journal articles. Currently she is working on two primary projects, one being a book on the lives of people deported from the United States, and the second being a sociology textbook on race and racism. 

Golash-Boza has successfully utilized social media in her academic career for the past several years. She is the author of three popular blogs, including her academic blog entitled Get a Life, PhD, Weekly Tips on How to Succeed in Academia and Have a Life Too.

Here Golash-Boza shares her insights on the value of utilizing social media to broaden your academic reach. [Read more…]

How to cut the clutter from your writing

Q: “What techniques do you use to cut clutter, wordiness, jargon, etc. from your writing?”

A: Kim Pawlak, Associate Executive Director, TAA:

“I write my first draft without worrying about how long it is, and then I go through it again as if it has to be only X number of words. When you only have so much space to work with, it helps you weed out unnecessary words, phrases — and even paragraphs.” [Read more…]

Strategies for bringing your writing projects to completion, overcoming writer’s block, and managing your time

Q: “How do you bring your writing projects to completion? Do you write daily, in large blocks? What strategies do you use to overcome “writer’s block”? What have you done to improve your writing skills? How do you manage your time so that you find time for writing?”

A: Joan Carnosso RN, PhD(c), CCRN, Associate Professor, Nursing Department, Boise State University:

“I am new to authoring and writing for that matter. I am working on finishing my dissertation and it has been a struggle for me since I really never believed that I liked to write and I sure didn’t believe I was good at it. So I knew that I needed to do something to boost my confidence. I applied and got accepted to two workshops. One is Writing across the curriculum, and the other is the National Writing Project. Both of which are this summer. [Read more…]