Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: July 24, 2020

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” ~Benjamin FranklinHow do you define improvement, achievement, and success? Benjamin Franklin said that “without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” So, how do you maintain continual growth and progress to gain improvement, achievement, and success in your academic writing?

Our collection of articles from around the web this week may offer some ideas for consideration. First, find the time to write, share what you know, and be open to the value of discussion. Second, look at ways to increase impact, use the right tools for conducting and disseminating research, and remain optimistic in the face of uncertainty. Finally, consider video as a way to promote yourself as an author, promote your work, and deliver better presentations online.

Whatever your writing goals and definition of improvement, achievement, and success, I challenge you to focus on growth and progress this week to meet those goals in the future. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 6, 2020

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” ~Ralph Waldo EmersonIn this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we are presented with contradictions to norms and new thoughts on old processes in academic writing. “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” These words from Ralph Waldo Emerson remind us to be open-minded, to face challenges, contradictions, and reviewer comments with receptiveness rather than defensiveness.

Consider the benefits (rather than the distastefulness) of book blurbs, discussion on the discussion section of your papers, and ways to detect the crap in your research process. Examine what research looks like without a “publish or perish” mentality, for indigenous students, and when reflecting your work in your lifestyle choices – even the clothes that you wear. Finally, open up to the possibilities of open peer review and returning to academia from industry.

Academic environments are deeply rooted in tradition but are facing dramatic changes in process and perception. New ideas can bring with them resistance and opportunities. When faced with contradiction to your beliefs or work this week, consider the opportunity and resist the urge to feel persecuted. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: February 19, 2016

“Like stretching before exercise, I start my writing day with a heavy edit and rewrite of my previous day’s work. That seamlessly catapults me into today’s writing.” – Jerry Jenkins
What sorts of strategies do you use to catapult you into your day’s writing? Do you do as Jerry Jenkins does and start the day with “a heavy edit and rewrite” of the “previous day’s work”? Maybe you do as Rachel Toor suggests: “leave off at a point where it will be easy to start again.” Rachel adds: “Some writers quit a session in the middle of a sentence; it’s always easier to continue than to begin.” Various other writers suggest using bullet points at the end of a writing session that point them in the direction they want the writing to go when they next return to it. Perhaps you have a completely different method altogether. If you do, I hope you will share it in the comments below this post. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: September 11, 2015

I’d love to write a light-hearted opening paragraph, American flagbut my mind is too consumed by the thought of what today represents. Instead, all I’ll say is, take a moment to remember and reflect on the events of this day in 2001—the horror we felt and how we came together as a nation. I encourage you to take a moment of silence in honor of all who lost their lives, lost a loved one, or were otherwise impacted by the events of this day.

We will never forget. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: July 31, 2015

What tricks or strategies do you use to get yourselfWriting is like a sport-you only get better if you practice. -Rick Riordan started and to get the words flowing? For me, on days when I need an extra push of motivation, I retreat to my favorite local coffee shop where there is nothing there to distract me. Words, sentences, and entire pieces are also always sure to form in my head while jogging or biking. When finally I return home the words never quite flow as eloquently onto the page as they did in my mind during that bike ride, but at least I have a starting place and an idea for what I want to write or how I want to write it. [Read more…]