Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 16, 2020

“The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes." ~Andre GideAndre Gide once said, “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.” As academic authors we balance the creative process of writing (and ideas that may be perceived as madness) with the need to express those ideas through reason and logic. Along the writing journey we have to, therefore, be willing to prompt progress with madness and continue writing with reason. In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice on both.

Included are mental models for writers, unusual essay writing tips, and completely maddening ideas like planning to rest. These are balanced with practical advice on things like style, tone and grammar, launching a book during a pandemic, and building a credible web presence.

Whatever you are working on this week, be fueled by the madness of your ideas and anchored in the reason of your writing process. Happy writing! [Read more…]

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

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” ~Samuel JohnsonSamuel Johnson once said, “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.” Our collection of articles from around the web are ones worth reading, beginning with a typology of books you may want to read to improve your writing craft.

Next, we have content on FAIR data principles for promoting open research data, ways to deal with writing tasks in college, and methods of addressing life’s challenges that may be affecting your writing practice. Finally, we explore qualitative research in a digital world, dealing with rejection, defeating self-doubt, and the function of academic book publishers.

This week, balance your writing with reading, with growing, and with becoming a stronger writer in your discipline. Happy writing! [Read more…]

5 Tips for strengthening your qualitative research and writing

Qualitative research methods allow investigators to go beyond merely counting how often something occurs or with how many individuals. Rather, they provide insights in to how or why certain actions are taken or the ways in which people interact with or interpret their lived experiences. This added richness can be critical to forming effective interventions to create behavior change, which is common in not just health and medicine but educational practice as well. Yet, many researchers are hesitant to journey into qualitative research beyond a few open-ended survey questions, due to concerns about qualitative research lacking the rigor and validity of quantitative studies. Although there are many approaches to qualitative research and the accepted norms for conducting and writing up this type of research can vary according to your academic discipline, the following five tips can help provide a solid foundation for starting your qualitative journey. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 20, 2020

“I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” ~Gustave FlaubertIn academia – like the rest of the world – our daily routines have been challenged over the past couple of weeks faced with continued effects of COVID-19. These challenges can derail us and our writing or they can present opportunities to look at new routes to success.

This week’s collection of articles identifies some opportunities for redefining your scholarship as we face uncertainty in the days and weeks ahead. First, consider writing as a research method, the urgency of public-impact scholarship, and life outside the boundaries of academia. Explore your research design and build new ways to connect with others. Consider your “plan B” options and re-evaluate the goals of your projects that may require some extraordinary measures in the weeks ahead. Finally, take time to enjoy life – even if it doesn’t go as planned.

Gustave Flaubert acknowledged his writing challenges with the following. “I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” Being faced with challenges, uncertainty, and results inconsistent with our intentions can be opportunities for exploring new lines of thought and action. We wish you safety and continued growth this week. Happy writing! [Read more…]