Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 2, 2021

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” ~Og MandinoWhat are you planting today? As you research, write, teach, learn, and market your work, what is your long-term objective for future harvest? Is it a reputation? Position? Legacy?

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we explore topics of ethics, the benefit of PhDs, resilience, self-improvement, self-promotion, and mentoring.

Og Mandino once said, “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” As you approach your writing practice this week, ask yourself whether you are giving your best to your efforts and what you are planting today that will influence you harvest in years to come. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 19, 2021

“Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” ~David M. BurnsHow do you define success? As you refine your writing practice, especially in an environment constantly changing, it’s important to be able to answer this question. David M. Burns cautions, however that success does not equal reflection. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.” Success requires overcoming fear and moving forward.

Our collection of articles this week includes some practical advice on common challenges academic authors face. First is the challenge of knowing our readers, their preferences, and their expectations so we can meet them. Second is designing the research and dealing with a revise and resubmit decision on a submitted manuscript. Third is employing new tools and methods to our work. Fourth is maintaining successful habits and avoiding the effects of burn out. And, finally, is the need to deal with changes in the industry as they relate to publishing processes, book proposals, rights retention strategies, and self-publishing options.

There is no shortage of challenges authors face in the writing process, but the way forward is to move through the challenges and to define success somewhere short of perfection. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 12, 2021

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~Malcolm XAcademic writing is a process of education both for the reader and the writer. You preparation and dedication to your writing efforts prepare tomorrow’s research and writing efforts to move us forward.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we see advice on building momentum, getting started with topics and methods, overcoming jealousy of other writers, and building a network of support. We also explore ways to establish the future of your authoring brand including social media strategies and valuing your book for the long term. Finally, we explore transformative models and book writing software.

Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Spend this week preparing for your future and the future of your readers. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: November 27, 2020

"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." ~Jack KerouacAs we close out AcWriMo 2020 and enter the holiday season and end of semester processes and events, it’s important to examine what we want to accomplish and how to do so without added stress.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find examples of creativity, collaboration, defining expectations, reducing the tendency to overthink our writing, and ways to reboot, cry, move, or pivot in our career paths. We’ve also found resources in the form of a webinar on open access publishing partnerships and some Black Friday deals for writers to support your efforts.

Jack Kerouac once said, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” Don’t overthink your writing or the process. Keep it simple this week and see what comes. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: October 30, 2020

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” ~Mark TwainMark Twain once said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Writing is a continuous search for the right word, the right fit, and the right connections.

As textbook and academic authors, that search for what’s “right” may be in the relationships with co-authors and editors. It may be what’s right from a social justice perspective. It may be what’s right in our preparation, process, and delivery of content. Or it may be what’s right for publishing our work.

No matter what’s “right” for your writing this week focus on finding what’s truly right instead of settling for what’s “almost right”. The lightning has a much stronger impact than the lightning bug. 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…]

Conducting online research

conducting researchOn June 26th, TAA hosted an #AcWriChat Tweetchat event focused on online research strategies. Resources were shared relative to conducting online research, specifically on validating sources, collecting primary source data, qualitative and quantitative research practices, and online research tools.

Below is a summary of the discussion. [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: May 29, 2020

“If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it…simply keep forging forward because success will come.” ~Cassandra SanfordThis week’s collection of articles from around the web have a spirit of hope and resiliency among them. In this time of uncertainty, disruption, and change, we have opportunities to embrace what is new and build what we desire from the state of what is. As researchers and academics, much of our careers are based on new pursuits and exceptional goals.

Whether writing the introductory chapter of a thesis or dissertation, planning for a post-PhD career, or exploring the modern researcher ecosystem, we seek for identity and success. Change is abundant as well in the way we hold conferences, publish and access research, and achieve visibility. All of these topics are found in this week’s collection.

The key, regardless of the state of your career or writing is to believe in yourself, to embrace opportunity, and to move forward. As Cassandra Sanford said, “If this is something that you really want to do, if you believe in it…simply keep forging forward because success will come.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 1, 2020

“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” ~E. L. DoctorowIt seems that over the past couple months, everything we thought we knew about research, writing, and academia in general has been turned on its head by COVID-19. This crisis has forced an examination of existing processes, exploration of alternative options, and adaptability to new ways of thinking. Well, putting it that way, it doesn’t sound much different from what academics do every day, does it?

This week’s collection of articles from around the web talks about some non-pandemic topics, like interdisciplinary research and recruitment and retention of women of color and indigenous women graduate students. We, of course, have a number of COVID-19 speculations, like the effect on scholarly publishing, added research complexities, and scientific and scholarly meeting practices – especially those taking place via Zoom or other video conferencing technology. We close with some advice on preparing for a PhD defense from the perspective of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

As much as things seem to change, we can take comfort in knowing that change is the only real constant in life. As for our writing efforts during this time, remember the words of E. L. Doctorow who said, “Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Happy writing! [Read more…]