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: March 13, 2020

“If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” ~David BrinCreativity, imagination, diversity, and openness. These are the major themes found throughout our collection of articles from around the web this week. Amidst a global upheaval of normalcy due to the spread of COVID-19 this week, we may question our definition of “normal” and the effect of change on our writing efforts.

David Brin once said, “If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.” This week, examine the elements in your life that enrich your writing habits, explore innovative ways to strengthen your environment, and imagine the potential ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 21, 2020

researchers collaborating around laptops in a libraryThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a variety of topics important to academic authors and researchers. Many of these topics question our personal actions and beliefs as well as the effect of our actions on others with whom we interact.

We begin with personal issues of adapting core skills and the emotional cost of asking for something in academia. We then explore intercultural research, IRB regulations, the place of animals in academic life, and thanking anonymous reviewers. Finally, we close with some broader issues including research assessment reform, indigenous research methodologies, discrimination, and pure publish agreements.

As you research, write, and collaborate with others this week, pay close attention to your own belief systems and the interactions you have with others in your academic circle. What are you saying about your values in both action and written word? Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 31, 2020

“You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael JordanHall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan once said, “You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.” When writing for publication, we must expect great things from ourselves and our research in order to accomplish those goals of writing a journal article or textbook. This week’s collection of articles from around the web offers insight into just how to achieve the greatness we expect of ourselves and our work.

We begin with discussions about collaborating with others on research projects, choosing relevant literature for empirical studies, and understanding conference proceedings. We continue with measurements of commitment to research transparency and practical strategies for disseminating research in various ways. Finally, we close with a look at ways to manage a career in publishing.

Whatever your goals in this realm of textbook and academic publishing, expect great things from yourself and then do them. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 10, 2020

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” ~ConfuciusThis week’s collection of articles from around the web focuses on some core elements of success: self-care, personal belief systems, fresh thinking, fundamentals, integrity, and being able to stand for something. As the first full week of 2020 comes to an end, these articles remind us of the importance of core values and beliefs in our daily work.

Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” Be sure to judge yourself and your progress against your own goals and beliefs rather than the influences or expectations around you and keep going toward those goals in the year ahead. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: December 20, 2019

“A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” – Walt WhitmanWalt Whitman once said, “A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.” As we approach the end of the calendar year (and second decade of the 21st century), we can be satisfied with the infinite possibilities that lay out before us.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web is short in stature, but contains some quality resources for exploring your potential as an academic author. We begin the collection with a discussion of research skills that adult students/scholar-practitioners need. We then explore the challenges of writing a second edition and distinguishing between interesting and true when evaluating scientific studies. Finally, we examine how scholar-practitioners manage boundaries between theory and practice and how Plan S may transform hybrid journal publishing.

As you explore the possibilities presented in this collection and continue your own writing practice over the next week, ask yourself what possibilities you are revealing to your readers. There is nothing more necessary or satisfying. Happy writing! [Read more…]