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

Mark 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.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 11, 2020

How 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.

Conducting online research

On 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.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: June 12, 2020

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!

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 29, 2020

This 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!

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

It 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!