The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 26, 2018

Excuses don't get it written.Several weeks ago, I saw a woman at my son’s karate dojo with a shirt that read “Excuses don’t burn calories.” This became the inspiration for this week’s quotable image, “Excuses don’t get it written.” Beginning this week’s collection of posts from around the Web is the topic of procrastination. Following that are strategies for reading, writing, revision, and data analysis. We then explore the problems of success, and close with some Open Access Week related content on OER and equitable participation in open research.

Whatever you’re working on this week, don’t put it off. After all, excuses don’t get it written (or burn calories). Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 19, 2018

Writing workspaceThis week’s collection of posts from around the Web begins with a couple approaches to collaboration – first in purpose, second in process. We then found some posts on improving existing work – revising drafts, converting a PhD into a book, and the art of book design. Finally, we brought together some industry interests – the value of peer review, innovative & inclusive teaching, and content syndication.

Whatever writing projects you are working on this week, 1) know that you are not alone – TAA is here to support you with our community of authors and collection of resources; 2) know that your work is not finished – writing is more than a single task and whether revising a first draft or reworking a thesis, your continued contributions are needed; and finally, 3) know that these solitary efforts contribute to a bigger picture and have value beyond the immediacy of your project. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: October 12, 2018

"Start with Why" ~Simon SinekThis week’s collection of posts from around the web have a common theme of clarity and transparency in scholarly writing efforts. Beginning with a look at personal clarity in our revision processes or where we focus our time and energy as researchers to matters of impact and public trust, we have also found opportunities to improve transparency in textbook revisions and scholarly communications.

Wherever your writing efforts take you this week, as Simon Sinek says, “start with why” and be clear in your personal and professional purpose and intent. That clarity will produce results. Happy writing! [Read more…]

4 Principles of academic revisions

Academic revisionA recent visitor to the TAA website communicating with us over chat said: “I would like to know some academic principles we can use for revisions.”

As authors, revisions can be one of the most challenging parts of the writing process. Most writers create easily but find it difficult to critique and edit their own work. Regardless, the revision process is essential for producing polished and effective manuscripts.

Short of hiring a professional editor to review your work and offer guidance on needed revisions, here are four principles you can use when revising your academic work. [Read more…]

Publish & Flourish: Revising around key sentences

Dr. Tara GrayAt the 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, Dr. Tara Gray presented on her twelve-step program, “Publish & Flourish: Become a Prolific Scholar”. Steps 7 & 8 of the program focus on the revision process by identifying and using key sentences in each paragraph as follows:

Step 7: Revise paragraphs around key sentences

Step 8: Use key sentences as an after-the-fact or reverse outline

In order to complete step 7 and revise paragraphs around key sentences, it’s important to first identify the key sentence in each paragraph. So, what is a key sentence? [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: Be strict about the type of editing that is suitable for each stage of the revision process

writing centerAdvice about academic writing often stresses the iterative nature of the writing process; the creation of an effective final draft generally requires multiple drafts and extensive revision. A crucial corollary to a commitment to extensive revision is an acceptance that revision mustn’t be allowed to go on indefinitely. Otherwise, a certain mania can set in: any draft can always be other than it is. After a certain point, we have to ask ourselves about diminishing returns and about the very real possibility of messing up what is already working. [Read more…]