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

How 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.

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 29, 2021

There’s a Chinese proverb that says, “Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back.” Whether advancing our field of research or honing our craft as an academic author, the goal for each of us should be one of continuous learning and advancement. This may involve learning new skills, changing our perspective, revisiting things that have worked in the past, or exploring challenges and setbacks as opportunities.

In this week’s collection of articles from around the web, we find advice on all of these aspects of advancement.

Are you a crafter or a drafter?

Every author has their own personal style of writing and approach to the writing process. Whether that be a style guide preference, choice of genre, or organization of information, we are all individuals in the craft. I recently listened to an interview with Charlie Wetzel who, since 1994, has served as a writing partner for John C. Maxwell on more than 80 books.

According to Wetzel, authors can be categorized into one of two categories: crafters or drafters. Which are you? Let’s explore each to determine.

Revising academic texts: Efficiency & style

Kaizen – translated to mean a change for the good – is Erin McTigue’s word of the year and the guiding principle behind her 2019 TAA Conference Presentation, “Revising Academic Texts: Efficiency & Style”.

Delivering a dynamic and interactive session, McTigue shared useful strategies to improve the flow and readability of your writing efforts through effective revision. Below we summarize six of those techniques that you can apply to your current manuscript to make your own change for the good.

Can I help you in any way? Revisions and editing

“Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?” If you’ve browsed our TAA website, you’ve likely seen those words in the chat box that appears on the screen. We’re often asked by visitors if we’re “real”. Then those who realize that we are, and that we are there to help, ask questions that you may have as well.

In this series of “Can I help you in any way?” posts, we’ll highlight some of the questions people have asked through the TAA Live Chat feature of our site and the responses we have for those questions. In this post, we’re focused on a question about academic principles for revisions.

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

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!

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

This 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!

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

This 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!

4 Principles of academic revisions

A recent visitor to the TAA website used the live chat feature and stated, “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 for use when revising academic works.