Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 28, 2020

“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” – George LorimerAre you determined to succeed? At the end of the day, are you satisfied with your results? George Lorimer once said, “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” So what are you determined to do with your textbook and academic writing?

This week’s collection of articles from around the web includes discussion on the future of scholarly communication, how to get published, and an approach to teaching writing that works. It also includes ideas for experimenting and playing with data, looking at different aspects of the same problem, and funding research and innovation through open science efforts.

What all of these ideas, innovations, and results have in common is the determination of one or more individuals to bring an idea to fruition and share it with others. As you approach your writing projects this week, start each day with determination and end them with satisfaction. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Using scholarly models for academic writing

I’m not, of course, talking about simple imitation, or worse, writing treeplagiarism: the models are not there to replace our voice, but to help us find it. Models can help provide structure and ideas that we can adapt to suit our own ends and intentions.

We have to start writing with our own vision of what we want to accomplish, and our own sense of what is important and interesting. But that’s just a jumping off point. We need to focus these general interests and ideas into a specific project.

Models can help with this. We can look at other work that has dealt with the same subject; in fact, as academics, we are obliged to do so, that’s just basic research. But to find our own voice, we start to look at these other works, and we pick which ones resonate most strongly with us: which work best? Which provide us with the most insight? Which are the best planned and executed and written? Choosing among the possibilities helps us understand what kind of research and writing we want to do. [Read more…]