Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 12, 2019

"Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn't do."This week’s quote – “Plagiarism: Getting in trouble for something you didn’t do.” – comes from an unknown source, but as often seems to be the case, the articles in our collection from around the web seem to have kindly fallen in line with this academic pun.

While our collection doesn’t have anything to do with the true definition of plagiarism, it does have a lot to do with the concept of getting in trouble for something you didn’t do. Specifically, problems or challenges may arise if you don’t check an index properly, if you don’t adequately prepare for a thesis proposal defense, if you don’t accept the dissertation publication requirement, if you don’t follow a traditional research path, if you don’t include your PhD on your CV (or if you do as the article discusses), if you linger in between identities during a career transition, if you don’t properly market yourself for a job, or if you don’t plan your approach attending a large conference.

As you approach your writing efforts this week, challenge yourself to not only look at accomplishing the things on your to-do list, but also examine the things that never made it there – the things that you aren’t doing that may be making your efforts more difficult than they need to be. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 15, 2019

"Writing is a continuous discovery – a learning process." ~Amae DechavezThis week’s collection of articles from around the web starts with ways to develop the habit of writing and to get creative with your thesis or dissertation. Our next set of articles offer different writing styles including tiny texts, the uneven U paragraph structure, and a tour of Roald Dahl’s “writing hut”. We close with articles focused on social media-based digital portraits of academics, valuing all of your time, and continued discussion of open access publishing.

As Amae Dechavez once said, “Writing is a continuous discovery – a learning process.” This week, we encourage you to discover new information, new habits, and new ideas. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 25, 2019

Write Without Fear Edit Without MercyIt’s hard to believe that we have reached the end of the last full week of January already! Hopefully this month has been filled with new beginnings, fresh resolve toward your goals, and advancements in your academic writing endeavors, but there’s a lot of 2019 still to come!

For those of you in the final semester (or deep in the throws) of writing your thesis or dissertation, Pat Thomson’s advice to “yodelayeehoo” may be useful this week – by the way, it’s also great advice at multiple stages of your writing career. For those looking at what else the rest of this year and beyond has in store, the rest of this week’s collection brings insight to that question. First, we celebrate continued advancements in open access. Then we explore tips for managing research, ways to build a social network in the field, and the future of scholarly communication. To close, we look forward by looking back to 1923 and the possibilities that await for the previously copyrighted works newly released into public domain.

As you head into the days ahead, remember to “Write without Fear; Edit without Mercy”. And, if you’re one who likes inspiring reminders like this in physical form, stickers are available for use on your computer, smartphone, or office door through the TAA store. Happy Writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 14, 2018

"Everything you want is on the other side of fear." ~Jack CanfieldEndings can be challenging. Whether it’s the end of a project, the end of a semester, the end of a life phase, or even the end of a calendar year. What makes ending so difficult is often the uncertainty of what’s next rather than the closure of what has been.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with an example of a fourth year PhD candidate working toward completion of the program and advice on transitioning between career or writing phases. It continues with guidance on how to start collaborative projects, a challenge to dance your PhD, and eight ways to write theory very badly. Finally, we close with the uncertainty of the publishing industry for textbook authors, an introduction to branding, and ways to work with contributing authors in an edited book.

As we approach the final few weeks of 2018, we encourage you to look back over the year and your accomplishments with your writing projects. Close off what has earned completion status in the weeks and months that have come to pass, and prepare yourself for all that 2019 has in store. Look at your next project, career opportunity, or calendar page with excitement rather than nervousness. After all, as Jack Canfield once said, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: March 16, 2018

"I haven't finished writing my book, but it's on top of my list" ~Celeste Alexander“I haven’t finished writing my book, but it’s on top of my list” says Celeste Alexander. If you’re struggling with finishing a writing project, our first couple articles in this week’s collection of posts from around the web might help you find the means to move forward. Of course, according to our third article choice, “you should be writing!” and the shame that accompanies this rebuke are worthy of consideration as well.

In addition, we have found insight into word choice, the use of preprints in citations, theoretical frameworks, and peer review processes to support your writing efforts. Finally we round out our collection this week with two service platforms: DeepDyve and Skyepack that pursuer ways to reduce costs of journal articles and educational materials. Wherever your writing projects take you this week, we hope you feel a sense of accomplishment, even if you haven’t “finished”. [Read more…]

How to balance the demands of teaching and working on your thesis

Work Life BalanceIf you asked most people about the demands of a teaching position, they’d quickly agree that time extends beyond the classroom hours with grading and student interaction turning most part-time roles into full-time commitments of time and full-time roles into, well, more. Ask the same about the time involved in getting a graduate degree, especially during the research-intensive processes of a thesis or dissertation, and in most cases, you’ll hear of it being a full-time job unto itself.

So how can one person balance the demands of these two time-intensive efforts? For the answer, we sought the opinions of several TAA members, and as a bonus have included some additional resources to assist you if you are currently in or considering such a balancing act yourself. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: June 11, 2015

I think it’s safe to say that summer has write. finish things. go for walks. read a lot & outside your comfort zone. stay interested. daydream. write.arrived—hot sunny days filled with the sounds of kids outside playing (or at least that’s what I imagine I would hear if I lived in a neighborhood and not in the middle of nowhere). Summer is by far my favorite time of year. I feel much more motivated to reach all of the goals I’ve set for myself when the sun is shining and the temperature outside is nearer to 80°F than 0°F. How about you? Do you feel you accomplish more in the summer? Do you stay on track with your writing? A few of the posts this week will, I think, help you stay on track with your writing this summer, while still actually enjoying summer. And, as always, happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: June 4, 2015

I spent a good 40 minutes writing this week’s lead in paragraph. keep calm it's only a first draftIt was slightly witty (or at least I’m telling myself that it was) and related to one of the articles highlighted this week. In the end, it was crap. There was simply no point. I was trying to explain the stress June brings and how it is a struggle to fit everything into my day and how that relates to you, as a writer, with a job and a life trying to squeeze in writing time. Alas, there was no amount of editing that could save it. Had it been written on paper it would have been crumpled up and tossed in the direction of the garbage can only to, as if in one last laugh at me, land a full foot away on the floor. Instead, it’s forever going to sit in a word document highlighted in awful yellow (something I do with text I wish to change before finalizing a post). All I can say this week is, I hope your writing endeavors have been more accomplished than mine. And whether they have or haven’t been, the articles below will at least give you advice and encouragement that tomorrow is a fresh start. Or, if nothing else, that you aren’t alone in this struggle.

Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: April 17, 2015

There are SO many great articlesdon't give up on your article in this week’s most useful textbook & academic writing posts! I’m so excited about what’s below that I’m not even going to write a long introductory paragraph. I’m just going to say, I hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did and of course: Happy writing! [Read more…]

Join us for the April 19 Virtual Dissertation Writing Boot Camp

bootcampGain access to resources, accountability check-ins, and support and encouragement as you work to complete your dissertation, by joining us for TAA’s April Virtual Dissertation Writing Boot Camp, which will be held Sunday, April 19, 2015. Registration deadline is April 16. Register today. Free for TAA members!

The boot camps, led by Ashley Sanders, Digital Scholar Librarian at the Claremont Colleges and a doctoral candidate in History at Michigan State University, each focus on a different aspect of the writing process, including: [Read more…]