Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: September 13, 2019

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora RobertsNora Roberts once said, “You can fix anything but a blank page.” As we prepare for Peer Review Week 2019 next week, we find in our collection of articles from around the web others looking ahead to the event and many other items for consideration in the world of academic writing.

Our list includes advice on what to do in between submission and examination of your thesis, methods for work-life balance, holistic approaches to teaching and mentoring researchers, gamification of academic writing, ethics in data science, pathways to open access, and the art and science of image description.

No matter where your textbook and academic writing efforts take you this week, be sure to start somewhere. After all, you can’t fix a blank page. Happy writing! [Read more…]

For lagging doctoral candidates: How to finish your dissertation and keep your family

work from homeIf you are in the throes of your dissertation, you probably realize that, other than yourself, your family is most affected by your dissertation, and they most affect your progress. It can be hard for family members to understand what you’re going through and must continue to endure for several years.

A poignant example from one of my dissertation coaching clients: Ava wailed to me, “I get calls daily from my mother, my three sisters, and my two cousins! They all say they’re tired of me not coming to the family events. I had to go to the reunion!”

Like Ava’s relatives, family can start squeezing you. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: April 26, 2019

person actively working on a laptopIt’s the end of April. A time when many academics are faced with countless deadlines, upcoming graduations, and new beginnings – all of which carrying their own advantages and challenges. In this week’s collection of posts from around the web, we find advice and resources to promote success in those academic endeavors.

First, if actively writing, don’t overlook the value of editing in the process and be open to potential changes in your plan as you balance your ideal with the reality of deadlines. To support your writing efforts, explore the advantages that personal industry groups and artificial intelligence tools may provide. Keep in mind the reality of semester rhythms, associated burnout, and the need to find balance among your various work-related efforts. Finally, for those embarking on new beginnings as the academic year comes to a close, we share information on the first Read and Publish deal in the US and a list of academic job interview questions (and how to answer them).

As you enter this next week, take things as they come. Focus on each task without getting lost in the potential overwhelm of everything that this part of the academic season often brings. Find a balance for your work. Enjoy the endings and completions, and look forward to the beginnings lying ahead. And through it all, happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: March 8, 2019

"I haven't finished writing my book, but it's on top of my list" ~Celeste AlexanderThis week’s collection of posts from around the web includes practical advice from past experiences balanced with ideas to move us forward. We start with practical advice on mistakes to avoid when doing your PhD, what nobody tells you about ‘minor corrections’, strategies to manage work and enjoy life, and reviewing literature to situate it in a research tradition. We then share some articles with new ideas for mapping a text (beyond the traditional mind map or concept map), addressing global imbalances in scholarly communication, and training PhD graduates for jobs outside of academia.

Celeste Alexander once said, “I haven’t finished writing my book, but it’s on top of my list.” This week focus on that item on top of your list. What can you do to move closer to crossing it off? Happy writing! [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: January 11, 2019

"Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I'd never get anything done." ~Lawrence C. ConnollyThe new year. A time for resolutions and habit forming. Hopefully this year, writing is a habit you are working to develop. In the words of Lawrence C. Connolly, “Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I’d never get anything done.” While this may be true, we hope you find inspiration and resources to further your writing in the following collection of posts from around the web.

We start with some non-writing new year’s resolutions and academic trends before exploring the balance of work and research as well as of work and home lives. We continue the collection with online resources to identify and highlight women experts, examine the joy of kids for the teacher-scholar, and address the double-bind theory of scholarly publishing. Finally, we revisit the discussion of problems with textbook costs and free alternatives as well as a new problem of printing delays in academic book publishing.

Whatever this next week has in store, we hope you find time to write every day and to move forward on your projects toward your goals for 2019. Happy Writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 22, 2017

"All writing is rewriting." ~John GreenJohn Green says, “All writing is rewriting”. Nearing the end of the year, you may be considering what still needs to be written (both literally and figuratively) or rewritten for the year. As your writing continues into the holidays, our collection of posts this week begin with actions you can take to balance work with the holidays, effectively brainstorm ideas, and to gain more influence in academe.

We then explore some of the topics impacting textbook and academic authors including net neutrality, OER adoptions, free textbooks, qualitative research methods, and author perspectives on academic journal publishing in 2017. We close this week in the holiday spirit of gift giving (both literally and figuratively) with book ideas for the academic on your list and an article titled, “10 reasons self-publishing is the best gift you can give your book”. Whatever your holiday plans, we hope that you continue writing (and rewriting) toward an even better new year ahead. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: October 16, 2015

I have had an awful cold since Monday. If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.When I’m this sick I can barely function as a human—or at least that’s how I feel. My healthy eating habits are replaced with soup that’s high in sodium and grilled cheese sandwiches. And although I try to get in my daily exercise, instead I end up sleeping curdled up in a ball  and calling that exercise. Habits and routines fall to the wayside. As much as I dislike that this happens, I have to allow myself to accept that when I am sick, that this is okay. All of this peaked my curiosity as to what all of you do, as avid daily writers, in a similar situation. Do you still sit and write even when your head is pounding—when you are sick and nothing but sleep sounds appealing? Or, do you allow yourself to rest and be okay with not moving your writing forward for those few days? If you are able to still write on those days, I admire and applaud you. But, if you are like me and allow yourself time to rest, remember: soon enough you’ll be back on track and ready to tackle your writing with renewed motivation—or at least without a pounding headache.

Happy writing! [Read more…]