Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: February 22, 2019

Make things happenThis week’s collection of articles from around the web continues to show the state of change in the publishing industry, specifically through the open access movement. From the perspective of personal change (and challenges), several other topics are included in the list with focus on feedback, negative mind chatter, bold requests, and presenting information to others.

Whatever changes or challenges your writing efforts may be facing from external or internal sources this week, remember your goals for having started in the first place and make things happen. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Getting early feedback on your writing: Turning good into great

dance floorSharing your writing in its early forms can cause anxiety. I liken it to going to a middle school dance. It seems like a good idea, but it is laced with a fear of rejection and insecurity.

Developing positive habits early in your writing career, however, are important. Seeking feedback makes writers better and more confident.  Here are six ideas to help move you toward embracing the valuable feedback loop: [Read more…]

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

"Most writing doesn't take place on the page; it takes place in your head." ~Susan OrleanSusan Orlean said, “Most writing doesn’t take place on the page; it takes place in your head.” Writing begins with curiosity, expands into a desire to identify, curate, and create knowledge and ideas, and ultimately affects those who read our work.

This week’s collection of posts from around the web begins with ideas for developing a practice of curiosity, for establishing relationships with good critical friends, and for discerning helpful advice from awful advice. We then have some advice for reducing the fear of “the literature” and a discussion on the affect of activism in academia. Our collection closes with insight on the evolving landscape of research access, the words we use to describe new publishing paradigms, and the true cost of inclusive access.

As you write this week – whether in your head or on the page – consider the effect your writing has on your discipline and your readers. Start with a curiosity that leads to discovery and consider where your work fits in the ever-changing landscape of scholarly publishing. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 7, 2018

Starve your distractions : Feed your focusOur weekly collection of posts from around the web contains a variety of topics beginning with the mental health of academics and the process of giving feedback on academic writing. We then explore some academic elements often challenging to writers: statistics and theory. Next we look at industry concerns when setting up a new academic journal and the impact of Plan S on society publishers. We continue with discussion of the relationship between measurement systems and impact goals as well as concerns related to scientific misconduct. Finally, as we approach the holiday season, we have a list of gift ideas for the academics on your list.

This week, as the end of academic semesters approach for many of us and the holidays add new elements of obligation to our already busy schedules, focus on this simple message – Starve your distractions : Feed your focus. Happy writing! [Read more…]

Writing in tribute: Don’t wait for the eulogy!

Thank youRecently I received some professional praise and recognition. One was in public,  the TAA Mike Keedy Award and the other was in private, a few sentences in an other-wise business-as-usual email. At first, I felt simply flattered. How nice! But as I reflected on the comments, I realized they were more than just sweet talk. The remarks confirmed that I am making progress toward accomplishing what I have set out to do at this point in my career. They helped me confirm priorities and set steps for continued improvement. In the digital age, we can write, post, and give webinars. We can read site analytics, but we can’t read the audience. Are they paying attention or are eyelids drooping? Are they reading or just scrolling? In absence of visual cues, it helped me to hear that my messages are getting through. [Read more…]

3 Ways to receive productive feedback

Hand reaching out to offer assistanceFeedback is an essential component of most things we do in life, especially our writing processes. However, the wrong type of feedback can be at best not useful, and at worst, harmful to the process.

Here are three things that you can do to improve your chances of receiving productive feedback.

1) Ask for feedback in ways that will be helpful

Getting the answers that you need from the feedback process requires asking the questions that will encourage the most useful response. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: September 25, 2015

"A place for everything, everything in its place." -Benjamin FranklinMost often in this series the posts I find from week to week are on many different topics. This week, however, there are two overriding themes “referencing” and “organizing,” with just a sprinkling of other topics to enjoy.

As always, happy writing! [Read more…]

How to request and receive feedback on your writing

Dave Harris

Dave Harris

We shall take it as a given that a good academic work is focused. I have trouble imagining a dissertation writer who wouldn’t agree that their dissertation ought to be focused. But focus doesn’t get enough attention early in the process. Yes, early in the process we are seeking to refine a focus by exploring a range of possibilities. All of these are important reasons not to focus too intently, too early.

But this piece is about feedback and how to get and use feedback effectively; this is about submitting work to professors for feedback. You may have many ideas in your head and you may still be seeking focus, but, when it’s time, you want to submit something that is focused. You can have all the competing ideas that you want rattling around in your head, but what you put down on paper for submission needs to be focused. [Read more…]