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…]

Doctoral writing circles: Learning to write and collaborate

writing circleGraduate students will graduate, and at that point they’ll need to write with others. In academic positions they’ll work with colleagues on committees and research projects that result in written materials, books, or articles. In professional positions they’ll work on project teams and write plans and reports. Yet while they are in school, especially at the dissertation stage, students’ work is typically conducted on their own.

First, let’s define the term collaboration to describe “an interactive process that engages two or more participants who work together to achieve outcomes they could not accomplish independently” (Salmons, 2019). Sometimes writers collaborate to produce one piece of writing, other times they collaborate on the process, while each produces their own piece of writing.

With those possibilities in mind, as instructors, mentors, or dissertation supervisors, how can we create opportunities for that help students collaborate to generate their best writing and at the same time, learn to collaborate so they are prepared to succeed in a team-work world? [Read more…]

How a personal writing team can increase your productivity through accountability

Writing TeamAt the 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference in Santa Fe, NM, panelists at three different career stages discussed how they came together to form a “personal writing team” that supports writing goals, productivity, and accountability. Unique to this group, said panelist Felicia Moore Mensah, an associate dean and faculty member at Teachers College, Columbia University, is the support that women of color can provide and need for increased mentorship for early career scholars.

The complete recording of their presentation, “A Personal Writing Team for Productivity and Accountability,” can be found in TAA’s library of Presentations on Demand. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: June 26, 2015

Can you believe that we are already at the end of June? "Don't wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect."Have you found yourself sticking to your writing goals or does hearing that it’s the end of June make you want to run screaming in panic? You might not be screaming in panic, but you might be quickly assessing all that you have and have yet to accomplish this summer to meet the goals you set for yourself this past spring. Luckily, many of the articles below are focused on summer writing. Some reassuring there is still plenty of time to be productive and others on productivity and realistic writing schedules.

Happy writing! [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…]

5 Approaches to writing group success

Writing GroupWriting groups offer their members a wealth of benefits. In fact, studies indicate that membership in a writing group can actually help boost your publication rate. In an examination of the publication rate of 48 female medical school faculty before and after participating in a writing group, Sonnad et al. found that the professors’ average publication rate increased from 1.5 papers per year to 4.5 papers per year after joining the writing group. Cumbie et al. also describe increases in productivity among writing group members, reporting “significant and positive writing outcomes in the form of manuscripts submitted for publication, abstracts submitted for conference presentations, [and] grant proposals developed.” [Read more…]

8 Strategies for writing group success

Writing groups provide an opportunity for you to connect with your peers, create a sense of community, and find collaborators for joint projects. By meeting regularly as a group, you can provide one another with peer support and accountability while sharing advice that can help improve writing skills and lead to greater publication success.

Writing gifts: Blogging about academic writing

Patricia Goodson

Patricia Goodson

Maggie Huerta

Maggie Huerta

Peter Elbow once recommended that authors should try to write for non-evaluative audiences; they should experiment donating their writing as precious gifts to readers who would not judge, evaluate or critique, but would merely enjoy the words and ideas1. For academic writers like us — subject ad nauseam to evaluations and tearing apart of our writing – having a venue where we write merely for the pleasure of writing what others enjoy reading is strong medicine. Medicine that can heal the handicap of destructive feedback, nourish the “writing soul”2, prevent abject loneliness during the process, and restore the hope that, yes, we can, in fact, write something others might actually want to read!

Here is the story of how a group of graduate students and faculty at Texas A&M University began heeding Elbow’s advice. [Read more…]

12 Strategies for writing group success

writing groupWriting groups provide an opportunity for faculty authors to connect with their peers, create a sense of community, and find collaborators for joint projects. By meeting regularly as a group, author members can provide one another with peer support and accountability while sharing advice that can help improve writing skills and lead to greater publication success.

Providing valuable resources and grant funding, TAA’s Chapter Program offers an excellent foundation for establishing a successful faculty authoring community. Following are twelve TAA Chapter Program strategies designed to increase the power and success of chapter writing groups. [Read more…]

Learning as we go: Establishing a writing community

Alexandria Wolochuck

Alexandria Wolochuck

In 2011 Pat Mason and I set out to establish a TAA chapter writing community at Molloy College. Making the time to come together during a semester to share our work is an awesome task for many of us, but we try to make it interesting for our colleagues by providing writing sessions, newly published books, and refreshments. In addition, we have adopted various useful mottoes—the best being “Less surfing and more writing!”

Pat and I seek to provide opportunities to the writing group that would be the most beneficial to our members. Recently what worked for us was to offer a 50-minute workshop on “Strategies to Improve Your Writing.” We got off to a really great start with a group of faculty representing nursing, theology and communication who seemed eager to learn. The workshop was very interactive and the time was well spent. [Read more…]