AcWriMo starts tomorrow – see what we have planned

AcWriMo 2019Established in 2011, Academic Writing Month (AcWriMo) is “a month-long academic write-a-thon that happens every November”. Here at TAA, we have continued to plan special opportunities for our members to engage in AcWriMo as a group to enhance their individual writing efforts. Some of our members have also created or sponsored additional AcWriMo events throughout the month.

This year, TAA has decided to focus on a theme of “Distinguishing features of academic writing”. Specifically, we have used a list of academic writing features to further focus our weekly TweetChat discussions and shared resources to include: academic precision, complexity, formality, objectivity, and accuracy. Below are several of the planned activities we have scheduled for AcWriMo 2019. [Read more…]

Academic Writing Month: Community and progress

AcWriMo is coming soonOne book to complete, another one to start. It must be time for Academic Writing Month! November is almost here, and writers around the world will be looking for tips and encouragement so they can make progress on articles, books, theses, or dissertations. We’ll share strategies, progress, and frustrations using the #AcWriMo hashtag.

Writing is typically a solitary occupation. Even when we are co-authoring, a lot of work is done on our own. And for most of us, the concept of a “book leave” or a sabbatical—undistracted time to focus on our writing—is the stuff of dreams. While we struggle to make sense of our thoughts and interpret research for our readers, life goes on. Dinner needs cooking, partners and kids need attention, and students expect us in class. [Read more…]

Why we write

Why we writeWhy are you writing? Next week is Peer Review Week which makes this a great time to discuss what may seem like a simple question. Perhaps all peer review (or all writing endeavors) should start with Why.

To fully understand what drives your effort as a writer, ask yourself why you are embarking on writing that article, textbook, monograph, etc. Here are some reasons that I have heard in the past. [Read more…]

Most useful textbook and academic posts of the week: May 17, 2019

"It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different." ~Scott BerkunThis week’s collection of articles from around the web contains a number of articles focused on the aspects of writer’s life that are not directly related to the task of writing. Things like use of figures, evaluation methods, motivational efforts, discussion, and networking opportunities.

These same things, while supportive of our writing practice, may also prove to be a distraction or cause of fear of evaluation of our own writing. While it is important to keep them in mind and to incorporate them into our overall writing process, we must be sure to use them in a way that moves us further along in our writing efforts. As Scott Berkun once said, “It’s not the fear of writing that blocks people, it’s the fear of not writing well; something quite different.” This week let the evaluation, nagging, discussion, and presentation of your work drive you to be better and to move forward. Happy writing! [Read more…]

The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment

The Where: Constructing an effective writing environmentOnce you know what you need to work on, establishing an environment with the right atmosphere, tools, and resources necessary for completing the project is equally important. In the previous article, we explored the first W – The What: Defining a research project.

In this article, we will focus on The Where: Constructing an effective writing environment. This discussion began with a self-reporting of participant writing environments and continued with discussion of ways to improve them.

Q1: How would you describe your current writing environment? [Read more…]

Getting ready for #AcWriMo 2018

#AcWriMo 2018In a little over two weeks, we will begin our annual celebration of Academic Writing Month (#AcWriMo) for the month of November. When Charlotte Frost at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) started the first #AcWriMo event in 2011, she “aimed to develop an event that would push her and her colleagues to work on their respective academic writing projects and create a writing ‘team’ among them and the wider global academic community.” (Source: Wikipedia)

During #AcWriMo 2018, TAA plans to continue this tradition of motivation and collaboration with a focus on the 5 W’s of Academic Writing. [Read more…]

Exercises in writing accountability – The TAA Writing Gym

TAA Writing GymThe TAA Writing Gym has officially opened its doors for the first time and we are excited to announce that 173 TAA members have committed to a six-week workout regimen in writing accountability.

From July 16 through August 26, TAA Writing Gym participants will be held accountable for their weekly writing goals by logging hours as they work on their individual writing projects. To support and encourage their progress, the gym provides weekly motivational writing classes, writing stations filled with exclusive TAA resources, and a listserv for communication with other gym members. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: July 13, 2018

"Words are a lens to focus one's mind." ~Ayn RandThis week’s collection of articles from around the web start with some writing motivation including the question “Have you started writing yet?” and the discussion of writing productivity through a daily writing habit. There is additional advice on how to get your manuscript submitted, proofreading tips, and developing diversity in your reference lists. We close our list with other topics of interest, including what cannot be said in academia, new tools for open access research, quality concerns related to OER, and one college’s efforts to save on textbook costs.

According to Ayn Rand, “Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” This week I encourage you to use your words, focus your mind, and move forward on your summer writing projects. [Read more…]

Why vision boards work and why you should make one today [for authors]

Vision BoardVisualization is a powerful tool. Athletes have harnessed this power for decades. In fact, visualization stimulates the same regions of the brain as actually performing the action does. This powerful tool, however, isn’t just for athletes. Writers too, can benefit from it. One way to do this, and express your creative self while doing so, is to create a vision board. A vision board is literally a board of some kind that you display images on to help you concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal (or goals) you have. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic writing posts of the week: December 19, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is "Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." -Louis L'Amourhere and next week is Christmas. Which means not only the end of the semester for many of you, but also grading tests and papers for hours on end. I have many memories that involve my father sitting at our dining room table, stacks of papers piled around him, grading tests from the time he got home until late into the evening (I even got to help him from time to time). I know how crazy this time of year can be for academics, but hopefully amid the chaos you can still find a place of quietude for your writing.

Whether you just need a break from grading, are looking for ways to stay motivated or become a more productive writer, or want to learn more about the future of the monograph, you’ll find it here. Happy holidays and Merry Christmas. See you back here in 2015! And of course, happy writing! [Read more…]