Academic writing: Counting words of meaning?

Academic WriterOur priorities are reflected in our sense of professional identity. Are you an academic or a writer? Are you an instructor/researcher/research supervisor/committee member/conference presentation planner (not to mention parent, community volunteer and…) who is compelled to write in order to get, keep, or advance in a desired career? Do you see yourself as a writer who uses what you learn from your life and work to inspire others? Or are you looking for the right balance? [Read more…]

How to minimize distractions and disruptions while writing

Do not disturbUnlike most writing disciplines, textbook and academic writing must be balanced with the distractions and disruptions of the many demands of academic life, including teaching, committee assignments, and research.

Five TAA members share how they minimize distractions and disruptions while writing, including how they eliminate electronic distractions, make time for writing, use music to focus, and edit later. [Read more…]

10 Habits of highly productive writers

Hands on computer typing1) They reject the notion of “writer’s block” the way others shun gluten. Some people are truly unable to tolerate that vilified protein, but many more leap after a culprit to explain their dyspepsia or inability to refrain from carby deliciosity. Maybe cutting out a big food group makes it easier to stick to a diet than being careful about portion sizes of crusty bread and pasta puttanesca. Certainly there’s a comfort in diagnosis, relief in the idea that suffering can be linked to a thing that others also get. Likewise, it’s a lot easier to say that the muse has gone AWOL than to admit that writing is hard and requires discipline and sacrifice. [Read more…]

Join us for 9/17 TAA Webinar – Publish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive Scholar

Publish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive ScholarNathaniel LambertJoin us Wednesday, September 17 from 5-6 p.m. EDT for the one-hour webinar, “Publish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive Scholar,” presented by Nathaniel Mark Lambert, Ph.D., author of Publish and Prosper: A Strategy Guide for Students and Researchers. Free for Members. Click here to register
. Non-members: Join TAA for only $30. [Read more…]

9/17 TAA Webinar – Publish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive Scholar

Nathaniel Lambertpublish_and_prosperJoin us Wednesday, September 17 from 5-6 p.m. EDT for the one-hour webinar, “Publish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive Scholar,” presented by Nathaniel Mark Lambert, Ph.D., author of Publish and Prosper: A Strategy Guide for Students and Researchers. Free for Members. Click here to register
. Non-members: Join TAA for only $30.

Intended to help you succeed in academia by increasing your scholarly productivity, this webinar provides strategies for getting articles published quickly in reputable research journals. Rather than focusing on the basics of writing about results, this unique webinar provides tips on how to approach research, maintain motivation, maximize productivity, and overcome common pitfalls so as to become a productive scholar. The strategies reviewed will help you successfully navigate through graduate school, get a good job, receive grants and promotions, and make important contributions to your field. [Read more…]

3 Key principles for strong academic writing

Rachael CayleyIn her academic writing blog, “Explorations of Style”, Rachael Cayley offers three key principles for strong academic writing: 1) using writing to clarify your own thinking, 2) committing to extensive revision, and 3) understanding the needs of your reader­­. As a senior lecturer at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Toronto, Cayley teaches academic writing and speaking to graduate students. Prior to that, she was an editor at Oxford University Press in Toronto. Her years of writing experience have convinced her of the connection between writing and thinking, the essentially iterative nature of academic writing, and the valuable role that audience awareness can play in the choices we make in our academic writing. [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.

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…]

Advice: Solitaire, snacks won’t cure writer’s block

Tactics that authors use to break writer’s block, such as keep calm and write somethingplaying solitaire, exercising or eating, can be both helpful and hurtful, said Drema Albin, a post-internship resident in the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Counseling Services Unit. These strategies can work more as distractions, said Albin, keeping authors from sitting down and writing. She recommends authors instead make a point to put something down on paper, even if it is just “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over. “The outcome of the writing is not as important as being engaged in the process,” said Albin. [Read more…]