The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: December 15, 2017

Halfway through the final month of the year, as the fall semester comes to an end for academics, we’re often faced with a mix of emotions related to the satisfying end of one term, the upcoming holiday “break” ahead, and the new challenges that await in the new year. It can be a time of reflection, gratitude, stress, innovation, or a multitude of these and other feelings. Our selection of articles this week reflect all of them.

We begin with gratitude and praise for the family members, especially academic spouses, who support us throughout the year, and tackle the stress of stalls in our progress and ways to break through the doldrums. We then explore some of the concerns facing academic and textbook authors, such as predatory publishers and the consideration of e-books vs. physical textbooks. Finally, we share a number of posts related to innovation and moving forward on your writing projects including: the state of innovation in scholarly communication today, big data, interdisciplinary efforts, finding the gaps for grant funding opportunities, citing “grey literature” such as blogs, and new tools to support your research and collaboration efforts.

Although we hope you find inspiration from this collection to move forward in your own textbook and academic writing efforts, don’t wait for inspiration to get moving. As Lawrence C. Connolly says, “Writing is something I do everyday. If I waited for inspiration, I’d never get anything done.”

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Writing workshops provide support for academic authors

Holding writing workshops is an effective way to support, celebrate and teach writing. That’s what Andrew P. Johnson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Literacy and Inclusion at Minnesota State University, Mankato, discovered when he ran a Writer’s Workshop (WW) on campus aimed at professors.

“I’ve looked at a lot of research that demonstrates the best way to teach writing is the process approach. WW is a familiar concept used by many elementary and middle school teachers,” Johnson said. “Many professors who wanted to write had no idea about the process of writing a journal article or book prospectus.”