When the Writing Is Stuck

How to finish writing an academic paper when you're stuck Whether the academic paper you’re stuck on is a term paper, dissertation, journal article, or even the chapter of a book, reaching the point when you confront a blank page and write your first sentence can be unnerving. Your approach to this vital stage in the writing process is, to [...]

By | October 16th, 2013|

To Use the Passive Voice, or Not

The active voice brings readability “Will felt that the reader was in serious trouble most of the time, floundering in a swamp, and that it was the duty of anyone attempting to write English to drain this swamp quickly and get the reader up on dry ground or at least to throw a rope.” E.B. White William Strunk's metaphor of [...]

By | September 18th, 2013|

Handling Rejection of Your Peer-Reviewed Article

Profiting from Rejection of Your Peer-Reviewed Article Suggestions for responding to rejection of your journal submission You're not alone. Every academic writer has had a peer-reviewed article rejected by an academic journal. You've spent a lot of time on it, and it hurts to see your efforts appear wasted. Your efforts weren't wasted. Listen to the positives it the reviews -- they're [...]

By | August 8th, 2013|

Publish Your Dissertation as a Book

Revising Your Dissertation for Publication Turning your dissertation into a book can require extensive revisions to the manuscript. It’s best to make as many changes as you can before submitting it to a press. Although you may get back useful reader reports and a request to “revise and resubmit,” you may also be turned down and thus lose your chance [...]

By | July 24th, 2013|

On the Demise of English Communication

"The Culture of the Word has Taken . . . a Nose Dive in America" In his article, "No Self-Mockery, Please, We're American," Terry Eagleton, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, makes some interesting observations on American culture and the spoken word and how they affect the way many American students write. Generally speaking, American students are a delight to [...]

By | July 2nd, 2013|

Write Abstracts for a General Audience

Two Pointers for Writing an Abstract for an Academic Journal Article When writing an abstract, remember that the purpose of the abstract is to aid general readers who are trying to decide if they want to read your paper. To this end, the abstract should be comprehensive and clear to a general audience. The following two rules, which are frequently [...]

By | March 14th, 2013|

Paragraphs Guide Your Readers

Paragraph structure creates coherence We take paragraphs for granted. But look at an old printed text that lacks this typographical device, and you will find yourself lost in a “river of words.” Thank the “printers and grammarians who invented typographical devices to mark off meaningful segments of thought.” [1] Indentation (to mark a new paragraph), serves to telegraph that a [...]

By | March 7th, 2013|

Eight Simple Tips to Improve Your Academic Writing

Write Like an Academic Writer Academic writing can seem daunting, but following these eight simple tips can improve your chances of being published in peer-reviewed journals: After quoting another author, don't move on to your next point. Explain in your words what the author said and why it's important to your argument. Join a conversation and move it forward rather [...]

By | March 1st, 2013|