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One of my side-projects is a website on how to write better papers, mostly for social scientists. Here is a thread with the posts you can find there #writingcommunity #academicwriting #postdoc #PhDthesis #AcademicTwitter #researchpapers #PhDChat /1
My most-viewed post is the one on how to write simply – how to cut the crap, that is. I was inspired by William Zinsser’s ‘On writing well’ (highly recommended!). A workbook accompanies the post with exercises on how to simplify your own text.… /2
I plan a series of posts on writing different parts of a paper: the abstract, the conclusions, etc. For now, here's a piece on how to get a nice title for your paper…. (Laughed out loud with the terrible titles academics, myself including, come up with..)/3
Plus a piece on how to start powerfully your paper with a kick-A introduction. Accompanied by a workbook to help you to draft the introduction to your own paper… /4
While studying at Berkeley, I learned about the sentence outline technique – a way to design your paper based on arguments, not contents…. Happy to see that @thePaperMilleu found it useful and are now teaching it at their writing workshops! /5
I’ve written also two posts on editing. The first one deals with the problem of how to cut a significant number of words out of a long paper. / 6
The second is on how to proofread your paper. The answer is by reading (and editing) it backwards – that is start from the last sentence, then read the one before, etc. This way your mind focuses on grammar and English, not content… / 7
In the three years I run the website, several colleagues shared kindly with me their wisdom and tips. @DrDanONeill gave generously his ten commandments for good writing that he passes to his students when they start their PhDs… /8
@ProfJeroenBergh, a prolific writer and a distinguished editor, explained what a good article looks like… /9
Robyn Mayes shared tips on how to read effectively the work of others when preparing for writing your paper -… /10
@a_vansi, an editor, gave his thoughts on how to give constructive feedback to others – be it friends whose paper you read or authors whose work you review… / 11
And @Steph_Loveless, a PhD student, explained how it has helped her see her paper as an intervention in a scholar dialogue to which she adds her own voice… - /12
Several posts in my website cover the less gracious publishing process that surrounds the actual writing of a paper. In this one for example I explain how to suggest reviewers, when asked by the journal during submission…
With V.Kostakis we shared our experience with replying to reviewers. Check the Workbook with examples from a long reply letter that accompanied the revision of an actual paper I ended up publishing. (Lamentably we academics never teach these things)… / 14
Rejection is not what you want when you submit a paper, but we’ve all been there. In this post I offered a step-by-step process on what to do if your paper has been rejected… /15
@francesc_baro explained here how to avoid predatory publishers… and Vassilis Kostakis how to diffuse your work once published… /16
If you want to know how editors think and what they are looking for in submissions, check this interview with the editors of Geoforum and EIST @estevecorbera and @ProfJeroenBergh… /17
And if you plan to edit a Special Issue for a journal, check this nice step-by-step Guide by Federico Demaria -… /18
Apart from the nuts and bolts of writing a paper, I want to use the website in order to reflect on the philosophy, ethics, politics and psychology of the writing process /19
I particularly enjoyed interviewing my colleagues Viky Reyes (…) and @ianguelovski (…), reflecting on the pains and pleasures of academic writing /20
Equally I enjoyed this in-depth conversation with @DrDanONeill comparing our experiences with academic writing (This is my one and only video to date in the website - expect more like it in the future!)… /21
@esenabre wrote a great piece on how to use new software tools and agile processes for writing collaboratively… /22
And the CLEAR Lab with @MaxLiboiron shared their experience with navigating the ethics of authors’ order in co-authored papers and how to do it in a just and equitable way… /23
The design of the website and the workbooks (with the unmistakable touch of humor in the choice of images) plus the shooting and editing of the one and only video is work of @anybodycancode1 🙏👏/ 24
Right now the website is on pause as both me and the webmaster @anybodycancode1 are on parental leave (not a coincidence - we are married ☺). Website will be back in September with new content. If you have ideas what to cover, let us know! / END
I don't tweet that much on academic writing, most of my tweets are about my work in ecological economics and degrowth. If you want to follow one account though, check @raulpacheco. High quality information.
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