Friday, February 27, 2009

My 'Quick Tips' Handout

Hi everyone,

Here are some tips (which I circulated at yesterday's academic writing day in NUIM) -hope you find it useful:

Before you begin your article/book chapter/conference paper, ask yourself:

  • Why am I passionate about this topic and how important is it that I communicate this?
  • How does my paper contribute to the theory/add value?
  • Which journal/book/conference paper do I want to publish in/present at – this will determine who your audience is


  • Who is the audience for my paper? – this will determine the journal/book/conference you choose to publish in /present at

Some Do’s and Don’ts

Targeting a Journal/conference

  • Don’t write comprehensively & then plan to find an appropriate ‘place’ for your writing.
  • Do analyse target journals/conferences carefully as you go along & then write with the benefit of this analysis
  • Do get several copies of your chosen publication/outlet and scan to get a ‘feel of what its about’

Tip your toe in the water:

  • Do discuss your idea for a paper with your peers
  • Don’t be afraid to contact an editor with your idea for a paper

Be strict on yourself:

  • Don’t use the ‘there’s not enough time’ excuse – make time! Plan your diary and set weekly word count goals
  • Do follow the Guidelines for Authors exactly before you submit your draft – the more (s)he can see how your paper looks in their style the more professional you look
  • Do set a deadline with the editor – “I will get the first draft to you by x date” - & do this!!
  • Do make any revisions & return to editor as soon as possible

And kind aswell:

  • Do learn to let go of your piece – it’s difficult to get perfection so be realistic
  • Do learn from ‘rejection’ – thank the editor for the opportunity and request feedback

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