Monday, December 11, 2017

Top Tips for Successful Writing from Librarian as Academic Author Seminar

Heather Chawke compiled a helpful list of tips  from the group discussion at the seminar Librarian as Academic Author at Maynooth University Library on 9th November 2017.

Each table discussed their top tips for someone new to writing for publication and subsequently shared them for wider discussion.  The top tips were identified as follows:
1)      Choose the topic carefully; write about what you are interested in and what is relevant to you. Where possible combine academic writing with interesting aspects of your day job.
2)      Identify a gap in the literature or angle that interests you; be passionate about your writing. 
3)      Have a clear focus and purpose, and make sure that this is reflected in the title.
4)      Make your writing accessible and easy to read, avoiding acronyms.
5)      Time management is vital.  Set mini goals for yourself.  Ideally allow two weeks at the end of the process for reflection.  Engage in ‘snack writing’, writing little and often.
6)      Take time to outline your structure.
7)      Practice for perfection. Write, write and re-write – hone your skills.  Get others to read what you’ve written.
8)      Understand the environment and use the literature review to reflect this understanding.
9)      Collaboration and partnership are extremely important…but set boundaries, be assertive and proactive.
10)   Be flexible in the writing process and anticipate that you may need to change, edit and delete content.
11)   Think about what kind of publication you want to write for, who you are writing for, what they require from you.
12)   Read prospective journals for hints on style, content and structure.
13)   Talk to those who have already been published, gain from their experience.
14)   Target the publication and understand the requirements.  Read and visualise the end product.
15)   Mentor collegiality and networking relationships are helpful for developing content and conversation.  Talk to lecturers, academics, other librarians.
16)   Use social media to your advantage, to engage with the audience.
17)   Don’t take revisions from editors personally.
18)   Be prepared for knock backs.
19)   Engage in pre-peer review with a friendly writing group/ person.
20)   Find a critical friend.

No comments: