Here’s the setup. Researchers (Lowe and Crawford) wanted to test whether intuitions or further reflection proved more accurate. So, they gave students a test consisting only of true/false questions. All students had two passes at the exam.
The only difference? Half of the students committed in writing to one answer the first time around before choosing a final answer. The other group merely read over the questions before marking their final answer.
What did the study find? Participants that were required to commit to one answer before their second pass scored higher overall than those that only mentally chose an answer.
Continue reading “Commit, Pause, Revise: Apply it to Academic Writing, Teaching & Productivity”
You will likely fall into one of two camps. If you’re in the first, you might find yourself frustrated and disappointed about your productivity. You know you can write more (or “be more productive”), but it feels like something is wrong with you. “I don’t know how other people do it!” you tell yourself.
Or, you fall into camp two: it feels like something is wrong with your environment. You just “can’t find the time to write.” You eke out most of your writing at the last minute. Then, exhausted, you take a break, only to find yourself facing an imminent deadline again.
Regardless of which camp you fall in (or even if you don’t quite see yourself in either), I’ve got great news. Like everything else, how much you write is dependent on an interconnected set of habits, thought patterns, and beliefs.
The good news? All of these are behaviors you can take charge of and develop or change. Here’s how.
Continue reading “7 Writing Habits for Scholars to Cultivate”
Are you plagued by an inner editor? It can take many forms. First, there’s the critical voice that shouts: “This isn’t analytical enough! What are you even trying to say? This isn’t new.” There’s also the frustrated voice that points out the distance between your great idea and what appears on the page: “That sentence doesn’t really capture exactly what I want to say! That tone is not quite right. I need to set this opposition up better” Or, the seemingly innocuous fact-checking impulse: “Oh, you need to double-check that quote/ date/ word/ place.”
Continue reading “How to Quell Your Inner Editor: Indulge It in This Deliberate Way”
It happened when you were up against a deadline, and you had no other option. You sat down and thought, “I don’t know what I’m saying! How can I write if I don’t know what I’m saying!” But with the looming deadline, you managed to temporarily push past your fear and just start.
Continue reading “Want Sustainable Writing? Monitor Your Writing Stumbling Blocks.”
In previous posts, I showed you how to get your summer off to the right start by making a schedule, time map, and setting a summer start date; determining what your writing will look like; and negotiating the crucial first weeks. But summer is not just about writing. Here are 6 other things you should consider adding to your schedule.
Continue reading “The 6 Other Things You Should Be Doing this Summer”
Faculty: do you plan to use this summer to make headway on your writing projects? Have you fantasized for months about all you’ll finally be able to write once your classes end? Did you (or will you soon) finish the semester stressed, burned out, and needing time to recharge? If so, you might be tempted to take a few weeks completely off from writing. However, this might not be the best strategy because it can lull you into cycles of procrastination.
Continue reading “Harness the Power of the Clean Slate to Boost Summer Productivity”
“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I sit down to write in the afternoon, but after only 15 minutes, I get so distracted that I can’t make any progress on my writing. I schedule my session for two hours, but can’t get anything done. Then I feel guilty for not writing like I was supposed to. I am frustrated that I waste so much precious writing time.”
Does this conversation with a junior colleague sound like you? Here’s how the rest went:
Continue reading “Are You Making Scholarly Writing 20% Harder? How to Maximize Your Focus and Productivity”
As I lay out in my post about how and why to plan your summer before the semester ends, summer break tends to sneak up on faculty, professors, and graduate students. During the hectic semester, we long for the days when we will have fewer responsibilities. We fantasize about how much writing we will get done once our piles of work to grade disappear. We imagine that our productivity will skyrocket.
And yet, we often set ourselves up for failure.
Continue reading “Junior Faculty: Plan Your Most Productive Writing Summer Yet, Part 2”
It might have snuck up on you, but summer (at least for most US faculty) is right around the corner. Especially if you have a heavy teaching load right now, I bet you’re thinking two main things. First, summer will be your long-awaited down time to finally rest and recover from the semester’s stresses. Second, you are likely thinking “I can’t wait for summer so that I can finally get back to my research and writing!” With no classes to prep and grade, it feels like you will have endless amounts of time to write, distraction-free.
But long periods of unstructured time can be particularly troublesome. How many times have you found yourself making lofty goals for a break, only to find yourself scrambling in the final moments to get the bare minimum done?
So, how can you set yourself up to have a productive summer from the start? How can you plan your summer writing productivity now?
Continue reading “Professors: Why and How to Plan a Productive Summer Before the Semester’s Over”
Your brain tricks you constantly. You think you are a good multitasker. It never feels like your attention and focus suffer when you quickly answer a text message during a writing session. In fact, you’re able to get right back to your work.
The science tells a different story, one that will forever change how you see task switching and interruptions.
Continue reading “Interruptions Steal 23 Minutes: How to Protect Your Focus”
Whether it is three months or three years until you write your first academic book proposal, there are steps you should be taking now to ensure it is as strong as possible. The steps below will help you tailor your academic book proposal to target the best university presses in your field and create the strongest possible case for your book.
Continue reading “What To Do Before Writing an Academic Book Proposal: 4 Crucial Steps”
Are you a first-time academic book author? Do you hope to publish your academic book with a university press, but don’t know much beyond that? Below, I give you the information about university presses you must know to find the right academic publisher and write the strongest academic book proposal possible.
Continue reading “University Presses: 4 Things First-Time Book Authors Must Know”
If you are publishing your first academic book for tenure and promotion purposes, you know you are on a deadline. And yet most resources for first-time academic book authors don’t discuss time at all. In short, nothing prepares you answer one of your most pressing questions: “How long does publishing an academic book take?”
Continue reading “How Long Does Publishing an Academic Book Take? My First Book’s Timeline.”
Are you interested in teaching with iPads, but wondering what’s the difference between an iPad and an iPad Pro? If you’ve owned or used an iPad in the past, the answer is not immediately obvious. Why should you pay almost double for an iPad Pro, when it looks pretty much the same as a regular iPad? Continue reading “What’s the Difference Between an iPad and an iPad Pro?”