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Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to Write an Article in 5 Minutes

I haven't read all those books about how to do your dissertation in 15 minutes a day, or how to write an article in 12 weeks, or how to write a dissertation in 2 semesters. I suppose if this were intelligent motivational tricks then I would have first studied made a systematic study of all the literature on this topic before plunging in. Everything I write about here is derived from my own experience and from my application of principles I learned from Thomas Basbøll. At some point before doing SMT as a book I will read the competing books and see where my approach differs from theirs. I suspect I take a less reverential tone and have more intellectual substance. I don't know if other books talk about developing the scholarly base, for example.

I have read books about how to write prose, just not on how to manage an academic career.

8 comments:

Clarissa said...

The books that I have read on managing an academic career place a huge emphasis on the service part of it. Teaching also gets some space. There is a lot on how to cultivate contacts and navigate the bureaucracy. Actual research (how to organize it, how to manage time, how to make yourself sit down and write) receives very little attention.

Books on how to transform a dissertation into a book are similarly flawed. There is always a lot of information on how to write a cover letter to the publishing house, for example, but very little specifics on how to create a book you will present in that cover letter. And the worst part is that such books always begin with a lengthy chapter on how maybe you don't need to transform the dissertation into the book at all. Which is not very motivational, to put it mildly.

Jonathan said...

I had no idea. That's horrible, but maybe good news for me. Maybe there will be a market for my book.

Clarissa said...

I think you absolutely need to write that book. And I will be happy to publicize it on my blog.

Thomas said...

There is a very simple difference between your approach and what's already out there. Your approach presumes that the would-be academic writer is smart. Other approaches are less presumptuous. Keep up the good fight, Jonathan.

Jonathan said...

But is that a safe presumption to make? I'm not so sure.

Clarissa said...

I just wrote a post on my impressions of all the books I read on how to publish your doctoral dissertation. I'll leave the link here, if you don't mind:

http://clarissasblog.com/2011/05/21/why-books-on-how-to-publish-your-doctoral-dissertation-are-useless/

Jonathan said...

Excellent!

profacero said...

I read a book I liked in the late 80s -
The Compleat Academic. I see it now has a new edition. http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4316014.aspx

People used to tell me I should write a career guide but this was just because I had read that book and was following their advice and it was working.