Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Emails are academic writing! (Jamie Burford and Brittany Amell)


via GIPHY

Emails. Every academic’s worst nightmare — or are they?

Spending time on emails is sometimes positioned as the enemy of real academic writing, such as writing theses, articles or book manuscripts.

It doesn’t take long to come across descriptions of email from academics that sound like a review of a thriller movie.

For instance, we've seen words like "dread", "anxiety" and "out of control" used to describe academic inboxes. The Thesis Whisperer even wrote a post on how to avoid Death by Email (hint: limit your email time, use a timer, turn off notifications, and come up with a strategy to manage your inbox). We know that emails build up. They often need to be thought about, replied to, actioned or deleted. And in our increasingly internationalised universities, emails not only now arrive by day, but also by night. Ooof. It’s enough to give anyone an elevated heart rate. Depending on the day, our inboxes might even give us a good jump-scare!

While we know these feelings well, and negotiate them regularly, in this blog post we want to re-position emails as an important form of academic writing in and of themselves. To do this, we lift the veil on our own email correspondence to explore how and why emails might matter for academic writers.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Best writing advice ever?

Photo by Jonathan Percy | unsplash.com
We're into the third week of La Trobe's Academic Writing Month!

It's also the week of the Bundoora 3-day writing retreat and - right now - there are about 50 scholars in the John Scott Meeting House attacking their writing goals on Day 1!

For this post, I canvassed some of our stalwart Thursday morning 'Shut up and write' participants for the best pieces of writing advice that they'd received. I think I actually asked for "writing advice that changed your life, or at least influenced your writing significantly". The biggies, y'know?

These lovely, giving folk responded with the treasures below!

Now, we know that there is no magic formula to writing, and these are offered in the spirit of sharing helpful aspects of the writing process and what resonated with others. Some have whole books as their source, others remembered bits of encouragement or blogpost analogies.

But, enough prevarication. Let's let our researchers speak for themselves!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Writing all of Saturday? Yes, please! (Julia Dehm)

Image from Wikipedia Commons
URL: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
File:RMIT_Swanston_Academic_Building_Entrance1_2017.jpg
It’s the end of another long week and the promise of a lazy Saturday pottering in the garden beckons.

Instead, I pack my laptop and books and head towards the CBD to #MelbWriteUp for an intensive writing day.

I’m not alone.

There’s always a packed room of academic writers of various levels: PhD students with submission deadlines looming, early career researchers struggling to find time to write amidst teaching commitments, and more established academics (as well as aspiring creative writers) plugging away on novels and books.

Every Saturday between 10am – 5pm, #MelbWriteUp provides a space for researchers of all levels of experience to come together and focus on their research in a collegial and distraction-free environment.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Three concentration hacks to help you write! (Lise Leitner)


Photo by Dmitry Sovyak | unsplash.com
It’s November, and AcWriMo and NaNoWriMo have officially begun!

If you’re like me and love getting a lot of writing done, but also love all things shiny and distracting, getting long sprints of writing done can feel very difficult some days.

While everyone’s writing routine is different, there are lots of ways to improve your working environment and focus.

The good news is that lots of them are easily accessible and free!

To help you prep like a pro ahead of AcWriMo and/or NanoWriMo, here are three concentration hacks that have greatly helped me focus (and write!) better in the past:

Thursday, 1 November 2018

2018's #LTUAcWriMo has begun!

Fingers to your keyboard! La Trobe's 2018 Academic Writing Month (#LTUAcWriMo) has just kicked off!

Photo by neonbrand | unsplash.com
For the whole of November 2018, the RED team will turn our focus to thinking, talking about, planning for, and doing writing!

For the full #LTUAcWriMo program and registration details, please take a look at this year's introductory post.

For 2018, the RED team chose the theme of “Together”.

“Together” can mean lots of different things when it comes to academic writing.

It might ask us to imagine writing as a process of communication that involves both writers and readers, a way of coming together on the page. It might also invite us to consider writing as a practice that can involve collaborators, writing buddies, writing groups, proofreaders, editors, cheer squads, community stakeholders and many other people besides.