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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing Paperback – Jan 23 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychological Assoc; 1 edition (Jan. 23 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591477433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591477433
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This rather short guide, only 149 pages, won't overburden your already overworked schedule. As an academic, we need to write. Write a lot. And publish a lot. But what book is there out there that speaks to our needs? Thankfully, now this one by Silvia.

He covers all major categories, so in that regard this book is like all the others. However, he gives this same advice in a much swifter writing style that makes it easy to actually finish reading the book, unlike many manuals out there. The advice that jumped out to me as the most unique point was that he shows that we need to schedule in time to write just like we schedule in time to teach classes. We wouldn't let anything keep us from showing up for our class, so what is keeping us back from putting a fraction of the amount of time each day to write? All of chapter 2 talks about getting past the excuses we use for not writing academically. I know I'll be referring to it now and again!

I like how he talks about he started his own writing group among fellow professors. Having been already familiar of journal article reading groups among professors and librarians, I think his idea of a Agraphia Group is a valid and effective one.

I also like how he talks about all the extraneous uses of words in academic writing. Too often the books that tell us how to write theses, dissertations, journal articles, and academic books ignore the rather pompous writing style often found in such publications. Silvia spends an entire chapter identifying all the missteps in pompous writing and uses examples to illustrate how one can fix and avoid such mistakes.

Like me, you'll probably be happy to add this to your collection of "books on writing" because it's brief, relevant to academic professionals, and quite useful.
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Format: Paperback
It is a tiny book - so easy to finish in a few days. It revolves around one basic core feature: writing according to a schedule. "Productive writing involves harnessing the power of habit, and habits come from repetition."

I found this book quite helpful especially at a time when I was having a writer's block -which the author of the book finds an invalid excuse for not writing. I applied the principles underlined in the book - prepared a writing schedule, monitored my progress, woke up at a certain time specific days a week - and consequently wrote a good 15 paged paper from scratch in a few weeks. So, it works. But it does not last long. Now I am again in my old state - postponing things to last minute. However, I am thinking about returning my my good old days again.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Make a schedule and stick to it. Writing is not a revolutionary task. It's an ordinary thing like brushing your teeth. Much of this is what I needed to hear and it may actually work for me.

I still think there is something special about writing, something magic that happens. I've always enjoyed writing. I just hate not getting around to it. My only real problem with this book is that parts of it are aimed at psychologists and not totally relevant for me on the social science side of geography. I didn't find most of the chapter on style useful either. But the main message is very helpful and persuasive. And there are many great insights along the way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Silvia is very practical in his approach to productivity. Although writing in a very light and accessible style, he rigorously supports all of his suggestions with psychological research and statistics.
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Format: Paperback
Silvia's book is, quite simply, the most concise, entertaining, and effective guide to effective academic writing. He phrases his advice in a way that compels you to try it, and backs it up with psychological studies. It is a truly refreshing read.

Except for the chapters on writing articles and books, and part of the chapter on style, the book can be used by academics in any field. I am in the humanities and found it very useful.

I have been recommending it to anyone with ears.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides several strategies to stay focus and accomplish your writing goal.
It gives advice to stay motivated and productive without sacrificing your personal life.
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I have read _How to Write a Lot_ a number of times, and each time it reminds me that writing is not a mystical talent, but a skill that any scholar can and must develop. I like the no-nonsense approach (the author knows what all your excuses are already and dispatches them with flair) and the helpful strategies. I give this book to most of my graduate students, and they say that they have learned a lot from it too.
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