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How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing [Paperback]

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 23 2007 1591477433 978-1591477433 1
All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. In this practical, lighthearted and encouraging book, Paul J Silvia explains that writing productively doesnot require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions. Drawing examples from his own field: psychology, he shows readers how to overcome motivational roadblocks and become prolific without sacrificing evenings, weekends and vactions. After describing strategies for writing productively, the author gives advise from the trenches on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles: how to improve writing quality; and how to write and publish academic work.

Frequently Bought Together

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing + Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success + The Craft of Research
Price For All Three: CDN$ 98.52

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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scheduling: The key to writing a lot Nov. 4 2009
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing take on writing March 15 2011
By Flibb
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sensible Treatment of the Subject Sept. 19 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical Tips for Writing June 14 2013
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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