Writing Short is Hard is a blog dedicated to helping researchers communicate clearly, concisely, and convincingly. I focus on editing your own words, sentences, and paragraphs. But good academic writing is about so much more that style and structure.
These guidelines, tip sheets, and other resources are a few of my favourite things for academic writers:
Writing in Grad School:
- The University of North Carolina Writing Centre has fantastic tips and tools for writers at all stages of their scholarly career, from undergrads to early career researchers and beyond. Their dissertation resource offers both practical tips and an honest articulation of the resources–mental, emotional, financial–required to write a PhD dissertation.
- The Thesis Whisperer’s You and Your Supervisor series offers suggestions on ‘managing up’ your supervisor and committee members.
- Explorations of Style, by University of Toronto Graduate Centre for Academic Communication associate professor Rachael Cayley–a hero of mine–outlines three principles of strong academic writing:
- Again, UNC’s Writing Centre has you covered with their Grant Proposals digital handout.
- Sarah Dobson, a freelance academic editor who focuses on the health sciences, has a “Tutorial Tuesday” series of videos that include a short series on grant proposals.
- This classic 2010 Chronicle of Higher Education post, “How to Fail in Grant Writing,” lists the many and varied ways that grant applicants get it wrong.
- Matt Might of the University of Alabama at Birmingham has a collection of hints, tips, and hacks for academics. Just make sure that you don’t read this list as a type of procrastination.
- Joli Jensen’s Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics is a quick read that is filled with actionable suggestions to get words on a page and articles in the publication pipeline.
- Without Bullshit is the only writing blog that I read every day. As only one example of why I value Josh Bernoff’s perspective, see his November 2017 dissection of Louis CK’s ‘apology’ for his long-term campaign of sexual abuse, “How can Louis C.K. be honest and awful at the same time?”, which details where and how the comedian fails as both a writer and an empathetic human being.