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About this book

This comprehensive handbook will guide readers through the process of publishing their research. It helps readers to establish successful writing practices and habits which will enable them to write well, complete their work to a high standard and have their work published. Drawing on her experience as a writer, editor and supervisor, Gina Wisker covers the practicalities of writing and provides tried-and-tested techniques for managing time, overcoming writer’s block and developing a confident academic voice.

This book is ideal for postgraduates, academics, researchers and professionals wishing to write effectively and share their work with others through academic publication.

Table of Contents

Why Write? Forms of Academic Writing and How to Go About Writing Them

Frontmatter

1. Introduction

Abstract
This book aims to support you in your writing for publication, and to be useful to you throughout your writing career. It is not a remedial book, and it is not a grammar book. Instead, it is an experience- and research-based book intended to enable and empower you further in your writing so that you really feel you have expressed what you know, and what you want others to know, as well as possible, and readers will want to access use your work.
Gina Wisker

2. Why are we writing? Setting up effective writing practices, managing time, space and writing energy

Abstract
In this chapter we look at reasons for writing and the practical processes of where, when and what to write, and why you are writing and publishing. We consider time management; planning; and setting up effective practices for articulating your ideas and findings, research and experience. This is practical advice; there are activities, tips and information about what to do, where to go, and what to avoid. Suggestions about structuring the argument, sections or different kinds of writing in different parts of a publishable piece can also be found in Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Gina Wisker

3. Writing for and publishing in academic journals

Abstract
Most of the publishing we do as academics and professional practitioners is likely to be in academic journals in the form of journal articles. While not everything we do or write suits a journal article, and academic journal articles as a published medium are currently under a great deal of scrutiny with regard to quality, accessibility, time to publication and the important issue of impact, none the less they are still by far the most popular and widely accepted way for us to publish our work. This chapter looks at the journey of writing a journal article — from ideas through to publication. Chapter 4 looks at writing for books, and Chapter 14 considers the reviewing and refereeing process in more detail, so these other chapters might well be usefully read alongside this one.
Gina Wisker

4. Writing for and publishing in books

Abstract
Many of us feel we have at least one book inside us. It seems to be a human compulsion to consider getting into print in this way. For many people that book is a novel, for others it is a book about their life’s journey or that of someone close to them, and for others it is an academic book. There is much in common with whatever kind of book it is in terms of defining, planning, writing, managing and finishing, and then ensuring it is published and read, but we shall learn from several sorts of books how to go about writing a book that is, in the main, academic.
Gina Wisker

5. Writing for academic publication when English is not your first language

Abstract
It is difficult to write in another language — perhaps your second, third, fourth or fifth language — and to develop both a sense of your own voice and a sense of confidence and articulacy. Yet many journal articles are published only in English and authors have to learn not only fluency in English to read and discuss these with others, but also the high level of fluency needed to write a journal article in order to get their work published, to be read, so that they and their work can be part of the ongoing dialogue on the subject.
Gina Wisker

A Closer Look at the Process

Frontmatter

6. Writing from research and practice — planning and writing different parts of the thesis or article

Abstract
This chapter considers planning and writing your research and practice with a view to publication. It looks at the doctoral thesis, the masters dissertation, and research and academic publications unpacked. It does not focus on how to go about the planning and managing of research, nor does it offer ideas about appropriate methodology, methods or data analysis; instead it focuses on the kinds of writing you might be expected to produce given the different functions of parts of a thesis, dissertation or article. It offers a close look at the planning and structuring of your writing practices — planning the shape and format, the different steps of the writing and the sections of the work, through to completion. It considers structuring the work itself so that it is manageable to write, and can act as an appropriate shape, a good vehicle for your ideas, interpretations and arguments. It looks at the writing processes, structure, style, form, argument and expression in different sections of a dissertation, thesis and journal article. This chapter builds on Chapter 3, which explains the elements of an article.
Gina Wisker

7. Writing literature reviews and thinking about methodology and methods

Abstract
Both the literature review and the methodology and methods sections of your dissertation/thesis or journal article need to situate your work in the field, and develop and defend your own argument and contribution. The literature review is the key area in which you develop your own voice and ensure that your work is built on, and in a dialogue with, the theorists and practitioners, critics and other professionals who engage in and write about your field. In the methodology and methods section or chapter you also situate your work in terms of the methodology, which you define and defend, and the methods, which need explaining and arguing for. Here you indicate to others that you are aware of the range of methodologies and know how your own world view and that of the discipline and the research area can be supported. You also show how your world view, discipline and research area are enabled and understood through a particular methodology and the methods of data collection it underpins. Both literature review and methodology and methods sections or chapters situate your work in the appropriate literature and show that you understand theories, those you use and those you don’t, that you understand methodologies, research methods and practices, and current work in the field, and can argue for the source of your work and how it depends upon these.
Gina Wisker

8. Writing abstracts and conclusions — emphasising meaning and worth

Abstract
This chapter is about stepping back and getting an overview of the importance and achievement of your writing, and making sure that this is clear to your readers. This could be seen as developing a ‘helicopter view’, because it is the moment when you see the patterns of the ideas and themes, the shapes of the linked sections, and the thread of the main argument, almost like flying over a landscape where there are clear visual points of importance, roads and a mountain range. You will have the patterns and the main argument running throughout your work, clearly visible to any reader, and this needs first to be very clear in your own mind, since capturing the main contributions your work makes attracts, impresses and intrigues readers. It makes them want to find out more, to read the whole work. Importantly, the clearly stated contribution to knowledge, meaning and worth of your work needs to be underpinned by a well expressed, well-assembled research or professional development story, where your written representation of your work appears in the sections and carries the reader through, holding their attention, maintaining well established, well evidenced and well theorised arguments. There are two absolutely crucial moments in any article, dissertation or thesis when you emphasise this overview, the real reason this piece has to be read, and the meaning and worth of your work. These are the abstract and the conclusions. Both are usually started early to help you to identify and to map out the importance of the work carried out in the way you have chosen. Both remain with you as reminders underpinning your work throughout, and both are written after all the other parts of the piece of work, when you can see the shape of what you have produced and can step back and make a clear statement about its contribution to knowledge.
Gina Wisker

9. Developing good writing according to structure

Abstract
When you structure your own work, whether experimental in form or more regular and familiar, you will find structuring processes helpful, in the same way that readers find them helpful in their reading, taking them in steps from one place to another. Structure is both logical and ordered, part of the holistic shape of your work. You will probably find it useful to proceed step by step from abstract through to conclusion, but the whole piece must also be seen in its logical shape using signposts and key words, when both writer and reader step back to see what is being said and how.
Gina Wisker

10. Publishing from your PhD

Abstract
Publication is a natural next step for research, which should be made available to others, to use and benefit from. Publication is also essential for sharing your work, enabling you to be recognised as a specialist in various theories, areas of research, issues or practices, and for you to enter the dialogue that is knowledge creation, sharing, co-production and use. Publication begins the process of dissemination, which leads to action. We look at various options for publishing during your PhD, turning parts of your PhD into publications, and finally the PhD by publication.
Gina Wisker

The Writing Process and You

Frontmatter

11. Finding and developing your voice(s) in the disciplines

Abstract
You are a writer. You have a right and a duty to write, and many things to express and share with others. Writing for academic publication is just one form of writing with which you could engage. Feeling and knowing you have the right to get into print in academic writing contexts, and finding and feeling good about your own academic voice(s) in the discipline and the publication context are essential for your writing development and confidence.
Gina Wisker

12. Managing time, overcoming blocks and getting the writing done

Abstract
We all have issues about finding the time to write, and various blocks and difficulties that affect our writing at some point, or even regularly. This chapter looks at identifying and overcoming various writing blocks at different stages in your writing.
Gina Wisker

13. Writing creatively and reflectively to support your academic writing for publication

Abstract
This chapter looks at the use of different forms of writing to support your thinking, conceptualising and maintaining writing momentum. Both reflective writing and writing creatively release your thoughts, release some of your critical thinking and enable you to write and think ahead, while also dealing with issues that could be either troubling or stimulating you.
Gina Wisker

Learning from Feedback, and Playing a Full Part in the World of Writing

Frontmatter

14. Responding to feedback

Abstract
Dealing with feedback on your writing is an essential part of the learning and writing dialogue. However, we often need the hide of a rhino to learn from and deal with it, so it can actually drive appropriate improvement in your writing.
Gina Wisker

15. Turning your conference presentation or paper into a publication

Abstract
There is nothing like a pile of old conference papers to remind you of the need to write, complete, finish and publish. Some of your best, most up to date and speculative work appears first in your conference presentations or papers, but many of us leave them half finished, and forget, or never prioritise the time to write them up into publishable papers. You have a duty to yourself as well as to your future readers, to get this work out, published and read, or it could be lost, stolen or overlooked. And the work took a long time to produce!
Gina Wisker

16. Writing for online outlets and publications

Abstract
This chapter looks at the parts of our work we might want to publish online, and why and how we might go about it.
Gina Wisker

17. Edited books and new editions

Abstract
Earlier (see Chapter 4), we looked at proposing and writing a monograph, your own book, for a mainstream publisher. There are other ways to get published in books, and you might also want to edit a book. This chapter concerns writing for edited books, editing a collection of essays or chapters yourself, self-publishing and writing new editions of books.
Gina Wisker

18. You are not alone — developing and working with writing groups, communities and critical friends

Abstract
Writing for any kind of publication means you are not alone. You are engaging with a readership, a community who want to read what you have to say. It is also perhaps less well known that many writers are supported by, share with and are moved on by writing with any one of a range of writerly communities. These writer communities might mutually support each other’s writing; for example, through a writing course or group, or work critically and supportively with the developing writing, even if only at the level of enthusiastic noises at the right moments.
Gina Wisker

19. Conclusion: the politics and impact of writing for academic publication

Abstract
Throughout this book we have looked at the processes of writing, supporting them, finishing a piece of work and getting it published. This chapter concludes the book by looking at the politics of publishing.
Gina Wisker
Additional information