Writing and Publishing: Resources for Researchers and Scholars

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Expert Advice on Writing and Publishing

The following publications and websites offer helpful guidance on the basics of writing and publishing in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

            This long-running series, published by University of Chicago Press, consists of short affordable handbooks, each devoted to a specific topic in writing and publishing across a range of academic disciplines.  Every one of the authors has stellar credentials, with some combination of experience as a publisher, a writer, or a writing instructor. Several of the books described below appear in this series.

            Book Series: Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing

Sword, Helen. The Writer’s Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016. 

            In five core chapters, Sword introduces the five principles of “healthy writing” and provides many examples of “fit prose” by famous authors. She also includes how-to examples of editing using full-color highlights, which approximate a video animation on the page. 

           Website: The Writer's Diet

Jensen, Joli. Write No Matter What: Advice for Academics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. 

           Jensen shows the reader how to become his/her "own writing coach".  Her advice is immediately useful for the disheartened writer who doesn’t know how to get started or get unstuck. For the disorganized or insecure writer, she provides much-needed structure by imposing order on time, space, and sources as well as on emotions, energy, and words.  

Sword, Helen. Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. 

          Sword conducted 100 interviews and gathered more than 1,200 surveys from academic writers across four continents.  She also collected examples of famous writers' habits and searched the psychology literature. All this research proved that there are any number of writing strategies which can lead to productivity and professional success.  Consequently, Sword urges writers to experiment with writing at different hours, in different places.  For those who cling to outlines, she proposes taking a leap; for those who wander about, she suggests drawing a map. Writers will appreciate her playful command to reject advice that says “should” and, instead, embrace the possibilities of “may.”  Give yourself permission to break the rules, she says, and remember that the best way to write is anyway that you do.