Sunday, November 22, 2015

Amy "Week"-Encouraging Graduate Student Writing and Research

Amy week has gone on for a a bit longer than I thought it would. Part of that was due to the richness of Amy's questions- a couple I explored more than once. Dealing with a flood in my home, fodder for some future posts, I am sure, was also part of it. 

So, without further delay, Amy's last issue: How to work effectively with graduate students to continue writing and research.

I love this question, and really, I could approach it in a bunch of different ways. The most seemingly flip, yet most honest, is that it depends on the actual issues that are stopping the graduate student from writing. The reasons why graduate students do not write and publish are as diverse as those that inhibit faculty. If there was one reason, I would not be approaching 500 posts, and would not have a coaching practice. Really, from my experience, few graduate schools really teach method of writing and writing productivity; we erroneously assume that if you have made it this far, must have mastered such pedestrian skills.

Just like we assume all faculty have these skills, right?


Now, if my premise here is true, than there is one main answer to Amy's querry: Faculty must really understand writing productivity.

Sadly, the vast majority do not. 

Some of the big issues: Evidence based approaches to writing a lot, The use of calendars; Writing rituals; The mode of academic writing (free writing, focused free writing, analytical writing, administrative writing, and editing), The magic paragraph and its relationship to the architecture of an article, and of course, the various psychosocial barriers to writing and productivity that I frequently explore in my blog. There are so many tools.

The best thing you can do for your own career as a scholar is to really master these and other methods. The best thing you can do to help others write and publish is to really understand what blocks people, and understand the tools that help people over come their barriers, and how to help them maximize their strengths. 

Of course, you can have your graduate students (or yourself), attend my Eight Week Online Workshop on writing and publishing! I promise you after that, you will have the skills you need to empower students to write, publish and thrive. (shameless plug over, sorry).

No easy platitudes are going to really do the trick here; there are so many issues.

Finally, thanks Amy for all the great topics. Feel free to keep them coming!

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