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Professors as Writers (Robert Boice) – my reading notes

As I went through the first few pages, I realized that I had read Boice’s book at some point in my doctoral degree, but never paid much attention to the book, to be perfectly honest. It wasn’t until I decided that I would write up my experiences as a faculty member on the tenure-track that I realized I also needed to read books on academic writing. So, I decided to buy my own copy of Robert Boice’s Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing.

The first thing that I noticed with Robert Boice is that he speaks about writing from the perspective of someone who studies academic writing, and as he himself said, from the vantage point of someone who writes about writing because he actually enjoys the activity itself. I love writing too, as you can tell if you follow me on Twitter, but it’s funny how I’ve actually become more interested in writing about writing

Like Helen Sword’s books, Boice’s books are grounded on research he’s undertaken on blocked academic writers.

It’s clear that Robert Boice’s Professors as Writers has had enormous influence on everybody who writes about academic writing, as I note below.

Basically, and in a rough summary of the entire book, Robert Boice says that you can become a better academic writer and overcome your blocks if you are able to provide yourself with the right conditions and train yourself to make writing automatic. I have done that for myself even though it’s super easy for me to get distracted, so I can assure you that there is science to the method that Boice proposes.

One reason why I love the idea of sharing writing advice is because it helps me push myself to continue writing.

My final verdict is that it’s required reading:

Posted in academia, writing.

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