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How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble: A Practical Guide (my reading notes)

I had been wanting to transfer my Twitter reading notes about How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble: A Practical Guide but because of personal health issues I had not, so I am glad that I am now able to write, using January 1st, 2020 as the backdrop! I am having a coffee, and copying my Twitter notes about the Firth, Mewburn and Lehman book (to which I will refer by the unfortunate acronym FML, which also stands for F*ck My Life).

Reading writing working

Audience: faculty members, post-docs, advanced graduate students. I wouldn’t use this book with an undergraduate audience, nor with #AcWri (academic writing) beginners. The authors are very clear: we assume you already #AcWri. I would teach this book in an 8 week format, or maybe even a 1 week long workshop format.

We (everyone who writes about academic writing) tend to repeat some themes and topics all the time, but I strongly believe that Firth, Mewburn and Lehmann (FML) zeroed in on a couple of items we normally don’t discuss much:
– refining arguments
– presenting evidence

I like the conversational tone that FML maintain throughout the book (though, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all thrilled about the use of spider diagrams and snowflake diagrams – I think these two tools merit an entire book. They’re useful, but need to be explained in detail.

I like the conversational tone that FML maintain throughout the book (though, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t all thrilled about the use of spider diagrams and snowflake diagrams – I think these two tools merit an entire book. They’re useful, but need to be explained in detail.

This means: you may want to get other 6 grad students and faculty, postdocs, etc. and follow along FML’s 7 chapters either in 7 weeks, or within an entire week (I would recommend one day per chapter, except beginning and end to fit within 5 days). Overall, a fine read.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book as a small token of appreciation for writing a blurb. This small gift does not affect in any way, shape or form my views of the book

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