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Search Results for: workflow

My own workflow: Strategically reading and summarizing the literature

I remember when I was doing my PhD I wanted to Read All The Things. This was particularly true during my very first year, when I started preparing for my comprehensive exams. I was (and in many ways, still am) a walking, living and breathing literature review. I love reading, and since I was lucky […]

My daily workflow: Budgeting time and scheduling projects

The fact that I have many different interests and that I am working on a broad variety of projects makes me more prone to letting things slip away. Thus, to protect my own time from others, and to stop me from procrastinating and making my life easier when working, I budget time for each thing […]

My daily workflow: Breaking down the work in accomplish-able tasks

I won’t lie: I used to be the kind of guy who would write endless, long To-Do lists. I would list EVERYTHING I need to do. At first, it felt like I was being thorough. “Here is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I NEED TO ACCOMPLISH BY X DATE“. If you’ve ever written long To-Do lists, you probably […]

My daily workflow: On focusing on ONE task at a time

Some people have asked me what my daily workflow is, or told me that they find my blog useful so I figured I could do a post or series of posts on the topic, as it varies day by day. When I teach, I normally don’t do anything else other than teach that day. @raulpacheco […]

My #AcWri strategies: Integrate reading into your writing workflow

My good friend (and graduate school colleague) Amanda Bittner (who is a professor of political science at Memorial University of Newfoundland) was asking on Facebook how do other fellow academics keep up with journal article reading (and reading, in general) other than binge-reading for when we are preparing a syllabus or writing a paper. I […]

The Dissertation Analytical Table (DAT) – an overview device to formulate a 3-papers thesis/doctoral dissertation

I wrote a traditional, book-style PhD dissertation, mostly because I actually knew nothing about the three-papers model, and when my advisor saw how far ahead I already was, he decided to just keep my thesis as a book. In hindsight, I wish I could have reformatted it as a three-papers thesis and publish it in […]

The Elements of Academic Style (Eric Hayot) – my reading notes

I have read A TON of books on writing over the past few years, and I had vaguely remembered that someone recommended Eric Hayot’s “The Elements of Academic Style” to me, but I could not for the life of me remember who it was (Bertha Angulo, at ITAM, now I remember). Anyhow, this thread summarizes […]

A modest proposal for desk organization

One of the most under-appreciated instruments of academic life is working space. I specifically think that desk spaces are fundamental to our scholarly work. Whenever I travel, what I appreciate the most is a hotel whose rooms have roomy, ample desks for me to write. The room size is somewhat irrelevant as long as I […]

Triaging your reading workload: how to choose when to read something in more depth

Continuing with the series of “challenging questions my students ask”, this is perhaps the one I get from students that I am always wary to respond. “Professor, how do I know which articles I should read in more depth and which ones I should just skim (i.e. do a quick AIC Content Extraction)?”. Well, now. […]

Writing a literature review assignment (and for instructors: providing guidance)

One of my former students asked me recently whether I had written anything on how to write a literature review, as he was asked to write one on a topic he hadn’t ever done research on (I do have a blog post on how to map an entirely new topic and write a literature review). […]

A synthetic memorandum on advice on academic research and writing

This blog post comes from a Twitter thread I did on snippets of wisdom that I have drawn from a broad range of writers. It’s like the synthesis/distillation of all (or most of) the books about writing that I have read. This wisdom applies to writers of books, articles, or theses. MAKING SPACE: Most authors […]

What does Joli Jensen’s “low stakes, constant contact with a writing project” mean in practice?

One of the best books I’ve ever read about academic writing was Joli Jensen‘s “Write No Matter What“. Ever since I read it, I pondered, “what does ‘constant, low-stakes contact with a writing project‘ mean, in practice?” This notion of regularly contributing to a piece of writing, even if it’s not daily writing, was one […]

Backcasting a Revise-And-Resubmit (R&R) manuscript

This morning, as I was reflecting on a topic I’ve been mulling over (what does Joli Jensen mean by “constant contact with a writing project entail”?), I reviewed potential blog posts I could pre-schedule, and realized that there’s one that I give very little play, even though it’s a really good one: my reverse-planning technique […]

Note-Taking Techniques

My students often ask me for advice on how to take good notes. This is a hard task to comply with because, well, it’s been a very long while since I’ve taken a class/course. BUT I do take notes of stuff I read, so this compilation of blog posts should be useful. Reading, highlighting, annotating, […]

A brief guide to using Mendeley as a reference and citation manager and as an aid to write scholarly papers

When I was in graduate school, I discovered Endnote. Not only did I discover it, I actually bought a copy at the student price and became absolutely dependent on it. I taught courses to my fellow graduate students on how to use Endnote. I wrote my PhD dissertation using Endnote, as well as many, many […]

The October 2018 #AICCSED Reading Challenge (read one article a day)

One of the biggest issues we seem to have as academics (be it practitioners, students, faculty, post-docs, contingent faculty) is carving the time to read. I’ve written before about the importance of reading systematically (every day, if possible), and about the legitimacy of reading as a key component of academic writing. Well, here’s my challenge […]

An improved version of the Drafts Review Matrix – responding to reviewers and editors’ comments

This 2018 I promised myself I would do things better and take time to reflect on how my processes have evolved and therefore, I wanted to share a couple of improvements I made to the Drafts Review Matrix I discussed in previous years. This time, I’ll share also a couple of things I do with […]

Writing a book review

Writing book reviews, to me, feels as the service we all ought to provide other scholars. I don’t post actual reviews on my website (instead, I post my reading notes because I don’t know if my notes are detailed enough to be an actual review, and whether I’ll do justice to the author), but I […]

Pushing against Taylorism in academia: Say no to the “billable hours” concept

Before I became an academic, I worked for a consultancy company. As you may know, you bill your time (much like lawyers) by the hour. The main currency of work in consulting is your hourly rate and the number of hours you work. I didn’t really like that approach, but I ended up continuing as […]

Four strategies to help build an academic writing routine

While I have a couple of blog posts pending (both by request, on how to prepare for comprehensive exams and how to build a research trajectory and a project pipeline for early career scholars), I wanted to write a post on something that I get asked about quite frequently. I arrived to the daily writing […]

How many sources are enough? Six questions on breadth and depth of literature reviews

The first question I posed in the title of my blog post is one that all of my students (undergraduate and graduate) and most of my research assistants ask me: how do I know when I’ve read enough for a literature review? The answer is never clear cut, unfortunately. I am someone who loves reading, […]

Writing a memorandum based on a synthetic note

In previous posts I have addressed how to write rhetorical precis (very brief, four sentence summaries of the reading you are doing), synthetic notes (brief summaries of articles, focusing on the Abstract, Introduction and Conclusion as per the AIC method), and memorandums (longer, 1000-2000 word briefings that synthesize the content of an article, but also […]

They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing (my reading notes)

When I wrote my blog post on how to properly teach our students how to do Description vs Analysis in their academic writing, I linked to a number of resources. The one that Dr. Omar Wasow (Princeton University) recommended was “They Say/I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing“, edited by Gerald Graff and […]

Writing an annotated bibliography

One of the research products I find most useful for an academic, short of openly-accessible datasets and code for replication is the annotated bibliography. As I have noted before, I consider the annotated bibliography an intermediate step between a bank of rhetorical precis, a bank of synthetic notes, and a fully-developed literature review. I consider […]

Using prompts to motivate writing: Five strategies to get some words out

I just came back from a week in Paris attending a meeting of field experiments’ scholars, and I took the opportunity to do some fieldwork. There are perfectly good reasons why I study French water governance, specifically in Paris, but that discussion is reserved for another post. When I do fieldwork or when I am […]