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Search Results for: routine practice

On the importance of the Reading, Note-Taking, Synthesizing and Writing sequence in developing an academic research and writing practice

This Fall 2020, despite having to teach online and facing the challenges of a pandemic, I have had amazing experiences teaching research methods, research design and the mechanics of research. This past summer and fall, I taught these courses online and I realized something that I had been thinking about for a very long while […]

How to develop a writing practice II: 12 tips to help you start, develop and hone your writing craft

In a previous post, I indicated that one of the best ways to develop a writing practice was to read volumes that worked as workbooks, teaching readers how to write and how to gradually learn the craft of producing good prose. This post is a summary of the second part of my Twitter thread on […]

On the importance of routine in academic writing

Because of the pandemic, I am now shuttling between Aguascalientes (where I live) and Leon (where my parents live). Any kind of inter-city movement should be stressful enough. What keeps me more or less grounded is that wherever I am (and have been – including Paris, last year), I always have more or less the […]

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 […]

Developing a structured daily routine for writing and research

One of the main questions that my doctoral students have asked me most frequently is “how do you structure your daily work routine, professor?“. While I am a scholar of neoinstitutional theory and I know the importance of routines, I have to confess that I don’t think about my own daily work routine often enough […]

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 […]

Understanding cross-national and cross-regional variations in informal waste picking practices

While the vast majority of my research is in water governance, and more specifically on wastewater and sanitation, I have always had an interest in solid waste. In fact, at the beginning of my PhD, I was more interested (and did more research) on hazardous waste and municipal garbage than I did on wastewater. In […]

The value and importance of the pre-writing stage of writing

A lot of people ask me about my actual writing process, so I figured I should share some of my practices, and make them into blog posts. I’m lucky that, as I write this blog post, I have a full day available to write (no meetings). The first element of my writing practice is the […]

A few strategies to overcome writer’s block

I’ve had an absolutely bonkers pair of months (April and May, and June is gearing to be the same). For the first time in 2.5 years, I attended in-person workshops (2!) I am, of course, behind on absolutely everything. I used to be a very big proponent of the “write whenever you have a small […]

A few strategies to “stay on top of the literature” (more like, “catching up with the literature”

“You need to stay on top of the literature” This is such a common trope in academic life (just look at this Twitter search I did). I have uttered more times than I want to admit. It’s important to note that just about everyone who does scholarly work feels the same. It’s absurdly difficult to […]

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 […]

Does “writing every day” work?

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of online commentary against the “write every day” mantra. Helen Sword, in a 2016 article, released results from surveys, interviews and focus groups she conducted with academic writers, challenging the results of Robert Boice’s research. For ME, writing every day (even if just a tiny bit, as I’ve explained in […]

Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text (my reading notes)

Over the past six weeks, I’ve been reading a lot of books on the PhD journey. Mine wasn’t easy, but I wouldn’t say it was a nightmare. I made a commitment to read more stuff about how to better guide my own doctoral students, and I’m sharing what I’m learning with the world too. The […]

Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life (my reading notes)

I’m definitely not someone who reads “pop psych” or “psycho babble” (short monikers for popular psychology, the easily digestible version of scholarly psychological findings), which is how some books on habits, speed reading, speed writing, etc. are categorized. I don’t read self-help books because I think I need them, but because they’re fun reading material, […]

On the fine balance between crafting new ideas and fighting writers’ block

There’s an article making the rounds on the academic circuit on the importance of writing good sentences: HOW ACADEMICS SURVIVE THE WRITING GRIND: SOME ANECDOTAL ADVICE. In the article, Helen Sword encourages the reader to improve academic writing by recognizing that writing involves editing, and rewriting. I have previously blogged about the importance of valuing […]

Air & Light & Time & Space – How Successful Academics Write (Helen Sword) – my reading notes

I’ll be the first one to confess that, after having loved Helen Sword’s “Stylish Academic Writing”, I was very much looking forward to reading “Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write“ (also published, like her previous book, by Harvard University Press). And I’ll also be honest in voicing (like with Paul […]

Becoming an Academic Writer (Patricia Goodson) – my reading notes

Even though I write a lot about Academic Writing, I rarely read books now on #AcWri. Not because I don’t want to, but because I have so much stuff that I need to write myself that I end up shunning any other type of reading other than my scholarly work. HOWEVER, I had heard so […]

Academic Writing (#AcWri)

This page is dedicated to suggestions I provide to improve scholars, professors and students’ writing. These tips have worked for me, and I hope they will work for you! Producing New Text Writing a paper (going from generating ideas to finishing and editing manuscript) This post should be useful to those who are trying to […]

On the power of ethnography in public policy research

I was going to write this blog post a long time ago, every since Ryan Briggs (Virginia Tech) alerted me to these posts by Tom Pepinsky (Cornell University), Ken Opalo (Stanford University) and Chris Blattman (Columbia University), but then the “worm wars” debate happened on Twitter, I got pulled into it (inadvertently and unwillingly) and […]

On the politics of toilet access and the global sanitation crisis #WorldToiletDay

One of the first things other academics ask me is “why are you interested in toilets?” For the vast majority of people, the biological function of waste excretion is an after thought, an activity that nobody wants to talk about, and often times, the mere thought of talking about shit grosses them out. I am, […]

On self-care in an academic environment

I got braces for the first time in my life last month. You may wonder “how does getting braces relate to Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega’s academic life?“. There’s a very simple response to that: In 2013, I decided to become the first priority in my life, both professional and personal. Out of context, undergoing teeth surgery […]