No Assistant Professor Should Be an Island

Inside HigherEd is beginning a series addressing the writing needs of pretenured faculty.  In the first installment, “Writing for Academe: A Series on Dialogue, Mentoring, and Motivation,” Western Washington University professors Karen Hoelscher and Carmen Werder begin dishing up advice collected from veterans of their support program.

They suggest “aligning writing projects with department expectations” so that service feeds scholarship.  SoTL, anyone?

There’s more good advice in the article–and likely more to come.

Faculty Writing–the “P” Word

Writing for Inside HigherEd, consultant Peg Boyle Singleton observes that most of academic writers have developed a procrastination habit over years, so it’s unrealistic to expect that we can overcome it overnight with a resolution.  But we can unlearn it:

“While conceptually the remedy for procrastination is to make the transition into writing as smooth as possible, what does it look like? … I can ensure you that it will include some of the four elements used by every fluent writer I have ever met: prewriting, engaging in a regular writing routine, holding oneself accountable, and being part of a fellowship of writers.”

Click here to view the whole article.

How Do You Write? Let Me Count the Ways

Thanks to MU librarian Marcia Dursi for steering me to the “How I Write” page at Stanford University.  For eight years, Hilton Obenzinger,  associate director of the Honors Writing Program at Stanford’s writing center, has been inviting professors across the disciplines to come talk about their writing process.  The site includes a video of political science professor Rob Reich talking about his (written) work on the ethics of homeschooling and charitable giving.

Obenzinger’s point: Students struggling alone with writing need to realize that they’re surrounded by “a thriving community of experienced writers,” whose varied ways of going about the task offer models.