Review your Reflective Reading Journal, as well as other literature from the course. Your goal is to analyze, explain, and build a personal action plan. Please write a 5-page paper outlining improvedSee discussions, stats, and author profiles for this public ation at: https://www .rese archg ate.ne t/public ation/257568343 Patricia Goodson: Becoming an academic writer: 50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing Article in Higher Educ ation · June 2013 DOI: 10.1007/s10734-012-9555-y CITATIONS 0 READS 6,890 1 author:
Some o f the author s of this public ation are also w orking on these r elated pr ojects: Assessment and int ervention in Mot or Development V ie w pr oject Motor de velopment in childr en Vie w pr oject Priscila T amplain University of T exas at Arlingt on 94 PUBLICATIONS 796 CITATIONS SEE PROFILE All c ontent f ollowing this p age w as uplo aded by Priscila T amplain on 17 No vember 2014. The user has r equested enhanc ement of the do wnloaded file. BOOK REVIEW Patricia Goodson: Becoming an academic writer:
50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing Sage Publications, Inc., 2013, 248 pp Priscila Cac¸ ola Published online: 21 July 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012 The book ‘‘Becoming an academic writer: 50 exercises for paced, productive, and powerful writing’’ describes a theoretical and practical framework for writing productivity in aca- demic settings, thePOWERmodel (Promoting Outstanding Writing for Excellence in Research). Throughout the book, the author walks readers through the model by deter- mining theoretical principles, demonstrating empirical evidence, and proposing practical exercises for becoming an academic writer.
Early in the Acknowledgements section, Goodson mentions that thePOWERmodel saved academic careers of many grad students she worked with, as they were about to drop out of grad school due to their struggles with writing (or lack of). Right there I identi ed with the book. I had been one of those discouraged grad students. I wanted to write, but I never had the time to do it. Truly stressed out by the pressure to write and not knowing anything else to tackle the problem other than the famous techniques commonly known as ‘‘binge writing’’ and ‘‘editing while you write’’, I almost gave up on my dream of being a college professor. That is, until I heard about thePOWERmodel.
ThePOWERmodel was built by a group of scholars who strategized practical concepts such as writingshouldbe initially bad and the importance of sharing early and late writing drafts. In addition to explaining the method, Goodson uses ‘‘Research shows’’ boxes throughout the book to point out studies in writing and productivity, a clever strategy to ease scienti c minds of professors and academics in general (like me), who always need a peer-reviewed, published proof that something works.
In Chapter 1, the author clearly de nes the model and the approach, establishing relationships between writing practice and the neuroscience/psychology literature. Chap- ters 2–11 focus on how to achieve the so desired writing productivity promised by the model. Chapters 2–6 give the reader a more general approach to the model and writing strategies that can serve any writing project, such as ‘‘Write quickly, edit slowly’’, ‘‘Keep and share a writing log’’, and ‘‘Get feedback regularly’’. Chapters 7–11 propose exercises P. Cac¸ ola (&) Department of Kinesiology, The University of Texas at Arlington, 500 W. Nedderman Dr., Arlington, TX 76019-0259, USA e-mail: [email protected] 123 High Educ (2013) 65:785–786 DOI 10.1007/s10734-012-9555-y that are speci c to certain writing projects, such article sections, grant applications, and abstracts.
Even though I had previous contact with the model, the book has added immensely to my theoretical knowledge by organizing the principles into practical exercises. The reader will be able to change habits step by step. For example, as I was reading the book, I knew I had to work on my vocabulary for a writing project but was not sure on how or where to start. When I got to Chapter 3 (Practice building academic vocabulary), I chose to practice two exercises in Chapter 3, # 9 (increase your vocabulary one word at a time) and # 10 (use new academic words) once a day, for a whole week. I was amazed by how easy it was to achieve my goal in such a short period of time.
The exercises in the book could easily be seen put together as a class outline. There are a total of 50 exercises proposed, varying in time from 5 to 60 min. They are easy to conquer and short in length, and are designed so the reader ‘‘can see it for him/herself’’ how the strategies work. As a non-native English writer, I also had a deep appreciation for the ‘‘Tips for ESL writers boxes’’ showed often in the book.
However, I did miss something like ‘‘hierarchy levels’’ in each exercise. For example, how an ‘‘intermediate’’ writer could make an exercise more challenging? Also, after getting through all the 50 exercises—what were the 10 top ones? Or, if I were willing to change only one thing, what should that be? Some sort of ‘‘alternatives’’ (maybe depending on a writing project), would have been helpful.
In general, the personal approach and conversational narrative makes the book easy to understand and relate to. The strength of the book is how one’s reading ows through it. It is instructive and at the same time entertaining. The challenge of the book, however, is the challenge of writing in itself. People are skeptical. Somehow the strategy of binge writing seems dif cult to let go. It seems that as long as the writing ‘‘problem’’ is not acknowl- edged, it just does not exist.
Thinking from a straightforward perspective, this book is best read by graduate students and junior faculty. Thinking outside the box, the book could be read by any professional that uses writing on an everyday basis—journalists, lawyers, etc. When thinking deeply about it, most, if not all professions, involve a good amount of writing. How people acknowledge the power of writing for a successful career is different, but it is always there.
Having had the experience using the model myself, I believe the book has thepowerto change other lives as well. I followed some exercises to write this review and it took me 3 writing sessions that totaled 139 min, with 4 drafts. I also got feedback twice. I docu- mented all that and realized how much more productive I was. In fact, this book is not only a solution to these old (bad) writing modes, but also an inspiration to any person who wants to be a better writer.
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