How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

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American Psychological Association, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 149 pages
All students and professors need to write, and many struggle to finish their stalled dissertations, journal articles, book chapters, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. In this practical, light-hearted, and encouraging book, Paul Silvia explains that writing productively does not require innate skills or special traits but specific tactics and actions. Drawing examples from his own field of psychology, he shows readers how to overcome motivational roadblocks and become prolific without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. After describing strategies for writing productively, the author gives detailed advice from the trenches on how to write, submit, revise, and resubmit articles, how to improve writing quality, and how to write and publish academic work.

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This is an excellent little book on academic writing. It's written by a psychology professor and while it certainly contains psychology specific information, it's suitable for any academic writer. It's main value from my current perspective is its advice to make a writing schedule and stick to it. The book's instruction that you don't have to feel great, or wait for the mood to write great is spot-on. I've been caving a bit after midterms, but by sticking to short writing sessions I'm still making good progress, all things considered. 

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This is a great book and a must-read for everybody involved in academic writing!
As a psychologist Silva adds something invaluable to the numerous practical guides on academic writing: the
motiviational aspects of the writing process. It's beautifully written, full of dry wit and makes you feel positive about this most frustrating, yet rewarding, part of research.
(Dr Anja Louis, Sheffield Hallam University, UK)

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About the author (2007)

Paul J. Silvia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research explores the emotion of interest, particularly what makes things interesting or boring. In his free time, he drinks coffee, pets Lia, his Bernese Mountain Dog, and
writes books. He is always asked why he finds interest interesting, but he doesn't know. Exploring the Psychology of Interest is his second book.

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