The work of writing: insights and strategies for academics and professionals

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Jossey-Bass, 2001 - Business & Economics - 122 pages
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Professional and academic writing is often seen as dull, dry, and as boring to write as it is to read. In The Work of Writing, Rankin challenges these assumptions by encouraging the professional writer to develop a strong writing voice and become fully engaged with the writing process, thus producing written work that is lively and engaging. This book will give academic practitioners and other professionals critical help in determining what to write, how to write it, and how to position their written works succesfully for the markets they wish to reach. Rather than a style manual, The Work of Writing focuses on the thinking, strategizing, and decision making that goes on in the heads of academic and professional writers. In doing so, it deals with the complex issues of purpose, audience, genre, and voice that all writers face. Drawing on collective experience of academic and professional readers as well as writers, Rankin offers a framework to help writers think about their writing in realistic, practical, and productive ways. The book offers specific examples and "real-life" scenarios that are familiar to all academic writers--and by extension, to practicing professionals as well.

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This is an amazing book! A must read for any academic involved in writing. What I liked most about the book that 'Elizabeth Rankin's' voice comes through clearly (especially in the conclusion) and it is a good demonstration for how one can find their own voice in writing. The book is written in simple and plain English. It is well-written and the book almost reads itself as the prose is logical and very easy to follow. The practical examples given in the book shed light on the real challenges faced by an academic when writting which in some cases could be regarded as an up-hill struggle. Nonetheless, this book provides very useful insights into writing. Indeed the content is as it says on the tin!
A final word is that we should really attempt to question some of the norms (or convention wisdom) in academic writing if we are to move towards more engaging and informative writing - that makes a real difference- as this book does.
The guidelines for setting-up a writing group are also very useful. I am now thinking of setting-up a group with my postgraduate students. I am anxious to see how it will work!
Thanks for a great book!

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About the author (2001)

Elizabeth Rankin teaches English and directs a faculty development program at the University of North Dakota, where she leads writing seminars and teaching workshops for faculty of all disciplines. She is a consultant-evaluator for the National Council of Writing Program Administrators.