Good Advice for Successful Academic Research and Writing

I’ve read several books on the subject, and some of them are quite good, but an article I read today sums up the advice fairly neatly in a “short” list of 30 tips. 30 Tips for Successful Academic Research and Writing from This Sociological Life.

The first should be obvious, but I’ve done it another way before, so it isn’t as obvious as it ought to be.

1. Choose something to research/write about that you are passionately interested in.

Some people are opposed to this idea, but I think it is a good one. Putting your ideas out into a lot of different media also helps you refine your ideas.

14. Use your writing in as many different ways as you can – conference papers, articles/chapters, books, blog posts.

A department chair at a university that I would not want to work at gave me some useful advice. Stated nicely it looks like this.

15. Never let a conference/seminar paper stay a conference/seminar paper – turn it into an article/book chapter as soon as you can.

This next one I’ve had to re-learn several times. Just take the advice and run with it.

19. Rather than simply deleting material when you are editing a piece of writing, make ‘edits’ computer files into which to ‘paste’ this material when you cut it (I make several edits files under topics). You never know when you may be able to use this material somewhere else.

The others (that I don’t quote here) are just as good. They might even be MORE relevant for you.

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