Happy Doc Student Podcast

#42 Tips for Academic Writing with Jeff Zuckerman

August 25, 2021 Heather Frederick, PhD Episode 42
Happy Doc Student Podcast
#42 Tips for Academic Writing with Jeff Zuckerman
Show Notes

Jeff Zuckerman holds master’s degrees in social work and journalism from the University of Minnesota. He was a social worker, a newspaper reporter and editor, and for many years the director of the writing center at Walden University. He was a reviewer of the APA style manual, 7th edition. Over the past 25 years he has edited more than 1,600 dissertations in the behavioral and social sciences, and he has talked with thousands of doctoral students about writing. Jeff is the author of "Unglued: A Bipolar Love Story," his 2020 memoir about the turmoil of caregiving and self-care following his wife's diagnosis with a late-onset mental illness.

Tips for Academic Writing:

1.    Understand this is like a foreign language; an editor/coach can help. 

2.    Find academic writing that you enjoy and emulate that. 

3.  Start with an outline (and be OK with it changing).

4.    Read the book: Writing for the Social Scientist by Howard S. Becker: https://amzn.to/3D6cbDf

5.    Use the MEAL method: Main idea, Evidence, Analyze, Lead into next paragraph

6.    If you have access to a Writing Center – USE IT!

7.    Use the feature on Word to LISTEN to your writing

8.    Use a reference software like Zotero: https://www.zotero.org/

9.    Use Grammarly: https://grammarly.go2cloud.org/aff_c?offer_id=3&aff_id=66812&source=website

10.    Use an editor for things that will take you time and cost you your sanity – it might be things that just need to be created like a Table of Contents, Tables, Figures, etc. It might be that you will save time and your health by hiring a coach who you work with weekly. 

11. Practice, practice, practice

Bonus Tips:

  • Try to not be too Type A - it will never be PERFECT!
  • In the end: Good enough is good enough!

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