“How To”: Academic Writing

By Dr Joshua Specht No part of my graduate coursework emphasized writing. It was assumed that we could all construct a sentence, a paragraph, and (hopefully?) a dissertation chapter. As someone who struggled with his writing in the early parts of graduate school, this was frustrating. Since then, I’ve realized people with PhDs don’t talk about improving academic writing very much either. But they should. … Continue reading “How To”: Academic Writing

“How To”: Giving Conference Papers and Presentations

By Dr Joshua Specht Note: this is the text from a guide I made for grad students preparing to give their first conference paper. Here is a pdf of the handout this draws from. Below are my key suggestions to giving a strong presentation. General tips are on the reverse. People engage with presentations fundamentally differently from written work. This is a curse and a blessing; when listening to … Continue reading “How To”: Giving Conference Papers and Presentations

“How To”: Write An Academic Book Review

By Dr Joshua Specht Note: this guide is for writing the 500-750 word “academic summary” review. Some of these suggestions are helpful for longer reviews or review essays, though those are much more about making an argument about the book or historiography. What do you do if you’re unsure whether you need to read that new book about rats in revolutionary Paris or the untold … Continue reading “How To”: Write An Academic Book Review

“How To”: Dissertation to Book

By Dr Joshua Specht I’m not sure how I got here, but my first book is basically finished. Along the way I learned a few things about revising a dissertation. Here’s the one-sentence take: keep it simple, focus on the writing, and follow deadlines. For the longer version, read on. I start with three overarching suggestions, then suggest a potential revision process, before ending with assorted … Continue reading “How To”: Dissertation to Book