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Professors as Writers

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Here is a proven book to help scholars master writing as a productive, enjoyable, and successful experience -- Author, Robert Boice, prepared this self-help manual for professors who want to write more productively, painlessly, and successfully. It reflects the author's two decades of experiences and research with professors as writers -- by compressing a lot of experience ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published March 24th 1990 by New Forums Press (first published February 24th 1990)
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May 18, 2014 Laura rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing-as-craft
To be fair, I read this book but did not do the plan or the exercises that went along. It focused on overcoming writer's block and other psychological impediments to writing, like fear of failure, perfectionism, etc. I hoped for more pragmatic advice on time management and organization, versus motivation, just because that is what I feel I'm lacking. The book had some suggestions to rearrange one's writing environment and writing habits but those were not the innovative parts. So I did not find ...more
Victor Barger
Mar 19, 2009 Victor Barger rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Writers
Shelves: academia, writing
Based on his research on scholarly writing and his experience counseling authors, Robert Boice devised a four-stage approach to writing consistently and productively: (1) establish momentum, (2) develop external controls, (3) foster intrinsic motivation, and (4) leverage sociality. In this book, Boice introduces techniques for mastering each of these stages and offers insightful advice to keep the words flowing. Whether you're currently experiencing a block or are simply looking for preventive m ...more
Sep 28, 2008 Clare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing-tips
This is a marvellous practical book on how to get going with academic writing. Lots of really useful tips about how to organise oneself and how to overcome academic writer's block.
Dec 17, 2016 Alysa rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
The book focuses on developing good writing habits to become a productive writer. The tips are general and good for all "stuck" writers, but I often felt as though much of the focus was a bit more on writers in humanities and some social sciences. There was a lot of discussion about creativity and getting a lot of words out, but not so much about the other parts that go into writing a science paper (data collection, analysis, etc.). In any case, the tests for determining what is causing someone ...more
Sep 16, 2016 Charlie rated it liked it
I found this somewhat helpful in understanding the reasons why it's oftentimes difficult to write. Boice also offers very practical steps to overcome writers' block. I gave it a somewhat low score because I found the advice a little repetitive why was a little tiresome after half the book e.g. even if one is not a perfectionist writer, one would have to read through advice to that group or at least skim read in every chapter.

One aspect that the book does really well is provide the reader with fu
Sep 15, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Overall this book was helpful. Boice has helped unblock professors with writing difficulties for years and has really done his research on the subject of writing difficulties. The book mirrors his real-life program in which problem writers seek his assistance to get back on track. Boice includes some interesting interludes in which he examines the history and scholarship on issues such as spontaneous writing and negative self-talk. It's interesting to find out that any anxieties you have about w ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Scott rated it it was amazing
This book acts as a therapy session on writing blockages. In fact Boice uses narratives of real therapy sessions he conducted with faculty members throughout the book to illustrate the practical response and some objections to the programs outlined in the book. This book, therefore, is most meaningful for those people who feel they have trouble writing in a professional setting.

It works from outlining why professors don't write, to the phenomenology of writing blockages, advising the reader to f
Jul 12, 2016 Babs rated it really liked it
Don’t be off-put by the title of this work. Any writer (or artist) can benefit from this readable, highly researched book that will help you develop as a writer or artist. The first section of the book is a rehash of common techniques used to prevent writers block. For me, the real value in this book lies in the second section that deals with spontaneous and generative writing, and clustering and logical ordering (write first, outline second). Despite the redundant first section, anyone who want ...more
Jun 16, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
Recommends it for: academic writers who feel stuck
I have actually read this before, and feel stupefied by his psychobabble and his bizarre numbering of forms rather than labeling them. I think it is a trait of the social sciences.
However, the 4 or 5 pages in which he describes step by step how to rework/revise your article is really good.
The suggestions for making yourself write every day are also solid but not different from everyone else's advice.
Where he does differ is in the emphasis on self-care and being kind to yourself -- advice not oft
Dec 01, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This book begins by suggesting that it is merely about combating Writer's Block. Though this is the ostensible focus, many of pragmatic suggestions for writing and controlling the thoughts and environments that surround and are associated with writing might be equally useful to non-blocked writers. Boice imagines that people can overcome writing problems through both cognitive and behavioral attention to their problems, which is a refreshingly rounded approach.
Nov 14, 2014 Jocelyn rated it it was ok
Shelves: writing
A psychologist helps you diagnose your writing problem and suggests some solutions. He offers some good suggestions but unfortunately for how much I liked this book, I either didn't need them or had heard them all before. Plus he calls them things like "stimulus control procedures" and prescribes exercises like "GWS-II." Sample sentence: "Then, when you've given GWS-II a try, do things you've already done with the SWS and GWS-I exercises." Typical psychologist.
Jan 22, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it
Many helpful suggestions, though I'm not sure it required book-length treatment.
A little pamphlet, maybe, to be passed out by writing evangelists outside university libraries and large lecture halls.
"Did you know that your graduate school career didn't really prepare you for writing?"
"Aren't you tired of writing to deadlines?"
"Hey, mister, wanna be a more productive scholar? No, yeah, I meant Doctor, not Mister."
May 22, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
It isn't very well-written, but the advice in it is great. It is motivating and has many clever tricks.
Purple Iris
Jan 25, 2016 Purple Iris rated it it was ok
Some good advice, but I am not into all the charts and stuff. I think this would have been really useful if I were actually blocked and not just in need of some organization strategies.
Jennifer Glass
Aug 13, 2015 Jennifer Glass added it
Shelves: science
Great book to read if you ever have writer's block. Boice offers advice that's proven to work. Repetitive at times, but quite helpful and an easy read.
Good ideas for organizing one’s writing life. Boice speaks of becoming an effective, efficient and joyful writer—three things that I’d love to be. I’ll try the strategies and report back.
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“Writing regardless of mood, in contrast, keeps momentum going. Writing regularly, even in moderate amounts, minimizes warm-up effects. Writing in a regimen produces both ease of writing and surprising output of writing.” 1 likes
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