Writing is a skill we need to practice. As a grad student or doctoral candidate, writing is at the heart of your plan. If you don’t write you won’t finish your program. I try to practice writing daily in my journal, and weekly for my blogs.
This year, I decided to challenge myself to write a book or a detailed outline in 30 days. Write Nonfiction in November (WNFIN) is a challenge to write nonfiction, fiction, or a book of poems in the month of November.
Clearly pre-planning, due diligence and organization will be part of my process. It’s sounds like an interesting experiment and I’ll post updates along the way.
Now let’s get back to writing. I found an interesting article about different ways of using your scholarly writing. This process caught my eye because it described leveraging academic writing.
It was a good example of how to use your writing skills to engage different audiences. The article was a reminder that scholarly writing doesn’t have to be boring or one-dimensional.
The article is based on academic research and writing on geography, but it can apply to any field of study. “Disciplinary praxis” (DP) or applying your knowledge, emerged from output (producing knowledge) and intention (influencing others).
DP explores communication through theory, professional interest, and internal debates (academic) and public dialogue, relevancy, and effectiveness (non-academic). DP is cross-discipline writing. It’s a valued tool to strengthen and expand your communication skills.
Let Me Count the Ways
Let’s look at an example of 10 ways to develop your academic writing. The article described the problem of people living in unfinished housing units and the surplus of empty properties in Ireland.
Nonfiction: Academic research on policy changes to help people living in abandoned properties and property development.
Fiction: A novel about corruption in property development, including the murder of a real estate agent.
Blogs: A blog that analyzed statistics on the housing market and trends in the oversupply of units.
Op-ed pieces: Commentary on the problems in Ireland’s property development for several national newspapers.
Emails: Communications with journalists, government agencies, community groups, and special interest groups.
Policy development: Reports, white papers, and analysis for government agencies.
Presentations: Presentations for academics, professional associations, public groups, and journalists.
Script writing: Wrote a script for a documentary for an investigative reporting television show.
Academic writing: Articles for international peer-reviewed journals to examine concepts from empirical work.
Grant writing: Funding for research, presentations, and projects on property development and other areas of interest.
Leverage Your Writing
If you think about it, you can find many ways to leverage your writing. It’s good practice to find different ways to shape your ideas for different audiences.
Also, the process will challenge you to think differently about your writing: look around it, through it, from the side, on top, and take a curved look.
You’ll learn to reshape the message for each audience and use your knowledge as a guide. Other challenges include working with a tight due date and thinking on your feet.
Create opportunities to share your ideas outside of academia.
Practice will make you a better writer, boost your creativity, and your communication skills.
Sources: Write Nonfiction Now
A word after a word after a word is power.