Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to write a paper for publication in 6 weeks: Week 2

Here are the activities for Week 2 of the writing project: How to write a paper for publication in 6 weeks

1. Have a think about the difference between a summary and a conclusion

A summary is a concise account of what you've written about. A conclusion puts the ball back in the reader's court...tells the reader what the point of the article is...leaves the reader thinking about the implications for him or her. The overall conclusion of an article starts with a summary and then the conclusion. We'll come back to this later.

2. Think about a metaphor that will sustain you in the process of writing
One metaphor is around building a wall. You have to know where to build it...use appropriate bricks...use cement that will bind the bricks together...have a solid foundation. Or, writing an article is a journey to a need to keep on the path...cannot get distracted off the path, and definitely do not want to wander off the path and end up in a dead end street. What metaphor helps you think about the writing process? Use this metaphor to keep you focused and stop you getting distracted. At the same time, stay open to ideas and critique.

3. Looking at your mapping work
In Week One you were asked to map your ideas and arguments. This mapping is about the "guts" of what you want to say in your article. It is not a plan for the whole article. At this stage you do not need to think about your literature review or introduction. If you haven't done so already, show your plan to your critical friend or share it with the Publication Boot Camp email group. Ask for feedback on the congruence of the mapping.
  • Does it make sense?
  • Is there a logical flow?
  • Is there too much information or too little?
  • What needs to be added or taken out?

4. Re-write your plan
When you get your feedback, re-write your plan to take into account the feedback. Keep in mind the plan is not everything you know, but rather the "guts" of what you want to say which leads up to your conclusion.

5. Re-write your conclusion
Re-write your conclusion. Start with the summary of what you want to say in the article and finish with a conclusion ie what the point of the article is...the implication(s) for the reader.

Give your amended plan and conclusion to your critical friend for feedback.

6. Which journal?
Have a think about where you want to publish your article. Narrow your choices down to no more than three journals. Get hold of the information for authors, making sure you have the relevant information for the type of article you are writing ie scientific report, personal reflection, commentary etc.

7. Week Two live meeting
Join the Week Two live meeting Thursday 16th June 21.00 hours New Zealand in the Elluminate room:

Image: 'Missing Rainbows'

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