Refracted Input

Clare O’Farrell’s blog on books, TV, films, Michel Foucault, universities etc. etc.

Reassuring findings for numerous academics – and other writers!

Helen Sword (2016) ‘Write every day!’: a mantra dismantled, International Journal for Academic Development, 21:4, 312-322,
DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2016.1210153

Numerous books, blogs, and articles on research productivity exhort academics to ‘write every day’ even during the busiest of teaching times. Ironically, however, this research-boosting advice hangs from a perilously thin research thread. This article scrutinises the key findings of Robert Boice, whose pioneering studies of ‘professors as writers’ in the 1980s and 1990s are still widely cited today, and offers new empirical evidence to suggest that the writing practices of successful academics are in fact far more varied and individualistic than has generally been acknowledged in the literature.

Keywords: Academic writing, scholarly writing, research productivity, Robert Boice

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