Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Silvia, P.J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.

This is an excellent, humorous, and forthright little book about starting and keeping the momentum going with writing. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud anecdotes and not-so-gentle prods to help the ever-procrastinating and excuse-making academic come out of her/his rut and routines of avoiding writing for all the wrong reasons. Once you can get past your reasons to not write, one must, the author urges, create a steady, daily, protected time to write. He says his is daily time is 8:00-10:00 a.m. I like this idea. I think I’m going to try that time frame (more or less!) and see how that goes. I’ll post updates on here. Another reminder of a truism located within this text: Writing is a skill and it must be developed through practice. My biggest excuses to “not write”: *I need my “white board” to write, I must be “inspired” (not necessary, according to Silvia), and finally, “I need to read more research first!”. Just do it will be my new motto.

Do others listen to music when writing? I listen to trance, industrial, and some of that 90’s Eurodance (think: “Rhythm is a Dancer”) when I write. 

What helped me during my dissertation process: Keeping the momentum going. 

Good quotes from the book: “You must ruthlessly defend your writing time.” (p.15) and “Equipment will never help you write a lot; only making a schedule and sticking to it will make you a productive writer” (p. 22). Here’s to sticking to schedules!


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I am recreating and reinvigorating this blog. It’s purpose and content will be manifold:

1) Links to cutting-edge news items relating to literacy theory and practice.  The comment features allows a forum for online dialogue, either anonymously or with a link to your blog. This will include embedded multimedia like video, podcasts, audio, and other hyperlinks. 

2) Book reviews on current high quality children’s literature and practitioner books. 

3) Commentary on research articles from research books and literacy and education journals. E.g., I will post on my thoughts on this important topic Miseducating Teachers about the Poor: A Critical Analysis of Ruby Payne’s Claims about Poverty in Teachers College Record (2008). This article (of which I am a co-author) inspired my dissertation topic, where I researched the perspectives, voices, and participation of low-income families in their children’s literacy learning. Click here for the abstract of this article. 

4) Online community. Feel free to post your comments on this page, read other’s comments, or, better yet, email me to be a collaborative writer on the blog. I believe in the power of asynchronous online chat around common professional topics as a virtual “professional learning community”. It’s all about keeping it dialogic!

If you’re interested in the interface of technology and literacy….

Lawrence Lessig: This is Lessig’s famous lecture on intellectual property law and its impact on multimodal literacies. This video is important for several reasons. Lessig argues for the “read-write” culture where copyright law is redesigned so that people have more access to text and media; great access means great facility to design and redesign media. He also terms this “free culture” and “Creative Commons”. 


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