Summer is a great time to work on any challenges you might have with writing, especially academic writing. If you’re near campus, many campus writing centers have summer hours where you can work with a writing tutor or participate in writing workshops. If you’re not near campus or do your program online, you can join a local writing group or even put together an online writing group with some classmates to keep the writing going during the summer break and hold each other accountable. If you’re working on your dissertation, our team of expert editors here at Dissertation Editor is here all summer and happy to assist you with your editing and formatting needs. Writing is like a muscle: the more you do it, the more you fine-tune it, and the more you learn about it, the more defined and developed it gets – essentially, the better you get at writing.
Many times, students come to us with apprehension about the dissertation process because they’re not confident in their writing skills. They may have been out of school for a while, or they never really were great at grammar, or anything in between. Summer is the perfect time to stock up on some workbooks and skills books, as well as some indispensable guides on writing. It might not be the most exciting reading, but good writing skills will benefit you in graduate school and beyond.
Here are some books and workbooks to check out for the summer.
This is an easy-to-use, comprehensive workbook that is great for everyone: those who need to brush up on grammar, those who struggle with the English language, and really….anyone. Chapters include grammar and composition (including transitions, which is something we see a lot of students struggling with), parts of speech, style and spelling, sentence structure, and more. There are lessons, exercises, and clear examples, making this a go-to book for everything grammar-related.
The Elements of Style Workbook by William Strunk Jr, Tip Top Education, and Dr. Michele Poff
Ask most graduate students and you’ll find that the bible of writing tends to be The Elements of Style – and for good reason. Grammar, writing tips, and everything you could want, all in one place. The workbook is a stand-alone writing and grammar workbook that provides guided practice for writing and composition, including grammar. This is a bit more intense than other basic grammar books, and we’d say this workbook is better for fine-tuning your writing skills, rather than basic grammar. A helpful and important tool to have, this will certainly improve your dissertation writing skills.
Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write by Helen Sword
This isn’t a workbook, but rather, a very interesting book. Sword interviewed more than 100 academics about their writing background and process and found several cornerstones that were the foundation of a successful writing practice. It’s less of a how-to book and more of a learning book, if that makes sense. Sword has done her research and these are her findings, along with profiles of the academics she interviewed and information on how readers can integrate her findings into their own routine. This book is perfect for those wanting to be more productive, but still enjoy their academic writing.
The Writer’s Process: Getting Your Brain in Gear by Anne Janzer
Okay, so this one isn’t necessarily about academic writing, per se – but it has a lot of wonderful and practical tips to help you with your academic writing. Janzer tackles procrastination and discipline, flow and creativity, research, structuring ideas, developing an outline or writing plan, revising, and more. This is a great book for when you want something less “textbook-ish,” but still want a meaty book on writing.
Books and workbooks are helpful, but we know that nothing can compare to one-on-one support and help – and that’s where Dissertation Editor comes in! Our editors have been where you are and know what the writing and dissertation or thesis process is like. Through consultations, feedback, editing notes, and more, we can help you build confidence in your writing and help make this process a little easier. Contact us today to learn more about our array of services to help you achieve your goals and get where you want to be.