The Work of Writing: Insights and Strategies for Academics and Professionals / Edition 1

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Professional and academic writing is often seen as dull, dry, and as boring to write as it is to read. In The Work of Writing, Rankin challenges these assumptions by encouraging the professional writer to develop a strong writing voice and become fully engaged with the writing process, thus producing written work that is lively and engaging. This book will give academic practitioners and other professionals critical help in determining what to write, how to write it, and how to position their written works succesfully for the markets they wish to reach. Rather than a style manual, The Work of Writing focuses on the thinking, strategizing, and decision making that goes on in the heads of academic and professional writers. In doing so, it deals with the complex issues of purpose, audience, genre, and voice that all writers face. Drawing on collective experience of academic and professional readers as well as writers, Rankin offers a framework to help writers think about their writing in realistic, practical, and productive ways. The book offers specific examples and "real-life" scenarios that are familiar to all academic writers—and by extension, to practicing professionals as well.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Work of Writing achieves its promise to support writersas they enter the professional conversation." (TheDepartment Chair; Summer 2004)

"Practical advice for academics and graduate students who wantto hone their skills and liven up their writing." (Book News,Inc., November 2001)

Practical advice for academics and graduate students who want to hone their skills and liven up their writing. Rankin (English, U. of North Dakota), who leads writing seminars for faculty of all disciplines, covers the thinking, strategizing, and decision-making that underlie the writing of papers, reports, proposals, grants, curriculum guides, and other projects. She also deals with questions of purpose, audience, genre, and voice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787956790
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/6/2001
  • Series: Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Rankin teaches English and directs a faculty development program at the University of North Dakota, where she leads writing seminars and teaching workshops for faculty of all disciplines. She is a consultant-evaluator for the National Council of Writing Program Administrators.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Work of Writing.

Chapter 2. Contributing to the Professional Conversation.

Defining Your Contribution.

Getting Into the Conversation.

Maintaining Your Vision.

Chapter 3. Meeting Readers' Needs and Expectations.

Creating Signposts and Roadmaps.

Paying Attention to Genre Expectations.

Making Sense of the Conventions.

Dealing With Difficult Situations.

Resisting the Temptation to Recycle.

Chapter 4. Finding Your Professional Voice.

Claiming Ownership of Your Writing.

Exorcising the Grad Student Within.

Making It Personal.

Keeping It Under Control.

Chapter 5. Starting, Revising, and Finishing.

Getting Started.

Learning to Like Revising.

Getting It In the Mail.


Appendix A: Organizing a Writing Group.

Appendix B: Sample Book Proposal Guidelines.

Appendix C: A Few Good Books on Writing.



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