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Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success [Paperback]

by Wendy Laura Belcher
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

February 13, 2009 141295701X 978-1412957014 1st

"This book is a wonderful addition to a graduate course on professional writing, to a writers' group in need of some structure, or even to the lone writer who needs assistance becoming an academic writer."
Chronicle of Higher Education

Wendy Laura Belcher’s Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success is a revolutionary approach to enabling academic authors to overcome their anxieties and produce the publications that are essential to succeeding in their fields. Each week, readers learn a particular feature of strong articles and work on revising theirs accordingly. At the end of twelve weeks, they send their article to a journal. This invaluable resource is the only guide that focuses specifically on publishing humanities and social science journal articles.

Key Features

  • Has a proven record of helping graduate students and professors get published: This workbook, developed over a decade of teaching scholarly writers in a range of disciplines at UCLA and around the world, has already helped hundreds to publish their articles in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demystifies the academic publishing process: This workbook is based on actual research about faculty productivity and peer review, students’ writing triumphs and failures, as well as the author’s experiences as a journal editor and award-winning author.
  • Proceeds step by manageable step: Within the context of clear deadlines, the workbook provides the instruction, exercises, and structure needed to revise a classroom essay, conference paper, dissertation chapter, master’s thesis, or unfinished draft into a journal article and send it to a suitable journal.
  • Targets the biggest writing challenges: This workbook focuses squarely on the most difficult tasks facing scholarly writers, such as getting motivated, making an argument, and creating a logical whole.

Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks can be used individually or in groups, and is particularly appropriate for graduate student professional development courses, junior faculty orientation workshops, post-doc groups, and journal article writing courses.

Wendy Laura Belcher is assistant professor of African literature at Princeton University in the Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies. She has taught journal article writing workshops in North America, Europe, and Africa.

Praise for Wendy Belcher and Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks

"A comprehensive, well-written and beautifully organized book on publishing articles in the humanities and social sciences that will help its readers write forward with a first-rate guide as good company."
—Joan Bolker, author of Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day

“Humorous, direct, authentic … a seamless weave of experience, anecdote, and research.”
—Kathleen McHugh, professor and director of the UCLA Center for the Study of Women

“A useful text that will be an excellent resource for any writer attempting to publish their work.”
—Larry Chandler, Graduate Student

“Wendy Belcher's book is revolutionizing the way younger scholars perceive academic publishing and radically transforming their level of access to it (and consequently to the profession). It is by far the most readable or practical guide to academic writing on the market.”
—Beth Goodhue, UCLA

“Wendy's guidance has been a tremendous help to me, and the book is great for grad students, junior faculty, or anyone who wants to learn how to write and publish more effectively.”
-Jake Dorman, The University of Kansas

“Your book struck such a nerve because there is a long chain of assumptions in academia that scholars should just know how to do certain things. The relief among faculty is palpable when I explain in groups that few of us -- even those who have been published in journals -- were ever taught properly. And although it helps everyone who cracks it, your book is especially a godsend for faculty from other cultures.” -Carole Sargent, Georgetown University

“Thanks for your wonderful book!”
-Georgina Green, Graduate Student

“Absolutely LOVE the book!”
-Karra Bikson, Graduate Student

Frequently Bought Together

Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success + How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing + Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing
Price for all three: $78.88

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Editorial Reviews


"Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks is the one book I would most recommend to inexperienced academic authors in the humanities or social sciences who seriously wish to see their scholarly work in print. Other books may be quicker to read, but I doubt if any would ultimately prove to be as effective." (Steven E. Gump 2010-03-15)

"Thorough, beautifully organized, and humane.  This is a welcome light on a dark process." (Kevin Peterson 2010-12-07)

"Belcher's book uses an interactive format to help writers develop a manuscript for submission from a pre-existing text such as a dissertation/thesis... When I used this book to teach writing for publication, doctorial students responded enthusiastically to the format and tone, which bolstered their confidence and enabled them to confront displacement activities." (Mary Jane Curry)

"While addressing the sometimes-unsearchable field of scholarly writing and publishing, Wendy Belcher uses unpretentious, contemporary, and even witty prose that is simultaneously captivating and informative." (Grant Eckstein 2010-05-03)

Product Details

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 1st edition (February 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141295701X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412957014
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WENDY LAURA BELCHER has been Assistant Professor of African literature in Princeton University's Department of Comparative Literature and Center for African American Studies since fall 2008. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles Department of English in 2008, and also has two social science master's degrees from UCLA. Her scholarly interests emerge from her life experiences growing up in East and West Africa, where she became fascinated with the richness of Ghanaian and Ethiopian intellectual traditions. She was a recent recipient of the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Research Award, spending 2010-2011 in Ethiopia studying African female saints and the early modern texts written about them in the African language Gəʾəz. She has received national awards for her writing, including the Dick Goldensohn Grant for Innovative Journalism, the Washington State Governors Writers Award, and the PEN Society Martha Albrand Award Finalist. She is currently completing a translation with Michael Kleiner of The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Translation of the Earliest African Biography of an African Woman. Her research book in progress is The Black Queen of Sheba: A Global History of an African Idea. She has published articles on African, African American, and American Indian literature in a number of journals. She is currently preparing for publication several articles on early modern Ethiopian literature. She has given lectures on a variety of topics at universities in the United States and in Canada, Norway, Malawi, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Professor Wendy Belcher has written a tour de force that compiles a series of detailed steps for publishing an academic article. Her methods for writing, revising, submitting, and responding to editorial decisions are straight forward, organized, and well supported by carefully collected data gained through years of experience talking with writers and teaching scholarly writing around the world.
The book has one strength not usually found in such "how to" books on writing. Writing your Journal Article in 12 Weeks provides academic writers with what we have been waiting for: the tools to address our anxieties about writing and being evaluated by other scholars. Belcher successfully demystifies the process for submitting manuscripts and understanding editors' decisions regarding revision and rejection. At the same time, she bolsters academic writers' confidence with the assurance that the paper can be published. I cannot think of any book on academic writing that is as helpful and encouraging as this one. I plan on sharing it with all of my professional colleagues who deal with the ongoing challenges of scholarly writing and publishing.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for academics seeking tenure July 7, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This hefty book (350 letter-sized pages) takes the reader through designing a writing plan, starting the article, selecting a journal, reviewing the literature, writing the article, getting feedback, editing the article and sending it out. Week X, which happens when you get the response back from the journal, is about dealing with the journal's response to your submission. Each chapter presents a lot of information in the instruction section along with workbook questions to fill in. The Daily Tasks section that follows tells the article writer what to do on a day by day basis. While this book may be too structured for successful academic writers, it's a good starting point for new writers and academics having trouble getting articles accepted.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So far I'm very pleased with the content of this book. The author's writing is very honest and down-to-earth, and as a workbook it contains elements for planning one's writing routines that really seem to have the potential to improve my productivity as an academic writer.

How ever, and this is for me a big problem, the books is not a good Kindle book. The reasons are the following:

1 Navigating between the referenced authors and the list of cited works is a nightmare, as one has to first create a mark at the beginning of the bibliography, and then browse page by page in order to find the cited work. In other words, there is no possibility to position the pointer on a reference and then be directly sent to its location in the bibliography.

2 One has no way what page number one is reading, and since the author makes references to content on specific pages, trying to find it can be really very time-consuming, which is a night-mare when you're an academic have too many different books to read.

3 One of the cited authors ("Diaz-Morales 2007, on "Location 806") is NOT in the bibliography.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted so badly to like this book February 2, 2013
By Karuna
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought this book would be perfect for me. I'm a "plans and systems" person. The author breaks down a series of tasks into a plan to write and submit an article. Each week, you have a bunch of tasks to complete that take 1-4 hours per day - usually closer to one. It's realistic. It's precises. It's behavioral. All my favorite things!

Why didn't I like it? The time-frame was WAAAY off. First of all, the author (Belcher) doesn't allow any time for data analysis, so the '12 weeks' assumes you already have your data and have it fully analyzed and ready to go. Think, conference-paper-or-dissertation-article-in-need-of-publishing. So, this book won't help you if you're in the early stages of writing, which are usually the hardest. Secondly, Belcher doesn't leave nearly enough time for the actual writing and editing. In my experience, when I've retrospectively added up all the hours spent on drafts and revisions of an article or chapter, I'm looking at approximately 5 hours for each single-spaced page I write (about 90 minutes per page with 3-4 revisions). Since articles are usually about 20 pages, we're looking at nearly 100 hours just to draft and revise. This does not include background literature reviews,outlining, or formatting.

Belcher's plan will guide you through 6 weeks of planning and outlining (a bit excessive - I think 2-3 weeks would do it) and ONLY TWENTY-ONE HOURS of combined editing AND revising! (I am looking at the book as I write this review, so that's an exact figure). Also, she allows only ONE hour to devise all illustrations, graphs, and charts, and a skimpy SINGLE HOUR to format the article to be consistent with the journal guidelines. I think that alone takes about 6 hours.

Completely undoable but a really great idea.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Teaching Tool May 31, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just wanted to chime in here. None of the reviews thus far have mentioned the fact that the author has organized this book in such a way that it could be used to teach a grad class on academic writing, or research methods. While it doesn't deal with "research methods" in any discernible way, it would provide a useful framework (covering topics like how to write a literature review) to teach a semester-long class for university seniors or master's level students seeking to write an article in the social sciences. And of course it will help you with your own writing as well. However, it's really written for beginners. I was hoping for a guide for more seasoned pro's which might help you identify tricks and shortcuts to write more productively, but it doesn't really do that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good consolidated book
A solid guide to getting on track with your academic writing. Easy to read and follow. The only downside with the kindle version is that you can't actually use the tables in the... Read more
Published 3 days ago by SK
5.0 out of 5 stars Taught me All the Rules I Didn't Know I Didn't Know
This is a great book. Obviously, it spells out all the steps to getting published, but more importantly it clarifies some important unspoken rules--the kind that keep academia... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars It works
I bought this book for general guidance and ended up following it almost to the letter, revising my 120-page thesis into a tight 25-page article-- an article that's now slated for... Read more
Published 5 days ago by NancyK
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must for Tenure Track PhDs
I bought this for my wife on the recommendation of one of her colleagues and she loves it. This book is chock full of practical tips for those hesitant to submit papers for... Read more
Published 5 days ago by nobraska
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will help you revise your paper and get published!
This book will help you revise your paper and get published! Highly recommend for social sciences, humanities, and empirical legal studies.
Published 22 days ago by Megan Suzanne Wright
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource
The structure of this text is very helpful is guiding daily work. It has offered me some independence in shaping my own reading and writing habits. I wish I had read it sooner.
Published 2 months ago by Luz Huntington-Moskos
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Tool
This book has already helped me completely change my writing habits and I'm only in the third week. The tips are practical and manageable. I highly recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by M. Overstreet
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting info here and there.
This is not a book designed to help you come up with ideas or generate a paper. It is a book designed to help you write a journal article based on something you've already written. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Melissa Camacho
5.0 out of 5 stars I buy this for all my PhD Students
This book was fantastic, it really helps keep focused and on track.
I now buy this for all my PhD students. Read more
Published 4 months ago by DebS_Library
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful
Very helpful tips and trick in this book. Has really helped me to organize my research and writing projects. Would recommend to anyone.
Published 4 months ago by jennifer
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