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Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412957014
ISBN-10: 141295701X
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"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)

About the Author

Wendy Laura Belcher is an award-winning author, academic editor, international lecturer, and professor. She designed one of the first publication focused writing courses for graduate students and junior faculty in the nation, and for ten years has conducted such courses at the University of California, Los Angeles, and in research institutions around the world, including those in Norway, Malawi, Sudan, and Egypt. These popular workshops are based on her twenty years of experience as an academic editor, including eleven years managing an ethnic studies press and the peer-reviewed journal of record in the field, Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies, as well as her two master’s degrees in the social sciences and a doctorate in the humanities.

 

She is also a published nonfiction author, whose memoir about her childhood in Ethiopia and Ghana, Honey from the Lion: An African Journey, won a Washington State Governor’s Writers Award and honorable mention in the Martha Albrand/PEN Society Award for first book of nonfiction. She is now an assistant professor of African literature in the Princeton University Department of Comparative Literature and the Center for African American Studies.

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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: 1 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

WENDY LAURA BELCHER is an associate professor of African literature in Princeton University's Department of Comparative Literature and Department of African American Studies. 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. Her research book in progress is The Black Queen of Sheba: A Global History of an African Idea. She has published several books, several co-edited volumes, and many articles, receiving 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. Her book Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success is a best-seller.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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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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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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1 Comment 73 of 82 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
5 Comments 61 of 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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