Books -- A Guide to Academic Writing by Jeffrey A. Cantor

Article excerpt

* Cantor, Jeffrey A. (1993). A Guide to Academic Writing. Westport, Conn.: Preaeger. 183 pp. Paperback, $14.95. Hardback, $55.

Most graduate schools successfully teach the arts of academic research and writing, but they focus much less on the procedures involved in that last crucial step in the research process, successfully publishing one's results. This book summarizes the academic publishing process, and is invaluable reading for the new assistant professor starting a research career.

One chapter addresses the writing process, but other chapters discuss professional journals, conference papers, and grants. Three important chapters sketch the book publishing process.

Refreshingly, Cantor gives relatively realistic advice. Many authors and editors addressing new scholars merely state the obvious. Make a manuscript the best it can possibly be and submit it in the format of the style manual adopted by the targeted journal, they advise. They outline the theory that the process of blind reviewing brings the best articles to publication. Cantor makes these observations, but he goes on to offer much more practical help as well.

For instance, he tells beginning scholars that the first step in a career in academic writing does not have to be a book based on the dissertation. While he notes the "belief that 90 percent of all doctoral dissertations are unpublishable in their research form," he suggests ways to use the dissertation to launch a career. At the least, the essence of the dissertation could appear as a research report in a scholarly journal, he says. The dissertation also could provide the basis for a scholarly article, conference paper, grant application, teaching assignments, speeches in the community, and consulting assignments. …


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