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Write to the Top!: How to Be a Prolific Academic! Paperback – 15 May 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 2007 edition (15 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403977437
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403977434
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 666,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

W. BRAD JOHNSON is Associate Professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics and Law, United States Naval Academy, and a Faculty Associate in the Graduate School of Business and Education at Johns Hopkins University, USA. His most recent books include: Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way and The Elements of Mentoring (Palgrave, 2004).

CAROL A. MULLEN is Associate Professor of leadership studies in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies at the University of South Florida, USA. She has published ten other books, most recently Formal Mentoring Programs in Higher Education, Curriculum Leadership Development, A Graduate Student Guide, and The Mentorship Primer.


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Format: Paperback
Johnson and Mullen share their experience and the experience of more advanced colleagues about the process of writing academically. There is a lot to do with the circumstances surrounding the writing activity, and also many advices, in particular to nurture truly sincere human relationships which support and help with writing, possibly leading to collaborative projects.

It is somewhat less hands-on than some other books about academic writing, but it is still an inspiring, informed and informative read.

1. First, Establish a Well-Honed Writing Habit, 1
2. Become Dogmatically Disciplined and Set Firm Boundaries, 23
3. Cater to Your Writing Rhythms, 47
4. Develop the Attitudes and Perspectives of a Prolific Writer, 59
5. Know When to Collaborate and When to Cut Losses, 79
6. Practice Systematic Writing from Start to Finish, 95
7. Revise, Edit, and Revise Some More, 123
8. Seek Mentors, Mentoring Networks, and Writing Coaches, 133
9. Tackle Thoughts and Emotions that Block Productivity, 145
10. Master the Mechanics of Publication: What Publishers Want You to Know, 159
11. Drink Deeply from the Cup of Life, 177
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Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book for academics. It starts from the premise that either you write a lot, or you find a non-academic career (tough, but there you go). From there it takes the reader on a positive, inspiring tour to show how to achieve the goal of becoming a prolific academic writer. The nice thing about this book is that it fully acknowledges that there are many conflicting pressures in the life of an academic, and it tells you what to do about it in an entirely positive way (that is, moaning is not the answer). Inspiring and motivating, and a comfort read for those days when teaching, marking, reviewing and sitting on committees seems to eat all your time.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x90bb5ee8) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
35 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x904115f4) out of 5 stars Want to become a workaholic 30 Jan. 2009
By C. Dush - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I did not like this book at all. It had lots of tips, many of which would turn you into a total workaholic. Bringing writing on vacation? If you have a non-academic spouse and kids, I am pretty sure they would not appreciate this. Much much better is "How to Write a Lot" by Paul Silvia. This book has much of the same tips, but encourages work/life balance. This book pretends to, but then tells you to work constantly (after your kids are in bed for instance). Get "How to Write a Lot".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c06240) out of 5 stars Encourages a very unhealthy work-life balance 8 Nov. 2013
By M. Sperrin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book encourages a very unhealthy work-life balance and in that respect I find it quite irresponsible. Some of the advice includes:
* Eat your meals in front of your computer rather than at the dining table.
* Take short rather than long visits to family unless you can take your work with you.
Statements along the lines of sometimes you need to take a day off in the week, or even, god forbid, a 1 week vacation, phrased as is this is a sign of weakness, are not at all helpful.

I give the book 2 stars rather than 1 as it does include some helpful advice (e.g. block out dedicated time for writing).

I have many friends and colleagues who are prolific academics and maintain a good work-life balance. That is not what this book advocates.
19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96f53a5c) out of 5 stars Excellent for a new faculty member, mentor, department chair, or Dean 10 Dec. 2008
By William C. Bailey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish this book had been writen 25 years ago when I began my academic career at midlife. The practical recommendations on how to become a journal article powerhouse producer are on the money. However, more significantly are the suggestions on how to set goals and to accomplish then in order to become a "University Professor" are even more important in the long run. A top ranked university expects excellence in teaching, research, and service. But the ONLY activity that really counts for tenure and promotion are research articles. Excellent teaching counts for little (teach well enough that your students do not want to run you out of the classroom). Service is less than nothing unless it develops your national and international reputation as a scholar in you field. Faculty mentors will certainly benefit from reading the content more than once.
I also strongly suggest that all chairpersons and Deans should read this book also. The book tells how to nuture the new scholars in order that they actually achieve success in academics. I hope to create a study group around this extrodinary book in order that that all of young faculty members can achieve success both professionally and personally.
William Bailey, University of Arkansas
23 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cc874b0) out of 5 stars Condescending 18 Feb. 2009
By Sarah Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
While well-intentioned, this book is condescending to its audience. From page 1 they make the statement that if you want to be an academic you have to write and if you don't like to write perhaps you shouldn't be an academic. There are many other jobs you can find which might suit your anti-writing nature, after all. And if you are an academic who does not write, you are depriving the world of your essential duties. You get the idea.

Obviously, it's not that simple. Robert Boice spent decades looking at which attributes makes faculty productive and he found that while writing regularly is obviously critical, the reasons why many academics do not write regularly are not so simple as not being suited for academia or not really "wanting" badly enough to be an academic. Academics make themselves impatient and hold themselves up to perfectionist ideals and rush rush rush, and books like this one that try to psych up the reader only encourage that rushing and perfectionism and pushing.
By Noneofyourbusiness - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very small print. Not what I was expecting. Bland, boring, dry reading. Even considering the material. Maybe when I get more into it I will find it more helpful.
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