Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Writing for Publication

Question: How can one learn how to write for publication successfully?

Answer: Review of a book entitled Writing for Successful Publication by Kenneth T. Henson. 1991. National Education Service and ERIC/RCS].

Quote: “Very early in their careers, American and Canadian university professors aspiring to promotion and tenure find out that achievement of these goals relates directly to the ability to publish. Those of us who survive in this ‘publish or perish’ world painfully learn through trial and error many of the techniques Kenneth Henson explains in Writing for Successful Publication.”

Quote: “The next few chapters discuss style, organization and the use of journals, libraries and surveys to create publishable articles. I read Chapter 7 twice, which enumerated the most common errors writers make while preparing material for journals. Reading this chapter was like looking in a mirror—he pointed out most of the errors I have made during the past in writing for publication.  Errors he called attention to included avoiding clichés, jargon, passive voice, and complex paragraphs.”

Quote: “There are several articles on my computer now that I thought were ready for publication. But, since reading this book, I think I had better go back and rewrite them, looking for any wordiness, jargon, and clichés. I want to make certain my titles are real ‘attention-getters’ (is that a cliché?) and heed the other suggestions Henson made, such as having a colleague critique the articles before submitting them to journals. …. My computer and I will be working late tonight! Thank you, Dr. Henson, for pointing me to the error of my ways (another cliché?) and giving writers a tool to become more productive.”

Comment: Chapter 14 of my book, Teaching English, How To…. (Xlibris 2004) is entitled “Professional Writing.” In it, I describe what I learned about publishing from my first article. In the next several blogs, I will reprint this chapter. RayS.

From a book review by Fay F. Bowen, Professor of Education, Illinois State University, Normal, Illinois. Journal of Reading (April 1992), 606-607.

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