I provide personalized support for all aspects of the academic writing process.
The greatest purpose of a writing coach is to help the writer learn to effectively coach him- or herself through the various stages of writing project—whether this be the dissertation or a journal manuscript.
My approach is asset-based; I begin with an assessment of the writer’s strengths, then see where I can most help. I treat my client as the scholar that they are, and as a writer with something valuable and vital to give to the academic community. Below are the five areas I concentrate on.
ACCOUNTABILITY & PRODUCTIVITY
Just as the artist exalts the time reserved for painting, the scholar exalts the time devoted to writing. Thus, my task is to help you to strategize how to meet your productivity goals. Included here are writing habits, time management, accountability, and organization skills, all of which come together to form an “accountability package.” Such a package is an outcome of collaborative and compassionate process, and can include regular check-ins on your writing progress.
CLARITY & ELEGANCE
An authoritative voice and tone should not be equated with dense, difficult prose. While some readers may mistake long-winded sentences cluttered with lofty jargon as a sign of brilliance, many others may see it as pretentious, or simply “bad writing.” I will help you identify and eliminate unnecessary jargon, while at the same time, communicate to the reader the power, elegance and necessity of specific social science terms and concepts.
PROCESS AND REVISION
The landmark of every scholarly manuscript is an argument that is well organized and clear enough that readers can follow the author’s reasoning and accept their conclusion. Arriving at such a landmark entails a process that maintains an authentic concern for the reader. I often provide my students and clients with the analogy of an expert and conscientious guide leading a group through a forest; to lost sight of the group can put them in peril—or at least, make them anxious or confused. My point here is that a manuscript that provides “expert guidance” to the reader is almost always a manuscript that has gone through repeated revision. My job is to help my client see revision as a necessity, as a form of craftmanship and artistry, and as a commitment to make the path through the forest both rewarding and enlightening for the reader.
THE ESSENTIALS OF SOCIAL SCIENCE WRITING
As a social scientist, published scholar, and reviewer of journal and book manuscripts over many years, I know what is expected by journal editors and reviewers of book manuscripts.
I help authors identify and outline the multiple topics within their main subject and determine the principal problem or issue addressed, the essential context of the problem addressed, and the main thesis to be advanced. The goal is to introduce your study in a way that is succinct, elegant, and that quickly induces interest in the reader and communicates the importance of the study. Good social science writing can be delivered in a voice that is both scholarly and authoritative, yet also persuasive and passionate.
Nearly every social science writer, whether this be a doctoral student or career scholar, wrestles with the development of a sound theoretical framework and a defendable thesis. Such wrestling is normal, and should be embraced as both necessary, creative, and typically time-consuming. As your coach, my task is to assist you with this wrestling and to reduce the stress that often accompanies working with complex social theory.
Although coaching can never provide the kind of skill-building one can get in a classroom with a master teacher, I can help you better identify and improve the technical aspects of your writing. I provide personalized assessments based on your current writing, and help you identify those aspects of your writing that should be attended first.