MLA 2015: Put that in writing: Perspectives from the Editorial Board

Collaborative Writing – Joy Don Baker

  • authorship – establish this ahead of time
    • who becomes first, second, last author? what does it mean (beginning=most work done vs last=senior expert)
    • does authorship vary with
  • communication –
    • approachability
    • interpersonal skills
    • listening
    • verbal message skills
  • impact factor being used incorrectly in advancement within the academic setting
  • milestones
    • outline
    • draft
    • search literature
    • edit draft
    • review with team
    • edit draft
    • review team’s collaborative responses
    • determine missing elements
    • return to literature
    • finalize manuscript
    • submit for publication
  • how to get a collaborative work to sound like one voice?

Publishing in the JMLA: Insights from the Editor – I. Diane Cooper

  • research focused, but some areas not as structured
  • Intro
    • sets the stage
    • three parts
      • what is known
      • what is not known
      • question, hypoptheses, etc
    • focused, brief, relevant
    • moves from general to specific
  • Methods
    • clear overview
    • describe the steps
    • break into smaller sections with subheadings
    • do NOT include results in the Methods section
  • Results
    • summarize what the data shows
    • points out relationships, trends
    • do NOT simply repeat the numbers in tables and figures; summarize the tables
    • break results into subsections
  • Discussion
    • brief summary of what you found
    • answer the question from the introduction
    • focus on what your data prove
    • note study limitations
    • discuss the value BUT don’t overreach
  • for every paragraph, ask “why are you telling me this?”

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