An Ever-Expanding Compendium of Academic Verbs

A few months ago, my friend and writing connoisseur Shayda had the idea to list verbs that scholars and students use when writing about other scholarship. Too often, we become stuck in ruts of “he states” and “she argues.” The world is full of vibrant verbs that are more interesting and more directive than the old standbys. To that end, Shayda gave me permission to take the idea and run with it. The result is this verb collection. TWEED’s Ever-Expanding Compendium of Academic Verbs refreshes your memory of handy verbs long forgotten and includes some choices with which you may not be acquainted. Currently, the compendium features almost 250 verbs. Visit the verbs page for a fuller introduction to the compendium, and be sure to download the full PDF. You can keep copies at your desk, in your briefcase, and on your hard drive for quick reference. Share it with colleagues, and be sure to add your own favorite academic verbs in the comments section. Thanks to Shayda for impetus to generate this list! Be sure to visit her blog, Vocabulary of the...

Dissertation-to-Book Guide No. 5: Inquiring Minds Want to Propose

It’s here: the fifth TWEED Dissertation-to-Book Guide, Inquiring Minds Want to Propose. In the previous guide, we discussed finding prospective publishers for book manuscripts. This installment goes through the next two phases of the dissertation-to-book process: initial inquiries directed to presses and then actual book proposals. In this rich guide, you’ll learn etiquette for entering into discussions with multiple publishers and why stressing your manuscript’s originality can damage your chances for publication. Download the PDF here. If you haven’t done so already, check out the first four guides in this series: A Dissertation is an Auspicious Beginning; Envisioning Your Dissertation as Something Else Entirely; Again, for the First Time: Revising Your Dissertation; and The Curious Beasts That Are Scholarly Presses & Acquisitions Editors. Find them in the TWEED resource library. Then sign up for TWEED’s email newsletter so that you stay on top of upcoming tools released for scholarly writers. TWEED can help you navigate the journey from dissertation to book. There’s more information on the page dedicated to crafting your...

Oops, and Happy Friday!

Some of you may have noticed that about 20 copies of the TWEED Tweets summary were posted earlier today. The issue has been resolved and the excess copies deleted. Sorry about that! Have an excellent weekend! Sign up for Annotations, TWEED’s email periodical. A new edition just went out. View it in the...

TWEED Tweets on Twitter!

Finally! TWEED is establishing a presence on Twitter. Really, what could be more perfect than TWEED tweeting on Twitter? It was meant to be. So follow TWEEDediting on Twitter for a regular stream of tips related to academic writing styles, resources for scholarly writers, and plain old tweedy fun. Content will differ from what’s posted on Facebook and the blog. Don’t forget to sign up for Annotations, TWEED’s email periodical with new installments issuing forth shortly. And be sure to tell your friends applying for graduate, medical, and law school that TWEED edits application essays. Let them know by sending an electronic...

Royal, Editorial, or Otherwise: The Vague “We”

Ben Zimmer, the heir to the late William Safire’s On Language column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, made waves a few weeks ago with his ruminations on the editorial we. That kind of expression is in evidence when, for instance, I write something like “We at TWEED…” TWEED happens to be a one-woman endeavor, but even if I had actual tweedy conspirators, that usage would still be an editorial we. I’m editorializing, speaking for the organization. The royal we is perhaps more well known. It’s a majestic grandiloquence, as in a queen saying, “We shall perform our daily ablutions now.” That’s not a real plural. The queen just means she’s going to take a bath. Zimmer explains that the editorial we, like the royal we, is exclusive in the sense that the addressee is not included in the pronoun. But there are also inclusive ways to stretch the meaning of the word we. Academic writers are known to use we to suggest common ground with readers: “We think of Freud as the father of psychoanalysis.” Do we? Who’s we? At any rate, from that basis the writer can move to the next point, “We are less inclined to think of Sylvia Plath as the mother of self-administrated psychoanalysis, but that was exactly her role.” The we establishes a baseline to which the rather outlandish thesis can be tethered. More commonly still is the use of we to trace the objectives of an argumentative piece: “We have seen that hypothesis A fails, but hypothesis B still stands.” It’s a professorial tone, which can be a good thing. We...