Gerund Addiction and Word Repetition–Two More Scourges

Faithful readers know that I have several posts on different kinds of writing tics that plague many academic writers.  These include list addiction, dyad addiction, and cheap adjectives. There are two more writing tics that I’ve come to identify: gerund … Continue reading

The Weepy Teaching Statement: Just Say No

An expanded and updated version of this post can now be found in Chapter  25 of my new book, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job. I am keeping a shortened version here, … Continue reading

How and Why to Write Collaboratively: A Guest Post

For the next bit of time I will be posting special guest posts early in the week, in addition to my regular Friday post.  These guest posts are kindly submitted by readers in response to requests that arise on the … Continue reading

List Addiction, Cont’d: The Dyad

List addiction is an epidemic among academic writers. I have a blog post about the subject (which I knew nothing about prior to my work in TPII), and I refer at least 50% of clients to that blog post at … Continue reading

Banish These Words

Do not use the words “unique” or “burgeoning” in any of your job documents. They are painfully overused. The first is just trite. The second is over-dramatic.   That is all. … Continue reading

The Worst Job Letter Ever Written (Not really…)

A few months ago one of my clients, after completing work with me on her job letter, ruefully sent along the original version of the letter that she had been using the previous year.  She wrote, “I’ve attached a copy … Continue reading

Tailoring a Job Letter, Beginning and Advanced

An expanded and updated version of this post can now be found in Chapter  23 of my new book, The Professor Is In: The Essential Guide to Turning Your Ph.D. Into a Job. I am keeping a shortened version here, … Continue reading

Is Your Writing Better Than Waffles?

Last week, I was working on a client’s materials. We were on something like draft #4 of her dissertation abstract, following on weeks of work on her c.v. and job letter. She’d been working hard, and her materials showed it. … Continue reading