Books on How to Read Academic Works for Knowledge and for Writing
- You will DROWN IN THE LITERATURE and possibly get held up for months and even years if you don’t understand how to navigate the literature in this day and age of info-glut. For this reason, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that before you start reading for knowledge and writing (or as soon as possible thereafter), that you obtain (the ebook version of) Kristen Luker’s Salsa Dancing in the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-glut. She explains the situation and shares sound, methodological procedures and tactics for smart searching for, attainment, and reading of literature. Addition: Here, I think Mendeley is indispensable (at least as of August 2013). No other academic reference and source management program compares regarding organization, tagging, and annotation of PDF sources. Yet.
- Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates by Wallace & Wray is a “can’t-do-without.” Visit the book’s link at Sage to read the first chapter and download forms and goodies from the book for free.
- In their book Writing Analytically, Rossenwaser and Stephen share paradigm-shifting information on how to cite, analyze, paraphrase, and summarize others’ words to advance your own writing/paper. Although these are writing moves, they get into the PURPOSES of reading others’ academic works.
- Joseph Harris’s Rewriting: How To Do Things with Text also shares peace-inducing information on how to cite, analyze, paraphrase, and summarize others’ words to advance your own writing/paper. His perspective is empowering and educational.
- Dr. Peg Boyle Single’s priceless book, Demystifying Dissertation Writing, contains a “you-can’t-afford-to-not-know-this” method of how to read and note-take on an article or section of a book in exactly 3 passes so that you have everything you need from it. You don’t want to attempt academic reading for writing without this technique or something incredibly similar.
- Dr. John Maxwell explains, in his book Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach, the importance of analytic memo-making to a research writer’s life and practice. Boy, how I wish someone had TOLD me that from day one. Oh, my, I really wish they had. By the way, Citavi is THE PERFECT (and free) program for collecting in a wonderfully organized and easily retrievable way all of your notes, quotes, paraphrases, summaries, and evaluations of everything you’ve ever read, as might as you’d like to document.