There are numerous books on writing from academic writers, as well as fiction and non-fiction writers. For academic writers who may have had minimal training in writing, these sorts of books provide useful ideas for how to develop the habits of mind to write productively, as well as the skills in crafting their writing for their audiences. Helen Sword's book, Air & Light & Time & Space: How Successful Academics Write is a trade book devoted to the task of informing readers about how successful academic writers work. Sword masterfully integrates findings from her large study of academic writing to support her thesis that to different degrees, successful academic writers share four sets of habits: those of behavioral, artisanal, social, and emotional habits. Beyond this, there are few commonalities to do with how successful academic writers are prepared and how they write. Sword's book elucidates how any academic writer might organize his or her writing life to be successful.


Academic Writing, Learning to Write, Writing Up Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Kathryn Roulston is a Professor in the Qualitative Research Program at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Her research interests include qualitative interviewing, and analyses of talk-in-interaction. She is author of Reflective Interviewing: A Guide to Theory and Practice (Sage, 2010), editor of Interactional Studies of Qualitative Interviews (John Benjamins, 2019), and has published articles and chapters on teaching qualitative research and qualitative interviewing. Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed directly to: roulston@uga.edu.

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