Academic Scholarly Writing Lessons

Academic scholarly writing is one very important skill to help professors succeed in the Academy. The “Publish or Perish” thing is real. You may wonder why.

While there are some institutions that define themselves as “teaching institutions” (which means there is little or no expectation of research and scholarship in the traditional sense), more commonly, institutions of higher education depend on research for extramural funding, reputation, and to fulfill one pillar of most institutions -the support of creating new knowledge. Creating new knowledge can be fun. But it necessitates the continuing efforts towards research, scholarly writing, and publication in peer-reviewed professional journals.

My friend, the owl, a symbol of learning

Consequently, learning academic, scholarly writing is a key to obtaining promotions and tenure in many (if not most) institutions -at least within the United States. Most of us learned the hard way, with successive rejections, grateful for the instances when reviewers took the time and made the effort to inform the submitting writer what needed to be improved , what they were doing wrong, what they were doing right, and laying out those important expectations.

As one old professor to newer, younger ones, I designed all this to help you on this academic journey.

The intent here to is help new and developing scholars to get all this right sooner, to get worthy scholarly works into respected journals sooner, and to help with that career ladder towards tenure and levels of promotions.

I have designed FOUR lessons. If you take all four, you should be in good shape to have improved writing.

Me, at the time I retired after 18+ years at Kent State University, but also having spent 10+ years at the University of South Florida, and having also taught some at the University of Arizona, The University of Maine at Orono, and Deakin University in Australia. Overall total = 30 years. I achieved tenure in both long term institutions; promotion to Associate Professor at USF, and then promotion to Full Professor at Kent State University. I served many times on promotion and tenure councils, and served on the editorial advisory board of a number of refereed journals, and was Associate Editor of a refereed journal “Reading and Writing Quarterly for about 12 years. Associate editors are developmental editors for writers submitting works.

During my career, I co-authored 8 books, authored or co-authored about 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals, mentored younger developing faculty and graduate students at the Masters and Ph.D. level. These included graduate students from many different countries whose first language was not English.


Lesson One: Wading Through the World of Academic Publishing

Lesson One (of four) prepares the newer scholar for writing, by covering some of the larger context of academic writing. These topics include knowing your journals, the reasons for writing, the expectations of scholarly writing, understanding different kinds of scholarship (so you know where your work fits in), and that most newer scholars struggle with their writing. After all, not many people had an opportunity to take a class in scholarly writing, if there even was such a thing in most places. This course also encourages newer scholars to use resources offered by the college or university library, and the reference librarian, reviewing journals which are possible outlets for your work, how to collaborate (and deciding whether or not to collaborate). This lesson has handouts which accompany it: a scavenger hunt of professional journals, and a gloassary of writing and publishing terminology.

Wading Through the World of Academic Publishing: Lesson One

This first of four lessons in Academic Scholarly writing is designed for the new or developing professor, required to publish as part of career advancement. Lesson One is presented in Powerpoint slides with audio voice-over, and includes two handouts in WORD.


Lesson Two: The Topic Sentence

In this second lesson, I address one key element of successful writing – the Topic Sentence. In 30 years of teaching graduate students and colleagues, I have learned that understanding the topic sentence is missing in nearly all struggling writers.

I believe once a developing writer truly understands the topic sentence, and its essential element of structure in informational writing, that their writing will become more readable, more inviting, and definitely more likely to get published.

In this lesson are real examples of writing where you, the developing writer can identify the best topic sentence for the piece, and even compose a topic sentence yourself and compare it to some models. Truly, without good topic sentences, anyone’s writing is difficult to read, follow, and understand. Topic sentences ensure an orderly sequence in an argument, a presentation of findings, a discussion, and of course, a literature review – the topic of Lesson Three!

Academic Scholarly Writing Lesson Two: The Topic Sentence

This second of four lessons focuses on understanding the role of the topic sentence in informational writing, and provides opportunities to practice identifying and writing topic sentences.



It would be unusual to find an article with no literature review. New grad students often call the Literature Review a “brain drain,” because sorting and grouping information even before you write about it takes a great deal of thought. BUT, with guidance, the literature review can be good, concise (all literature reviews are concise), and set the stage for the rest of the article.

As with the other lessons, this lesson gets downloaded, with owner permission from, where free accounts are available.

Academic Scholarly Writing Lesson Three: The Literature Review

This third of four lesson, all downloadable using, explains and provides examples of how to write the all-important literature review – which nearly every article requires. Presented in PowerPoint with audio voice-over, this lesson will take the guesswork out of how to write a good literature review.


Academic Scholarly Writing Lesson Four: How to Write the Article for the Peer-Reviewed Journal

Lesson Four follows logically the other Three Lessons preparing new and developing scholars in writing for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Lesson Four: How to Write the Article focuses on various outlines a writer might follow, if suited to the topic.

Academic Scholarly Writing Lesson Four: How to Write an Article

This fourth of four lessons teaches the developing writer to put the article together, addressing ways to begin, a logical sequence of subheadings, and more. This lesson assumes the buyer has already completed the other lessons. The actual lesson will be shared for download via Free accounts are available.


BUNDLE: Purchase all FOUR Lessons of Academic Scholarly Writing for a discounted bundled price!

Lesson One: Wading Through the World of Academic Publishing

Lesson Two: The Topic Sentence

Lesson Three: Writing the Literature Review

Lesson Four: Writing the Article for a Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journal

See details for each course above. All files are downloadable via Free accounts are available if needed. MAKE A GOOD INVESTMENT IN YOUR WRITING FUTURE!!!!

Academic Scholarly Writing Lessons One, Two, Three, Four

All four lessons on Academic Scholarly Writing. Intended for new and developing college and university faculty members and teaching assistants. Each lesson consists of Powerpoint slides with voice over audio comments. Some lessons include handouts. This package is offered as a savings! Upon completion of the four lessons, newer writers should be far better prepared to write effectively and should be more likely to get submissions accepted for publication.