Writing for the Academic Profession

Writing and Communicating as Faculty and Scholars

Writing is integral to scholarship as well as to how Bates communicates with the wider community. Join  Writing at Bates and other faculty colleagues each semester to discuss ways to tackle the writing and communication tasks that our academic professions demand of us. We provide opportunities to develop professional writing and communication for a variety of audiences and purposes. We welcome suggestions for future workshops or inquiries about one-on-one consultations about your own professional writing questions: writing@bates.edu.


Writing Peer Reviews for Journals and Presses
Monday, February 9, 12:00—Commons 201

Reviewing manuscripts is an important part of scholarly service. But expertise in your field of specialization is only part of writing a good review. How can you craft a review that is helpful to the writer, while also addressing the editor’s priorities? Join presenters John Kelsey, Amy Douglass, and Susan Stark, who will discuss writing reviews that are on target for editors and writers alike.

Come with your experiences and questions! Lunch will be provided; go through the line at Commons and charge to Writing at Bates. Feel free to come late or leave early, as your schedule allows.

Reference Material
Twelve Steps for Reviewers


FALL 2014

Creating and Sustaining Successful Writing Groups
Friday, October 10, 12:00—Commons 221/222

A writing group can be an immensely effective way to keep your professional writing on track. Still, establishing a group that works requires some consideration. What do you want the emphasis of the group to be?  Who would be a good fit for your group? How will you manage the expectations and needs of different group members? How can you sustain a group in the midst of juggling your other commitments?

Join presenters Rebecca Herzig, Claudia Calhoun, and Lauren Vedal, who will discuss their own experiences in a variety of writing groups. We’ll share thoughts for creating writing groups (and for keeping them going!). Come with your experiences and questions! Feel free to come later or leave early, as your schedule allows.

 WINTER 2014

Revising Manuscripts (After Reviewer Feedback)
Wednesday, February 12, 4:15—Hedge 208

Reviewer feedback can be tremendously helpful — it can guide us to make an argument more cogent or even help us reshape a project. On the other hand, sometimes this feedback can be confusing, contradictory, or just plain wrong. Responding to the reviewers is itself an art form. Join presenters Don Dearborn, Lynne Lewis, and Therí Pickens to discuss revising manuscripts for publication and responding to reviewer feedback. Come with your experiences and questions!

FALL 2013

Writing Cover Letters
Tuesday, October 22, 4:10—Roger Williams 315

You’ve written successful cover letters before–for job applications, journal submissions, and book proposals. Nevertheless, the cover letter remains a challenging genre. At once peripheral to your work and yet essential to getting your work seen, writing cover letters can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming. A strong cover letter invites readers’ curiosity, highlights your work’s relevance to the field, and can even solidify your own thinking. Join presenters Ron Barry, Kathy Low, and Mara Tieken to discuss writing effective cover letters for jobs and publishing. Come with your questions!

Cover Letter Guidelines for Scientific Manuscripts
Sample Letter


Writing Letters of Recommendation
Monday, January 28, 4:10—Hedge 208

Recommendation letters for Fulbright scholarships, graduate programs, medical schools,
and other programs are a peculiar genre of writing.  What should you include?  How do you help
the applicant stand out?  Lee Abrahamsen (Biology), Misty Beck (Writing Specialist/ES), and Robert Strong (Graduate Fellowships Advisor) will provide guidelines andadvice for writing effective recommendation letters.  Come with questions, as well as with your own experiences writing recommendations.

Recommendation Letters for Graduate School
Recommendation Letters for Fellowships
Recommendation Letters for Medical Professions


FALL 2012

Writing a Book Proposal
Wednesday, October 24, 4:10—Hedge 208

Preparing a book proposal for the first (or tenth) time may be daunting.  How do you pitch your project?  How do you re-frame your research for a press?  Jane Costlow (Environmental Studies), Joe Hall (History), and Erica Rand (Art and Visual Culture) will share their perspectives on the process and their thoughts about effective proposals.  Come with your questions and your own advice for your colleagues.

Reference Materials
The Reality of Writing a Good Job Proposal, by Rachel Toor
Checklist for Revising Dissertations for Book Publication (University of Texas Press)
Turning Your Dissertation into a Book, by Lori Hagman (includes citations for several useful guides)
Dissertation to Book, by Laura Otis (includes descriptions of the review and publication process for first time authors and references for further reading)