RPR’s Twitter Accountability Plan

You write papers for your classes all the time, but have you ever wondered how a professor writes the papers that s/he publishes in academic journals? When I was a student, I just assumed my professors were very smart and got automatically published. Not true.

We go through the same types of planning, procrastinating, drafting, revising, seeking out and implementing feedback, procrastinating, and revising some more processes that you do. Like your instructors evaluate your papers, editors and peer reviewers review our articles to offer feedback and determine if the piece should be published. I’ve had articles accepted on the first try and articles that got four revise-and-resubmits before I gave up.

All writers work on their craft and depend on their communities for feedback to help them grow.

I’ve been thinking about, outlining, and avoiding an article I want to write for three months now. My hold up is the literature review because that’s the most time-intensive part of the piece..but also one of the most important because it situates the points I want to make in what people have already said. This shows my peers that I’ve looked at what they’ve have said, understand it, and have something new to offer.

Because I know I’m procrastinating (I make that Calvin face when I have to write a lit review), I’ve set a goal of completing the first draft of the lit review by November 30th and am using two methods to hold me accountable. First, I’ve promised my writing group (Dr. Moore) that I’ll have the draft for our next meeting on November 30. And secondly, I’m using Twitter accountability. I read an article once about a professor who knew he procrastinated when he was writing, so every time he needed motivation to stop and write, he would put a terribly embarrassing picture of himself as his Facebook profile picture and have a friend change his password until he met his writing goal. I’m not that brave (and I’ve burned all the embarrassing pictures), so I’m tweeting my process instead.

For the next two weeks, I’ll be reading and rereading articles about service-learning, client-project pedagogy, and Agile methodology. As I read, I’ll tweet the titles of the articles, the main point and key ideas, and the aspects that I agree or disagree most with. You can follow me at @RPR_Elon and hold me accountable by tweeting me when you don’t see any article posts that day. Hopefully you’ll also get to see how a professor reads articles in the field and interrogates the arguments made in the pieces. At the very least it will be interesting to see if you can help me stay on task!

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