dropping dimes and kitchen timers

Ray Bradbury’s memoir—Zen in the Art of Writing—is a delightful read about a man who enjoys life. I adore Bradbury’s writing. He is a genius. Nevertheless, his description of the writing process is utterly foreign to me. Maybe that’s just a difference between writing science and science fiction. Surely, he worked hard at his craft,Continue reading “dropping dimes and kitchen timers”

declutter your writing

I’ve been tracking the feedback I give to my students as they write their manuscripts for a class research project. The most common feedback is, to quote Strunk and White, “omit needless words.” Early drafts are filled with words that don’t do any work. Simply removing unnecessary words will sharpen your ideas and make yourContinue reading “declutter your writing”

Thoughts on “hostile appraisals”: namin’ ain’t explain’

In the past few decades, aggression researchers have emphasized the role of cognitive structures and processes in understanding aggressive behaviors. Understanding how people think can deepen our understanding of when and why people behave aggressively. As a consequence of all this research, aggression researchers, like any in-group that looks for useful labels, have created aContinue reading “Thoughts on “hostile appraisals”: namin’ ain’t explain’”

turn in your best end-of-semester research paper

I’ve been teaching an upper-level psychology lab course for the past few years. Over the course of the semester, students conduct their own research project and, by the end, write a paper describing their project. It is my favorite class to teach. Even though I don’t intend for it to be intimidating, this research paperContinue reading “turn in your best end-of-semester research paper”

lions and tigers and academic writing…oh my

  Here’s a familiar story: A scientist sits down to write a manuscript and, rather than creating a crisp and coherent presentation of information, meanders aimlessly for several pages instead. This story is a tragedy. How can we avoid such tragic situations? Try thinking of your manuscripts like a great novel or a blockbuster movie.Continue reading “lions and tigers and academic writing…oh my”

self-editing your writing

If you have a draft of your manuscript, congratulations! You have slain the “monster of blank pages,” the fearsome beast that intimidates even the most capable of writers. I know you are tired, perhaps even exhausted. Rest, for now, but do not stop here. Your hero’s journey is not complete, you are merely at theContinue reading “self-editing your writing”

the publication recipe

From 8 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock in the evening an undergrad research assistant would sit behind the angular metal desk inside of the door of the Harris Aggression Lab. Their job was basically that of a human turnstile: They shepherded the parade of participants through the procedures of the lab’s latest studyContinue reading “the publication recipe”