Research Productivity

A great article on writing productivity for academics. Really, really great.

In what concerns baby bibliography, I write a sort of an essay for myself, replete with quotes, about every book of criticism I read. So when I sit down to write, I have the theoretical apparatus all ready for me beforehand. It simplifies things immensely because I have a shitty memory and would never be able to remember, for instance, what I read in Wendy Brown’s book three years ago if I didn’t have my essay on it. My memory is so bad that I have to reread these essays several times to be able to reproduce the needed quotes orally and without preparation (like at a conference.)

I also agree with the article’s author that waiting for the winter break (or the spring break, or the summer vacation) to work on your research project is a very bad idea. It’s not going to work and everybody knows it’s not going to work, yet they keep trying. Nobody whose research career makes them feel happy and like they are doing exactly what and how much they need to do are using this strategy. It is used, however, by the 90% of folks who will end the year, yet again, without achieving their research goals.

People say it’s useless to give this sort of advice but I was given this advice when I struggled and it changed my life. So I’m passing it along. Yes, most people will resist it but you never know who might find it useful.


2 thoughts on “Research Productivity”

  1. Solving mathematics research problems and writing those solutions in readable, publishable form are two very different things. I have always worked on, and solved, problems while the semester is in session. Then, I have always done writeups during vacation time. This has worked for me for half a century, but perhaps it does not work for everyone.


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