Academic writing: resources

Last updated on 3 May 2022

On this page we provide resources of potential use for improving your writing and research skills. Each item listed on this page has been recommended by early-career higher education researchers as worth checking out. In addition to the stuff we list here, you may want to check the material we have collected as part of our ongoing project Everybody Struggles with Writing, Everybody Gets Rejected.

The list is occasionally updated. We welcome suggestions to include additional resources (just send us an email).

Books on academic writing

Aitchison, C., & Guerin, C. (Eds.). (2014). Writing groups for doctoral education and beyond: Innovations in practice and theory. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Bailey, S. (2011). Academic writing: A handbook for international students (3rd ed). Routledge.

Bammer, A., & Joeres, R.-E. B. (2015). The Future of Scholarly Writing: Critical Interventions. Palgrave Macmillan

Becker, H. S. and Richards, P. (2007). Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article: Second Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). University of Chicago Press.

Belcher, W. L. (2019). Writing your journal article in twelve weeks: A guide to academic publishing success (Second edition). The University of Chicago Press.

Billig, M. (2013). Learn to write badly: How to succeed in the social sciences. Cambridge University Press.

Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., Williams, J. M., Bizup, J., and Fitzgerald, W. T. (2016). The Craft of Research, Fourth Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing). University of Chicago Press.

Carter, S., & Laurs, D. (Eds.). (2018). Developing research writing: A handbook for supervisors and advisors. Routledge.

Culler, J. D., & Lamb, K. (Eds.). (2003). Just being difficult? Academic writing in the public arena. Stanford University Press.

Edmundson, M. (2016). Why write?: A master class on the art of writing and why it matters. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Hayot, E. (2014). The elements of academic style: Writing for the humanities. Columbia University Press.

Healey, M., Matthews, K. E., & Cook-Sather, A. (2020). Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations across a Range of Genres. Elon University Center for Engaged Learning.

Lamont, M. (2010). How professors think: Inside the curious world of academic judgment. Harvard University Press.

Lamott, A. (1995). Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. Anchor.

Lillis, T. M., & Curry, M. J. (2010). Academic writing in global context. Routledge.

Meredith, D. (2010). Explaining research: How to reach key audiences to advance your work. Oxford University Press.

Mewburn, I. (2013). How to Tame Your PhD.

Mewburn, I., Firth, K., and Lehmann, S. (2018). How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Murray, R. (2015). Writing in social spaces: A social processes approach to academic writing. Routledge.

Nygaard, L. P. (2015). Writing for scholars: A practical guide to making sense & being heard (2nd edition). Sage Publications Inc.

Silvia, P. J. (2018). How to Write a Lot.2nd Revised Edition. American Psychological Association.

Speedy, J., & Wyatt, J. (2014). Collaborative writing as inquiry. Cambridge Scholars.

Sword, H. (2017). Air & light & time & space: How successful academics write. Harvard University Press.

Sword, H. (2012). Stylish Academic Writing. Harvard University Press.

Sword, H. (2016). The writer’s diet: A guide to fit prose. The University of Chicago Press.

Warner. J. (2019). The Writer’s Practice. Penguin Random House.

White, G. E. (2017). The Dissertation Warrior. The Ultimate Guide to Being the Kind of Person Who Finishes a Doctoral Dissertation or Thesis. Triumphant Heart International.

Journal articles

Cerulo, K. A. (2016). Why Do We Publish? The American Sociologist, 47(2/3), 151–157.

Davis, M. S. (1971). That’s Interesting! Towards a Phenomenology of Sociology and a Sociology of Phenomenology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 1(2), 309–344.

Davis, M. S. (1986). ‘That’s Classic!’ The Phenomenology and Rhetoric of Successful Social Theories. Philosophy of the Social Sciences/Philosophie Des Sciences Sociales, 16(3), 285–301.

Gustafsson, K., & Hagström, L. (2018). What is the point? Teaching graduate students how to construct political science research puzzles. European Political Science, 17(4), 634–648.

Labaree, D. F. (2020). Turtles All the Way Down: Academic Writing as Formalism. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 54(3), 679–693.

Locke, K., & Golden-Biddle, K. (1997). Constructing Opportunities for Contribution: Structuring Intertextual Coherence and “Problematizing” in Organizational Studies. Academy of Management Journal, 40(5), 1023–1062.

Magnifico, A. M. (2010). Writing for Whom? Cognition, Motivation, and a Writer’s Audience. Educational Psychologist, 45(3), 167–184.

Martín, E. (2014). How to write a good article. Current Sociology, 62(7), 949–955.

Sword, H. (2009). Writing higher education differently: A manifesto on style. Studies in Higher Education, 34(3), 319–336.


Blog posts

Fischer, B., & Nobis, N. (2019, June 4). Why Writing Better Will Make You a Better Person. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Healy, K. (2003, April 29). Science as a Vocation. Kieran Healy.

Mason, S. and Merga, M. K. (2018, August 20). A PhD by publication is a great way to build your academic profile, but be mindful of its challenges. LSE Impact Blog.

Pitoniak, A. (2017, January 17). What Being an Editor Taught Me About Writing. Literary Hub.

Zuckerman, E. W. (2018). Tips to Article Writers.

Zuckerman, E. W. (2019). On Genre: A Few More Tips to Academic Journal Article-Writers.

Videos & podcasts

McEnerney, L. (2014). The Craft of Writing Effectively. YouTube.
McEnerney, L. (2015). Writing Beyond the Academy. YouTube.
Murray, R. (2018). Rowena Murray on writing retreats, academic friendships and dealing with discrimination. Changing Academic Life Podcast.

Resources on language & grammar

On English punctuation
Academic Phrasebank
On English articles (advanced)
When NOT to use the definite article
On differences between English and German academic writing
Writing 101 – A library of various resources related to writing

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

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