How to Change the Color of Tracking in Tracked Changes in Microsoft Word

You might have noticed that, when you are working with tracked changes in Word, when you close and reopen your document, the color of your tracked changes sometimes changes (e.g., maybe your revisions were in blue, and now all of a sudden, they are in red!).

If you would like the color to stay consistent, follow Continue reading How to Change the Color of Tracking in Tracked Changes in Microsoft Word

No More “Those”

Conciseness SicknessSome time long ago, a disease called wordiness began to spread among writers. In informal speech and writing, we use filler words, overly complex verbs, redundant word pairs, long or cumbersome phrases, clichés, and other devices that unnecessarily bloat our sentences.

In academic and other formal writing, one challenge is to reduce this wordiness whenever possible. The benefits of doing so are improved readability and often specificity and clarity.

Because conciseness is such an important theme in academic writing, I am developing some video lessons on them. Occasionally, however, I will post brief examples so that you can begin to look for ways to reduce wordiness in your own writing.

Today’s example is the word those. In some cases, the word is helpful and even necessary. But any time that you use the word, double check to see Continue reading No More “Those”

Race vs Ethnicity

StumpedWhat is the difference between race and ethnicity? This is a common question, and there is not an easy answer. In this post, I present the views from various academic sources and try to pull some common ideas from them.

One of the main motivations for this post is that I consistently see “race/ethnicity” used together in academic papers and data sets. Most editorial styles (APA, Chicago, etc.) discourage using slashes because they tend to Continue reading Race vs Ethnicity

Grouping High Numbers and Low Numbers in APA 6th ed.

Do I use Numbers or Words for High and Low Numbers Grouped Together?
Do I use Numbers or Words for High and Low Numbers Grouped Together?

In my other post today, I explained the capitalization, hyphenation, and number-expression rules for grade levels in APA. In one example, I showed how low numbers and high numbers are expressed when they are grouped together for comparison.

Two years after APA’s change, many writers, schools, and even publishers seem to be unaware of the new rule. Why? Perhaps because the manual makes it a bit difficult for us to figure out. This post gets to the bottom of APA’s real preference on expressing low and high numbers.  Continue reading Grouping High Numbers and Low Numbers in APA 6th ed.

Using Tracked Changes & Comments to Communicate With Editors & Coauthors

This post is all about teamwork. Communicating with your editor and coauthors is key as you develop your journal article, grant application, or other manuscript. Many people have already become familiar with tracked changes and comments, but are you using them effectively?

The video below gives some pointers for how to Continue reading Using Tracked Changes & Comments to Communicate With Editors & Coauthors

How to Remove Space Around Equations

Need Help Getting Rid of That Pesky Extra Space in Microsoft Word?

 The Problem: Large Space Above & Below Equations in Text

If you put your equation on its own line, you might not notice it, but for short equations run into the regular sentence text, the space becomes more noticeable, and the gap becomes especially large if you use special symbols that are bigger than the regular text. View video tutorial and see below for more information. Continue reading How to Remove Space Around Equations

Why Social Workers Need to Write More Precisely

Unclear Writing
Do readers have to piece together your ideas?

Have you ever heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls? Without going into detail, they are a series of almost 1,000 ancient biblical texts. Biblical scholars have been putting together pieces of the text with advanced microscopes and computers to ascertain their meaning, almost like the puzzle-like scraps of paper shown in the image to the left.

Many authors have the same problem with their writing. I especially see this in Continue reading Why Social Workers Need to Write More Precisely

Writing Workshops

Click to go to Writing Lesson 1
Click to go to Writing Lesson 1

Welcome to Serious Scholar!

This web site contains a series of writing workshops specifically geared towards professors and students who are looking to advance their writing to another level. Whether you are a seasoned professor who strives for perfection, a nonnative professor or student looking to sharpen up your manuscripts, or a student on the road to your profession, you will find a mountain of treasure in this web site.

Throughout 7 years of editing for professors, postdoc fellows, and graduate students at the best universities in the country, I have continually found ways to strengthen my writing. Perhaps Hemingway was right when he said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

It is a pleasure for me to share my knowledge with you as you strive to publish more research, strengthen the quality of your articles and books, sharpen your professional correspondence letters and e-mails, complete your thesis or dissertation, or excel in your course essays.

Please join me in the free lessons to get started. Best wishes and see you on the other side!