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Every Author: training for great academic writing

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Every Author: training for great academic writing Claire Hao, founder and director of Every Author. The Every Author logo appears underneath this text and a picture of Claire sitting with a cup of tea is at the right.

Preface: Every researcher’s career requires creating reviews, articles, theses, and grant proposals, so we asked Claire from Every Author Publishing to tell us about how she is training researchers to have great academic writing. We learned that writing a little each day and reaching out for support and guidance can help young researchers to become more confident in communicating their work, and that Every Author Publishing is building an inclusive community of young academic authors to cultivate this! This interview is part of our ongoing series on innovative companies that are developing ways to support your research.

Can you tell us about yourself and what led you to create Every Author?

My name is Claire (Chentong) Hao. Before coming up with the idea for Every Author, I worked for the Huazhong University of Science and Technology Press and, most recently, for Cambridge University Press & Assessment. In these roles, I focused mainly within the areas of foreign rights trade and scholarly communication. 

My idea to create Every Author was inspired by my ambition to make academic knowledge accessible and understandable to everyone: Every Author! This is based on my past experience working with young authors; I realized that existing content and training for early career researchers lacks specific details and differs a great deal between disciplines.

The concept for Every Author is based on encouraging and facilitating consistency. Our goal is to break down publishing into small steps. This allows up and coming scholars to get involved in our publishing community without worrying too much about their language skills. Authors can work with us to build up their careers solidly and steadily. 

What are the benefits of working with a specialized editor for improving our writing?

High quality content requires efforts from many parties. Academic editors play an essential role, but when you work with a professional writing coach and a specialized editor, they can help you to do everything from structuring your writing more effectively to improving the clarity of your sentences. They can also help to copyedit and proofread and make sure your writing adheres to the style guidelines of your preferred publication.

Can you share any tips on how to get started with creating a piece of academic work if we struggle with writing?

We recommend that authors practise reading papers in their subject area to develop their fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. This is particularly essential for non-native English speakers; mastery of reading will have a significant influence on academic writing skills. Try to read and write in English; write a little each day, even a few words. If you develop the habit of thinking about your research and then writing about it in English then improvements will come. Little by little. Write as you think and then worry about the editing later.

Do you have any thoughts on what a good goal or aim is when it comes to improving writing skills?

Having a goal can promote analytical thinking as you take information and communicate it in a way that makes sense to your audience. Ability in academic writing is therefore an asset because it creates value in all areas where it is necessary to have good academic writing skills.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students are migrating to other countries for their advanced education each year; these students have become an important research workforce in many institutes. It’s increasingly important for us to connect with them and help them to cultivate the proper scholarly publishing literacy at the early stage of their academic life.

What kinds of written work can Every Author help people with? Can you help with editing grant proposals?

We are able to deal with all types of documents, including editing admission essays, reviewing coursework, dissertations and research proposals, STEM and HSS journal article editing. We are also developing grant proposal pre-submission review and editing services.

Does Every Author support people with improving their writing skills at any stage of their career?

Yes, our author upskilling programme is aimed at professional researchers and students whose first language is not English and who are at any stage of their academic life. We help them to adapt to all situations as they upgrade to new stages in their academic life. Our goal is to provide guidance and confidence to young authors who are unsure as to whether they are able to communicate their research as effectively as they would wish.

Can you tell us a bit about the publishing training you offer?

Our trainings are designed within three formats: free workshops (online/onsite), training courses, and one-on-one sessions. Our trainings are designed to cover the key actions and issues which underlie academic writing. We provide specific publishing training courses which help authors to understand how to publish a research paper. These courses include manuscript preparation, choosing an appropriate journal, and managing peer review. At the moment, we are designing a new training course called “Building your own academic phrase bank” which aims to encourage the accurate and correct use of academic words. This is a key skill and an area of confusion for young authors.

We are delighted to report that our first FREE Every Author webinar took place on March 9th, our first session of the spring season. This first training event will now be followed by a further webinar on April 12th entitled “Common Mistakes to Avoid in Academic English”. In our Every Author FREE WEBINAR, we engage Chinese authors and young researchers from all over the world. We run our events twice at different times on the date, hosted in Chinese and presented in English by Dr Gareth Dyke who will soon be joining Every Author as our Academic Publishing Consultant. The link to register for this event is here.

You can also find more resources of past sessions here.

What is your vision for the future of Every Author?

The vision for Every Author is to become a dynamic and inclusive learning community, emphasising young researchers. Our goal is to develop and maintain high-standards in editorial, publishing training and mentoring of young researchers. 

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank Claire for sharing her insight!

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