The Productive Academic Writer by Kasthurirangan Gopalakrishnan

An Easy-To-Read Guide to Low-Stress Prolific Writing

The productive academic writer

Are you an academic feeling stressed out because of the increasing demands placed upon you to work harder and produce more? 

If so, you are not alone. The intense pressure of graduate, post-doctoral study, and early-career academia leading to mental health problems is now well-known. 

Publish or perish!

Have you had the excruciating experience of sitting in front of the computer and staring at the monitor hoping that words would start appearing magically forming sentences and paragraphs? 

Have you ever given up after starting a manuscript resigning to the idea that you just don’t have enough time to complete it now, but that you will come back to it later which never happened? 

Having played the role of a student, post-doc, researcher, research faculty member, author, reviewer, and editor, Kasthurirangan "Rangan" Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D., fully understands and empathizes with the struggles and pleasures of academic work. 

In this book, his goal is to assist you to to do what you are already doing more effectively and efficiently with minimal stress, and possibly to identify and eliminate those activities and habits that interfere with your academic writing productivity. 

You are invited to learn and explore how to: 

Overcome your limiting beliefs and dismantle common myths about writing can interfere with our productivity
Set SMART goals
Develop a weekly plan and daily To-Do lists that puts writing as one of the topmost priorities
Use freewriting technique to write a lot and produce the messy first draft
Use writing to stimulate your critical thinking
Set a timer while you write and monitor your daily output to improve your productivity
Use an accountability mechanism suited for you to overcome feelings of isolation, exchange and learn new ideas, socialize and connect with other writers


Secondary Genre: EDUCATION / General

Language: English


Word Count: 16378

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Sample text:

The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, recently featured a news article on how the intense pressure of graduate, post-doctoral study, and early-career academia can be quite stressful leading to mental health problems. The “demand for increased product and productivity” was blamed as the primary cause for “rising levels of mental health problems among academics”. If you like, you can read the full article here:

Graduate students need to produce journal articles and conference papers to graduate. While the internet age has opened up access to all kinds of information available never before, the burden now rests on the students to stay up-to-date with the state-of-the-art research advancements at the global level. The consequence is that most students are forced to subscribe to the culture of rapid scanning and skimming of pieces of information from multiple electronic sources with very little time to concentrate and contemplate on the actual research questions. As someone rightly said, “these days we click a lot of links, read less, and remember even lesser”.

The writing productivity of graduate students is under siege from multiple directions: finding the fine balance between their coursework and research, managing time wisely amidst all the distractions, the pressure to find a job after graduation, etc.

Postdocs and researchers are under similar pressure to publish and write proposals to secure funding on an ongoing basis. 

Young tenure-track faculty are working harder and harder to meet the promotion and tenure requirements which are becoming stricter year by year.




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