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#academic writing

Hey guys! I have a sideblog just for writing if you wanna talk over there. Normally I’m all for throwing everything into just one blog but writing I wanted to set aside. 

This here is my blog. If you ever want to talk about writing, please, feel free to send asks and stuff over there or message me on this one since this is my main blog!

I’ve really been wanting to talk about writing recently - my current obsession is comparing modern media to media from the 90′s to earlt 2000s (my favorite era of TV shows. Scrubs. Fresh Prince. House MD. Supernatural. And so much more. xD)

I know I write like crap on these blogs, and that’s actually for a reason. When I write it uses up a lot of mental energy so when I’m just typing for fun or chat I don’t really care about grammar and spelling (which I SUCK at). So when I say “that’s lit” and “tho” and “bruh” it’s cuz my brain can’t word no more. xD

For a little context, I’ve written 3 books completely and looked for an agent for each (the first two I was a teen and am glad my 200k zombie romance book was rejected, and the second was just something I wasn’t too interested in). For the third I think I got a few PitMad interests, as well as a few outside looks, and at one point had 8-10 full MS sent out. I never heard back from any of them, not even a rejection, and it’s been two years so I’ve moved on.

I’ve also worked on short stories since I was… 6? Entered a few competitions, finished a few in the top 5% but no winners. I’ve also written about 6 full tv scripts but I never finished the first season and I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to pitch - or how you pitch tv shows. 

Besides that, I’ve proofread so many essays for myself, my siblings, friends, and college students it’s insane. xD I also totally did NOT write something for a friend once and earn them an A in a class I never took on a topic and book I didn’t read xD

 Now I’m working on a (potential) series, and have a few chapters of book 1 written out. But now with school taking up so much time and I’ll be leaving for basic training in Janurary (probably), I’m worried about finding a balance. Will there even be time to write once I’m in tech school, or continuing college while in the military? I’m hoping to find some people who want to support each other with their writing endeavors!

Sorry, that’s a lot. I’m kinda chatty today. 

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September 19:

I’m writing my first graded Academic Writing essay as a second language grad student and I am freaking out as we speak. The assignment is easy enough: choose a writing assignment from any course, interview the professor about the assignment, write an essay/report abou the assignment.

I know the information, I understand the assignment, but actually sitting down and translating it into written form is challenging me. I’m using corpa to make sure that my sentences sound natural to the English language. Trying to transfer an idea I have in Arabic into English and writing it in an academic paper is trying.

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Man I love watching all you studyblr blogs getting so hyped about university and going to classes… you really got that going for you!

Meanwhile I’m like… nah, I like my ‘academia’ when it’s about researching my niche interests in my free time with no expectations, deadlines or grades, thank you

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One of the most tiring things I have ever witnessed is none other than the dissertation. 

Dissertations are undoubtedly the most lengthy type of assignments to work on. Not only this, dissertations require a lot of researching and analysing as well. You really have to structure all your research in 10,000 words in the best way possible. 

But one of the most important thing to keep in mind while writing a dissertation is the format. And to leave a good impression on your professor or teacher, you must stick to the format. So try to structure your dissertation in this way only! 

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Week 4, September 14:

Getting over my own hang ups is a lot easier now that I allowed myself to look at my colleagues’ writing. They share a lot of the same mistakes I make and that makes me feel more at ease.

Talking openly to my professor about some of my issues and language barriers has also made me feel more relaxed. I no longer stress as much over a small assignment as I did two weeks ago.

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Doing final copy edits for this book chapter I wrote, and part of that is reviewing my author bio. This is the first time I’ve seen everyone else’s author bio and all I can think is “What the FUCK am I doing here???” There are 20 authors in this book and basically ALL of them either 1) have a PhD, 2) are a PhD/doctoral candidate, and/or 3) are a university professor. There are exactly 4 of us who don’t have at least one of those. One has written 32 books (INCLUDING SOME I READ AS A CHILD!), one is a department head at a major North American educational foundation and former principal, and one is a district level administrator specializing in instructional technology and has been published in a bunch of academic journals/magazines.

And I’m just a high school teacher with a bachelor’s degree.

What. The. Fuck.

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Week 3, September 8:

We had a short problem solution essay task due and I couldn’t think of anything?!!! ME! Not think of a problem! Unheard of!

It took me five days to think of a problem I was familiar enough with that doesn’t require too much research and when I finally did, I only know the terminology in Arabic?!! Like?!?!

But it was okay, it was a topic I am passionate about, so whatever. I write two paragraphs then go for a snack only to find out my laptop was updating and restated. I lost everything. My notes, my two paragraphs, all gone. I ended up staying up till 6:30 am working on it.

I’m proud of it and stand by it, but I still feel insecure. I’m not even brave enough to check out other people’s essays in fear of being faced with how behind I am and that sounding native isn’t a replacement for actual skill.

I will try to read one of their essays.

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Week 2, September 4:

First of all, I am very nervous about this. Writing down my insecurities in writing in English, especially academically is terrifying. I always find myself in this head space where I’m afraid of sounding like a phony or using vocabulary incorrectly. Not to mention my weekness in using prepositions.

The majority of my writing process envolves getting over my anxiety that I would be called out for being a terrible writer who has no substance or sophistication.

I’m also not a great researcher and I don’t understand a lot of the tasks and vocabulary ghat I’m running into in my classes and I am afraid that it would reflect on my writing.

I’m hoping this journal will help me progress and get over these insecurities.

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200909// long story short, i graduated!! I got a strong A for my thesis and an A* for the defense presentation (both of my advisors thought it was really good and that the explanation of my arguments basically didn’t leave any questions unanswered!). At the beginning, I was not entirely sure how to feel about the grade but, at the end of the day, the detailed review was extremely positive and gave me motivation to research further in this field!

I didn’t sleep to well today, so got up early and studied some Korean for over two hours & went through my uni application one more time! I read and annotated some papers on Dahlhaus’ aesthetics of music afterwards too. 

also, my monsta x photobooks arrived last week - aren’t they gorgeous??

today’s focus: 5h

listening to: taemin, clock work


  • studied Korean (grammar & vocal)
  • revised the application documents
  • read & annotated 2 book chapters and a journal paper

self care (thought it would be nice to add this category!!)

  • made choco pudding 
  • bought some monsta x, shinee & nu’est photocards :)
  • watched a documentary on keith haring
  • read 100 pages of game of thrones
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Academic publishing is horrifying, by the way.

You don’t get paid for scholarly articles. In fact, as the author, you sign away the copyright to the publisher.

For free.

For an article they charge libraries tens of thousands of dollars to access.

Per year.

If you want to make an article open-access through a journal, they are nowadays more than happy to do so, for a modest fee of about $3000 from the author so the publisher can recoup lost revenue.

Just to be clear, the article is worth $3000 to the publisher and absolutely none of it goes to the scholar who works several months to a year on it.

But because career advancement in academia absolutely requires publishing work in these journals, young academics (who could use the money) give away countless time of research away for free so they can have the privilege of having published in a prestigious journal.

I understand that the laws of economics dictate that we cannot always pay a skilled laborer the wage the skill demands (such as a decade of specialized training). But this open-source fee says there absolutely is a demand and means to pay for the work of scholars.

We are just nerds who get taken advantage of.

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200830// 50/50 days of productivity

today’s focus: 6h

listening to: pretty boy, taemin ft. kai

wrote the vague script my defense presentation today (~3000 words, it’s a thing i always do before public talks, since it helps me collect new ideas others than the ones i’ve already written down on flashcards I will keep during the presentation!), revised the powerpoint twice, as well as went through my grad school submission documents!

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