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Tim Pollock's New Book on Writing

  • 1.  Tim Pollock's New Book on Writing

    Posted 02-26-2021 14:04
    Hi folks,

    In my experience, it can be difficult to teach even talented students to write well for academic publication. I keep thinking, "isn't it obvious that ..." only to realize that almost nothing about this craft is obvious at the beginning. While I have cobbled together notes and advice from people who have taught me, I haven't found a single source that covers most of the guidance about writing that management students need to hear, or that is suitable both for neophytes and for more accomplished academic writers who are trying to get better.

    As long as I've known Tim Pollock (22 years), I've figured he'd eventually write a book about writing. I knew that it would emphasize storytelling. As Tim has focused on honing his own skills, he's also devoured an insanely diverse set of books and articles on how to write well. He's been thinking hard about this stuff for a long time. During the last year, I have had access to draft chapter of Tim's new writing book and my students have found that it is accessible, immediately useful and lighthearted enough to make it fun to read.

    I was going to write in more detail about it in this post, but instead, I've pasted below some of Tim's own description of the book and some comments on it by a few stellar scholars who also had early access. I will be asking my own students to read this book. I will also adopt it in the the research methods seminar I co-teach, where I am tasked with leading the sections on academic writing. I suggest that you take a look at this book to see if it might be useful in your own work.



    How to Use Storytelling in Your Academic Writing

    Techniques for Engaging Readers and Successfully Navigating the Writing and Publishing Processes
    Timothy G. Pollock

     Good writing skills and habits are critical for scholarly success. Every article is a story, and employing the techniques of effective storytelling enhances scholars' abilities to share their insights and ideas, increasing the impact of their research. I draw on the tools and techniques of storytelling employed in fiction and non-fiction writing to help academic writers enhance the clarity, presentation, and flow of their scholarly work.

     In this book I describe the structure, techniques, and tools of storytelling, and show you how to apply them in writing the Introduction, Theory and Hypotheses, Methods and Results, and Discussion sections of an article. I also describe how these sections differ for qualitative and theory articles, and address how to manage the writing, coauthoring and review processes. In addition, I explain how to use storytelling when writing grant proposals, research statements and cover letters.

     To celebrate its publication, Edward Elgar is offering a limited-time 40 percent discount on the hardcover version of the book for AOM members. Use the discount code POLL40 when you purchase the book from the Edward Elgar site at https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/usd/how-to-use-storytelling-in-your-academic-writing-9781839102813.html. This discount is good through March 30.


    If you prefer ebooks, you can purchase this book on Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9781839102820&c=books&hl=en_GB. The paperback version will be out in a few months.

     Early acclaim for How to Use Storytelling in Academic Writing:

     If you want your scholarly work to be read, admired, and remembered, you should dive into this book. Tim Pollock has done us an immense service. By integrating classical concepts from the narrative and dramatic arts, along with numerous juicy examples from the world of academic writing, Pollock provides us a fun, valuable story about storytelling.


    – Donald C. Hambrick, Evan Pugh Professor and Smeal Chaired Professor of Management, The Pennsylvania State University


    For researchers, finding the truth has always been a method taught to everyone, and reporting it has been an art known only by the few. Thanks to this book, research has now become more democratic, because the reader learns how to use storytelling tools methodically for reporting research.

     – Henrich Greve, Rudolf and Valeria Maag Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurship, INSEAD and former Editor, Administrative Science Quarterly

    It won't matter how brilliant your ideas are if you can't explain them well in your writing. As one of the sharpest writers in the management field, Tim Pollock has produced a remarkably useful guide for academics to communicate more clearly.

     – Adam Grant, Saul P. Steinberg Professor of Management, University of Pennsylvania and New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and Originals


    The most interesting ideas and the most diligent designs fall flat if we can't showcase them for the reader. Pollock shows us how-while also giving tips for making the process more efficient and enjoyable. This book is essential for any scholar and should be required reading when training doctoral students.

     – Jason Colquitt, Franklin D. Schurz Professor, University of Notre Dame and former Editor, Academy of Management Journal



    Ted Baker
    Rutgers University
    Newark NJ
    (919) 539-1352