Art once on display @commonroots
To jumpstart any writing project, I can find no better prompt than the
Teaching TSP exercise posted by Evan Stewart on TheSocietyPages.org today. In it, Stewart, the co-graduate-editor of TSP, explains the process behind writing a “ There’s Research on That!” post for the site, framing it as a classroom exercise.
I wish all my academic clients would approach writing their journal articles this way.
As a sort of “enriched outline,” writing a TROT! post for TSP means:
Identifying your main point or angle on a topic and capturing it succinctly
Writing down the main arguments you need to make to establish that point
Gathering the key sources that will back up those individual arguments
Summing it all up
This is to say, writing a TROT! post gets you about 50% of the way toward a solid paper, forcing you to briefly and intriguingly state your case, support it with the best possible research, and sum up, all in a page or less. Build on that scaffolding, and you’re nearly assured success. Just don’t forget to clean up that bibliography!
About Letta Page
I am a disarmingly earnest editor, translator of academia, nonfiction revisionary, and domesticated roustabout.
More professionally, I might say: I am the senior managing editor of Contexts, founding associate editor and producer of The Society Pages, and a sociology editor, jargon-slayer, and “book doula” for hire. My specialty is in helping authors identify and hone their arguments in ways their target audiences can both understand and use. In this way, I’m a translator, consultant, writing coach, and editor all in one. The senior managing editor of Contexts magazine (the public outreach journal of the American Sociological Association), I have more than two decades’ experience in academic editing across a range of disciplines. I’ve edited and written copy for publications from Oxford University Press, Routledge, Taylor & Francis, W.W. Norton, the University of Chicago Press, Cambridge University Press, Stanford University Press, and many others, including dozens of journals. Today, I specialize in sociology and, as a sort of fun “palate cleanser” (trust me, when you’re editing books on neoliberalism and genocide, it’s always good to have a fallback), I write copy for organizations like Stand Up! Records. I also have a background in the visual arts and was a founder of First Amendment Arts (now Co-Exhibitions) in Minneapolis, MN. I hold degrees in history and classical studies from Boston University and an art degree from the University of Minnesota, and I enjoy most of the things you can imagine Rose from The Golden Girls counts among her hobbies. I received the University of Minnesota’s Public Sociology Award, for outstanding contributions to the discipline and public conversation, in 2019.
My truly lovely husband, Josh Page, is a professor of sociology and law at the University of Minnesota, as well as a food writer and founder of Meal magazine. He’s a great writer, and I’m so happy to work alongside him in print and in life.
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