Academic Writing Trouble gets an Aussie launch

Last week, I headed up to Canberra to hang out with my How to Fix your Academic Writing Trouble co-authors and hold a book event. It was my first time in Canberra for years, and my first proper trip to ANU, and it was glorious!

ANU view
The ANU campus is incredibly beautiful. 

Normally, at a book launch, you would ask a worthy person to vouch for the book, they assure people who haven’t had a chance to read the book yet that it will be worth them spending $20-30 dollars and a few hours of their time. But our book has been out for nearly a year. Plus, on the morning of the launch, we suddenly realised we had forgotten to organise someone to give a speech… but that gave us a wonderful opportunity.

The good thing about waiting a year is that we can share with you the feedback from the most important people – our readers. So instead of a speech, we read out our reviews from the internet, which was heartwarming and hilarious.

The authors
Authors assemble! Katherine Firth, Inger Mewburn and Shaun Lehmann together in person for the first time ever. 

Here’s a selection that we read out at the event!

Karen said on Good reads:This book was outstanding. I have read many books on improving my writing, some specifically aimed at academic writers, and this is the best. It explains why you are getting specific writing feedback and provides tools to fix your writing. You look up the feedback on your writing that you have been given in the table of contents and go that section. Each chapter explains what that feedback really means, why you’re getting that feedback, and how to edit your writing to fix it. I’m giving this to all my friends who are currently working on their writing up their graduate degree theses.”

CC said on Amazon: “Outstanding book. Tremendously helpful. Explained how and why my supervisors and I miscommunicate, and showed me how to examine my work more carefully. I can already see a difference in my work, and my confidence in my abilities has risen. This is the fourth academic writing book I’ve bought, but the only one that’s made a difference. A huge thank you to the authors. I absolutely recommend this book to all doctoral students who encounter writing issues along their journey.”

Ally said on Amazon: “This is the book for you. Co-written by three, it deals with many common writing faults that students are marked down on: not sounding academic enough, not including enough evidence, not being ‘critical’ enough, and writing not flowing or being readable. Each of these negatives is very specific, and the book gives practical advice for each particular trouble. Even if you’re not in writing trouble, it’s a fabulous book, training students in how to write as ‘scholars’. Practical, engaging, honest – what more is needed?”

Brent said on Amazon: “Great resource for doctoral students. The organization of this text is exceptional! I would highly recommend.”

Even the critical feedback was not too bad! 

Yasna said on Amazon: “It is an interesting book, but some parts are very long and pointless. Some techniques are very useful, such as Pomodoro and PRACIS at the end.”

Some of our favourite feedback came from being tagged on social media.

Sammyandtiger said on Instagram: “I read the book cover to cover and finished it 15 minutes before a PhD meeting. I feel like I’m suddenly wearing hearing aids, or one of those fancy in-ear translation services that they’ve got at the UN! I finally understand their feedback and what I’ve been doing wrong. Not only am I more motivated and confident than ever to finish this PhD, I think this book has just saved my relationship with my supervisors. So, thank you, thank you, thank you! (you = plural) PS: One of my supervisors will order the book herself.”

PublicLawJunkie said on Twitter: “One genuine attraction of this little gem is how practically every sentence sparkles with intrinsic worth that can be mined, extracted and used–indeed recycled: again and again.”
(We loved the beautiful punctuation in this tweet!)

We also appreciate the formal reviews, such as this one from Prof Steve Walton: “I warmly commend this book – supervisors will want to read the whole thing (and it won’t take long) so that they know where relevant sections are for their students. Students will probably want to dip in to sections in working on different aspects of their writing. Get your library to get this and have a copy on your own shelf too – it’s doing something which no other book I can think of does so helpfully or effectively.”

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the book! And if you have been meaning to write your own review, leaving a comment on Amazon or Goodreads makes a massive difference to authors! 

Signing copies
Harry Hartogs bookshop at ANU campus has signed copies of our books. 


If you would like to get your own copy of How to Fix your Academic Writing Trouble, the book and e-book are available!

Hopefully you enjoy the book as much as our other readers did!


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