To present a variety of promising methods that can promote productive scholarly writing.


Arguably among the top concerns of faculty during the academic year is making progress on scholarly writing. In general, starting and revising a manuscript, book, chapter or grant proposal can seem particularly challenging in the midst of class preparations, research, e-mails, office hours, grading, committee work and other obligations. However, there are a variety of methods that can be employed to consistently make progress on scholarly writing during the semester, as well as over breaks. 

Promising Approaches

  • Schedule dedicated time to write during the week and make writing time non-negotiable.  Set clear, manageable goals and stick to plans. 
  • Develop a habit of writing almost every day. Devoting consistent time to writing can lead to substantial progress on a scholarly project and save time through continued engagement in the project.  
  • Join a writing group or attend other writing sessions with colleagues to be held accountable to writing goals, and have potential opportunities for obtaining feedback on projects.
  • Consider online resources that can promote writing success. For example, The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity for which Lafayette faculty have free membership and can register, offers a number of web-based programs such as a 14-day Writing Challenge and several online workshops related to productivity.
  • Start writing. In Don’t Spend Your Holiday Break Writing, Rebecca Schuman describes four steps to making progress on a scholarly writing project that can be considered: (1) write first then read, (2) build a baby bibliography, (3) create a skeleton draft, (4) perform close reading, and (5) develop a workable draft.
  • During the revision process, tackle the least time intensive edits first. Read an approach based on these principles in A New Series on Scholarly Productivity: ‘Are You Writing?’.  

Lafayette Resources

Faculty Writing Sessions & Retreats are offered for faculty in partnership with the Director of Sponsored Research:

  • Faculty Writing Sessions – These gatherings are held during the academic year and over the summer in 104 Scott Hall with coffee and snacks available. Faculty are welcome to join at any point.
  • Faculty Writing Retreats – Periodically during breaks (e.g. January interim, August before classes start), writing retreats are organized for faculty. During these retreats, faculty are provided with dedicated space and time to work on a scholarly writing project.