Reading Guide. Click here for a guide on how to read academic, non-textbook books and articles that I prepared for my undergraduate students. While this document is intended for undergrads, graduate students might find it useful as well.
Video about how to read journal articles (and book chapters). Click here for a video explaining how to read academic, non-textbook books and articles that I prepared for one of my classes. I had to cancel class one day because I was sick, so you can hear me getting stuffier over the course of the video (sorry!). There’s also a bit of stuff specific to my class, but it gives you a window into how I teach my classes. It picks up in between two other videos that set up the day and set up for next class.
Disciplinary Identity Issues. Click here for an introduction to a series of responses from leading scholars responding to the issues embedded in the question, “Are you a Criminologist or a Sociologist?”
Qualitative Social Science: A Fun Overview. Click here for slides from my four-hour introductory overview of qualitative methods for an interdisciplinary social science audience (based on my book, Rocking Qualitative Social Science). (Last updated April 29, 2019.)
Historical and Archival Research: An Overview. Click here for slides from my 1.5 hr overview of how to do archival and historical research. (Last updated April 27, 2021.)
Weekly Planning. A plethora of productivity gurus, from David Allen (author of Getting Things Done) to Kerry Ann Rockquemore (creator of the Faculty Success Program), advocate having weekly planning meetings. These meetings (usually held on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) encourage you to conscientiously think about everything you have to do and make a concrete plan for making progress on your goals. I rotate through a variety of weekly to do lists, but I recently developed a new template that builds in my personal, professional, and research goals that I especially like so I’m sharing it here. I’ve tweaked it to identify all the things I want to keep track of.
The Professor’s Planner. Because I got fed up with updating my bullet journal, and I didn’t like my word templates, I went ahead and made a full planner. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but just adapted for researchers who teach. Since my previous templates were helpful, I made it general enough for a broader audience (of faculty, although grad students and postdocs may also find it useful) and am posting it along with instructions. The idea is to print out the entire document and then reprint some pages as needed. This is version 1.5. I’d love to hear your feedback so I can tweak the next version!
Productivity Tracking. If you are interested in tracking your time, this is the template spreadsheet I use (updated July 31, 2019). I track everything: my emails, my exercise/health goals, service, teaching/mentorship, and various research project. (I also keep track of what’s going on that week so I can also give myself a break if other things are interfering with my work.) I track my time down to the minute, but you can choose your own strategy. The used/filled-in version looks something like this:
In addition to looking for patterns in the data about which projects I’m ignoring, I also do weekly summary analyses. I track how much time I spend working each week and how many days I did not work on research.
I got the idea from Paul Silva’s How to Write a Lot, but I take it a bit further and track more than my research/writing time because I find teaching, service, and other work is important for my research and isn’t always clearly distinguished. So I aim for balance.
I track my time for many reasons, but I also agree with Theresa MacPhail that “productivity is overrated.” I write about these issues in a chapter on productivity, but right now I don’t know if that will be in my book, Rocking Qualitative Social Science, or unnamed book 3.