Writing and revision are two different skills. Many scholar-writers have learned something about how to write, but fewer know how to read and revise their own writing, spot editorial issues, and transform a draft from passable to great. Drawing on before and after examples from more than a decade as a developmental editor of scholarly works, Pamela Haag tackles the most common challenges of scholarly writing. Revise is packed with practical, user-friendly advice and is written with warmth, humour, sympathy, and flair.
With an inspiring passion for natural language, Haag demonstrates how to reconcile clarity with intellectual complexity. Designed to be an in-the-trenches desktop reference, this indispensable resource can help scholars develop a productive self-editing habit, advise their graduate and other students on style, and, ultimately, get their work published and praised.
Pamela Haag, PhD, is an award-winning writer, essayist, cultural commentator, and historian. She has her own editorial business helping scholars and other nonfiction authors edit and revise their manuscripts.
"Pamela Haag has been called 'the tenure whisperer' for good reason. Any scholar who hopes to attract a wider audience of readers will benefit from the brilliant, step-by-step guidance shared here. It's pure gold for all aspiring nonfiction writers."
– Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
"Revise is an extraordinarily enlightening book about how to write clearly and powerfully, a book that will be very useful not just to scholar-writers, but to writers, period. Pamela Haag offers sharp and specific advice about how to avoid jargon, make your prose less ponderous, and improve the flow of your argument. She shows how it's possible to write engagingly about complex and difficult subjects and to produce work that is 'both timely in thought and timeless in expression.'"
– James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds
"Haag is a terrific writer and a smart critic aware of the demands of academic prose. Her credentials to do a book like this are impeccable."
– Rachel Toor, columnist for The Chronicle of Higher Education
"Pamela Haag argues that revision is a mixture of habit and craft, with a proper measure of ambition thrown in. These are piercing truths. How I wish I'd had this book by my side when I was trying to make sense of my first manuscript – and my second."
– Jonathan Holloway, President and University Professor, Rutgers University
"Revise: The Scholar-Writer's Essential Guide to Tweaking, Editing, and Perfecting Your Manuscript has the format of a handbook, including a comprehensive yet concentrated checklist for performing a 'style audit' on a draft. But it is as much essay as manual. You can read it more than once – as a whole or in part – and you probably should."
– Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed