Los consejos se refieren especialmente a estudiantes de doctorado y dirigidos hacia artículos académicos (al menos orientados a las ciencias sociales), pero supongo que pueden ser útiles para otro tipo de personas, lecturas y escritos.
Peter Klein ofrece un guión de pasos recomendados para la lectura de artículos académicos. Habla de la importancia de no solo ser “avid readers, but also efficient readers, able to extract the maximum information from an academic article with the least effort.” Se necesita aprender “el arte de leer por encima” (skim).
Mi experiencia en la licenciatura en economía es que para sacar bien las asignaturas apenas se requiere leer, aparte de los apuntes, claro. Lo cual no incentiva en absoluto a ser lectores ávidos, ni mucho menos, lectores eficientes. Otro tanto sucede con la redacción escrita. Problemas que supongo vienen ya de la educación secundaria.
Mike Munger, por su parte, ofrece 10 consejos para “escribir menos mal”. Consejos e ideas que destacaría (imagino que algunas son obviedades, pero que no por ello se tienen siempre presentes):
–Many of the graduate students who were stars in the classroom during the first two years—the people everyone admired and looked up to—suddenly aren’t so stellar anymore. And a few of the marginal students—the ones who didn’t care that much about pleasing the professors by reading every page of every assignment—are suddenly sending their own papers off to journals, getting published, and transforming themselves into professional scholars.
–Writing is an exercise. You get better and faster with practice.
–Set goals based on output, not input. “I will work for three hours” is a delusion; “I will type three double-spaced pages” is a goal.
–Don’t worry that what you write is not very good and isn’t immediately usable. You get ideas when you write; you don’t just write down ideas.
–When you are actually writing, and working as hard as you should be if you want to succeed, you will feel inadequate, stupid, and tired. If you don’t feel like that, then you aren’t working hard enough.
—Pick a puzzle. Portray, or even conceive, of your work as an answer to a puzzle.
–I always laugh to myself when new graduate students think they know what they want to work on and what they will write about for their dissertations. Nearly all of the best scholars are profoundly changed by their experiences in doing research and writing about it. They learn by doing, and sometimes what they learn is that they were wrong.
–You need to get over a fear of criticism or rejection. Nobody’s first drafts are good. The difference between a successful scholar and a failure need not be better writing. It is often more editing.
–If you have trouble writing, then you just haven’t written enough.
También pueden ser útiles los consejos de Gregory Mankiw para escribir bien, y los enlaces que aporta donde distintos economistas dan consejos a graduate students. O estos 30 consejos for succesful academic research and writing.