248: Writing and Publishing Academic Articles with Dr. Miroslava Chávez-García

248: Writing and Publishing Academic Articles with Dr. Miroslava Chávez-García


Today’s episode features my guest, Dr. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia who discusses the topic of writing and publishing academic articles. Dr. Miroslava is Professor of History and Faculty Director of the McNair Scholars Program at UCSB.

She’s published three books, including her most recent work, Migrant Longing: Letter Writing across the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, a slice in the life of her family history. She is currently working on a new project, “The ‘Architects of Hate’: Eugenics, Population Control, and Environmentalism in the Fight for Immigration Restriction in the Late Twentieth Century.”

She’s also a big fan of the medium we’ll be discussing today: articles. She’s published numerous academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, anthologies, handbooks, and textbooks as well as professional blogs and websites.

Dr. Miroslava also wants to let listeners know that she is a first-generation, Chicana/Mexicana immigrant with working class roots. And, most importantly, she is co-author with me (Yvette) of Is Grad School for Me?: Demystifying the Grad School Application Process for First-Gen BIPOC Students.

On the show, she shares common publishing mistakes, the importance of understanding the review process, and strategies for maintaining motivation and focus. This episode aims to demystify the academic article publishing world for anyone who is new to this process.

To learn more about Dr. Miroslava, you can go to the following links and check out her publications below:

  • https://history.ucsb.edu/faculty/mchavezgarcia/
  • https://ucsb.academia.edu/MiroslavaChavezGarcia
  • Strategies for Publishing in the Humanities: A Senior Professor Advises Junior Scholars,” The Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 48, no. 4 (July 2017): 199-220.
  • “Navigating Successfully Grants and Fellowships Applications,” co-author with Luis Alvarez and Ernesto Chávez, in The Academic’s Handbook, 4th ed., revised and expanded, eds. Lori Flores and Jocelyn Olcott (Duke University Press, 2019).
  • “Future Academics of Color in Dialogue: A Candid Q&A on Adjusting to the Cultural, Social, and Professional Rigor of Academia,” co-author with Mayra Avitia and Jorge N. Leal, in Beginning a Career in Academia: A Guide for Graduate Students of Color, 128-145, ed. by Dwayne Mack et al. New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, 2014.

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248_ Writing and Publishing Academic Articles with Dr. Miroslava Chávez-García (Transcript)


Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:00:00] Welcome to the top rated and award nominated grad school femtoring podcast, the place for first gen BIPOCs to learn about all things grad school, personal development, and sustainable productivity. This is Dr. Yvette Martinez Vu, and I will be serving as your femtor, providing you with tips and tricks and everything else you need to know to successfully navigate your BIPOC.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Grad school and beyond for over 13 years. I've been empowering first gen students of color along their academic and professional journeys. And I'm really excited to support you too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Dr. Yvette here. Before starting today's episode, I want to announce that my coauthored book is grad school for me, demystifying the application process for first gen BIPOC students is available for pre order. [00:01:00] It officially comes out on April 16th, and between now and the rest of the year, my co author and I are available to speak at your next event.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: We are excited because this is the first book that provides first generation, low income, and non traditional students of color with insider knowledge on how to consider and navigate grad school. It's the book that we both wish we had when we were undertaking our own grad admissions process at UCLA many years ago.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The book is both a corrective and a calling card to the lack of clear guidance for historically excluded students navigating the onerous and often overwhelming process of applying to grad school. We walk you through the process from first asking yourself whether grad school is even the right next step for you, to then providing you with step by step instructions on how to maneuver every aspect of the grad admissions process, including providing you with sample essays, [00:02:00] templates, and relatable scenarios.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you're interested, we encourage you to pre order your copy today or have your local library order a copy. You can also reach out to us for bulk order discount codes. Lastly, we are available for book talks, workshops, keynotes, panels, and even book club visitations. Go to www. gradschoolfemtoring. com book to learn more.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. This is your host, Dr. Yvette. Today we're going to be discussing the topic of writing and publishing academic articles. Our guest is actually one of my dear friends and Femtor, Dr. Miroslava Chavez Garcia. She's a professor of history and faculty director of the McNair Scholars Program at UC Santa Barbara.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's how we met. Thanks [00:03:00] She's published three books, including her most recent work, Migrant Longing, letter writing across the U. S. Mexico borderlands, a slice in the life of her family history. She is currently working on a new project, The Architects of Hate, Eugenics, Population Control, and Environmentalism in the Fight for Immigration Restriction in the Late 20th Century.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: She's also a big fan of the medium we're going to be discussing today, which is article writing. She's published numerous academic articles in peer reviewed journals, anthologies, handbooks, and textbooks, as well as professional blogs and websites. And to be frank, if it wasn't for her, I don't know that we would be having this book out this year.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, You know, one of the things that I wanted to mention is that Dr. Miroslava is also the co author of the book that we have coming out in April, titled, Is Grad School for Me? Demystifying the Application Process for First Gen BIPOC Students. Um, Dr. [00:04:00] Miroslava also wants us to know, or wants you, the listeners, to know that she is first generation Chicana Mexicana immigrant with working class roots.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And yeah, I'm super excited to have her on the podcast today. So welcome to the podcast, Miros. Yes,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: thank you so much, Yvette. We've been talking so much about this, so it's fantastic to have it come to, um, come to fruition.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah. It's such a long time coming. So glad that finally I get you on the podcast. And for the listeners to hear more about you and from you.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So um, if you can tell us a little bit more, just so that folks can get to know more about your background and your work. So who you are, what you do, anything you're comfortable sharing about your background too.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Sure. Um, thank you so much for this opportunity. I really appreciate it. Um, it's always great to.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Have a chance to share, um, especially with your audience. I listen to your podcasts and I think it's [00:05:00] so, um, as I told you in the past, like I find it so invigorating to listen to, especially in the mornings. It gets my day off and I get like a little extra step in my, a little, what is it, a little extra bump in my step or whatever, uh, lift and we always need that, so it's really inspiring, but yeah, um, so I did, as you mentioned, you know, um, all these things define who I am as a first gen, Chicano, Mexicana, immigrant.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Uh, roots, was raised in California since I was a baby, so really I'm like the one and a half. I'm a great whatever, I'll help who it's talked about. And we also grew up very poor for the most part, I mean, you don't know you're poor until you go to college, right? So this idea of being impoverished. Um, but I was born in the border, Mexicali, Baja, California, but I was raised in Imperial Valley for a few years.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And then we moved to San Jose, um, and then where I graduated through high school. And then I spent my formative years really in Los Angeles at UCLA, undergrad and grad school. I think we have that in common. We have a lot in common. Uh, and so after grad school, I was, uh, I spent a [00:06:00] year and I had a postdoc.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And then my first job was in Arizona. I went to Arizona, Northern Arizona University. So that was, um, a little bit of a shock, even though it's not that far. It's still not California centered. So that was, uh, wonderful people there. But then I was very fortunate to land a job at UC Davis in Chicana and Chicano Studies there.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So I was at UC Davis for 13 years. And then I was very fortunate to get this job at UC Santa Barbara. And so I just love it here. We're going to stay here. Uh, so I see a lot of, um, and the one had a lot of fortune, a lot of, and then I had a lot of support from people. Um, and also just trying to make opportunities happen when they can and do happen, but I will say, like, I just want to dig a little bit more deeply.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I think in thinking about like a little bit, I say about my drive, but like what has shaped who I am. And I think we have this in common too. Definitely. Um, one of my most formative moments in my life has been the death of my parents. We both had experience for, um, both my parents at an age of 12 and your father at an age of 12.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So, [00:07:00] um, you know, my parents were killed in a car accident, um, were returning from a trip from Mexico. Myself and my brother and my grandmother was, were in the car and my grandmother also died. Um, so my brother and I were the only survivors. I was 12, he was 13 and needless to say, needless to say, our lives were sort of, you know, Um, you know, turn upside down and definitely that experience and everything that happens to consequence sort of shapes who I am today and it continues to shape who I am, uh, today.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And so, um, I think for both my brother and I, it just meant, you know, um, one, you have to grow up really fast. Right. You grow up overnight. You don't get to have a childhood. It's a different kind of a childhood. Um, but then it also, um, for me, it was sort of this, after I had my aunt and uncle who raised me, but I felt like they were never imposing on me, like do this or do that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So I kind of had that quote unquote freedom to do kind of whatever I wanted to, uh, with their support. Um, but still it didn't make it, you know, overall, it's not something that [00:08:00] I would have desired. Um, and it's something that you continue to live with this whole thing of like, you'll get over it or learn.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: No, it becomes a part of who you are and it shapes you. And I think that that's. Something, a lot of that trauma is still, is still with me, certainly, um, I have no doubt. So yeah, that's, and my brother too, he's, he's actually very successful, I would say. Um, he's a medical doctor and has, has done really well with his practice.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: He has a beautiful family. So, so yeah, we're very, uh, fortunate that we're able to succeed, I guess you can call that success.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I've heard you share this part of your backstory multiple times, and, I, every single time you talk about it, I get emotional every single time because I picture like, you know, your, your inner niña or I picture you as a child at that age, you know, to have your life just completely turned upside down in one moment is, is a [00:09:00] lot.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And it's definitely a formative moment. And I think that we bonded. We bond, we immediately bonded from having that shared experience, uh, though I, I do have the fortune or the privilege that I have my mom around, um, it's still, to lose a parent is something that I just, it's, it's so, it's so hard at any age, no matter what stage of life you're at, no matter how old your parents are, it's, it's really, really hard.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Uh, a difficult thing to navigate through, um, so yeah, it's, it's no wonder then to have to see how successful you are, especially like from the outsider perspective, you have accomplished so much. And one of the things that I've looked up to you for. Well, one is you being a kind and a kind mentor, femtor, and an advocate on behalf of a lot of people.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's one thing that I knew off the top of my head was like this, I'm, I want [00:10:00] to be in this person's life. Like, I want this person to be my femtor because I've heard really good things about her. But then also I knew about like you being successful at publishing and I keep saying it like I really don't think we would have this book out if it hadn't been for you because I've had that idea for a long time but I needed that support, you know, I needed that mentorship, I needed that guidance and that's why I wanted to bring you on here and I thought it would be great for you to talk a little bit more about that publishing process because I do think a lot of people are interested in publishing and writing and publishing, getting their work out there.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: They just don't know how or they're expected to know how by their advisors, by their programs, and it's not always a straightforward process. So I guess we can dive into today's topic by maybe telling us a little bit more about what drew you to academic scholarship and publishing.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Sure. I think, um, I would [00:11:00] just go back to our last topic on, on the topic of loss.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I mean, we could talk about that for a long time, but definitely there's like a bond you, when people share similar experiences, you bond with them, but yeah, in terms of, um, you know, while we're here, academic articles, a book. Um, so for me, I got really interested in Chicana, Chicano history and as an undergraduate, um, when a professor handed me a book called Between Borders Essays on Mexicana, Chicana History.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: was published in 1988. I went to look at the date. I was like, Oh my goodness. So, but, uh, uh, editor was, uh, Adelaide del Castillo and had a bunch of articles about Chicana, Mexicana history. And it just, especially one I gravitated towards, it was focusing on Spanish, Mexican women in the 19th century. And it was about all the negative stereotypes about them that contemporary writers, Anglo Americans had written about women and their perceptions of California, particularly.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: in that period and really, you know, racist, derogatory and all these things. And so she kind of, what we call today, deconstructed that, you know, back in when she wrote it. That wasn't perhaps what we talked about it, but [00:12:00] she, this sort of decolonizing, you know, these, the literature. So she did a lot of that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It was really inspiring to me. And I wanted to do that kind of history, right. To figure out who these women were, how they overcame these challenges in the 19th century. And also I use my grandmother's inspiration. So my Juanita, when I would go visit her in Mexico, like I would notice. How difficult she had it.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And so I thought like, my goodness, how do these women do it on so little and being able to make it, you know, every day. So I just wanted to really, you know, recover and tell that history. Um, and in terms of articles, uh, I like articles I learned in grad school. So books are really important as well. We can talk about books in another segment, but articles are really effective because I think that they help you distill your argument and sort of a very short period of, of, of whatever writing.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: We might think of it as very long, but it's short in terms of if you compare it to a book. So um, articles tend to be, so yeah, um, the articles tend to be about 30 published pages. And let [00:13:00] me just preface this by saying I'm in the field of humanities. I'm a historian. I do think this is kind of, some of these things also are germane to fields of social sciences and the humanities, but I'll just say it generally, and I'll give you like exceptions to these, um, things I'll be saying today.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So generally 30 pages, which is like 7, words. A book ranges like to 90, 000 to 110, 000, 120,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: 000.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So that's kind of the, um, so the articles force you to be concise and to get to the point of what you want to say quickly. So, um, essays are also often the testing ground for a larger. Project, um, for like a book.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So usually when in grad school, we used to always say like, read the article first, because that gives you like the really distilled idea. And then the book usually would from that branch out into different directions. So, um, that's what I found about articles. And also I really love articles because they're definitely more attractive to readers because you're more consumable.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: you know, a structure. You can sit down and read it pretty much in one sitting. Um, and you [00:14:00] can't do that with a book. Well, at least I can't. I'm a very slow reader with books. Um, so you get a real satisfaction from them, but I think that, um, articles really allow you to You know, get a lot of information and insights and in a really short period of time.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That's why I think articles are, are a good way to go. We can, we can do them.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And so for someone who wants to, who's interested in publishing an article, what does that process look like? Can you break it down for us? Like from beginning to end, I know it might differ, uh, but just generally speaking, like from.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: The, uh, ideation process to the final manuscript stage. What happens in

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: between? I mean, I could write a whole book about that. I was taking notes. I thought like, how much does she know? I think you will. Maybe, we'll see. So, but I did first want to direct your listeners to your episode 180, where it's the six ways to overcome dissertation writing anxiety.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Because a lot of what I would have [00:15:00] talked about is like, yeah, how even to get, you know, I won't say the pencil to the paper because we don't use that, but how do I even get your, you know, your, your fingertips on the keyboard? Sometimes just the anxiety of getting there. That's, I can talk about that as well in our whole other book about, um, that's a challenge, but let's just move on.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Say we're like ready to go. Um, but I think, okay, so academic writing really depends on what stage you are in your career path and your trajectory. So what that's going to look like. We'll look differently. So, I mean, are you, the question is, are you a first year grad student? Are you a fourth year student?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Are you finishing up your thesis or your dissertation? Um, are you a new PhD looking to land a job? And so what it's really important to think about the different steps, um, depending where you're in your, your career, right? You know, the context, right? So let's take a scenario. I was just trying to be mindful of your audience, uh, of a graduate student since, you know, many of your listeners are grad students and thinking about that role for themselves.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So usually, as you might have already discussed at some point, um, [00:16:00] you know, in the first two years, the first two to three years are not, um, you're mostly working on your program. You're not actively working on academic articles, um, you know, because you have to go into coursework, your exams and acclimating to the, the, the grad school culture, which can be, you know, you can get through those first three years saying that we're doing great.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, but then after that, um, There's no way at that point, there's no real pressure, right? It's an on to publish the way it is later. By your fourth year, when you pass your exams, if you're doing a PhD program, you're more focused exclusively on dissertation. You'll begin to feel the pressure of publishing.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Your advisor may not tell you, or though often they do, especially in the social sciences, some fields are very, um, intensive, but your colleagues will begin to talk about it, right? You'll hear the whispers or you hear the comments at the coffee shops, wherever people talk about who got jobs and why they didn't, why they didn't, didn't get jobs.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And publishing will be at the very top of that list. Um, you know, did people say, do they have an article? How many, where did they [00:17:00] publish? Um, so depending on your field, you need to be really conscious about your field. It's going to be different responses. Um, so I, I would say that definitely because of the competitive nature in academia, um, it requires a publication one or at least two, if you could in the past, I used to say, and that's not, but I think it is much more important because I've seen what students have.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Uh, and so, and what does publications look like? They can and should vary in my mind, um, and I think variety shows depth and breadth. So I think that's important to remember, um, to have a diverse portfolio, right? Just like any field, you're going to want to have that. Okay. So let me get into more nitty gritty.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Maybe that was seen nitty gritty, but I'll get into a little more nitty gritty. So I think the first thing you need to do is look at sample essays, right? Sample journal articles in your field. Look at your favorite journals, look to see the structure. Okay. Um, the tone or the writing style, the content, and also, of course, how they cite their sources.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Citation methods. That's really important. Um, you're going to be expected to follow the same [00:18:00] criteria. Not word for word, because nobody wants the same thing, uh, but you need to include those elements somewhere and somehow in your article, right? Um, so this also speaks to audience. I think it's important when you're looking at a journal to pay attention to the audience in your mind as you structure and you write your essay.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Okay? In grad school, I was never told about audience. I never thought about like, cause that's the first thing that a publisher will ask you, like, who's your audience? And you're like, everyone, isn't everyone going to read this? No, no, everyone's going to read this. Um, so for instance, if you're going to publish, uh, you know, an audience for Harvard's economic review will be different than radical review or whatever.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So it's obviously going to be different people. Um, And I should also say that articles are different than book chapters. Sometimes people think they're like the same thing or they're not sure. They're very different. They're not very different, but they do contain different kind of information and even could look different.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: But we can talk about that more later. So we're focusing right now on articles. . Okay. So you, the other thing as well with journals, when you look at them, sometimes they have special issues on a [00:19:00] particular theme. Yeah. So I didn't, uh, edited a special issue on, on gender and, and, and intimacy. And so all the books, all the articles in there focus on that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, there's no, it's not like it's better than or the other, or, you know, worse than. One is better than the other. It just means that if you're in a special issue, somebody's looking for issues of gender intimacy, they're going to go there maybe to look for other articles and then see yours too.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So it

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: could be, could be beneficial, you know, um, sometimes they take longer though to come out, like a lot longer, just for different reasons, because there's more people involved and, and so forth.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So that could be an issue there. Um, Okay, I'm going to continue to a couple more nitty gritty things. So, what does an essay actually look like? What is contained in it, right? Usually we just say, go out there and write it. And you're like, Oh, what? So there's four main essays, four main sections to the essays that I would say.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: First of all, you need to talk about the project overview. Very simply, what's it about? What are the major themes? What are the issues and what are the sub themes or sub topics you will explore, [00:20:00] right? So that's your overview. This is what it's about. The second part you want to talk about the contribution to the literature or your intervention.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That means what are you saying that is new and different, right? What are you bringing that we don't already know? Um, it can be diff tricky, right? There's no one way to approach this because sometimes It could be a new insight that you bring, or it could be a new set of data, a new set of data or sources that you bring that makes it different, or it could be a new theoretical framework.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so it could be all of it. So depending on how, what you're bringing into the table. Uh, that's how you're going to frame your intervention. Right. Um, and it doesn't have to be something huge. Just, we're not reinventing the wheel here or doing something. It could be just, I say, like a grain of sand. You're just adding a grain of sand to that pile.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I mean, hopefully it's more than that, but usually in something, there's so much literature, you're like, what am I saying? Well, you're bringing something new. And that's how, that's how we all build. We build off of each other, right? We don't just come out of nowhere. There's, All those grains of sands [00:21:00] are really, really important.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So two things. So I said, your project overview, your contribution to literature. Okay. Got that down. Moving on. Now you need to talk about your methods and your sources. How it's not just a list of what you're using, right? You're not just want to create a laundry list, uh, but how you're applying that little sources, right?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Your methodology or how you're analyzing those sources. Um, so for instance, when you have oral interviews, you might want to talk about how you're analyzing those sources, right? How you're, and how you're approaching those voices. Um, or you might talk about how you're pairing quantitative, qualitative sources, right, to bring out richer, more, more robust findings.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And then also you at that section, you can also talk about any kind of theoretical frameworks, um, that you're using or concepts that you have developed or that you're borrowing for somebody else. You know, it's really cool when you can come up with your own. I think that that's a really good, like for your work, right?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You got a mother work, like you're bringing in this framework that. And that's where you talk about that, your methods and your sources. Um, [00:22:00] let's see. Um, yeah, so just with the methods and the contributions, uh, sometimes it's, they can be the same thing. So just be a little bit, you can always have somebody edit and review your work to make sure you're not repeating yourself.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Okay. So those are three things. The fourth, the last thing I would say that then you have to do the main arguments or findings, um, that you have to, that needs to be, you know, All this actually goes in the introduction, these four main points, but they're setting up for the whole article. So, um, you need to convey to the reader what you have found in your research.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You usually do this in the introduction. Some fields are like, no, you just kind of hint at it. Okay, that's fine. Just depends. In history, we kind of, our, our, um, methodology is narrative. Like we're, we're quote unquote telling a story,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: right? But the

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: story is fabricated. We compose it. There's no natural anything to it.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It's a narrative that we compose to tell a story. Okay. That's going to give an argument, right? The argument is kind of hidden, but it's in there. So, um, so you need to tell, you need to [00:23:00] set forward the larger argument, um, based on your findings, right? So those are kind of two, let me back up. Those are two different things.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So you're going to tell the reader your findings, I found this. Uh, but then you're going to make the larger argument, right? Which is couched, which is presented through context. So there's two different things, right? Um, so you want to talk about what you found and then you want to talk about the so what question, right?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: They're like, this is what I found, but this is why it matters, right? So that's kind of the two, uh, different things. So let me give an example. Um, so if I'm doing research and I find, for instance, that the majority of women who lived with abusive husbands chose to stay with them. It's something that I found in my research in the 19th century right now.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So that women who live with abusive husbands chose to stay with them. Now, I'm not going to make that argument and just say like, Oh, women like to be abused by their husband. So they stay there. Like, that's not the argument. Rather, I'm going to look to the context and figure out what else is going on.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That is keeping them in the relationship, right? So it could be other things, you know? Um, so there's, there's a way to make [00:24:00] sure those two things, two things go together. So again, that'll usually go, all those elements need to go in the introduction, four to five pages, maybe six really tightly. It's a skill to get the, uh, so that's what you would do introduction.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, you know, don't give, if you're going more than four to five pages, you're giving away too much. You need to save that for the body, the paper. Okay. So that was kind of the introduction. Let me talk about the body of the essay. So you want to begin by talking about the background or the context of your topic.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So in other words, and this should only be a couple of pages. In other words, You need to ask yourself, what does my reader need to know? What does my audience need to know to understand what I'm talking about?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Like,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: you don't want to just start going into your findings out of left field. Like you need to give them context, like orient them to what you're talking about.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so you need to, you know, you draft the section. Sometimes you will need to come back to it and add more like, Oh, I need to add more about this because the reader needs to know that. Um, or sometimes you can [00:25:00] define the concepts as you talk about them in the essay. Maybe it's a smaller concept. Let me just identify it as I go along.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so not everything belongs in the opening of your essay or you'll never get to your contribution, right? I mean, I will say like one of my articles literally was 17 pages and joke, you know, cause I had to cite everybody. What was this person saying? If I thought I had no voice, like, who am I to say anything?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And yeah. That was me

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: writing the intro of my dissertation.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I know. And so you, it's, it's, um, to get to the point where it's like, what do you want to say? I try to tell my students, like, don't sabotage yourself. Like we want to see your voice, right? So once you do the context, you want to present your findings.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, it, the way I present my findings, I do it by, um, talking about what I found to be most common. It's kind of very simplistic, but in history, we look for patterns, like what are the common patterns? So what I'm going to be talking about is the first thing. Um, that I, the most common pattern. So let me give you another example.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, for instance, if you want to argue that [00:26:00] LGBTQ, uh, teens, so, um, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans queer teens are more likely to run away from home due to physical and mental abuse that they suffer in their household. Um, you're going to need to break that down, right? So you found it's physical and it's mental abuse in their households.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That's why they tend to run away. So you want to present an order of how to present that information. You're like, how am I going to present this information? So usually what I do is I like to develop an order based on some kind of logic. So you need to develop, think about where your logic is and tell the reader.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: For me, it's based on how often I found these kinds of things. So for instance, if I found that mental abuse occurs more often, I'm going to start by talking about the mental abuse, right, talking about the mental abuse, the different aspects of it, then I'll go into physical abuse. Um, you might even divide your paper into two parts, like subheading, you know, mental abuse, and the next part physical.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Or break it up into four parts. Um, these subheadings work really well because these subheadings tell the reader where you're going next. Again, you should think of them as logical steps. Step one, step two. [00:27:00] Um, so those are really useful, uh, um, to use those sort of, um, subheadings. My advisor used to tell me not to use them because he used to tell me that, um, that he thought it was a crutch.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Uh, you know, like you're relying on these things to, to move you from point A to point B. Which I can kind of see what he's saying. I'm okay with that. You know, like Okay. Yeah. I just need to like signal. Okay. Now we're taking a turn here. Yeah. Instead of, um, you know, in a narrative, a story, it, it, um, in history, it breaks up the flow, but most history books have, you know, subheadings.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I think it's just to help you, um, so that's, that's, that's one thing, um, to have those subtopics and, um, in this section, they're just helpful. Mostly everybody has those. Um, to help you move along with your points. Um, what else? Okay, and so let me just say one last thing about the body part. So you're going to have your different sections.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, this might be really, really minutiae, but it's important. So when you organize your sections, make sure every paragraph Uh, [00:28:00] has a topic sentence. Every paragraph has a purpose in your art, your essay. It's not just like random, let me just add another one because I have to fill the space up. I need to meet my 7, 000 word limit.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: No, every article, excuse me, every paragraph needs to have a topic sentence and that topic sentence is a mini argument. Right? So, um, that meaning it has to be at the top. Sometimes, when you're first draft, you don't know what that is because you haven't written through. So, give yourself a break. In your second draft, you'll come back and you'll find it in the middle of a paragraph and you'll pull it out and then you can go.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Bop it back on the top. And so that each, each, what happens then, each paragraph is pushing and pushing along your argument, right?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And so

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: that every paragraph has to be like lined up one, two, three, four, in a way that sort of pushes, moves it forward, moves it forward, moves. You can have maybe a second example of the same thing, but you want to keep pushing forward, keep pushing forward.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, just like when you read, sometimes when you skim reading, right, a book, you'll, you do it through every first sentence of a paragraph. That's the argument, [00:29:00] right? Just like point one, point two, point three. And that takes, uh, it sounds simple, but it's hard. It's really hard I was going to

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: say. It's very hard.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I feel like it's, it's one of those things that I, I keep saying over and over and over again, especially like when teaching English classes or, uh, you know, any composition classes, a lot of, uh, Students are not taught the basic skill of how to, of paragraph construction. And it continues on, you know, in grad school and in your career of like every paragraph has to have a base point and has to move your overall argument forward.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, I'm glad that you stressed that because I think we take that for granted when we When we are writers or when we have this background in literature or in writing. Uh, but it's, it's a unacknowledged skillset that I think everybody needs to learn. Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah. No, I mean, I wasn't taught writing. I'll just say this.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: When I was in grad school, um, I think it was my first or my second year. I had a really, a professor who was very kind and. [00:30:00] I was struggling with writing and he told me like, you know, you, you should probably think about taking a class and, uh, at a junior college to figure out how to write essentially. He just said, you don't, you know, I was very fortunate that my advisor, my second advisor, my first one left, he taught me how to write.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I mean, he was an editor of a journal and he would edit my work very, very closely. And, um, and essentially I had worked, I learned backwards. I'm not sure if that's the right way to say it, but I had a, I didn't realize writing was so structured. There's that inspiration thing. I don't know. It's so structured.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It's so mechanical that I, I did it the, maybe the wrong way, but I finally, you know, um, after three books, better figure it out. So yeah, it's like the, um, when you look at a book, there's so much work that's gone into it or an article. It's not just come together out of inspiration. No way. It's highly But see, that's what

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: people read.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's they, like students, undergraduates read that and they think, I'm never going to be a good writer. I could never write like that because they don't see This [00:31:00] whole process, like you, you're sharing us what goes on behind, like, breaking it down, the, the article writing process. It goes to show, like, you have to be very intentional in the writing process and it takes multiple drafts and folks don't see that behind the scenes and that's why they think I can never achieve that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I'm sure the younger you probably thought, I'm never going to be a great writer or I could never write like that. Because you had not received that formal, like, training and instruction on it.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Right, right. And this is not, not at all to tell people not to try to write or try to think they have to point, get from point A to point Z.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Who does that? Nobody, right? Um, it's a very, it's, you, you write drafts and draft, you know, and you have people, hopefully you have a kind of person who will read it and say like, this is, you know, here's what you're trying to say. It's right here. And, um, I really believe in that mantra of writing is thinking.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So writing is thinking. So. I don't know what I'm going to argue before I've said it because I haven't said it. It's just me. Some people just seem to have their arguments already before the, [00:32:00] before they've even processed the material. But I'm more like, I have the right to think things through. And when I get to the end, I'm like, Oh, then I have those aha moments.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Or later we're in the shower exercising or something. It's like, Oh, that's what's the, so what? Like, Oh, that's why this doesn't matter. And then we go back to revise. So, um, it's always movie, it's always evolving, living document. Um, and you know, for me, I worked really hard from my first book to my second book and I would read, uh, subscribe to Writers Digest.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I read books on writing to try to help me. I mean, not everything, but you know, what makes for better, you know, writers. I read books, literature that I loved reading that I, um, like, um, The author who wrote, um, The Kite Runner, the third book he did. Um, the third book is my favorite, incredible writing and just also, um, Isabel Wilkerson's The Warmth of Other Suns.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That is just beautiful writing history and one of Pulitzer, one of her books, one of [00:33:00] Pulitzer. So, um, that kind of writing. So read what you love and then try to, I don't want to say model it, but like think about the little words they throw in here and there. But I think it's really important to think about voice.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And I'll say something about that. Um, So lastly, for your, your article, you're going to need a conclusion, um, which I do not like conclusions, um, cause I feel like I have, they're really, really hard for me cause I felt like I've already said what I had to say. I'm done. Please don't make me go through this again.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Right? You're like, I'm exhausted. Um, but you might look at what you, you know, just begin by restating what you said, just as an easy crutch. What did you say? Look at your topic sentences, you know, kind of, and then that's the point where you get a chance to do the, so what, again, why does this all matter?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Hopefully you can come away with something at the end that says, um, You know, something greater, right? The sum of the whole is greater than the individual parts kind of thing. Um, if you're having, still having trouble, just set it aside, have somebody read it. If you have the opportunity to present at a conference, sometimes somebody will say it in the audience and you're just like, that's it.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Like somebody will [00:34:00] just, because they see it. We tend to bury, sometimes what happens, this is a metaphor, we like take a shovel and we bury this hole and we get in there so deep or so deep we cannot see out anymore. Sometimes you need somebody just walking by and looking down at what you're doing and go, Oh, you're doing this.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And you're like,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: yes, thank you. But because sometimes we just lose sight of what we're doing and we can't, we have a hard time coming up for fresh air.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: find that, um, all of my, when I've had my articles and somebody's reviewed them, giving me feedback, that's been the spark for the book project. Like they see something in it that I didn't and I'm like, Oh, I didn't think about that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: That's a good point. So it's good to get yourself out there to share your article with maybe people who you trust and maybe. Even like people you don't know, because then they'll give you that feedback and that sparks so, so generative, as they say, so, so generative, instead of keeping it, keeping it, keeping it, it goes nowhere and you're going to get really depressed and bummed and whatever, about that, um, so.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so yeah, I would say those [00:35:00] things, um, are important. Now, I was thinking I might talk a little bit about the review process for articles. Yeah. Cause I think sometimes people don't know about that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's good because I was also, I, I was going to follow up with asking a little bit more about like timelines and strategy, because that's one of the things that kind of can get.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: And the way of, uh, students successfully publishing while they're still in graduate school is that they might not know how long it takes. They might not know the reviewing process or even what's like, what is and isn't allowed about submitting your work to one or more journals. And then they, the second part is the strategizing piece of it of like, well, how can you set yourself up for success, uh, you know, by knowing how long it takes and what the reviewers do on the backend.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah, yeah. Definitely. I think that all these are really good and there's no one right answer for everybody. I always tell my students to focus on dissertation, just get the dissertation out. But the reality is that they need to juggle pub, you know, publishing [00:36:00] articles because that's what's going to get them recognized and get them interviews no matter where, you know, in terms of context, where you're thinking about ending up.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: But I think what you need to do before you choose where to send your article is think about to do some research into the journal, right? Um, usually you like to have, I like to have one or two research, one or two journals in mind, that way I can write to that audience, you know? So, uh, like when you're intervention in the literature, you're going to have to talk about that literature for whatever field that is.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So if it's like, um, a women's studies versus perhaps history of science, perhaps cultural studies. So. You're going to have to write differently for those different audiences. So do that before you plan to submit, because the, the journal might go like, this is for us, this is for another field. So that's really important, uh, before I have to think about audience.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, you need to also pay attention to the review process, which is really important. So what usually happens is when you send your article, you send it to the review, to the editor who reads it based on your abstract and decides whether or not to send it out to [00:37:00] review, right? So the editor usually, sometimes they do, but the editor usually doesn't make the final call.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, well, yes, yes and no, and they make a call, but it's based on other people's input. They don't do it alone. So whether they get their, um, their essay and they're like, Oh, this looks really good. Like, yeah, I think we would be interested in this and that out. Or sometimes they have a board, an editorial board.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So the editor will go like, Oh, I think these two people on the editorial board should look at it to see if we should send it out to for review. So I'm on several editorial boards and sometimes I'll be like, Hey, look at this abstract. What do you think? She would give it the thumbs up, thumbs down, or tell them to go somewhere else.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And I'll say, Oh, it looks interesting. And I was like, Oh, maybe not. Um, so. So there, so at that point, so once they say, yes, we're interested in this article, then they send it out for what's called blind review and there could be double blind. So usually a blind review means that the editor will know who you are.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: The reviewer will know who you are, but you won't know who the reviewer is. So as the author, you have no idea who's reviewing it. And that's a good thing usually.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:38:00] Mm-Hmm, .

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, sometimes it could be double blind. It could be that the reviewer doesn't know who you are, so they have no idea. . Um, so that I've done, I've been in both situations, um, and I think the double blind is probably best for everybody.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, you know, um, lemme see. Okay. Um, and then once you get, so then, you know, then it can, once it goes out to, to reviewers, usually you get two reviewers. At least they like to have two different people review your article. You might ask, it's no problem asking the editor, how long does it take? What is your general timeframe?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: The editors will ask the reviewers, please return it to us within six months, one month, two months. And they might say, say, they might say, yeah, I will, but they don't. That is, that happens. It's out of everyone's control except for that person. Nevertheless, um, it gets sent out, say it comes back in two months under timeframe.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And then, um, you get the comments back, right? So, um, once you get those comments back, you're going to be, the [00:39:00] editor will look at them, right? The editor collects it too. We'll look at them and say like,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Hmm,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: uh, we'll either do one or two things. We'll either, usually they'll read them and then write a little review in response and say like, okay, this looks really good.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Both of them were positive. We're going to go for it. Please. They'll write to you, say, look at the comments and see what, and respond to them in a formal, in a memo. How are you going to respond to those? That's the best case scenario, right? The another one review was positive. One is negative. And the editor might go, Hmm, okay.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I see this point, but I see that point. And then they write a balance letter. The editor is going to be like the intermediary for these external reviews. Um, and so then nevertheless, you will get a word from the editor, you'll get the reviews and then you'll get the editor statement and then you will be allowed, if they want you to revise or resubmit, to respond in writing how you're going to do those changes.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: It's

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: a lot. I mean, this is like,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: but

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: it's helping you think through all these points, right? Sometimes the reviewers have no idea like what you're talking about or they didn't put the time into it. I mean, [00:40:00] that happens. Sometimes they're excellent. They really love your piece or just asking you to think of things that you hadn't thought about before.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so that's really great. Um, so at that point you're usually told three categories or probably more, but one is like publish as is with minor edits.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: That's like,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: usually that never happens. That's rare, but maybe. Hopefully we could revise and resubmit is most common. Like we like this, but we want you to expand on that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You know, do this, do that. That means they're really happy with it. They just want to see you see it grow more. And then you'll get sometimes like a reject, a rejection saying, um, maybe. So at that point you have to then think about. Um, and in all those cases, think about what you want to do and what has been said and how are you going to proceed, um, next.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, so, but yeah, I think that the rejection ones and I said, well, what do I say, and that's really hard. You need to, you know, think about, hopefully you've got comments and think about how you want to, you know, shift that. Don't just turn, I would say, do not just turn it right around and submit it somewhere else.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Some people do that, you know, uh, [00:41:00] journal editors. It's a very tight knit world. People know each other. So, I don't know. I would just say be careful with that, um, and at all times you can inquire about timeline, you know, because that's really important,

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: uh,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: for the process, because it can take six months to a year, sometimes two years, hopefully not, but some journals are so behind production, they're like, oh, We have a two year framework, you know, uh, timeline, excuse me.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So, and if you're a grad student, say you're in your third year, fourth year, and you want to get this out and you're trying to write your chapters, it's really, um, hard to sort of balance those two things, right? And thinking about, um, you know, could you make a dissertation? It's possible. There's different scenarios.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So for instance, you can take a dissertation chapter, a part of that, and then make it into a smaller article that you can maybe get published into an anthology or the collection of essays. Um, or you could, um, you know, cause a chapter looks different than an article. So you're going to have to, so you're gonna have to maybe spend time away from your, your dissertation, which my [00:42:00] students sometimes do.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And I'm like, well, they've already made a commitment. So it's okay. So it's a balance. It just depends on how, what your pal, you know, you need to be really smart and how you decide to publish that article, like make it part of your, your dissertation, but don't over publish your dissertation. There's like a rule of thumb, like 30%.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Don't publish more than 30 percent of your dissertation because when you want to publish the books, they're going to be like, we've seen this. How is this new? Yeah, I've

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: heard that. So you

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: got to be careful with that too. So always seek the advice of mentors, not your advisor necessarily, but mentors like, um, you know, and, and what kinds of publications, you know, academic journals, online journals, you know, there's, then there's, um, pedagogy pieces, um, perhaps there's public, you know, Facing work, uh, websites, blogs, things like that.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So you can also do those as well. Those also look good on resumes, I think. Um, but of course the journal articles, the peer review journal articles. Um, are going to be really more competitive in terms of the academic market, if that's what you're looking for, [00:43:00] so.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So I want to kind of shift gears, or not shift gears, but I want to, um, ask you about mistakes because you've been telling us like, you know, what to expect and what goes on, you know, from the reviewer side and a little bit more, you know, about inquiring about timelines, things like that, making sure you get it done, um, on time before you graduate, if that's something you're, you're, uh, Interested in for your career.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: But what about, yeah, what, what would you say are just, instead of the, the opposite of best practices or worst practices or common mistakes? I'm good at the mistakes. Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Especially in grad school, so professional. They don't all

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: have to be our mistakes. I know. That's true.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I remember, um, my dear friend or dear mentor, uh, Vicky Ruiz, sometimes she reminds me of things I would say in grad school.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I'm like, ouch, don't remember I said that. I thought it was, you think we know everything, right? Um, so yeah, common mistakes. I have, uh, quite a few here. Okay. So first. Don't, um, just go to the biggest or most prestigious [00:44:00] journal in your field. And, you know, I mean, it's not that you can't, not that it's impossible, but you're going to be, you know, start maybe middle or lower hanging fruit, as they say.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So I would say that, um, look at a range of journals. Um, yeah, so, uh, also don't think about going to the most popular or the most hippest journal, even though that's the thing, right, to, to publish again. Um, you need to know the process, right? Not knowing the process is a mistake or bothering to learn the process, right?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So that's really important. So you need to take time to even figure out how that process works. There's tons of articles online about that, you know, um, I've seen a lot, so there's a lot that you can figure out, um, about what to do. Another mistake is not taking feedback well. That's really important. Again, ignoring what people are telling you.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I mean, I call it a mistake. You might say, well, I know they don't know what they're talking about. It's really hard because sometimes it could be like very, um, microaggressive. Like it could be a microaggression, it could be like, they're [00:45:00] just being straight out racist or sexist or whatever. So, or ableist, you need to separate what they're saying.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So have somebody else read it. I think that that's good. Um, it might be helpful for them to help you put perspective on it, especially if you're feeling really personally hurt. Because, um, It's ourselves we're putting out there. I mean, I don't care if they're saying it's just professional. It's you. I mean, how much time did you spend on that thing?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And you're really going out on a limb? And to have people come trash it? Maybe they're not trashing it. Maybe they're trying to be Some people are not very good at giving feedback. They're just like, this sucks. I've had I could tell you something people have said to my work. And so, um, no, me

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: too.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You still remember remember

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: the most horrific comments, right?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: We remember the

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: beautiful stuff people say. Um, but I think it's important to learn how to, um, especially like if you're, if your article's under review, you get back the comments and you're not going to say in your reply like you're all wrong. Of course not. You're going to say like, Oh, that's a really good point.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: What I'm saying is. Blah, blah, blah. So just know how to turn it around and be gracious, you [00:46:00] know, um, if you're not willing to learn, then why are you in the business kind of thing? I don't know. We're all learning. I still learn. I'm so much more to learn. So I'm always grateful when people have, um, after you finish graduate school, you'll see, you'll be grateful that anybody takes the time to read your stuff and give you feedback.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Right now your advisor is paid to do what they do. So remember that. That's what they do. Um, so also another mistake is not taking advice from senior scholars, um, not all senior scholars, but of course those who have a good track record of being. Empowering mentors, trusted mentors by others. So just listen to them.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You might not agree, but it's good to listen. And also I would say not workshopping the essays or sending somebody else for feedback. Don't just, you know, you have to let somebody else look at it before you send it to them just to get feedback. So that's, I think, another mistake.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah. And I also want to mention one of a topic related [00:47:00] to when you mentioned earlier, my, my episode about like.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: The

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: dissertation, how to, like, manage dissertation writing anxiety. One of the key things that comes up, um, is related to motivation and also related to, like, making time for it when you have so many other competing factors in your life and in your, uh, potentially, like, if we're talking about the graduate student scenario and your graduate school journey, there's so many things.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You might be taking courses, you might have exams, you might be working on a dissertation, Uh, trying to gather your data, conducting interviews, you name it. There's so many things that could be coming up, professionally and personally. So I know, having worked on a dissertation and having co authored a book with you, that It can be quite daunting to make time and to maintain motivation for a long form writing project like writing an article.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So how, how do you maintain motivation, focus? How do you [00:48:00] prioritize that among all of your other competing? You know, parts of your life or even how do you stay grounded in the writing and revision process because you just mentioned based on all the potential, um, I guess common mistakes that there's a lot that comes up that can be challenging.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So yeah, any, any, any insights, any consejos that you have about staying motivated or grounded?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah, it's a hard question because I feel like I'm such a different point where your audience members are. Um, so if I go back, let me just, a couple of things from the different, so when I was in grad school. I mean, you

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: are, but, but also just, I don't, because you're saying I'm at such a different stage.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You are, but you're a, a full professor, so accomplished in your career, and yet you still make time to conduct research, to read, to write, like you're still doing the work. You're not just like, yeah, I'm done.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah, it's kind of good. Nobody [00:49:00] tells you when you're done done. So just keep going. Um, I think that's many things So yes, the writing process takes a long time.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: We see so little return for the sacrifices we make Um, and I think that's what turns people off, right? Cause it, it happens so slowly. So it's like, um, I used my colleague of mine equated it to, um, like it's not a sprint, it's a marathon, right? Another colleague said to me, like, think of it as chipping away at a mountain.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You can't scale the mountain in one day. So you got to chip away little by little. So definitely it's just one of these, it's like, this is not a short term, like, you know, um, blast off. You're going to be done. Um, but definitely in the end, you know, you see the hard work there. You try to, you need to celebrate yourself.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I want you to do that a little bit more, like, you know, give yourself, but I think that, um, so yeah, for me, for writing, I remember in grad school, I would kind of postpone, I mean, it's hard to balance it when you were like full time, you know, when do you get the writing done? I think for me, it's different now because I value my, any little bit of time I get when I have it, I [00:50:00] write and I like shut everything out.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I, you know, I had my two kids and then I, I published some books through there and it was just. You know, I was more productive when, after I had my kids, because I knew the clock was running or that the meter, you know, so expensive. So I was just like, heck yeah, I'm going to be done by five o'clock, you know, just like, just racing, you know, just typing as quickly.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: But I think there are some key things that people have always mentioned. Like one is to find a space that

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: works for you.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It can change, you know, it can change. And it usually does. Cause usually we find ourselves after a while, how to be, how that space doesn't work for us. So we find ways to sabotage ourselves.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Develop a routine, you know, whatever that is. Maybe you're a morning, maybe you're an afternoon, maybe you're an evening person, but develop a routine. When it's quiet, that's always the best thing. Find out what works for you and what doesn't, right? Know thyself. That's super, super important. Some people really, really like having a group to write with.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It's the right on site things, you know. Where you don't feel completely alone, at least somebody sitting next to you or you do that. I know you've talked about this, how you [00:51:00] can do Zoom, um, or setting a timer, um, those, all those techniques. If that works for you. I, those don't work for me. I've never used them for the most part.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I value being alone and I'm really comfortable with it. And I actually, I'm just like, yeah. Like I'm so used to, which is kind of, I think a grad school thing. It's what I tell people when they want to go to grad school. I'm like, are you okay being alone? Cause, um, not lonely. Well, maybe sometimes lonely, but alone because you have to do your work alone.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And so if you're not comfortable, then why not be for you? And then also I think rewarding yourself is really, um, important. Um, uh, you know, that. After you've done some things, give yourself some kind of rewards that to show to sort of recognize these moments. Because when you write, when you get into the writing mode, you're like in a fog.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Like you write and then you're like, cause everybody else is like normal. And you're in this focus. You're in another world, right? You've had to transport yourself to whatever world you're writing in and immerse yourself in the [00:52:00] literature to have your voice come through. Right. So this. And that was one thing is about finding that voice, finding that sweet spot between what you have to say and how you want to say it right.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, in my time, in my experience, it takes time. So my first books were really dry and I was like, I'm not writing a dry book again. So that's why I said I read literature that I enjoyed reading and even history books. Like, how do you want to write? You can change your voice. I like to do more like, like we did in our book, which is the way I want to write is like more conversational.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I'm okay with that. I want people to read it. I don't want to be stuck on a shelf, just, you know, collecting dust as they do. So, um, it was when I was reading a book recently, um, one of my, my grad student, uh, recommended it. I had it on my shelf and I was like, and it got all this praise and I was reading it, like, Oh, I really liked this book.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: And then somebody said like, the reading is like, like a biography or something. And I was like, yeah, that's why I like it. Cause the reading is so digestible. It just moves and moves. And that's what I like. Um, so I think that doing all these things, you know, this, our profession is [00:53:00] writing intense, writing forward, writing intensive.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So, um, I don't know. I've. If it's really hard, um, get a group. I think being accountable, have an accountability group. I did have one in grad school. So that was, uh, you know, setting small goals for yourself. Don't beat yourself up. Um, one paragraph at a time. My advisor used to say one page at a time, at a day.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: You know, book a bookie there every time you come back, you're like, Oh, I had a paragraph. You go, I'm on page four, you know, and then not one day you're just going along and then you stop. Okay. Come back to it. Consistency is really important. If you leave a week or two, you're going to have to restart almost as I did.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: So that's what I'm saying. Like being consistent and, you know. That's, that's really important. So

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: those are all great, um, insights. I feel like that's already like, I was going to ask you any other, um, consejos, words of advice, but really if you have any, uh, we're getting close to wrapping up, so I would love to hear.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: If you have any closing words or just any words of wisdom [00:54:00] for first gen BIPOC students listening to this who are new to writing and new to publishing and who are curious and interested in publishing an article as they start out in their publication trajectory. What, what do you want to say to them?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I think that's really important, um, is to, I don't know, I kind of think like sometimes When we look at those articles that seem idealized, like we want to reach there.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: It's like, don't start there. Don't, you know, start with what you have. And, um, I think that for me, Right now, what I'm trying to do is to move beyond sort of the academic writing and I want to get in more into a more broad, broader audience that more people will read my work. So that's important. I think that maybe, depending, like I, I have a hard time writing without anything, like because I'm a historian.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: I need my evidence, so called, my records, my documents. That's my crutch. I base everything on that. Some people who [00:55:00] are creative writers, I don't know how they do that.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Um,

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: so I think that, you know. Everyone does it differently. I think read and listen to what other people have to do. But sometimes just maybe even free writing might help people.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, but for me, outlining is good. Just very, very bare bones. I'm not a detailed, but you know, right. And I think that that things will start happening, um, easier said than done. I know it's so hard, but I'm happy to, you know, that probably wasn't very useful, but I am happy to. Talk to anybody who's interested.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Um, I can follow up with my, you know, you have my information and so forth, but cause it's really hard to give people advice based on the fact that people are such different spaces and because there's different kinds of pressure with social media and people are like, and then always, that's why I'm not on social media because I hate, I can't handle the FOMO.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Like. That maybe I'm being really slow. I'm being really, you know, what is so and so doing? Fulanito, Fulanita, what are they doing? And why am I not doing that? And that just makes it worse. Then you just spiral and that's [00:56:00] not what you want. So I don't know that that wasn't very useful, but, um, you know, just keep playing away, just consistency.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Keep coming back at it. Uh, and do things, oh, one last English thing. You do things outside of your writing space that you have something to show for because in writing we have, it takes so long to get any kind of results. So for me, I was like, I was running, doing marathons or doing whatever. Something where you're like, I did something, like I have something tangible, right?

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Knit something. I don't care. Show something. Paint something.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Create. Yeah. Create

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: something else because the writing process takes so long. too long to see anything. It's not going to motivate you if you don't. So do something outside of it. Have another identity. Have multiple identities. And then that'll hopefully inspire you to keep doing what you do.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: I love that. And I find that when you're in that creative space, when you're create, like literally creating something, that's when you generate the most ideas. That's when you allow yourself to percolate and [00:57:00] like think about kind of what's coming up for you in your writing. So I actually think it can be quite a Productive, um, process to lean into creativity and hobbies.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Um, not all forms of, just FYI, like not all forms of procrastination are bad. And a little bit of procrastination, whether that's the hobby or, you know, the, the time that you take to get started could potentially lead to you coming up with better ideas. So I'm glad that you mentioned that because I do think it's super duper important to have a life outside of grad school, outside of academia, outside of your nine to five.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah. Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: The whole like, don't put all your eggs in one basket. Definitely. Definitely true. Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Definitely. Um, what happens when that doesn't work out for you?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: don't want that. You don't want your whole life coming down because somebody said your article sucked or whatever.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: There's other parts of you. They don't know you. That's just one part of you. So I think that that's an important thing to think about. So.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: [00:58:00] Well, I want to thank you so much, uh, Dr. Miroslava, Miros, for sharing your knowledge, your experience, your wisdom, your insights, your consejos, all of the things. I hope it was helpful and not confusing.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Cause I tend to talk quickly. So. I'm happy there. Very helpful. Okay. Great. Yeah. And I also have an article, um, that's on scholarly publishing. It's sort of like, um, my advice to junior scholars who want to publish. So it's, uh, available, but yeah, just hit me up through email. That's my number one. I was going to say, yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: My website at the history department, my email or at the history department, I'm at UCSB history department. You can find me there. Um, not very much on social media. So, so those are the two main ways.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: So, your, your, we'll add those links to the show notes, so if you can give me the links to the article, to your history website, and then, is it okay if we link them to your LinkedIn account?

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Would that be okay? I know you do have

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah, I do. I haven't really keep it up. Um, I'll give you [00:59:00] all the links, and I actually have other articles that I didn't write. I do quite a few on writing.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Yeah. I'm happy to do

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: that. Yeah. Cool. I'm happy to put up, uh, whatever links you're comfortable sharing and whatever method of communicating or contact information you want us to share with the audience.

Dra. Miroslava Chavez-Garcia: Sounds great. Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. Thank

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: you. It was so fun.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: Thanks so much for joining me in the Grad School Femtoring Podcast. If you like what you heard, here are four ways you can support the show. The first is to make sure you're subscribed and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. The second way is to get your copy of my free Grad School Femtoring Resource Kit, which includes essential information to prepare for and navigate grad school.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can access it at the link in today's show notes. The third way to support my show is to follow me on social media. You can find me on Instagram with the handle at gradschoolfemtoring and on LinkedIn by [01:00:00] searching my name. The last way to show your love is to sign up to work with me via my Grad School Femtoring Academy, my group coaching program for first gen BIPOCs seeking to work on their personal growth and gain sustainable productivity skills.

Dra. Yvette Martinez-Vu: You can learn more at gradschoolfemtoring. com slash academy. Thanks again for listening and until next time.

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