Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

(Writing) Style Wars: A New Hope

Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is a classic style guide, and it’s useful in many ways. Arguably one of its biggest contributions is that it gets us to think about the way we put words together. William Strunk … Continue reading

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Guest Post For The Positivity Blog

 Hi, Everyone – I’m pleased to announce that I wrote a guest post for The Positivity Blog.  It’s called How You Can Use Proposals to Achieve Your Goals.  The post considers the logic underlying proposals and extracts personal development ideas … Continue reading

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On Decoding Essay Exam Questions

Today I proctored my literature class’s midterm exam. I watched my students frown in concentration; one or two looked patently anxious and overwhelmed. I wanted to pull those students aside and say to them, “It’s okay. Don’t worry. There’s nothing … Continue reading

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Hack Your Writing By Reading

Writing and reading are two sides of the same very large and complex coin. When you write, you think of your eventual readers (even if the only reader will be you). When you read, you place yourself in the writer’s … Continue reading

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How (And Why) To Paraphrase

Paraphrasing is a powerful tool that allows you to do two important things simultaneously. First, it provides a mechanism by through which you can include the ideas of other people. No writer writes in a vacuum. You’re always writing for … Continue reading

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Maximize Your Writing’s Efficiency Through Reflection

So, you have a writing task to complete. You have diligently applied your favorite idea-generating strategies: brainstorming, freewriting, looping, and idea mapping. If your writing task is in a professional context, you may also have notes from meetings with your … Continue reading

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Make Your Writing Walk The Talk

Holly was staring at the page frowning, her brows knitted together in thought.  That wasn’t a good sign.  Then she smiled, which was an even worse sign.  “You have some good analysis and interesting claims in this article, but there … Continue reading

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Well Dressed Writing: Tips For Effective Page Design

Writing is a complex process with a seemingly endless array of choices. What kind of document will you write? What is your purpose in writing it? What point do you want to get across? How will the beginning, middle, and … Continue reading

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How To Write An Effective Conclusion

Relatively inexperienced writers tend to walk around with a mental list of writing rules, which they have painstakingly gleaned from high school and college English and writing teachers. A snippet of such a list might read: 1. Don’t use personal … Continue reading

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Become An Academic Writing Rockstar

This is it: you’ve been assigned your first paper of the spring semester. It’s due in two weeks, and your palms are already sweaty. It’s not that you hate writing. You enjoy creative writing – poems, personal narratives – when … Continue reading

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