Phone: 724.830.1909
Fax: 724 830 4601
Curriculum Vitae (Dennis G. Jerz)

Fall 2014 Office Hours

Book Office Hours via Google Calendar

Office: St. Joseph Hall 403

  • M: 3:40-4:30pm
  • T: 10-11am
  • W: 1-2pm
  • Th, Fri, & other times by appointment.



1 Seton Hill Dr.
Box 461
Seton Hill University (map)
Greensburg, PA 15601

Link Permissions: Feel free to link to any resources you find on my website.
There’s no need to wait for my permission (but I’d still enjoy hearing from you).

Reprint Requests: If you want to reprint an article or a long extract, please contact me first.

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61 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Just wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article "Somewhere Nearby is Colossal Cave: Examining Will Crowther's Original "Adventure" in Code and in Kentucky" in DHQ. As a native Kentuckian, outdoor enthusiast, and a geek it was with tremendous pleasure that I read your historical assessment.

    Thank you.

  2. I would have liked to write and thank you but no email id is mentioned. I have posted a link to your article on “Show, Don’t (Just) Tell” in my blog. Thanks and I’ll follow your blog from now on.

  3. Hello,

    I really enjoyed surfing around your site. I am required to present to an audience of 100 every year and your tips on oral presentations are great!

    I am also writing to ask you for permission to use some images that you scanned a long time ago on Karel Capek’s play, R.U.R.

    Could you please contact me if I could use the images that you scanned?

    Thank you!

  4. Dennis, Thank you, thank you for page on writing thesis statements. It’s great to find good resources out there to help students, and I particularly liked your breakdown of different parts of a thesis and the formulas you offer. I’ve seen similar things, but your site coalesced the information into language that students can understand. I adapted parts of that page into a Power Point (which I don’t use for every lecture, but I find it makes a nice change now and then, particularly if I have the students try writing their own work alongside it). If you would like a copy of the Power Point, feel free to let me know.

  5. Hey there Dennis I have to ask you something. I am writing a couple of short stories well stories that are like a series so I don’t know how you would call that. Mainly I would like to know how you would write it since I sometimes get 1st and 3rd person messed up a lot and I usually write in script format. I do enjoy writing it like that, but if I say want it to get published or something I may have to change the format and yea. Thanks for your help by the way.

  6. Hello,

    I am very glad to have found your web page. It was very informative! I was very discouraged this semester with my English class. I have never received a low grade on essays with very little feedback on areas I can improve. Your website was very helpful in helping me complete my research paper.



  7. Thanks for all the great information on MLA style papers. I refer my 7th grade students to your site.

  8. Thank you for this site. I discovered it accidentally and it is a tremendous resource. An even funnier coincidence I discovered inadvertently is that you teach at Seton Hill – I was an undergrad at St. Vincent College way back in 1977 and took some courses (Lit & Drama) over at Seton Hill; back then Seton Hill was all female and St. Vincent was all male.

    Thanks again,

    Jerry Gillespie

    • Thanks for your comment. I attend St. Vincent Parish, and my kids attend enrichment courses taught by St Vincent education students, so I feel kind of attached to both places. I’m glad you found my pages helpful.

  9. I just had to post! I Googled “show don’t tell writing” looking to find new ways to teach this to my 4th graders and I found this site. I graduated from Seton Hill in 1997! Can’t believe the coincidence. I am bookmarking your page. Thank you!

  10. Hello Dennis

    You’re warmly invited to the 100th anniversary of RP/RPO, in person or otherwise. We’re releasing a new edition here later this month, assuming all goes well …

    best wishes,


  11. Hi Dennis,

    I work in The Bishop’s School Library in La Jolla, CA. I was going to prepare a tutorial to post on our one of our library pages for setting up a research paper in Word and in Pages. Your article, “Step-by-step Instructions for Formatting Research Papers” is SO good, I’d like to post all of it without modification at the address in the Website above. This would go in the section named Tutorials: Microsoft Word under Formatting the paper and Setting up Works Cited (MLA). May I proceed with appropriate credit to you?

    If yes, I’ll follow your format in creating the same content modified to fit Apple Pages. Can do?

    Thank you for considering this request and for creating such a clear and concise article. ~~Vance

    • You are welcome to post an excerpt, including the table of contents, and a link to the current version of the full document as it appears on my website. If there are multiple copies of the article on the web, that could lead to some confusion that I’d like to avoid. Thanks for checking first.

  12. Thank you, Dennis. Let me see how this sits with our Head Librarian. It makes perfect sense and our students can certainly access the latest and greatest more easily. ~~Vance

  13. Hi Dennis

    I work as Information Security Officer for University College Falmouth (UK) and would like to use your article “Writing Effective Email, Top 10 Email Tips” as part of my data protection workshops. To suit my institution I would like to make minor adjustments to some of the phrasing and be able to use the article as handouts during and after the workshops, with appropriate credit and links back to you.

    Would this be doable?
    Thanks in advance

    • If you only distribute the altered version as a printed handout, with the alterations clearly marked, that would be fine. I ask that you not post a complete copy or altered version anywhere online. Thanks.

      • Many thanks Dennis. I do not intend to use this anywhere on-line, including our internal intranet, but use just as a printed handout.

  14. I am trying to contact you via email to get permission to use some of your examples. The email link does not work on your other site and I have not been able to find another.

    I write training manuals for water and wastewater treatment operators in South Africa. Currently I am busy with a manual on writing and discovered your Temple example. I would like to use your example in my own words to explain sequencing points logically and deliberately. I will reference the material to you.

    Thank you.

    • Yes, of course you are welcome to cite my work. I ask that you do not republish a full copy in electronic format, but quoting or paraphrasing a passage is acceptable with a citation.

  15. sir i have written poems like i can’t express only as a last resort im asking you to consider me sir , im rpedits ,definitely do the best of work people have misused sir thank you , sir im losing hope too

    • I’m not quite sure what you’re asking, roopa, but if you’re looking for someone to read and give you feedback on your poetry, I suggest you try to join or form a writer’s group, where like-minded people all agree to read and comment on each other’s works. Maybe your local library has such a group, or maybe you can start one. I don’t recommend that you give money to websites that promise they will publish your poetry, but buying a couple hours of a professional editor’s time may be a great investment. Even the best writers get frustrated sometimes.

  16. Good Afternoon! I wanted to send you a quick message to see if I would be able to write an article on your blog. I have experience writing on a wide range of subjects, so if there are any specific topics you would like, please let me know! Otherwise I can come up with something that would be relevant for you and the readers of your website. I look forward to hearing back from you, thanks and have a great week!

    Best wishes,
    Paige Taylor

  17. Hi Dennis,
    I love reading your articles too, but when i post comments it gives me weird messages like violations, hacking and stuff. I have feeling that i have been marked as a spam and i don’t see my posts anywhere in your blogs. I would appreciate if you can look into this matter and email me regarding these concerns.
    Thank you.

  18. Jan 6, 2013
    Dr. Jerz:
    I teach Creative Writing to adults, and have just come across your website by typing “Tips for Short Stories” into Google. Yours was the first site listed, so your SEO ranking must be very good.

    I am working with a group of young adults, and some older adults this week who are working to obtain their Grade 12 English in order to get their high school diploma, and have been asked to teach a 9-hr Creative Writing component of the course. They will have to hand in a 1200 word story at the end of the week.

    I’ll be making reference to your site and will pass on the link, and I’d like your permission to copy some of the articles for these students, and for others with whom I work (right now my main group is comprised of active seniors in their 60s and 70s.)
    I am also a professional writer, but my published work is non-fiction. I hope to have some fiction published this year.
    I find this material very interesting and stimulating to the creative process for both fiction and non-fiction. Thank you so much for creating this site.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Christine Peets
    Napanee, Ontario, Canada

  19. Pingback: Booking an Appointment – Intro to Literary Study (Draft)

  20. Hello, I just wanted to say I have been using your materials in a class I am teaching in PaP, Haiti and I have found it extremely helpful! I would love to hear your thoughts on how I could improve the class, I have some really talented students!
    Thank you!

  21. Hi Sir,

    Your website is a goldmine of valuable information and tips for aspiring writers. Thank you. I’m writing a short story and I have 2 questions.

    1) Can animals be featured prominently as main characters? And what about their thoughts expressed as dialogue? Is that acceptable?

    2) Can poetry be included in a short story?

    Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • 1) Why don’t you read Charlotte’s Web, White Fang, Black Beauty, Animal Farm, Riki Tiki Tavi, or the original Tarzan novel, and decide for yourself whether the various techniques the authors used suit the kind of story you want to tell.

      2) You are free to experiment with whatever you want, but if you mix poetry and fiction like that you aren’t writing a short story or a poem, but something else that is sometimes like a story and sometimes like a poem. Tolkien has his characters sing songs and compose poems at various points in their adventures, but the story always gives a realistic explanation for why so-and-so suddenly started singing.

  22. I love to write romance stories. I have some already if you like to look at one. I am just wondering if there is a way of getting a writing job as right now I don’t hava a job.

    • Check the website for a publisher of novels similar to yours. There will probably be a FAQ page that describes how they handle story submissions. You might also visit your local library and check out a recent copy of Writer’s Market, which is the bible for freelance writers. Alas, you won’t find companies lining up to pay a nice living wage to first-time novelists, but if you have an eye for detail and accuracy, you might look into technical writing or editing as a profession. My general recommendation is a warning that any “publisher” who wants you to pay up front for the costs of editing, printing, and advertising your book, or anyone who collects hundreds of submissions into a big volume that they’ll be happy to sell to you, is not reputable.

  23. Hi Prof. Jerz,

    Thank you for your great Blog. There are lots of great resources on there! I was hoping to get your permission to print and share your ‘Short Stories: 10 Tips for Creative Writers’ with my pupils and some colleagues. I’ve slightly edited your work into a Word file by simply putting some room under each tip for a student activity. You’ve been fully credited in the Word file as the author.

    Thanks again,

    • Thanks for your message, Eoghan. I am glad you found my page useful. You are welcome to share printouts of the modified document as you describe. Because I periodically update my pages, I ask that you not share or post the full text in electronic form.

  24. I stumbled upon your site because I was looking for materials that dealt with quotation integration to use in my high school classroom. I absolutely love your examples on this subject and the way you separated them into the “Spot the Wordy Formula” and “All That Really Matters” columns. I printed some of this material on a word document (with attribution to you at the top) and would love to use it in my classroom if you wouldn’t mind.

    Jen (AP English teacher)

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