You might wonder why we flip out over stress the importance of accurate grammar and usage. Well, there are a couple of reasons … You look silly or unprofessional when you don’t get it right. Don’t think the proofreading police aren’t watching. They are. And they never sleep.
Great writers not only struggle with their [...]
I am not a big fan of traditional slide-show lectures. This is in part because I am not a visual learner, but also because, as a writing teacher, I can see how easily a slide show can fill time without actually informing, persuading, challenging or moving the audience. Students who create slides that summarize what [...]
As digital texts and technologies become more prevalent, we gain new and more mobile ways of reading—but are we still reading as attentively and thoroughly? How do our brains respond differently to onscreen text than to words on paper? Should we be worried about dividing our attention between pixels and ink or is the validity [...]
Imagine writing an essay for a college, and, instead of sparking personal feedback from an expert who spends five or ten minutes per page writing personalized reactions and tips for improvement, your work was never actually read by a human being who could recognize, appreciate, and encourage your accomplishments. Imagine that your essay was instead [...]
My artsy daughter loves stories about science far more than she loves science; she has won “Best Display” for her age group in a science fair. When my son was 5, when given the choice he would invariably ask me to read him a nonfiction book rather an a fiction book; he has won “Most [...]
My students did well on those questions because we practiced bad writing. My teaching was not evaluated on the basis of how well my students did, but I felt I had a responsibility to prepare them for the examination in a way that could result in their obtaining college credit.
I would like to believe [...]
A wonderful analysis of an important part of world-building in science fiction.
As most of you probably know, filmmakers use the term “MacGuffin” to stand for some object that various characters in the tale are competing for. A secret paper, a formula, a stunning gem, a statue of a Maltese falcon…
In Fantasy and SF [...]
I just found my first reading assignment for the “Intro to Literary Study” class I’ll be teaching in a week.
Almost every college student who considers majoring in English – or French, or philosophy, or art history – inevitably hears the question: “What in the world are you going to do with that?” The question [...]
It’s a lot easier to be selfish, to be an artistic libertarian who decides “I will just concern myself with making my work and I’ll just hope and pray there’s still some kind of an apparatus in place to edit, design, produce, market, distribute and sell it when it’s done, or else imagine that I’ll [...]