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Rubric for the Rubric Concerning Students’ Core Educational Competency In Reading Things In Books and Writing About Them.

Sadly, this only barely counts as satire. The Core Educational Competency In Reading Things In Books and Writing About Them requires that students demonstrate “critical thinking” and “critical reading” skills, but please note that this kind of cleverness should only be encouraged with regards to literary books. Aspects of life to which “critical thinking” and “critical reading” skills should not be applied are outlined in attachment 5, addendum 4.8.9.70. —McSweeney’s…

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Paper Titles: Inform by Stating your Topic and Position; Grab the Reader’s Interest If You Can

An effective research paper title will identify the limited subject of the essay, and the position the paper takes on the subject. It may also be useful to grab the reader’s interest with a brief quote or detail, but if your goal is to persuade your reader, your title will also need to inform. Your title is your first opportunity to persuade your reader. Don’t waste it. —Paper Titles: Inform by Stating your…

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High School Poems in a College Writing Workshop

Poems that you wrote in high school to celebrate a first love, work through a painful breakup, or say goodbye to friends at graduation may be of extreme personal value to you; but if such poems are historical artifacts — if you value them as definitive records of the way you felt at that time — they won’t work terribly well as submissions for college writing classes, since most professors…

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The Unstoppable Rise of the Digital Content Creator

This is why I have been encouraging blogging for years. Unlike social media posts, that are fodder that generate income for someone else, a blog lets you accrue content for yourself, on your own terms, building up your personal credibility as a source of reliable and timely links, commentary, and perspective. Of course you can create content on platforms other than your blog, but if you blog about that content,…

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The Boat (Graphic Novel)

My mother had a cousin who served in Viet Nam. In the late 70s, he brought dozens of Vietnamese refugees to America, and one summer there were 30-40 Vietnamese men and boys living in my house, sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder on the floor of our rec room, as Cousin Jim worked out places for them to stay, and eventually started up a furniture business to help them earn a living. As a…

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‘WarGames’ and Cybersecurity’s Debt to a Hollywood Hack

After finishing his synopsis, Reagan turned to Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and asked: “Could something like this really happen?” Could someone break into our most sensitive computers? General Vessey said he would look into it. One week later, the general returned to the White House with his answer. “WarGames,” it turned out, wasn’t far-fetched. “Mr. president,” he said, “the problem is…