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Actors can’t play Hamlet as simply mad in world of mental health awareness, actor says

As a teacher, I have for decades approached Hamlet like this: If everyone in the audience agrees that Hamlet was sane or Hamlet was mad, then the production was a failure; Shakespeare’s text was ambiguous, and a good production should preserve that ambiguity. The director should guide the actor to make conscious choices about what motivates this line or this action, so the *actor* should know what’s going on in…

Liberal Arts Majors Are the Future of the Tech Industry

My sister the computer programmer benefitted early in her career because she was an excellent writer. She was so good at taking notes that people would invite to her important meetings so there would be a good record, and people would consult her about important topics covered during those meetings. My brother the electrical engineer knows how to treat customers; he smiles, spends time with them, listens to their concerns,…

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10 questions to help you write better headlines

I already have some handouts on writing titles for web pages and writing titles for college papers. I don’t (at the moment) have a full handout on writing headlines for news stories. In this age of clickbait (“Clickbait Tactics Drive the Writing of Headlines on ABC News,” 2015), revisiting Poynter’s advice on writing traditional news headlines is worthwhile. Clickbait headlines generate visits, but they don’t generate shares or trust. If…

Telling Trump’s Story to Children: For Book Publishers, It’s Tricky

This is a challenging writing task. Presidential biographies are a staple of children’s book publishing, and of classrooms across the country. Nonfiction for children is a surging category, particularly in light of a Common Core mandate that schools put greater emphasis on it in their curriculum. Publishers like Penguin Young Readers, Scholastic and Time for Kids chronicle stories like the rise of Mr. Obama from Illinois state senator to president,…