Short Reports: How to Write Routine Professional Documents

New graphic. First step in touching up my collection of pages on writing short technical reports. A business memo, a lab report, or a professional e-mail are all variations on the basic report structure described in this document.  Feel free to modify these guidelines in order to meet your reader’s needs. Think of Your Reader First Your busy reader has a problem, and has turned to your report for help. What, exactly, does your…


Edgar Allan Poe Was a Broke-Ass Freelancer – The Millions

His despair is only part of his artistic journey. When researching Poe last year, I was surprised to come across an anecdote about him playing leap-frog with his wife and splitting his pants, causing both of them to collapse in fits of laughter. I’m sure it was the memory of joyful moments like this that haunted him as she lay dying and long after she was dead.


Death of NFL inevitable as middle class abandons the game

Like vegan pizzas and secular Christmas celebrations, I can hear and understand the reasoning behind why people like football, but their explanation does nothing to make me want to participate on any level. So it’s very interesting to me to read this report of an apparent cultural shift, sparked by concerns about brain injury. You really think the NFL is worried about young athletes? If so, they’d have changed the…


College Instructors Don’t Require Enough Writing

I was surprised a few years ago to learn during a curriculum design meeting that I was the only faculty member in the room to require a 20-page paper. When I took a 300-level Shakespeare course as an undergraduate, we read one play a week and were expected to write a 10-page research paper every other week. So when I started teaching a 300-level Shakespeare, I thought I was going…

Ominous Darkness Descending On Webpage Portends Grim Age Of Autoplaying Ad To Come

Fortune’s fool, I wagered I would be spared and forsook my ad blocker, and now a pitiless gloom that will abide for 30 seconds has descended. No X in the corner will succor me. No five-second opt-out will rekindle the embers beneath this wicked mist. Lo, the Mazda Summer Sales Event nears. Stop my ears with wax! Forgive me! Forgive me! –The Onion


5 Characteristics of Successful Work Groups (at Google)

Google’s internal study of work groups found that successful teams are made of reliable, engaged workers who feel psychologically safe to take risks. Keeping this in mind the next time I introduce a group project. We learned that there are five key dynamics that set successful teams apart from other teams at Google: Psychological safety: Can we take risks on this team without feeling insecure or embarrassed? Dependability: Can we…