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Who cares about hyphens, commas and capital letters? You should.

You’re a busy editor, fighting a deadline. Two submissions arrive in your email. One is brilliant but full of grammatical errors and style inconsistencies. You’d have to spend an hour fixing it up. Another submission is just okay, but it’s ready to go. Which would you publish? I often encounter students who’ve been told all their lives they are good writers, but who struggle with the details of MLA Style…

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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…

The Feynman Technique

To master a topic, pretend you are teaching it to someone. Use simple language and analogies. If you stumble, study the topic some more, then try again. Richard Feynman was a physicist who received a nobel prize for his work in quantum electrodynamics. He was notorious for asking his mathematicians to explain concepts in simple language to test their understanding. Here his unique technique to learn new materials: Step 1.…

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‘Fontgate’: Microsoft, Wikipedia and the scandal threatening the Pakistani PM

I would call this “typefacegate,” but then I am an insufferable pedant. The daughter of Pakistan’s prime minister has become subject of ridicule in her home country after forensic experts cast doubts on documents central to her defence against corruption allegations. … Documents claiming that Mariam Nawaz Sharif was only a trustee of the companies that bought the London flats, are dated February 2006, and appear to be typed in Microsoft Calibri.…