Writing a news story calls on different skills than writing a traditional essay.

Updated an older instructional handout with a bunch of new examples and some fancy red/green color coding. To write a news story, you’ll use many of the skills that help you write good personal essays; however, the two kinds of writing have important differences, so what counts as “good writing” is also different. English Essay: Driven by your thoughtful analysis of long quotations from already-published sources (written by experts). It’s a…

The Digital-Humanities Bust

Dinosaurs evolved into birds. Not all of them, of course. Birds are so much a part of our environment that we barely notice them. I’ve said the same about weblogs. Monetized and platformized and app-ified, the basic functions of blogging live on — a reverse-sorted stream of posts, a mechanism to engage with visitors to your stream, and a mechanism for engaging with the authors of other streams. It is…

A Simple Plot for a Literature Review

There are two things you need any time you are stuck in writing. You need to set the course and steady the course. If you are stuck while writing a literature review, then each of these things– set the course and steady the course– have particular ways in which you can do them easily, and each have their particular threats to doing so. I think you’ll recognize the threats, so…

Emotional Intelligence Needs a Rewrite

I’ve recently processed and absorbed my recognition of the “left brain vs right brain myth.” (One side of the brain may work harder on some tasks, but there’s no evidence to suggest that whether a person is logical or creative has anything to do with how that person’s brain hemispheres relate to each other.) The classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a literary exploration of the early scientific theories…

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Paper too short? Here are actual tips for serious students, not dumb tricks your prof will notice.

Is your academic essay a bit short? First, make sure that you have formatted your draft as required (usually professors ask you to double-space). Faking a longer paper won’t make your writing any more persuasive or intelligent or analytical or factual. It won’t help you to learn what your instructor wants you to learn. My Academic Paper is Too Short

An apology to Donald Trump, from the “fake news” media

A good example of the power of satire. Trump used Tuesday night’s rally to denounce the “fake news” media for being mean, dishonest, bad, America-hating and an all-around pain in his keister. […] After spending 15 or so minutes complaining about the media, he said of the media: “For the most part, all they do is complain. … These are really, really dishonest people and they’re bad people and I…