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…

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British Politician begins reciting colonial-era Kipling poem in in Myanmar temple

After the UK ambassador cut off his recitation of a pro-colonial Kipling poem in a Maynmar temple, UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson said, “No? Good stuff.” The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January. Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site…

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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…

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…

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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