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…


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


How CNN Found the Reddit User Behind the Trump Wrestling GIF

CNN is protecting the identity of the Reddit user who made the infamous GIF that depicts Trump wrestling with a man whose face has been replaced with the CNN logo — an image that Trump himself tweeted with the label “FraudNewsCNN.” Journalists are not perfect. They do make mistakes. But they also follow a code of ethics, which aims to minimize harm, and thus treats private citizens differently than public…

Explore Geotagged Wikipedia Pages as a Text Adventure Game

For humans who like browsing through Wikipedia and also like playing old-school text adventure games, this is awesome. Wikipedia: The Text Adventure was written in June 2017 by Kevan Davis. Its map is pulled live from the Wikipedia API, and it uses all articles which have specified geo-coordinates. (If two articles share an exact location they get nudged in random directions.) The way the map is rebuilt on the fly…