Write simply. Its one of the first, most frequent, and loudest writing tips I give my students: write simply. Some of my students - those fond of referring to “individuals” when they mean “people,” talking about how an author “utilized” something when they want to talk about use, and those who have thesaurus.com in a … Continue reading Simple versus Simplistic
Back when I taught at Fancy Pants University, my writing courses were very popular (for reasons I have never completely figured out) with engineering students. I loved teaching the engineers: they were funny, geeky, and had a different, more concrete way of looking at literature than humanities-focused students did. Yet the engineers (and the pre-med … Continue reading Active Voice Was Taught By Me
Every so often, my students will ask for my opinion regarding a writing matter on which I have no opinion - and that’s tough, because as anyone close to me can tell you, I have opinions on most things! But since these come up from time to time, and I will continue to resolutely not … Continue reading Five Writing “Controversies” I Will Not Engage
My lit students across my three seminars began their spring semesters with two of my favorite books to teach: Euripides’ The Bacchae, perhaps not the best of the Greek tragedies but without a doubt the most bonkers of them; and Dostoevsky’s psychological doorstopper Crime and Punishment, wherein we learn how exhausting it is to spend … Continue reading Paper Prompt: Connecting
The other day, as I was about to hand back some lit analysis essays my students had written, I asked them a question that had been on my mind for some time: what do you guys have against the word people? I had noticed a pattern across their papers that, when discussing characters in books … Continue reading Build Your Vocabulary (And Then Don’t Use It)
My teaching philosophy holds that one should limit the energy one spends sweating the little things. I believe fanatically in teaching my students the rules that are actual rules, but my contribution to the interminable debate surrounding the series comma is a resounding “eh.” While I favor the series comma, I don’t care whether you … Continue reading Hills I Will Die On: Abuse of Myself
I am delighted to announce that DATW now has its own Twitter account! If you like what you see here and are on the Twitters, please follow the blog at @DATW_blog. Also, if you like what you see here, it would mean a lot if you would share our posts and tweets when they come … Continue reading Follow us on the Twitters!
I can take notes faster with my laptop, they tell me. I can write down everything you say. I can transfer it onto a Quizlet. I can spellcheck. Taking notes by hand is slow! Yep. I know. You’re one hundred percent correct about all of those things. And they add up to exactly why I … Continue reading Writing By Hand Is Good For You