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Tag Archives: Teaching

Finish Strong

How’s that for a happy ending? After fifteen weeks of teaching these kids — guiding them from total obliviousness through all the major topics, techniques, and types of technical writing — I got to their most important class (grade-wise), and my final, lasting impression, and let them fall flat on their faces.

How often have you made the same mistake, in your writing? You figured you’d explained the issue well enough in your introduction, you’d provided all of the relevant information in your body paragraphs. Your readers could figure it out, right? They’re all smart people. So what’s the point of laboring over a conclusion that’s probably not even necessary?

Stressed and Unstressed Syllables

There are basically two standard ways of indicating stressed syllables: by adding a vertical stress mark after each stressed syllable, or by making each stressed syllable bold or UPPERCASE (or BOTH). You can see an example of the stress marks at, and you can see an example of the bold syllable at

Negotiating a Connection

Tweet Once upon a time, you had to write an intro. Maybe it was for a business letter (probably a query letter, if you’re one of my Creative Writing readers). Maybe it was for a memo you had to write at work. More likely it was for an English class, or the essay portion of […]

Simplify Your Storytelling

Tweet I’ve got a couple really simple rules for most of the new writers that I work with: tell your story from start to finish, and tell it from the narrator’s point of view. That sounds obvious, right? Well you’d be amazed how much my writers hate to hear it. My dad wrote his first […]

What’s in a Name?

Tweet I have just made the startling discovery that I can turn you into a better writer. As you may have seen in my About page, I’ve recently become a Technical Writing professor. There’s an old saying some of you are probably already thinking about that goes, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” […]