principles of good writing

Trust your students

Tweet As a professor of freshman writing, I teach students who are just out of high school. Some students are satisfied with their former high schools, but most complain bitterly. The most frequent complaint is about sitting around doing nothing, not that the subject matter is too difficult. Why are teachers so afraid to challenge […]

Writing fiction to study literature

Tweet The fiction-writing exercise described in this series of posts was the first assignment of a class in which the students would later write essays on assigned subjects, using works of fiction and poetry as sources.  The goal was to provide the students with some insight into what it takes to write fiction. (Poetry writing was […]

Freeing the Imagination

Tweet Young students are always auditing themselves, judging their thoughts “right” and “wrong,” “acceptable” and “not acceptable.”  This exercise frees their imaginations to indulge in a bit of wild creativity, which can bleed, in a milder form, into their essays. A story needs characters, a location, and a conflict.  Create three columns representing three characters. […]

Principles of Good Writing:

Tweet This post is not specifically linguistic, but an aid to teaching writing.  This short list remains open, maybe you, or I, will think of another principle: Principles of Good Writing: 1.  Read the assignment, and adhere to the given format. 2.  Tell the reader what you’re going to tell her, tell it to her, […]