Rethinking College Writing Instruction

Monthly archive for February 2015

Lost in an essay vs. lost in a parking garage.

This winter has been very snowy, which has required me to park my Honda in the garage near by my office. It’s a four story garage—or five if you count the roof. It’s a dull gray cement color, with minimal signage. All the floors look the same, so you know […]

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Recall active verbs to mind: I

If –ion words are the enemy of clear writing,  then what? As we understand sentences more, we want to make them active. But just wanting to be more active doesn’t always do the trick, because our sentences often are based on “is” or “are.” [Like this one using are based.] […]

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Stones, metals, chairs, tables

“An abstract style is always bad. Your sentences should be full of stones, metals, chairs, tables, animals, men, and women.” Alain (Quoted in Rudolf Flesch, The Art of Readable Writing p 83.) == Usually the arrangement of details in writing is considered an afterthought. The average pedantic professor thinks that […]

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John G. Maguire
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Lowell MA 01852