Rethinking Writing Instruction

JM Resume

John G. Maguire

28 Sprague Avenue

Chelmsford MA 01824

Cell: 978-761-4515



Wide background in writing and editing non-fiction. Most recently specialty has been the development and testing of unique methods of teaching writing. A physics major in college for three semesters, I switched to English, and then pursued a career as a science writer, teacher of science writing, and editor. A number of my former grad students in writing and reporting are now successful professional writers

  • Pulitzer Prize nominee in journalism.
  • Assistant Professor and Former Director, Boston University‘s Program for Reporting on Science and Medicine.
  • Senior editor on the computer-industry trade journal Unix Today.
  • Twenty years of experience teaching college-level writing.
  • Author of Newsweek College Writing Guide. Newsweek Educational Program, 2004.



Master of Fine Arts, 1983, English University of Massachusetts at Amherst

B.A. cum laude, English, 1970, State University of New York at Albany


FREELANCE OVERVIEW.      Have edited many grant proposals to NIH in epidemiology, genomics and statistics for Principal Investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health, the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Dartmouth College Microbiology Department.  Also have written and edited for Boston area pharmaceutical companies, including Genzyme and Enanta.  2010 to present.  Also extensive legal writing (a dozen O-1 immigration applications) for Seyfarth Shaw LLC, Boston.  Also work 2012-present as technical editor for Nobis Engineering, a civil and environmental engineering firm.  Also writer of several grade-school writing textbooks for Writers Express, which was later acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s Amplify, an  educational company. In April 2016, conducted a two-day scientific editing seminar for graduate students and post-doc researchers at Dartmouth College.


 WRITING INSTRUCTOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT LOWELL.  Teaching expository writing., half time, 2007 to 2011.

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNICATION, BABSON COLLEGE. Taught courses in Mass Media Theory and Mass Media and Social Change, 1992-1993.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR (Adjunct) Berklee College Of Music, Boston.  Teaching expository writing, 9-10 courses a year, 1992-1999. During this time I developed a new syllabus, with a unique step-by-step sequence of skill development.  Newsweek published the course as a small text called The Newsweek College Writing Guide. I have taught this course roughly 50 times. (For an account of the development of the course, see the Pope Center article referenced below.)

SENIOR EDITOR  Unix Today! (circ. 100,000)   1990‑1991. CMP Publications, Newton, Mass. Reported on the computer industry for this aggressive bi‑weekly high tech trade journal.

DIRECTOR, BOSTON UNIVERSITY PROGRAM FOR REPORTING ON SCIENCE & MEDICINE 1987‑1990       (Assistant Professor) Journalism Department, College of Communication, Directed master’s‑degree program in science journalism. Taught science and technology reporting and writing.  Hired faculty, recruited and admitted students. Administered program: marketed it, represented program to outside companies and publications, supervised and gave grades to students for work experience, recruited industrial support, etc.

SENIOR EDITOR, Tufts University Medical School, Boston

Edited in‑house newspaper and newsletters. Wrote and produced the glossily printed Celebration, a report given to major donors at the end of a $150 million fund‑raising campaign. Also wrote press materials, feature stories, dealt with national news media in this university setting.


  • Jackson Memorial Hospital Miami , FL  Edited in‑house newspaper and newsletters. Conceived, wrote and supervised production of the unusual Mid‑Decade Report (an annual report). Also wrote press materials, medical feature stories, dealt extensively with national news media in this university hospital setting.
  • The Miami News (circ. 95,000)   Miami, FL. Science and medical writer.
  • The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle (circ. 220,000)  Rochester, NY.   Nominated for Pulitzer Prize. Covered  science stories from the University of Rochester and R.I.T.
  • Albany Times-Union (circ. 100,000) beginning while a college student.


  • Newsweek College Writing Guide. Newsweek Educational Program, 2004. My freshman writing pedagogy laid out in a new form and structured to use readings from Newsweek magazine. Very successful product for Newsweek before it closed its doors.
  • Can You Drop It on Your Foot? And Other Hints for Beginning Writers. Self-published textbook and notes for beginners in expository writing.
  • Mid‑Decade Report. A photo-documentary  profile (a la Evans and Agee) of Jackson Memorial Hospital, an inner-city university hospital in Miami.
  • Hold Hands and Die, Dale Books. A full-length  ‘instant book’ about the Jonestown suicides in Guyana,  researched and written in 11 days.



           Atlantic Monthly: “The Secret to Good Writing: It’s About Objects, Not Ideas”  (2012)

John W. Pope Center: “Teaching College Students to Write.” May 7, 2013.

John W. Pope Center: “Why Many College Students Never Learn How to Write Sentences.” April 1, 2016.


“How to Write Like a Champion.” Seminar for computer usability specialists, sponsored by the Boston Computer-Human-Interface SIG.  January 26, 2007.

Organizer of public panels in journalism, communication theory and political science. These have taken place at sites including Harvard University, Boston University, Salem State College, the annual Conference on Culture and Communication, and at a by‑invitation meeting on East‑West cultural and security issues in Stockholm, Sweden.

News articles, features and interviews for various papers and magazines, including the Washington Post.

“Media, Place and Multiculturalism,” with Joshua Meyrowitz, in Society, Summer 1993.

Member of Cambridge Academic Editors Network (CAEN):

         Board Member, Mistral Chamber Music (formerly Andover Chanber Music).


Voted among “Top Ten Professors” by students at Berklee College of Music.

Judge, Acer Computer Corp. “Excellence in Technology Communication” Competition.

Scholarship, Breadloaf Writers Conference.

Fellowship, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Gannett and AP news writing awards.

Empire State Medical Writing Award, First Place.

Pulitzer Prize nominee for coverage of the Attica Prison riot.


Personal Website: www.



Readable Writing Press
John G. Maguire
28 Sprague Ave
Chelmsford,MA 01824