Writing Advice from Dr. Seuss

dr-seuss
Source: Copyblogger

All you need to do is serve the pudding before sprouts, remember that similar birds fly conjointly, and try not to be afraid of nizzards and glikkers. Yes, yes, Dr. Seuss tends not to make sense at times, but he always reveals the moral of the story at the end though. He knew how to captivate even the most unruly of audiences – his writing had the power to make kids sit down and listen. The most important lesson to learn from Dr. Seuss is to first give the readers what they really want before you unload all the detailed important stuff. You need to paint the picture before you try to haggle the price. Lure people in with verbs and active language, then slowly work in the point of your content. This is what Copyblogger tries to drive home: If you can create like Dr. Seuss, you can make it like Dr. Seuss. Okay, I really just wanted to make something rhyme… how about this:

He rhymes, he writes, he sets kids right; you read, you need, click here with speed.

Eye-catching, Irresistible Headlines

Source: the-trukstop.com
Source: the-trukstop.com

Yelling, shouting, jumping – these are all verbs that are used to describe gripping headlines. A string of words that can compel a reader to continue reading are essential. However, writing headlines isn’t easy at all. Just like many things, it comes with practice. Focusing on the headlines that catch your eye aren’t a bad idea though. Usually headlines that have credibility, a source that you trust to back them up, are the ones that draw people’s attention. Scientific research or studies are seen in our society as reliable sources. But that’s not the only thing that matters. Context also has influence over the reader, if they aren’t interested in scientific research, then there needs to be a targeting element to the content that will draw them in. For example, if the scientific pull of a research project doesn’t get them, then perhaps the fact that it’s on puppies and kittens will. Who doesn’t like puppies and kittens? Maybe they’ll continue reading for the promise of pictures or maybe the reader is genuinely interested in the outcome of the research of adorable, baby animals. Either way, in order to capture the attention of readers, there needs to be thought put into the credibility of the content as well as who is the target audience. Head over to Copyblogger to learn more about crafting irresistible headlines!

The Yellow Brick Road To Non-Fiction Opportunities

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It may appear that fiction authors have more leeway in their writing and storytelling. Not true. The Writing, Rhetoric and American Culture (WRAC) department at MSU offers many doors in which students can open and step into professions that involve a variety of non-fiction writing. What opportunities lie in non-fiction? Memoirs, diaries, documentaries, journals, textbooks, photographs, newspapers, magazines, instruction manuals, flash fiction essays, and writing for WRAC are all examples of non-fiction works. Surprisingly, this list is short compared to the many opportunities related to non-fiction that are out there.

yellow_road123 copyBefore we walk down the yellow brick road and discover the different stops WRAC has to offer towards non-fiction, let’s take a look at Webster’s definition of non-fiction, “writing that is about facts or real events.” If we go off Webster’s definition, non-fiction may appear boring. Instead we will use “Dr. Bump” Halbritter’s definition, “Not suspending disbelief, but inspiring belief about things that are accepted.” Well said. Now let’s continue walking down the yellow brick road and begin to explore the possibilities in WRAC.

First Stop: Which Character Are You?

The Scarecrow: The Undergraduate: “Dr. Bump” Halbritter finds excitement in teaching WRA425: Advanced Multimedia Writing, which allows students to uncover the documentary side of non-fiction. Students are given the opportunity to challenge their brains and create amazing videos, for instance, “For the 25” was made by PW alumni. Research and use visual and audio technology to mediate, create and remix text. You will be able to collect, process and edit information to create dialogue and script. This course is offered every spring semester. It is a continuation of WRA225: Intro to Multimedia Writing taught by Alexandra Hidalgo every fall semester.

The Tin Woodman: The MA Student: AL854: Nonfiction Writing Workshop is taught by Dr. Leonora Smith. She provides a set of assignments, experiments and challenges that explore non-fiction techniques and apply strategies of poetry and fiction to non-fiction writing. You’ll develop practices that lead you to write rich, powerful, satisfying non-fiction. With all my heart I was able to compose pieces that were ready for publication or presentation this semester. I am looking forward to reading my piece at the Conference of the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature in spring 2014. Students are free to choose any topics and write collective pieces that will allow you to tell your side of the story. This course is offered every other year in the fall semester.

The Cowardly Lion: The PhD. Student: WRA853: Academic Writing is a new course that is going to be taught by Dr. Malea Powell. This course has a curriculum that will allow students to take strategies from creative non-fiction writing into their academic writing. This course is currently known as the Development of the Essay, starting spring 2015 it will be a new course on academic writing. Build the courage and be the first to take this course and take writing techniques and strategies from various creative writing fields, such as poetry and fiction, and use them as ways to make your academic writing better and use other techniques to break through writing blocks. Look forward to this course every spring as a required core course for PhD students and an elective for MA students. Another similar special topic to look forward to in 2015 is WRA891: Workshop in Rhetoric & Writing.

It isn’t uncommon for students to come into college not knowing exactly what they want. There is a variety of creative and imaginative faculty in WRAC that are dedicated towards helping students make the right turn on the yellow brick road. There are great staff and advisors who listen and cater to what you need. Don’t be afraid, college isn’t intended to be a lonely experience. Professors are here to encourage a variety of all kinds of work. Do like Dorothy, network and meet remarkable people along the yellow brick road and establish an amazing team that will help you pick courses and create a concentration. WRAC may not have a concentration geared towards only non-fiction, but once you established what you want, on your crossing towards the end of that road, you can pick out the stops you will make along the way. Continue reading

PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One

PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Which one is for you? There are many things to consider, such as graphics quality, console design, what games you prefer, speed, price (there is a $100 difference), memory or something as simple as which one has a better controller. Sony is the supporter behind the PS4 and Microsoft is behind the Xbox One. TNW lays out the difference between what Sony and Microsoft will offer with each system. By the way, the end of the launch window will be March 2014, which means there will be much more exclusive game fares. You might want to hold off putting either on your Christmas list and wait till March before deciding. And, if you have the option to double-dip, get both, one for the living room and one for the bedroom.

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