In the age of technology, having a platform in order to promote yourself is of extreme importance. Writers should learn how to build their platform, or to improve their already existing platform. This can be used to promote yourself as a writer, blogger, editor, etc. My Name is Not Bob presents a step-by-step challenge for writers to complete this task in just 30 days.
In “Abstract Science“, Noah Gray, writing for HuffPost Science, breaks down the thought process behind writing a good abstract. He stresses the importance of an abstract as a hook meant to grab a “discerning reader’s attention.” Gray also claims that often abstracts are used as a short cut and a key to unlocking specific information from the article.
Gray says that the key components to an abstract are context, question (purpose), results, methodology, interpretation, and conclusion. If these things are arranged in the right order, or with the right language, a reader will be able to better grasp the intention of the article. After stating the key components, Gray breaks down an abstract from his website and identifies these components in detail.
This article is useful because not many people think about breaking down abstracts and focusing on writing them correctly. Abstracts are often overlooked, but this article invites us to examine them in a different light and better ourselves as writers, researchers, and readers.
What qualifies as creative? Sure, it’s pretty obvious that somebody’s short story or poem is a piece of “creative writing”, but what about their journal? A news article? Writing Forward attempts to draw the line between creative writing and other types of writing in a way that makes it easy for writers to understand what, exactly, “creative writing” is. Check out the post from Melissa Donovan to find out more!
I recently received a copy of Joe Harris’ updated edition of A Teaching Subject: Composition Since 1966 from Utah State University Press. It was a nice surprise accompanying a contributor’s copy of another title, Exploring Composition Studies: Sites, Issues, & Perspectives that you should absolutely check out. In the foreward, he makes the very interesting claim that composition since 1966 can be understood as a movement to rethink all of post-secondary pedagogy through the lens of writing instruction.
It’s a bold claim. And it got me thinking about what we try to do in the Rhetoric & Writing graduate program that may fit this pattern. Do we, through the ways we teach writing at the graduate level, aim to improve graduate education more generally? I believe we do, and quite consciously, here at MSU. We pay attention to process. We work to demystify genres and conventions associated with writing in post-graduate workplaces. We build in opportunities for peer-learning. And we have designed a graduate curriculum that aims to ground acts of composing in practices of inquiry, invention, and research appropriate to the scholarly conversations our students seek to join. Rhetoric and Writing is quite literally a writing program. (more…)
When discussing writing, the focus is usually on the substance. The characters, the plot, etc. But do people ever really take the time to give importance to the way that the writing is written? Document design is important in the final stages, but Writing Forward argues that it has importance in the creative stages as well. For example, they suggest pulling out a large piece of paper (think poster board) and writing on that instead of the computer. Check out the article “18 Unusual Writing Ideas” for more ways to change up your writing style and possibly gain different creative influences.
In their insightful post, “Humanities in the Digital Age” for Inside Higher Ed, Alan Liu and William G. Thomas III write that while humanities departments across the country are continually economically threatened, “we are in the first phase of a digital revolution in higher education.” As such, the humanities must “infuse departments with digital technologies and practices so as to create models of organically interrelated humanities digital research, teaching, administration and staff work” that can influence policy.
Liu and Thomas offer four principles for this infusion:
- Think departmentally.
- Think collaboratively (across departments and divisions).
- Think computationally.
- Think society-wide.
The authors argue that “digital humanities is not just a field but a conduit” – for working together, for understanding cultural meaning, for shifting policy, for expanding the “research and publication” model, and for service in the university (which they suggest ought to be redefined through a DH lens). Further, this is not just an opportunity for reframing humanities in the digital age, but our responsibility.
Check out the full post for more specific ideas on integrating digital strategies in the humanities.
This bit from McSweeney’s is sure for a smile and guffaw. In “The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normall Do,” Colin Nissan offers sardonic, if not practical, writing advice. For example, “Don’t Procrastinate,” because “Procrastination is an alluring siren taunting you to Google the country* where Balki from Perfect Strangers was from…”
(*Mypos, a fictional island in the Mediterranean Sea)
Think that readers are only interested in books because of the imagination? Wrong. The article “7 Ways to Use Brain Science to Hook Readers and Reel Them In” takes a look at a scientific approach to writing through the lens of brain science. With the workings of the brain in mind, Write to Done gives us some tips on how to hook the reader and keep them interested.