Category Archives: Writing

What Second-Semester Writing Students Should Already Know

  • what a thesis statement is (an assertion about the topic and a blueprint of the paper) and is not (a topic, a question, or an announcement)
  • how to write a relevant, specific, and interesting title
  • how to write a clear, effective thesis statement
  • how to write an interesting, well-developed introduction leading into the thesis statement and the body of the paper
  • how to write unified, coherent body paragraphs with clearly stated topic sentences and adequate support
  • how to write a well-developed, interesting conclusion
  • hot to transition smoothly between paragraphs and sections
  • how to write grammatically correct sentences (no fragments or run-ons)
  • how to use punctuation correctly
  • how to make pronouns agree with antecednets and verbs with subjects
  • how to write parallel lists and headings
  • that first- and second-person pronouns should be avoided in academic writing (except personal and process essays)
  • that contractions are not appropriate in formal academic writing
  • how to freewrite and create mind maps (clustering)
  • how to prepare a formal outline
  • how to prepare a paper in MLA format
  • what plagiarism is
  • how to use basic features in a word processing program
  • how to save a file as a different type
  • how to upload or attach a file

Resources for Writing Book Reviews

Publishing E-Books for Dummies by Ali Luke

In Publishing E-Books for Dummies, Ali Luke provides a lot of good information.  I borrowed the book from the library and have thought about buying a copy, but I’m concerned because it was published in 2012 and is probably already outdated.

I am taking Luke’s advice on setting prices with a grain of salt because she has so overpriced her own non-fiction books.  I wouldn’t pay more than $10 max for any one of them.

I found a typo on page 47 at the end of the first paragraph under Dashes:  The last “em-dash” should be “en-dash.”

Free Online Plagiarism Checkers

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: February 2013

Blog Posts, Articles, and Reports To Read: May 2012

Sonnet: “Musician, let me be thine instrument!”

Musician, let me be thine instrument!
On this fair organ, bored and turned for thee
Alone, and spaced to match thy reach, give vent
Thy strains of natural creativity.
No matter whether expert or inept
Were thy technique, or classic or baroque
Thy style, thy fingering awkward or adept,
Thou couldst not fret. Thou solely canst evoke
The mellow tenor of my register–
Most treble at thy gentle touch, not bass–
With thine enchanting. Dextrous amateur,
Thou surely couldst not play except with grace.
Rest not! Thou hast the proper pitch and key;
Swell this recorder with love’s melody.

This is another sonnet I wrote several years ago.