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About writing for school. . . and success
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Young People Don't Care About Newspapers, Old People Don't Care About Smartphones

Young People Don't Care About Newspapers, Old People Don't Care About Smartphones | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Kicking off Business Insider’s Ignition event on Tuesday, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget detailed where digital business is headed.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I may not be sharing this for the reasons you think. Note, please, the broad labels in the headlines provocatively designed to get your attention. Then when you look at the, um, "article"--and I use the term loosely given there isn't much actual reporting going on, you see the "question" might have asked which device the surveyee might miss most. "Device" is a leading word as most of "old people" don't think of a newspaper as a device. Misdirection, questionable "information," provocative headlines, and gross generalizations = bad writing, but lots of tweets.

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'Voice' Isn't the Point of Writing

'Voice' Isn't the Point of Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Whether crafting fiction or how-to manuals, self-expression is a negotiation.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

True. Voice is not the point of writing. Writing is, in fact, a negotiation as the writer determines the most suitable style and tone for this particular audience and for this particular purpose.


"Language is a social thing; it exists between people. The voice you hear in your head, the language you speak to yourself—that's not just your voice or your language. It belongs, to some degree, to everybody."

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Five Reasons to Write a Functional Resume | News | Beyond.com

Five Reasons to Write a Functional Resume | News | Beyond.com | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some of you may be surprised to learn there is more than one type of resume. Yes, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to have more than one type of resume, but consideration of your audience is ALWAYS paramount, regardless of the type of writing you do. And this includes resumes.

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The Physical Act of Writing

The Physical Act of Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
We spend lots of time talking about the writing process here at TWT. This post tackles something that has nothing to do with meaning, structure, focus, word choice, elaboration, voice, or conventi...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I'm often intrigued by the way people hold their writing utensils, how the slant of a hand or a particular angle can change the look--and the legibility--of someone's handwriting. I've had numerous conversations with folks who are concerned about K-2 kids' fine motor skills if they don't get to practice the physical act of writing. This post goes beyond that with some good insights on resources.

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The Secret Emotional Lives of 5 Punctuation Marks

The Secret Emotional Lives of 5 Punctuation Marks | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Punctuation marks accept their utilitarian roles, but they too carry feelings, and they express them in subtle ways that are sometimes easy to miss.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Especially for those of you who might be a tad excessive with your use of exclamation points.

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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, December 27, 2014 11:35 AM

Good writers think about each word --AND each punctuation mark used.

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A to X Writing Advice, Courtesy of Copy Chief Benjamin Dreyer

A to X Writing Advice, Courtesy of Copy Chief Benjamin Dreyer | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Benjamin Dreyer is the VP Executive Managing Editor & Copy Chief of Random House Publishing Group. Below is his list of …
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Love this.

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The First Sentence Is a Handshake

The First Sentence Is a Handshake | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
According to science fiction writer William Gibson, a book's opening should be an inviting enigma to the reader—and a motivational benchmark for the writer.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

A handshake tells you a lot about a person and in that brief moment of pressing flesh to flesh, people make assumptions about expectations, possibilities, character, and more, especially because one's eye contact is assessed at the same time as that handshake. Lots of chatter in those non-verbals.


I used to tell my writing students they had 35 words to get and keep the attention of their readers. 35 words. About the same as a handshake and check of eye contact.


Read the last few paragraphs of this piece carefully. You will learn at least three things: 1) writing takes time; 2) writing requires editing and revision; and 3) every writer has his or her own process.

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A.K.Andrew's curator insight, November 12, 2014 12:53 PM

This article is particularly interesting as it is part of a series of different authors views on favourite pieces of literature 

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The 5 new rules of resume writing

The 5 new rules of resume writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
As an out-of-town job seeker based in Chicago, Stephanie Florence knew in 2011 that in order to land a job in New York City — nearly 900 miles away — her resume would have to go the extra mile, too...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love some of this creativity and the willingness to go the extra mile to demonstrate why an applicant is the best choice for an organization. One caveat: remember your audience. What is appropriate for a public relations firm probably won't have the same positive impact for another type of organization.

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10 Words Every Writer Needs To Know

10 Words Every Writer Needs To Know | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Here are ten unusual words that sum up the writing experience, and our attitudes to writing, in one way or another....
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Oh I don't know if you really NEED to know them, but some of them are fun. And the whole NaNoWriMo thing? Write a novel in a month? Mmmm. Don't count on it. Maybe you'll get a bunch of pages written in a month, but the probabilities you'll have anything remotely publishable. . . .? Still, perhaps this is the incentive you need to write that novel.

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Good writing takes practice, not grammar drills, studies say

Good writing takes practice, not grammar drills, studies say | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Lots of practice and word processing software can make students better writers, but pounding grammar rules and diagramming sentences could actually make them worse Those are the lessons from the Hechinger Report's Education by the Numbers blog, based on an analysis of research on how to teach writing from Arizona State University. Here are three effective practices from...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Writing teachers sigh deeply when they see headlines like this. Grammar worksheets are rarely effective. I like diagramming sentences and I think there can be value in that work provided it has a context and an actual purpose. Diagramming sentences for the sake of diagramming sentences may be fun for some but is pointless for most.

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5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Writer

5 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Writer | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
There are several things starting writers need to have before they take their first step to the exciting journey of becoming authors.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Some day very soon I'm going to consolidate some of the writing advice I've posted here. The underlying message here is that whenever you are offered easy tips to improve your writing quickly, ignore them.

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Take Your Writing Seriously | Writing Forward

Take Your Writing Seriously | Writing Forward | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
If you want to be a serious writer, you need to take the craft seriously.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Yes, the fabulous and gifted Nora Ephron is quoted: "What I find hard about writing is the writing." I like the emphasis on taking one's writing and one's writing process seriously.

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'The Rabble that Cannot Read'? Ordinary People's Literacy in Seventeenth-Century England

'The Rabble that Cannot Read'? Ordinary People's Literacy in Seventeenth-Century England | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Mark Hailwood Those of us historians intent on exploring the world of ordinary women and men in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries conduct a lot of our research by looking at surviving example...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is fascinating as an historical perspective on what constitutes "literacy."


"The methodology was simple: given that it was customary in the period for people to learn to read before learning to write, it was assumed that people who could write out their own signature were fully literate: they would have learned to both read and write."

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The Habits of Highly Productive Writers

The Habits of Highly Productive Writers | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
There are no tricks to make writing easier, just practices you can develop to get it done.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Anyone who tells you they have steps for simplifying the writing process or making writing easier probably has some "underdeveloped" land somewhere they want to sell you, too. Here it is: Good writing is hard work. Period. The end. Full stop. There's a corollary: It is possible to improve your writing skills through practice, reading widely and a lot, and getting feedback from people you trust. But it's still hard work.

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The Myth of Multitasking And What It Means For Learning

The Myth of Multitasking And What It Means For Learning | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Multitasking is pretty much seen as a necessity in the modern world. The ability to do several things at once – even if it’s something as apparently simple as emailing and talking at the same time – is taken for granted.

But the belief that engaging in several tasks at once means we are more productive is a myth. Instead of saving time, multitasking not only takes longer but also makes mistakes more likely. It also does something to our brains

Via David Hain, Ivon Prefontaine
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:
Many of us have discovered the myth of multitasking the hard way. We like to think we're being more productive, but we're not.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, November 28, 2014 11:49 AM

Multitasking does not increase productivity, creativity, and learning. It works against them.

 

@ivon_ehd1

Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, November 28, 2014 1:39 PM

Multitasking is rarely an efficient or effective method of working, which many of us learn the hard way.

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, November 29, 2014 1:04 PM

Yeahhh... true... everything which is not multitasking, vibrating extensively is simply boring... I live in this life too not only my children... and it's true also that it's not effective at all... I mean, the multitasking... it "helps" more or less to forget the bad things, the chimers (for the moment)  and gives the feeling of being very effective... false... fake... voila, one of our biggest dilemmas... and don't fool ourselves, it's ours too, not only that of our children...

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The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain

The Lowdown on Longhand: How Writing by Hand Benefits the Brain | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Studies show that note-taking with pen or pencil is critical to processing and representing information, something that students lose when tapping on a keyboard.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And there you have it.

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Ali Lock's curator insight, November 30, 2014 4:15 AM

For me poetry has to be written with pencil on paper, to begin with..

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, December 27, 2014 11:33 AM

Good reason to vary the way students interact with new information. Just because they have an electronic device doesn't mean they should never write longhand.

Jennifer Gandarias's curator insight, December 29, 2014 12:02 PM

This is a question that has been on my hand recently since multiple studies show the importance of handwriting.  My students write by hand in daily journals and rough drafts of essays; though most write with a stylized printing.  When I write on the board in cursive many students cannot read what I have written. It is interesting, as I taught many of these same students during there elementary years when cursive was important.  Now I run a flipped English class where so much of the work is digital.  I wonder if I use enough handwriting?

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How to Improve Your Business Writing

How to Improve Your Business Writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Cut the fat.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Good writing isn't complicated. Whenever you read business writing that seems too complex, it's overwritten. . .or written by a lawyer. The flip side of some of this advice is that those of us who do have well-developed vocabularies may be accused of trying to show off.

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The Three Things You Learn When Famous Writers Reread Their Old Books

The Three Things You Learn When Famous Writers Reread Their Old Books | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
For the beguiling First Editions, Second Thoughts project, PEN America asked 61 writers and 14 artists to annotate their early works for a Dec. 2 auction at Christie’s New York, with proceeds going toward PEN’s cause of protecting “free expression for artists worldwide.” “I can say that it was probably...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I LOVE the observations of writers revisiting their work. So much to learn about observing the nuances of the written word but knowing how much WORK is part of that deft touch.

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Anne Lamott on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

Anne Lamott on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
"Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life."

Anne Lamott'
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I love Lamott's Bird by Bird. Used parts of it as a text for my freshman writing class. Lamott reminds us, as do so many others, that writing can be wicked hard work just as it can be immensely rewarding.

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Ali Lock's curator insight, November 30, 2014 4:23 AM

I can't begin to edit until my mind has emptied out the whole story, whether it makes any sense or not. If I edit on the way I never finish..

G Meredith Betz's curator insight, August 16, 2015 9:38 AM

As a writer I know that giving yourself the permission to be terrible often leads to great, though not perfect, writing.

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17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading

17 Writers On The Importance Of Reading | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them." —Lemony Snicket
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

Bonus feature: links to the works from which the quotes are taken so there is more reading about writers and writing yet to be done, so there are more opportunities to satisfy curiosity, to connect with and meditate with great minds. . .

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10 Authors Bizarre Writing Habits

10 Authors Bizarre Writing Habits | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Authors writing habits never cease to fascinate me.  This week's blog post is dedicated to 10 famous authors bizarre writing habits.     Flannery O’Connor - Author and essayist Flannery O’Conn...
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

While you're getting down to writing that novel, you might reflect on some writing habits of the published. Are they truly bizarre? Well, some of them might be. Mostly they might seem odd. But the fact that so many incredibly successful writers go to such lengths to get down to the task of writing reminds us that writing often is not easy and rarely can it be done quickly.

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Three lessons from the science of how to teach writing - Education By The Numbers

Three lessons from the science of how to teach writing - Education By The Numbers | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
evidence-based writing instruction methods
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

1. Spend more time writing. Yes. I agree with that completely, but student writing can't be in a void. There has to be some sort of constructive feedback. Writing poorly repetitively is not going to improve one's writing.


2. Write on a computer. Hmmm, maybe. Writing could be faster and easier if the student has typing proficiency. Poor keyboarding skills could make writing frustrating. There are many possible advantages for students writing on a computer, including collaboration and peer feedback, each of which can have its own complications if not well-considered.


3. Grammar instruction doesn't work. Well, let's investigate this generalization a wee bit. Grammar instruction CAN work if done well and if done with specific objectives in mind.


Even so, each of these lessons does have value with certain provisions and caveats. But isn't that often the case?

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Professors explain style of academic writing

Professors explain style of academic writing | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Any student who
has poured through obscure textbooks on philosophical concepts or failed to
understand a professor’s paper knows that academic writing can seem like its
own language.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

And in many ways academic writing does require its own language: that of the discipline and reflecting the style of the discipline and the typical reader. Some really good insights here.

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3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly

3 Strategies to Improve Student Writing Instantly | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Guest blogger Ali Parrish, educator and ed tech consultant, provides three strategies, low-tech and high-tech, for breaking through students' brain freeze when faced with the dilemma of what to write.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

This is true for anyone who struggles with getting ideas on paper or on screen. I often had my students record their words because that gave them the freedom to talk through their ideas. Then they could transcribe their own recording and edit as they went. The advantage is they wouldn't lose their ideas as they struggled with how to phrase something or which words to use. AND, we could listen to their recordings together to talk through those passages during which they struggled and talk about how and why they struggled so those moments of frustration could become times of clarity and learning.

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Suvi Salo's curator insight, October 28, 2014 1:56 PM

I also like to share a common Google Docs page and write together.

Jimena Acebes Sevilla's curator insight, October 28, 2014 11:11 PM

Para escribir....

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Keep Writing, and It Will Soon Be Automatic

Keep Writing, and It Will Soon Be Automatic | Writing Matters | Scoop.it
Analyzing the brain scans of experienced fiction writers.
Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s insight:

I'm intrigued by the articles offering quick tips for faster or easier writing. That flies in the face of experienced and published writers who tell us that writing is hard work. But I think there is some automaticity in writing for those who do it every day and have been doing it for a while. The result may not be great or even good, but the habit of firing up ideas and thoughts should be less daunting and perhaps even a bit easy.

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