Writing Strategies

Cover Letters

Cover Letters Sometimes I will require you to add a cover letter to your writing, but I’ve found that it’s always a good idea to do so. It reflects well on you as a student and thinker, someone concerned about success in a thoughtful way instead of just for “points.”...

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Essay Tip: Write the Intros last!

I wanted to give out an essay tip that Mr. Chisnell mentioned  in the Flatland essay workshop over the summer. He said that it might be a good idea to start your essay by writing the body paragraphs first. Mr. Chisnell went on to explain that this might help in...

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Essai

  Michel de Montaigne has been called the inventor of the essay.  But what American students call an essay (noun) is originally a French verb, essai.  To essai is "to explore," in particular the workings of the writer's own thinking. In this sense the best...

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The Stephen King School of Detail

  I call it this because King must be doing something right to sell so many novels so often.  After King released his excellent nonfiction work, On Writing, I have modified this list based upon his direct advice about what makes writing work. Physicalize the...

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Bonsai

Imagine the care required in a lifetime of work discovering the beauty in a miniature tree.  The bonsai artist visualizes and contemplates, crafts and prunes . . . all the time removing everything which isn't beautiful.  The tree--our writing, our idea--contains...

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