What can any writer learn from a scientist? Be concise!
Check out Robert Day and Nancy Sakaduski’s Scientific English, A Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals (Oryx Press, 2011). “The beauty of English,” they write, “is its ability, when properly used, to express the most complicated concepts in clear words” (x).
Here’s a quick preview of their tips on how to replace jargon and cut wordiness:
Instead of… Say…
a considerable amount of much
a considerable number of many
a decreased amount of less
a decreased number of fewer
a majority of most
a number of many
a small number of a few
absolutely essential essential
accounted for by the fact because
Goldie Blumenstyk writes about “What One Student Learned by Teaching His Peers” in this week’s Chronicle of Higher Education.
Scholars Day is almost here! If you are participating in the poster session, check out the CAC resources on how to create an effective poster.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last evening’s workshop on prompts and feedback! Thanks, especially, to Emily Rollie, Carina Olaru, and Kam Williams for helping to facilitate the conversation. You can find electronic copies of the handouts on the faculty resources page (see prompts and feedback; specific prompts can be found on the ILA and GP pages).
One favorite prompt from last night is Emily’s unessay–an assignment that challenges students to think creatively and critically. Carina also recommended The Craft of Research as a way to help students move from a question to a problem to an argument in the research process. Thanks again to everyone who made the workshop a success!
Learn more about changes to MLA style, particularly with electronic sources, on the MLA website.
Ben Causey shares ideas for how you can use infographics to help students brainstorm or present their work in “Infographics: A fun, multimodal tool for student thinking and writing.”
“Going public means more than going digital and more than imagining an anonymous ‘general audience'” writes Cameron Blevins in “Going Public: The Primacy of Audience in Digital Public Humanities.”
The Writing Center will be closed on Thursday, March 24th, and will reopen on Tuesday, March 29th.
Do you want to reward students’ writing process along with their final product? Gary R. Hafer reports on the benefits of using Peter Elbow’s “Contract for B” system, which he describes as “effort-aware grading” in his article “The Unexpected Benefits of Grading Effort and Habit.” A similar approach, based on meeting/exceeding set criteria but without the legal metaphor, is called Specification Grading.
What do scholarly writing processes really look like? Hilton Obenzinger tells us all the nitty-gritty details in his new book, How We Write. CLICK HERE for the podcast version, which includes his interviews with leading researchers at Stanford.