The Importance of Keeping it Simple: Clear and Concise Writing

Posted by Jennifer on 10/8/18 5:52 PM

When I was a high school AP Biology student, my teacher used to walk by my desk during multiple choice exams and whisper, “You didn’t really mean to circle B there, did you? Keep it simple.” He knew I was an overthinker. Instead of circling the simplest and most obvious answer—which I often knew to be the right one—I would overthink the question, until I’d talked myself in to a trick wrong answer.

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Tags: creative writing, expository writing

3 Ways to Better Analyze Poetry

Posted by Tess on 8/20/18 6:23 PM

“Cikgu Tess!”
“Pagi.”
“Miss. Look lah.”
“Alyaa—why?”
“Girl’s bathroom,” she says. “Cikgu, you touch?”
Our state has the highest concentration of venomous snakes in the region.
“Is it poisonous?”
I mime the action of being bitten (by my hand) and then dying.
“Mm, don’t know.”

In 2017, I taught ESL, literature, and political science at a rural secondary school in a conservative, rice-paddy-laden state in northern Malaysia. To say the least, it was a year of questions.

This extended to my methodology as a teacher. Given Malaysia’s exam-centric educational system, I sought to help students develop Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS). Over the course of my grant, I refined an arsenal of questions that enabled students to improve their analyses and become active question-askers. 

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Tags: English, creative writing

5 Habits for Improving (and Maintaining) Reading and Writing Skills

Posted by MG on 5/31/16 9:30 AM

The first few months after my college graduation, I began my 9-5 job and was disappointed by how much less time I had to read.  After majoring in English and becoming accustomed to finishing multiple novels a week during the semester, I wished that I could dedicate more time to that hobby.  Furthermore, after a few months of working 40-hour weeks, I fell out of my writing groove, and it became difficult to draft anything more creative than a work email with the same alacrity I once possessed.  Noticing that my reading and writing skills had begun to rust, I attempted to find ways to reclaim my affinity for language.  Below are five recommendations for doing so; whether you are in high school, college, graduate school, or the working world, hopefully, these tips will help hone and maintain your verbal skills. 

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Tags: creative writing, expository writing

How Can I Stand Out As a Business Major? Creative Writing!

Posted by Adrienne Raphel on 9/23/15 10:00 AM

 

It's fun to stand out!

You’re not just any old business major: you’re an innovator. But how do you learn how to disrupt while you’re taking classes that are teaching you all the rules you need to know? Business majors can often get a bad rep for taking cookie-cutter classes that don’t prepare students for the actual business world. That’s why some of the best preparation for business might be far, far away from the business school. Future business leaders need to learn how to improvise and think creatively, but they also need to know how to express themselves eloquently.

One great field you can explore to expand your horizons as an aspiring entrepreneur is creative writing. Here are three reasons why business majors and other tycoons in the making should try their hands at fiction and poetry:

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Tags: creative writing, business

What Books Should I Read To Help Me Write my College Personal Statement?

Posted by Adrienne Raphel on 9/14/15 9:00 AM

You don't have to feel this way when writing your personal statement! 

What is a personal essay? What does a college personal statement sound like? You’ve looked at tons of sample personal statements, but none of them are particularly inspiring. How do you find your voice as a writer?

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Tags: college admissions, creative writing

From Writing MFA Skeptic to the Belly of the Beast

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 5/6/15 11:08 AM

Confused about MFAs? You’re not alone.

I graduated from college in 2009, and immediately set about the business of becoming a writer. I wrote a novel. I rewrote it. I landed an agent. I rewrote the novel two more times. I found consistent work, first as a bartender (every writer needs a trade), then as a college admissions coach and writing tutor in New York and Boston, and lately I’ve moved into editing economic reports and proposals for the World Bank in DC, where I live now. I started reviewing books, at first for the free books, then, thanks to a charitably-minded editor at the TLS, for actual money (not a lot of it, but still money). I became, bit by bit, a working author. I started to feel less obligated to put the word “writer” in air quotes every time someone asked me what I did. And through it all, one question came up over and over. “What about an MFA?” And every time the answer was the same: “Forget it!” I even blogged stridently about it on this site a year and a half ago.

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Tags: creative writing, graduate school

Creative Writing Tutor: Four Reasons to Get a Creative Writing MFA

Posted by Katie Fowley on 11/19/14 8:30 AM

Wanna make friends like this? Get thee to an MFA program!

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Tags: creative writing

The Writing Tutor: How to Love a Poem

Posted by Chris Schlegel on 9/10/14 10:16 AM


Hands, do what you’re bid;

Bring the balloon of the mind

That bellies and drags in the wind

Into its narrow shed.

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Tags: creative writing, English

The Writing Tutor: The Vital Importance of Writing Badly

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 2/21/14 9:03 AM

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Tags: creative writing, English, expository writing

The Writing Tutor: Should I Consider a Creative-Writing MFA?

Posted by Sam Ashworth on 11/15/13 8:01 AM

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Tags: graduate admissions, creative writing, expository writing