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Failure to Plan on Your Part… Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: It happens all the time: Students wait until the night before an assignment is due and then they panic over the instructions. There may have been hundreds of other students who have successfully understood the assignment but now, suddenly, the teacher is an idiot who wrote bad instructions. This happened simply because the student waited until five hours before the deadline to start...

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Research before Writing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: It’s amazing. Students think that they can sit down and write an assignment without doing any research. Folks, that’s a good way to end up with writer’s block. If you haven’t seen what scholars have said about your topic, you can only write so much, especially if you don’t know anything about the topic. Please don’t “fake it till you make it.” This...

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Accepting Feedback is a Good Thing Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone: Every semester, I offer free feedback to students. They can come into my office and sit down with a hard copy of their assignment and I will look at it, prior to the day it is due. I will mark it up for format, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and quality. They can then take the paper back and fix it before submission. Amazingly enough,...

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Whac-A-Mole Backpacks College Life / Home Life / Uncategorized

Hello everyone: Backpacks are a wonderful invention. The amazing thing about them is that, when someone has strapped his or hers on, it seems to magically disappear. You know how that goes. The person has a fully-loaded knapsack and seems completely oblivious to the havoc he or she is raising by -oops- turning around and smacking all passersby with that whac-a-mole backpack. This seems to...

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Plan your work backwards College Life / Uncategorized

Hello everyone: Sometimes, it is difficult to know when to begin work on an assignment. Plan backwards, if you want to get a quick handle on when things need to be accomplished. Figure out your due date by looking at the syllabus. Let’s say that your due date for the next major paper is February 8th. Today is January 23rd. If you are well-organized, you...

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Too Many Introductory Phrases Spoil the Essay Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone: There seems to be an over abundance of introductory phrases these days. Whether you are a first semester freshman or a graduate student, they are omnipresent in essays. (I just wrote one in the last sentence; this proves my point, I would argue herein.) I almost wrote a second one in three sentences. That would have spelled disaster in the world of academic...

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Do Ask Questions When You Don’t Understand Uncategorized

Hello Everyone: One of the things college students sometimes fret about is whether or not to approach their professors with questions. The answer is most decisively “Yes!” Underline, boldface print, exclamation point, “Yes!” Sometimes I am emailed by students who have misunderstood an assignment. Frequently, they are so confused that they have to ask me multiple times about what they need to do. You know...

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