Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ten Lessons to Teach About Writing

Justin Reich teaches high school, college, and graduate students. He says that he teaches all three groups the same lessons about writing:

The sentence

1. Omit needless words.
2. Use action verbs in the active voice.
3. Express complex ideas in straightforward prose.

The paragraph

4. Paragraphs exhaust a single idea.
5. Topic sentences serve as mini-theses.
6. The best writing illustrates broad themes with specific details.
7. Quotations must be introduced, integrated, and analyzed.

The paper

8. The thesis should explain rather than describe.
9. Build connections amongst the ideas of your paragraphs.
10. The introduction introduces the central argument and main points of the essay; it serves as a road map for the argument.

Nothing new here, except that students at all levels are able to absorb the same lessons.

(ljs)

 

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