I have been enjoying several days back in Ohio visiting with family and friends, but I am now back into full-steam-ahead mode for the coming semester. I have gathered together the five most popular posts from 2012. I know that most of these deal with technology and social media; in the coming year, I will … Continue reading Five Most Popular Posts of 2012
Lots of people shared their interesting and unique systems for organizing research and writing data. While many academics prefer to use paper-and-pen to organize their work, there are also many that are finding a hybrid digital and paper system to be a great way to keep everything where they want it. You can see all … Continue reading Winners of the Contest for Evernote Premium
I have been using Evernote since the early days of my PhD (see how I get Kindle notes into Evernote for my teaching), so I was thrilled when they invited me to be their Higher Education Ambassador. Starting today I will get to do lots of cool stuff with them--a bit of traveling, a bit … Continue reading Win One Year of Evernote Premium
If there is one element of university education that tends to strike fear in students, it is surely the dreaded end-of-semester exams. Exams do take a lot of preparation, and even once you think you have a pretty good handle on the module content, it is still going to take some hard work to make … Continue reading Writing the English Literature Exam
There are three main ways in which secondary source material can be integrated into an essay: summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting. Summarizing Summarizing means explaining the central argument of a secondary source in your own words. It is generally the case that a summary cannot be attributed to a specific page number, so simply the date … Continue reading Effective Use of Secondary Sources
Good writers anticipate the kinds of questions that their imaginary readers might pose and answer those questions in order to avoid leaving any holes or loose ends.
Donʼt think that stating your argument in your introduction is like spoiling a surprise ending for your reader. The anticipation in an academic essay comes not from waiting to see what the argument is, but waiting to see how the argument is developed.
Academic writing is both an art form and a science. Various conventions of style and argumentation have emerged because they tend to produce clear, effective pieces of writing. To a great extent, the conventions of grammar that we will be covering must be taken as rules that must be followed. But conventions of structure, organization, … Continue reading The Art and Science of Academic Writing
Textual Analysis, or 'close reading' You might be surprised to discover that the academic discipline of English literature, as we know it today, only came into existence around 1900. Eager to make the study of English literature an academically rigorous undertaking, early twentieth-century literary critics sought to codify and professionalize their discipline, and developed a … Continue reading Analytical Evidence
8 Questions to Help You Get to the Bottom of a Writer's Main Ideas How would you characterise the writer’s tone and style? In what way might the writer’s points develop, refine, or refute your own understanding of the subject or text? In what way does the writer contribute to the wider field of study? … Continue reading Summarizing Source Material