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12

I think it depends on what you're looking for. People take writing classes for several reasons: to receive instruction from a teacher; to meet other writers; to have your work critiqued by a group; to be part of a community of like-minded souls. So let's break down the answers according to those motivations. Let's say at the outset that you should choose ...


8

There are about 1,000 times more English majors in the US than there are jobs in anything such a degree could prepare you for. If you are one of the few who will make a living from writing, you are talented enough that you can afford to major in something else and pursue your writing as a minor, or through electives, or outside university altogether. If ...


7

Get out of your own head. Write. Just write. Stop worrying about whether it's perfect. Stop worrying about which book to follow. You've got a list taller than the coffee table and they can contradict each other. Just write. Get something on paper. If you're really flailing around, pick your first book about plotting, follow some of the advice there, and ...


7

I can think of an exercise which might help - although I'm not sure how efficient it would be - if the students would be able to solve it. Chose a set of sources for them and give them a task that forces cross-referencing, comparing and binding them. For example, give the students a task of examining and proving or disproving a claim in source A (which you ...


6

From talking to people in the classes I took the following 3 creative writing programs came up repeatedly: Sarah Lawrence College University of Iowa Columbia University I never had the money or time to go back for an creative writing degree but I found a lot of good teachers at the Gotham Writers Workshop. They also have online classes. From experience ...


5

Way back in 10th grade, when we were learning how to do research papers on the back of a coal shovel, our teacher had us take all our notes on 3x5 cards. We had to submit them as part of the grade — she actually went around with a bag and we had to toss in our rubber-banded stack of cards. Edit to clarify: Each card had one note or thought on it: ...


4

Short answer: online writing workshops can be helpful, if you're careful to chose a good one, and if your level of writing and professionalism is in the same rough vicinity as the course. Additionally, almost any workshop has the immediate bonuses of A) encouraging you to write regularly, and B) getting some feedback on your work (though it might not ...


4

Since the student is fearful of judgement, which I interpret as meaning "getting a poor grade," and has also told you that putting down thoughts perfectly is an obstacle, it seems that the student's conception of how writing works is malformed. Your student will benefit from learning that no writing is perfect on the first round. I would suggest that you ...


4

I had a friend who was a substitute elementary teacher who had a similar problem. Granted, he was working with a fourth-grader, but essentially, he sat down with her and line by line they created the paragraph together. He suggested something, she suggested something, etc. At the end, she kept insisting, "I don't do A-plus work." He pointed at the paper ...


3

The biggest mistake that aspiring writers make is believing that writing islike cooking and that those how-to-write books contain the recipes for a successful novel: take 200 g three act structure, mix it with 1 protagonist and 1 antagonist, add a spoonful of stakes, and you got a bestseller. But a novel is not an object built from parts following a ...


3

A few thoughts about the first two paragraphs: There is a very interesting future [weak opening] to the use ["future to the use" is awkward] of information technology in business and how business views information technology. I believe that [superfluous] general demands in business as well as user demands [vague] will change and shape the ...


3

To prepare specifically for the GRE essay portions, you can get test prep books which explain the rubric by which they are graded, or go online to the ETS web site. I found this link: http://www.ets.org/Media/Tests/GRE/pdf/awintro.pdf , which includes specific examples of essays with different scores. Getting a good grade on the GRE essays is a skill that ...


3

Personally, I'm heavily in favor of #3 as a way of learning anything and everything to do with writing. I too spent several years studying engineering and have done my fair share of technical writing. If you're not a horrific writer to begin with, I feel you should have no trouble picking up the style and voice of technical writing by reading it. However, I ...


3

Just a late thought: It depends on the impact you would like the number to have, if you use digits the visual reception of the quantity is immediate. The spelled-out words has lesser influence and to some extend obfuscates the number. So I would think if the number is important it should be shown as digits, and if the application of the number is of greater ...


3

There is no single standard, but some things to consider: If the numbers are of comparable units, use the form you would use for the greatest number in your sentence, according to your style guide. For example, if the greatest number is "10" and your style guide says to "write numbers ten or lower as numerals, and numbers greater than ten as words", and ...


3

For a technical journal, you would want to use numerals, not spell out the numbers. Our journals follow The Associated Press Stylebook style (for the most part), which means that we do spell out numbers less than 10, but use numerals for numbers 10 and greater. We also use numerals when the numeral is followed by a unit of measurement, even if the numeral ...


3

You should cite it if it's not your idea. The simplest way would be something like: As Mark Zusak describes it in his novel The Book Thief, Death is he who steals our colors..... You're clearly mentioning the author and the work. If you use Zusak's exact words, quote him; if you're summarizing, make sure you change the quote enough that it's not ...


3

First of all, you ought to understand that outside of professional degrees, engineering degrees, and a few others masters degrees are often a negative return on investment - they cost more than they benefit. Make sure to do a careful analysis before deciding on such a degree, or have a cash flow source that you're willing to spend for little return. If you ...


2

I don't think it matters what degree you have. What matters is whether you know how to write and can give editors what they need. My only degree, a BBA, is in accounting. My writing career began after 8 years as an auditor and financial analyst. I took two creative writing courses in college -- that's the only formal training in writing that I ever got. Yet ...


2

Look at it in another way. Don't let your desire to write choose what your education will be. Let your education define what your writings will look like. Just remember that every single person has a different knowledge, and the more specific or broad this knowledge will be, the better his writings will be covered with interesting details. I am a master of ...


2

You won't like this answer: It depends. First: I've never taken a online class. But I know a German online teacher, who led his students to bestsellers. I know this, because the German writing magazines reported on his online course. Yes, now you have to trust the magazines, but well ... Besides that you should inform yourself about the courses from ...


2

My background: wanted to be a programmer, entered a math program in college (because that was how you got to CS), loved the CS but hated the math, switched to technical writing and took the CS from there, and ended up doing a mix of programming, tech writing, and software design for the next (cough) years. Classes and books, even reading good examples, will ...


2

An amateur writer does not need any preparations to start. You do not need a plot. You do not need to know "how to start", "how to plot", "how to write". You need to overcome resistance (look inside this book, if you don't know what I mean). So, you have to start writing. And keep to it. It really doesn't matter if it suits your high ideals or not. Keep ...


2

A few things I've done, with some success, with students: Supervised writing sprints: have the student write in the classroom or during office-hours for a short, intense amount of time. Whatever they write is what they provide for review. After the first few sessions, some of the fear is gone and some of the benefits of the draft/feedback/revision cycle ...


2

General in-text citations like Lauren suggests will almost certainly be sufficient, particularly for a short, informal paper. However, if your paper is longer or a more formal paper (for example, a report as opposed to a shorter research essay), a little more rigorous citing may be in order. But never fear, it's easy to do this. Some high schools even have ...


2

I had a professor who did a synthesis lecture using fruit. She brought in a brown paper grocery bag and started pulling out produce one at a time. The purpose was to come up with a general rule to determine if something was a fruit or a vegetable. Apple: Fruit Peas: Vegetable Lettuce: Vegetable Rule 1: Vegetables are green Carrot: Vegetable Potato: ...


1

Although Lauren and what have pretty much covered it, I also want to add - read. I don't mean craft books, either. I mean, read what you want to write. Read, and read a lot. Hell, read what you don't want to write, so you know what to avoid. Read a lot, and read widely. Writing is so subjective, and you'll find that there are many authors who break the rules ...


1

As long as you have someone who advises you, and get to write a lot, it will help. Further expanding on the question: You can only get so far with only theory or only practice; theory is necessary: it helps you write in certain ways expressly to create effect. Practice is also necessary: it helps you exercise the mindset you need to write. So the best would ...


1

There are many good copywriting software packages, books, and even courses available. I would strongly suggest that you find successful copywriters in your area of interest and geographic area and meet with them. Do your homework. Is the field your are interested in one that will provide the income you want? Do you have the mind-set to cold-call ...



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