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Writing is as pervasive in our world and as essential to our life and development as air. From the first childhood struggles to proclaim our identity in letters, writing is both the way we think of ourselves and the way the world perceives us (one of the subthemes of the book "Flowers for Algernon," developed from the short story, "Charly").

Charly

Writing is not only the primary way in which we communicate with each other; it's also the primary way in which we organize and develop our own thoughts. If we can't commit an idea to writing in a way that communicates itself to the reader, we probably haven't really understood the idea on a level that communicates something to ourselves.

Our daily speech overflows with idioms that proclaim our lack of vocabulary. How many things do we "do," for lack of a more precise verb? We do lunch rather than dine together; we do a movie instead of watching it, and we may accompany the movie by doing a pizza and some beer, or a bit of weed. But we don't cook the pizza, or order it, or eat it. We may as well have sat on it, or seen who could throw it up to the ceiling and get it to stick. All of them are equally possible things to "do" with the pizza, if not equally appropriate.

And as I talk about and implement the basics of writing, I also include the more advanced "thing" necessary for good writing; I vary my style and sentence structure, along with the length of the sentences. I sometimes quite consciously use parallel construction in both sentence formation and tone, to subconsciously persuade the writer that if the first sentence is good, so is the second. And then I break up the monotony by pointing out how really dull it would be if all my sentences sounded like those two.

On Writing Well Writing is thinking. Writing is honing an idea by choosing the words that represent the idea. That's why for the basics I recommend William Zinsser's "On Writing Well," while for clarity of communication I recommend Zinsser's "Writing to Learn." Writing to Learn

The section on writing could have gone in virtually any section of my webpage. And that's precisely why it's here in the philosophy of learning section; because everything in this section is fundamental to any other form of learning.

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Learn How to Write

How can I be more eloquent in my writing?

How Bad is Your Writing?

How can I improve my writing skills?

How do you signal a grammar problem in an essay?

How do I know what my writing style is? I want to be some form of a writer when I get older... Any tips?

Word Precision (or Don't make Your Professor Laugh at You)

How do Harvard students or other Ivy League students build their vocabulary and speech skills?

Why are there “grammar police” on Quora who feel it’s their responsibility to edit grammatical errors in questions?

How do I write a main idea in a sentence?

Is it correct to say a stupid fool?

How can I write without using the word "the"?

every

comment

Can I get into Northeastern University as an international student from India, if I am willing to pay full tuition in cash?

What are the biggest challenges faced by medical professionals who have strong foreign accents and speak English as a second language?

How do I improve, increase, and understand my vocabulary skills better?

How do Harvard students or other Ivy League students build their vocabulary and speech skills?

How do I write an essay on court cases?

What is the best way to learn English tenses?

Which is the correct expression: "make the decision on whether or not to go" or "make the decision whether or not to go"?

Should I even consider Harvard/Stanford/Yale, etc when I can't fit my answers into the designated space?

How do I write good articles about a subject that I don't know anything about?


Many people think that writing and writing essays are the same thing, but writing is a skill unto itself, regardless of topic. Essays have an assigned topic; the topic may have been assigned by you, or by the program to which you are applying, but the content is fully as important as the structure and style.

bad writing

Writing itself, however, can be persuasive or objective; entertaining or educational; philosophical or whimsical. Each requires the mastering of different skills, and the consciousness of the intended result in every choice of sentence, word, even punctuation mark. So I will discuss how to write essays – personal statements, statements of purpose, diversity statements, explanations of problems, and choices of programs or schools. But this section is about writing as an art unto itself.

Is using "should of" instead of "should have" grammatically correct?

Do you ever get mixed up when to use have or has?

Which sentence is more grammatically correct? ‘Jonas had known he was playing with fire, since the day of the first surgery.’ or ‘Jonas knew he was playing with fire, since the day of the first surgery.’?

What is the nature of 'it' in grammar?

What is the correct way to use the word "yet"?

When should ‘is’ or ‘are' be used?

What is the proper usage of "wrote" compared to "written"?

We offer two different courses to improve your writing skills.

  • One is an elementary course in sentence structure, verb forms, punctuation, and parts of speech. It includes roughly 20 lessons of about two hours each. The textbook for the course is
    the Harbrace College Handbook.
  • Another is a course on writing style, and focuses on clarity, conciseness, and persuasiveness.It consists of 5 to 10 lessons of about two hours each, with significantly more homework. The textbooks are primarily the two Zinsser books linked above.

The fee for each course is $500 USD. Teaching can be done in person, but Skype is equally acceptable.

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