Voicing the Words on the Page (Part II)

By Luke Coulter Recently, I wrote a blog post about embracing voice when it comes to writing essays. Today, I want to talk a little bit more about voice and how it can help both your writing and your life. Back in 2009, I was teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam. I had very little teaching …

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Voicing the Words on the Page (Part I)

By Luke Coulter As a California native, I never saw the need for a phrase describing the weather phenomenon where it is raining and the sun is shining at the same time. When this happens in the Southern States of the USA, however, people will turn to whoever is near them and loudly proclaim that …

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#2bORnot2B: Meme of the Week

This week at SJSU we're hosting a regional CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication)! A few of our Writing Specialists are speaking during various panels and our faculty are hard at work presenting a workshop as well. So, this Friday, we thought we'd celebrate the art of the conference presentation. Usually when folks think …

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How to write an email to your instructor

If you're reading the title of this post and thinking to yourself, "What? I already know how to write an email - I probably send out at least a hundred each day!" I would still urge you to keep reading. We could all use a little refresher. So: what inspired this post today? This Ph.d …

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Quick Tip #10: The art of the “hook”

Here's a question: would you rather read a biographical essay about Shakespeare that started like this: This paper will be about Shakespeare, a dramatist and poet who is very famous in England and around the world. He was baptized on April 26, 1564 in a small town called Stratford-upon-Avon. [...] or, like this? "To be …

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Quick Tip #8: You and What Audience?

Writing a paper while considering your audience might seem like an impossible task. How can you write for a reader you’ve never met? But what most people don’t realize is that you write for different audiences all the time, especially on social media. How many times have you written a post with a goal of …

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Writing for Change: Helpful Tips

As you've likely seen on social media in the last several weeks, there has been a virtual flood of information being shared about how to contact elected officials asking for change. And, while it has been suggested that phone calls - or showing up in person to town hall events - might be among the …

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On Writing: President Obama and MLK

Throughout his tenure, President Obama has shown that another role should be added to his general job description, that of "Reader in Chief." In an interview published today with The New York Times' chief book critic Michiko Kakutani, President Obama discusses his reading habits.  But he also has this intriguing response about his speechwriting process: …

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Tips and Tricks for Self-Editing: Content

Welcome to our tips and tricks for self-editing series! This four-part Thursday series will help you become more familiar with your own work, so you can improve your content, organization, style, and grammar on your own. This series is aimed so that this situation won’t happen to you: Today, we’re going to start with content. Some …

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The Importance of Audience

Hello again! During our first post, we explored the question of why we write, finding many typical answers to be inaccurate or incomplete. In our last post, we introduced the rhetorical triangle, solidifying the real reason people write: to close the gap in understanding between writer and audience. In this post, we will discuss audience, …

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