He Said/She Said: Avoiding Gender Bias Part 2

In our previous post, we covered honorifics, but what about pronouns in general? Despite being female, I have bad habits regarding gender neutrality in my speech and my writing. I moved to California from Texas five years ago. In Texas, it’s common practice to approach a group of people and say, “Hey guys!” even when …

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He Said/She Said: Avoiding Gender Bias Part 1

With so many Hollywood executives and actors in the news lately because of sexual harassment allegations, it seems like the perfect time to discuss gender neutrality in writing. While it’s always important to avoid gender bias in writing, it’s especially important in professional documents. Let's begin, shall we? As a Prospective Employee: Let’s say you’re …

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Transitioning from Academic to Professional Writing: Part 2

Welcome to the second - and final - section of this series. Now that you have a more complete understanding of what constitutes academic writing, we can move on and observe professional writing. Professional writing is defined as a type of written communication usually conducted and executed in the workplace. Professional writing usually involves the …

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Transitioning from Academic to Professional Writing: Part 1

Some of our readers might be graduating in December.  As a preview to the types of writing you can expect in your future, we're doing a short series highlighting the differences between academic and professional writing. Here's Part I: Finishing up an academic degree and moving into a professional setting can present its own set …

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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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Meme of the Week #21 – CCCC

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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