Archive

Listed are the posts for January 2013.

Clues to Identifying Exposition Styles

Many styles of expository writing sound the same. Some even have the same, or overlapping, purposes. So how can you tell the difference between them? One of the easiest ways to differentiate the styles is to look for telltale transition words that are specific to a particular style. Check out the most easily identified transitions […]


Definitions of the Most Common Expository Writing Styles

Academic writing focuses on expository writing styles, meaning writing that explains, sets forth point-by-point, or informs. Although straight-forward narrative is sometimes used, more precise writing styles are sometimes preferred to meet specific purposes. Some of the most common expository styles are listed and detailed below for your reference. Illustration: writing that uses examples to support […]


What Makes Academic Writing Different?

One of the most common comments I hear from my college students is, “I’m not a very good writer; my grammar is really bad.” There are some variation on this, but that’s the general idea. Out of the gate, I have two problems with this statement. First, academic writing is about far more than just […]


What all will you find on this blog?

While the main focus of this blog is topics and issues related to academic writing, there is far more to life than school. I could no more write exclusively about academia than I could eat only vegetables – and I like vegetables! Variety is not only “the spice of life,” but critical to a well-rounded […]


Do You Trust Me?

By now, you’re probably wondering who I am and why I’m so critical of the college system that provides my primary income. It’s not wise to “bite the hand that feeds you,” right? Yeah. Well, I’ve never been especially good at following the rules or living by platitudes, wise as they might be. (So how’s […]


Why This Blog?

My hope for this blog is that it will provide an alternative for students, to prevent them from becoming trapped in the remedial course treadmill. Academic writing is a specific type of writing with precise rules. But contrary to most professors’ beliefs, it is NOT that difficult to master. This blog will provide tips for […]


Position paper on College-mandated Remedial Writing Courses

Remedial writing classes in college. Are they really necessary? For a few students – maybe. For over 70% of the college student population? Certainly not! Yet at the community colleges where I teach, roughly 74% of the student population is placed in remedial composition courses based on students’ scores on the “placement test.” At one […]