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lecture_1_2 - 21A.100 Prof Howe Writing and Pain 1 INTRO We...

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21A.100 Prof. Howe Writing and Pain 1. INTRO We all suffer in writing, one way or another. We have trouble writing or we get writer’s block. But there are ways to go at it that are less painful. a. Divide and conquer the rules of writing. Taking them one at a time will make learning the rules earlier. i. We’ll keep nagging you on your writing. Take the time to go over the comments we write on your papers 2. PAY ATTENTION Most crucial thing is to pay attention to what you’re doing. We’re all guilty of not paying attention. It causes you to make mistakes you’d never make normally. a. We would never say or write things like: They is going or I are going, but by the end of a sentence our verb may not agree with our subject in number b. When I was living in Cleveland I am very happy - When you’re writing papers you may not notice that you changed from past tense to present tense, but if you take the time to read your paper over, you’ll catch these errors. 3. HOW TO PAY ATTENTION TO ONE’S OWN WORDS This is difficult. There are all sorts of blocks that keep us from hearing what we’ve actually written. There are some devices you can use: a. Academics come back to their papers after a few days so that they have a fresh perspective on the paper. b. You can also have a friend or colleague read your paper. It is NOT OK to write your paper with someone, but you can certainly have someone else read it over for you. c. Another option for you is to read the paper out loud. It will cause all the mistakes to jump out at you. 4. UNLEARNING BAD HABITS A large part of the problem is unlearning what you’ve been taught. Un-learn your bad habits.
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a. Either you’ve been taught to be overly complicated and formal, or you assume that’s what you should do. Strive for simplicity and clarity.
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