Tag Archives: Writing

It’s That Time of the Semester

It’s mid-term exam season! These are some checks you should do before turning in any take-home essay exam for a history class. If you have any ambition to do well, you should be at the point where you think you’ve … Continue reading

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“Grades are so subjective”

Actually, they’re probably less subjective than you think. And to the degree that there is still some subjectivity, it probably works in your favor, not against you. First, in many classes these days grades may be almost completely objective, as … Continue reading

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Bias

When historians read a text, we are trained to filter what it tells us through an understanding of who wrote it, with what purposes and with what intended audience. Author, audience, and purpose are all important factors in shaping the … Continue reading

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What is Academic Writing?

An academic essay is best defined by the PURPOSE that distinguishes it from other kinds of non-fiction writing: It aims to identify and resolve complex problems in relation to ongoing discussions among fellow thinkers about the most difficult or abstract … Continue reading

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Being Original

Many students have the mistaken assumption that having an argument or thesis means they have to prove that some professional academic who wrote a book is wrong about his own specialty (an obviously impossible task for an undergraduate writing a … Continue reading

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Billable Hours

How does an academic spend her time? Mostly out of your sight, which is why so few people actually understand the nature of academic work. What people see is our classroom teaching, and maybe our “office hours,” designated times when … Continue reading

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Who is “the reader”?

Professors (and editors) tend to talk a lot about revising your writing to suit “your reader.” Who exactly is this person? The following description of the academic reader may be helpful to students, undergrads and grads. Your reader for any … Continue reading

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Grades — What Are They Good For?

When I learn that a student is working to maintain a 4.0 grade point average, I see red flags waving all over the place. A 4.0 does not particularly impress me, and it does worry me. In my experience (and … Continue reading

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