This guy was a true believer.

You could tell by the way he smiled. It was that slightly awkward, toothy smile that lasted too long for comfort. It was almost conspiratorial, as if we were sharing a secret. I recognised it because it was the same smile that the two gentlemen wear who come knocking on my door once a year.Meer lezen over “This guy was a true believer.”

Embrace the Cliche!

Last Friday I asked the students in my Technical Writing group what sentence they found the most difficult to write. They answered the same way all my writing students do every time I ask that question: the first one. Once they have got started they are usually able to continue, but it is writing thatMeer lezen over “Embrace the Cliche!”

Why I think that lectures that don’t get applause at the end have failed (and how I think you can fix that).

When we design courses for our students, at some point we decide that the best thing to do is to put all our students in a large room and talk to them for 90 minutes. Usually, we do this because it’s cheap, which is not a good reason. Often, we do this to convey information,Meer lezen over “Why I think that lectures that don’t get applause at the end have failed (and how I think you can fix that).”

How a Skinhead’s excellent presentation fails at the very last moment.

One of the most successful ways to end a presentation is to bring back an image, concept, person or something else that you used in the introduction. Part of the success of this trick lies in the fact that the audience don’t know that you are going to so this, so they are usually pleasantlyMeer lezen over “How a Skinhead’s excellent presentation fails at the very last moment.”

Group Writing, Part Deux

From my previous post you may have got the impression that I don’t want students to write in groups. Of course this is nonsense. I just wanted to illustrate what can go wrong if writing projects are poorly organised. So here is a small piece on how I think a writing course could be integratedMeer lezen over “Group Writing, Part Deux”

Questions, questions.

Sometimes I drive my students mad. And I do it on purpose too. You see, instead of giving them answers to their questions, I give them more questions. I’ll give you an example. Student: “Please, Bob, should this trade-off table be included in the text or should I move it to the appendix?” Bob: “Well,Meer lezen over “Questions, questions.”

Answer the questions or question the answers?

Sometimes I drive my students mad. And I do it on purpose too. You see, instead of giving them answers to their questions, I give them more questions. I’ll give you an example. Student: “Please, Bob, should this trade-off table be included in the text or should I move it to the appendix?” Bob: “Well,Meer lezen over “Answer the questions or question the answers?”

Gesprekken oefenen maakt je een betere schrijver

Originally posted on Als Brugman:
Overtuigend schrijven is voor veel studenten niet gemakkelijk; het is lastig om te bedenken wat je tegenstander zou kunnen zeggen. Je denken is begrensd. Nu is uit eerder onderzoek gebleken dat discussie-opdrachten voor studenten onderling, studenten kan helpen om die grenzen te slechten, maar nu heeft Columbia University  aangetoond dat…