Bloom’s Taxonomy & Writing

Led by Benjamin Bloom (1956), educational psychologists at the University of Chicago created this taxonomy for categorizing learning commonly occurring in educational settings. Their work was greatly influential in distinguishing three domains of intelligence (cognitive, [...]

Engaging Your Reader

Academics recognize a salient difference between student writers and professional writers is how the writer regards and relates to the reader. In fact, there’s been considerable exploration about “reader-based” vs “writer-based prose.” Ever since [...]

Nurturing Creativity

Perhaps one of the most challenging and time consuming stages of my writing process is finding out what I want to write. Finding an idea—a good idea is essential. I have often tormented myself sitting [...]

Rethinking Writer’s Block

“I’m not a writer. I don’t want to become a writer. I just want to finish this document. Could you wordsmith it for me?” I hear this, or something like it, all the time at [...]

Striving for Imperfection

When I was a young writer, I saw the written word as carefully crafted and immaculate. Writing was the transfer of knowledge from the expert to me. To be a writer, I believed I had [...]

A Recipe for Semi-accuracy

I like to think of punctuation as spice for words—sprinkle in a pinch of commas, add a dash of dashes, and drop in a semicolon or two for flavor. Semicolons, though, can be like the [...]

Anatomy Matters

John McPhee is a Pulitzer Prize winning reporter who helped reinvent narrative non-fiction. He is also one of my writing heroes and mentors (even if he doesn’t know it.) McPhee has often spoken about one [...]

Trimming the Fat

The best of my writing is marked by a direct, concise style, and yet I confess that it seldom begins that way. In fact, I tend to “overwrite” as I discover what I want to [...]

A Tale of Two Sentences

Every good thing I have written has two introductions: one for the reader, and one for myself. The former is my objective, but I inevitably begin first drafts with the latter. These rough beginnings clarify [...]