About John Dunham

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So far John Dunham has created 36 blog entries.

Show, Don’t Tell

2019-11-17T00:36:27+00:00Tags: , , , |

If writing is a public act, then, your purpose as a writer is to ignite reader’s interest and understanding of what you are writing about. The “Show, Don’t Tell” strategy emphasizes the reader’s experience of the material through the detail presented through action, concrete language, thoughts, sensory imagery, and […]

The Descriptive Outline: Revising for Content and Organization

2019-11-17T00:38:04+00:00Tags: , , , , , , |

Descriptive Outlines & Revising for Content and Organization

Many writers rely on the organizational value of outlines to organize their thoughts in the initial stages of writing. Outlines can also provide a useful framework to help ensure organization during and after writing. This exercise provides a way to check for idea development. Use this […]

Revising for Clarity and Precision: The Paramedic Method

2020-04-28T22:14:10+00:00Tags: , , , , |

Perhaps you’ve been told that your writing is wordy or that your heavy phrasing confuses your reader. Most writers face this problem of “overwriting.”  However, clear sentences are integral to clarity and facilitating your reader’s understanding. To ensure greater readability, try using the Paramedic Method described here.

The “Paramedic Method” is an easy, do-it yourself approach […]

Reading Your Reader

2019-11-18T22:22:13+00:00Tags: , , , , , , , , |

“You need a comma here. Also, what does this sentence mean?”

I know unclear comments are just a part of getting feedback, but I still do a double-take when I see them. What were you, my reader, thinking? Did you mean my sentence is unclear, and adding a comma will make it clear? Or did you […]

Finding Clarity Despite the Clutter

2020-04-23T20:22:10+00:00Tags: , , , , |

Like many, I multi-task throughout the day, juggling various responsibilities at the computer. Today, I’m juggling emails, finishing reports, editing texts, and writing this reflection.  If I am not careful, a variety of documents stack upon each other on my screen, and multiple internet browsers lie open, tempting me to […]

Formatting Tips for Track Changes

2020-06-04T22:11:10+00:00Tags: , , , , , |

At the Writers’ Exchange, we honor the writer’s authority on the manuscript. As a result, WEX Editors use Tracking Changes for their in-text corrections and comments. If you’re working with a document that has been reviewed by a WEX editor, try opening the “Review Pane” (found when you click on […]

Rethinking Writer’s Block

2019-11-18T22:28:58+00:00Tags: , , , , |

“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 work. If someone really has to put some words down, they follow up with, “I can’t write. I have writer’s […]

Striving for Imperfection

2019-11-18T22:36:49+00:00Tags: , , , |

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 to stand behind the lectern of perfection and enlighten my audience with flawless ideas—but such writing always eluded me. I […]

Learning to Accept Feedback

2019-11-20T04:07:40+00:00Tags: , , , |

When I finish a draft, I want to hear how a reader reacts to my thinking and the way I’ve expressed it. I know from experience that this feedback will help make my next draft clearer and more effective.

But knowing feedback’s value doesn’t keep me from pushing back against what I’m hearing, from thinking, momentarily, […]