What is Writing Well is Hard?

writingwellishard.com is a free digital tool that helps academic writers to identify the patterns in their own writing, and to compare their work to a sample of their choice. I made writingwellishard.com because I’m not persuaded there’s only one way to write well, and I don’t like that the norms of “good” writing are tooContinue reading “What is Writing Well is Hard?”

#AskDrEditor: Zombie-proof your writing: Tips for making the conceptual concrete

My editing advice column, Ask Dr. Editor, is available through UniversityAffairs.ca. This Ask Dr. Editor piece discusses how alternating between abstract language and concrete details can help you explain complex concepts: “Zombie-proof your writing: Tips for making the conceptual concrete.” Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me or ask me on Twitter at @shortishard.

#AskDrEditor: Simple tricks to add clarity in complex sentences

My editing advice column, Ask Dr. Editor, is available through UniversityAffairs.ca. This Ask Dr. Editor explains why starting your sentence with the word “this” can creative unnecessary ambiguity, and provides a straightforward fix: “Simple tricks to add clarity in complex sentences: The criticism that some academic writing can be difficult to read shouldn’t be ignored.”Continue reading “#AskDrEditor: Simple tricks to add clarity in complex sentences”

#AskDrEditor: Your Reader is a Little Bit Drunk

My editing advice column, Ask Dr. Editor, is now available through UniversityAffairs.ca. The second Ask Dr. Editor question comes from a faculty member who isn’t sure how to advise her trainees as they write their job application materials. Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me or ask me on Twitter at @lertitia.

Making paragraphs flow

We all know that good paragraphs cohere around a single topic and are book-ended by strong, analytical take-away sentences. But how can a disjointed, staccato-sounding paragraph be made to have flow? Flow is an elusive quality — it’s the sense that sentences move logically and seamlessly without repetition or heavy-handed transitioning. Sometimes this flow comesContinue reading “Making paragraphs flow”