Read an Excerpt
Guess what? You are a writer. Yeah. Really. You’ve put words on paper before, right? That’s all it takes.
It’s not enough just to write, of course. It takes more to be a good writer and even more to be a great one. Common wisdom says you need natural talent or many frustrating hours banging at a keyboard and possibly yelling at family members or pets. If you’re in college or getting ready to start, you might be looking at years of papers and wondering how you’ll ever graduate without going cuckoo. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Writing, even academic writing, doesn’t have to be a chore or an impossible task. It can actually be enjoyable if you know how to find the fun.
Furthermore, it’s important for a lot of reasons. Of course you want to get good grades in college, but writing isn’t something you simply ride out. It keeps right on going past graduation.
If you’re going to or preparing for college, presumably you’d like to get a job college-educated people get. Well, every time you tailor your resume or craft a cover letter to apply for one of those jobs, guess what? That’s writing. When you’re employed, every time you have to deliver a memo or a report or a presentation, you’re writing some more.
But it’s not just your professional life. Maybe you’re getting married and composing your own vows. Maybe you’re the best man/maid of honor and you have to give a speech. Writing again.
In fact, the skills you gain in the writing process follow you everywhere. Whenever you need to persuade someone, you call on a writing skill. Whenever you need to educate someone, you call on a writing skill. When you’re telling your friends that crazy thing that happened to you last weekend… I bet you can fill in the blank now.
Writing skills are used for important things and fun things, so it’s a shame that too often they’re taught in the least fun and most stressful way possible. Too often this act of creativity gets turned into a high-stakes showdown. The attitude becomes “Who cares about innovative ideas if there are two commas out of place?”
So this book flips that emphasis. It’s not a grammar book, because there are thousands of books to teach you those skills. You can read books written in a casual tone that explain grammar concerns in an easy to understand, low stress way. I encourage you to pick up one of these books and learn what it has to share.
This book doesn’t simply try to make writing easy. This book teaches you how to find joy in the process. This book teaches you how to make writing fun.
Yes, I said fun.
Fun, even if you flunked English class in high school. Fun, even if you prefer numbers to words. Fun, even if you haven’t tried a formal composition in years and you only write down the grocery list because if you didn’t, you would come home with thirty pounds of cat litter and charcoal and nothing to make dinner with. Absolutely, thigh-slapping, laugh-out-loud fun.
About the Book
Author: Connie B. Dowell
Genre: Non-Fiction, Educational
How would you like to
- perform with the passion of an Oscar winning actor,
- compete with the drive and fervor of an Olympic athlete, or
- teach like you’ve got a Nobel Prize slung around your neck
all while doing your homework?
Believe it or not, you can do all of this and much more in the course of writing your college papers. This book takes you through the overlapping stages of the writing process, using game mechanics, cooperation, and learning styles to help you have as much fun as possible and take charge of your own education. With exercises and activities for groups and individuals, this text focuses on the meat of writing, the big picture elements that matter most in both college papers and real world writing situations, all with an eye toward enjoyment.
Sit down, crack open this guide, and give your favorite notebook a big hug. You may not have a choice about writing your papers, but who says you can’t love them?
Connie B. Dowell is a writing center coordinator and freelance editor. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. She lives in Virginia with her husband, where they both consume far more coffee than is probably wise
Twitter at @ConnieBDowell
Facebook at facebook.com/editorcbdowell
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