Writing

Why Your Choice of Verb Helps You Evaluate a Text – TUB-Thump 034

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Do I demonstrate a point? Or do I merely claim it?

Sometimes you want to refer to a text in a positive light, while other times you want to pull back a bit on the emotion.

That’s where your choice of verbs comes in. The words you use in your coursework matter.

The super-useful pocket guide, Writing For University, by Jeanne Godfrey, describes the power of using different verbs to show “your evaluation of what the author does”.

Episode 034 of TUB-Thump checks out the different words you can use, depending on the message you want to convey. You need never again confuse someone illustrating and establishing something with someone claiming or assuming!

I believe you’ll find this useful. But, hey, I’ll now let you be the judge of that!


Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

What’s the Best Way to Write Your Essay? That Depends on You. – TUB-Thump 027

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Do you like to plan ahead before you work, or do you like to crack on with a clean canvas?

I hadn’t really considered this so much until I’d seen a presentation by Tristram Hooley with various writing tips.

A couple of Hooley’s slides look at two different types of working that resonate with me, because they have a similar outlook to one of the ways I look at learning new things.

For learning, I like to look at the bigger picture and drill down to the details from there. But some people start with some choice details and work outward to uncover that big picture.

In many ways, how you choose to write may have similarities in that learning choice too. And that’s what I talk about in Episode 027 of TUB-Thump.

I wonder if you’ve read this plan of the episode first, or if you’ve jumped straight into listening. I guess that depends on how you like to do things!

What’s your choice?


Here are the show notes for the 5-min episode:

  • 01:00 – Tristram Hooley’s presentation: Writing. How, why, when and what?
  • 01:20 – Planning writers versus generative writers.
  • 01:55 – Make a plan and then write a first draft or write a first draft and make a plan off the back of it?
  • 02:30 – One of these ways of working is likely to work better for you than the other. But it’s always worth trying the other way of working to see what you can learn about your process.
    I’ve talked about that before. Hear more on Episode 023 of TUB-Thump, How to Change Your Perspective and Why That Change is Good.

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

Can You Develop Your Academic Writing With a Copywriting Formula? – TUB-Thump 021

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I enjoyed writing academic essays most when I was being creative in the process.

My aim was to guide the reader on a journey of discovery. A couple of times, I was a bit cheeky and argued against an idea that didn’t have much to argue against.

The best way to do that was to build up a compelling story and back it up with as many relevant points as possible.

Since I was writing about fiction on these occasions, I was demonstrating how perspectives aren’t all the same. But in order to do this, I needed to take the reader with me. After all, what’s the point in them getting lost after turning the first corner?

I was being cheeky, yes. But I wasn’t being kamikaze. The aim was to have fun, not lose marks!

It helps to look at different styles of writing, no matter what you’re working on.

For instance, academic coursework uses a particular language and flow. Yet that writing can still be improved by borrowing from fiction, copywriting, and other aspects of the written word.

That’s why today’s TUB-Thump takes a look at Pamela Wilson’s 7-part formula for content marketing.

Marketing may not be your first port of call, but it could help you see your writing from a different perspective, or let you tweak your style in creative ways.

What creative flourishes can you borrow today?


Here are the show notes for the 9-min episode:

  • 00:30 – Copyblogger FM show on making content marketing easier.
  • 01:00 – I introduce Pamela Wilson’s 7-part formula for writing content. See the infographic below for more detail. And if you’re really interested in content marketing, check out her new book, Master Content Marketing.
  • 02:20 – Narrative and flow are important, no matter what you’re writing.
  • 03:05 – Leading the reader in and getting them involved. “Why am I here? What’s this all about? Why should I care? What’s interesting about this?”
  • 04:50 – Pack a punch in your summary/conclusion by reinforcing your ideas and findings.
  • 05:15 – Call to action. Not quite the same with academic essays, but there’s still some scope.
  • 06:40 – Steven Pressfield: Writing the hero into the story, whatever the writing. The hero’s journey gets the reader hooked. “I’ve had my own hero’s journey, and you have too. We’re both still on those journeys.”

Pamela Wilson has helpfully published an infographic with her 7-part formula. Like I say, it’s not an alternative to academic writing, but it may give you an extra creative jolt:

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Like this infographic? Get more content marketing advice that works from Copyblogger.


Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!

How to Confidently Refer to Other Texts in Your Writing – TUB-Thump 014

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Talking about other people, concepts, and theories in your coursework doesn’t need to be difficult. But it does need getting your head around.

That’s why Episode 014 of TUB-Thump is a quick-fire round of advice on how to confidently refer to others as you write. And you’ll get my take on what it really means to be original in your writing.

I’ve even got a bell to identify each of the points as I whizz along. What’s not to like?

That said, I was clearly too near the mic in today’s edition of the show, and I said “put” far too many times…a lethal combination! Bonus game: count how many times I annoy the mic by making a P sound.

 


Here are the show notes for the 7-min episode:

  • 00:50 – Originality in your writing isn’t about creating brand new theories and ideas. It’s generally about bringing your voice to what’s already out there and casting your own mark on it. That means referring to other people, other theories, and other works.
  • 01:10 – Explain in your own words.
  • 01:50 – Get the meaning/explanation right when putting it in your own words.
  • 02:10 – Use a direct quotation when making a powerful point or their specific words matter.
  • 03:00 – Don’t spend too long describing in your own words. Distil it so you make the point, then get on with your own point.
  • 03:40 – Refer to a range of texts. Don’t focus too much on a limited number of sources.
  • 04:15 – Let your voice shine through.
  • 04:40 – Make all your references abundantly clear. The most annoying thing is accidental plagiarism (useful video from the University of Reading below).

Music for TUB-Thump is Life, by Tobu, which is released under a Creative Commons license. Check out more of Tobu’s great sounds on Soundcloud, YouTube, and his official site.

TUB-Thump is part of the Learning Always Network.

Keep being awesome!