of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Thoughts on Writing

Temperatures reached 100+ today.  Ran errands in the morning before feasting on Church’s Chicken.  Then, an afternoon of writing and working in my home office.

I drafted an essay on students who file frivolous complaints at the end of the semester in the hope of raising their grades.  The draft is good in that it is often easier to edit text than it is to draft it.  But it is far from publishable.  The point is there, but at over 800 words, the text is too wordy.  Furthermore, to finish the essay, more work is required.

I have always thought that one of the difficulties with the essays we assign to our students is that they are polished and students do not see the effort and revisions and time it takes to produce the work.  That is one of the reasons why I like to share my writing and research with my students.  By showing them my drafts and sharing my struggles, it helps them to understand that the work of writing takes work.  Writers do not have polished prose with their first drafts.

Since I began writing the Microblog, I have also showed students the difference in the quality of writing here and the quality of the postings in Etena Sacca-vajjena, my teaching blog.  The Microblog is first draft quality and is not intended to be polished prose.

Millheiser, Ian.  “96 Year Old Latino Former Governor Detained by Border Patrol in 100 Degree Heat.”  Think Progress.  (6 July 2012)

George McGovern Nails hat Patriotism is in One Sentence.”  MoveOn.org (5 July 2012)

Cook, John and Stephen Lewandowski.  The Debunking HandbookSkeptical Science.  (2011)

The Debunking Handbook, a guide to debunking misinformation, is now freely available to download. Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there’s no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation.


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