Posts in Teach Write


Developing an efficient workflow

Managing Information: A Writer’s Workflow

If you've been following the last three Teach Write columns on managing and organizing research, today is the day: the day we put it all together into a streamlined, efficient workflow. Note that this the method I've arrived at over ... Read More  

Scrivener is an invaluable tool for writing nonfiction

Managing Information: Writing Nonfiction in Scrivener

OK. We've talked about how to take notes and how to track our sources, either manually or using a reference manager. Today I'm going to discuss another fabulous app for writers:¬†Scrivener. The combination of Endnote (reference manager) and Scrivener ... Read More  

Benefits of reference managers

Managing Information: Reference Management Apps, and Why You Need One

Last time, we talked about note-taking skills, and why it's important for writers to know where every piece of their information originally came from. Today, I'm going to introduce a tool that makes this process a lot easier: the ... Read More  

Note-Taking tips for writers

Managing Information: Note-taking Tips for Writers

So far, our discussions of research have focused on how to find interesting, relevant information for our writing projects. Now we're going to look at a skill that's equally important, but less-commonly discussed: how to manage and organize all ... Read More  

Tips for interviewing experts

Research for Writers: How to Interview an Expert

Sooner or later, every writer is going to have to interview an expert. Students might be required to do so for an assignment; for creative writers, interviews are sources of stories, anecdotes, quotes, and details that can't be gleaned ... Read More  

finding experts to interview is easy

Research for Writers: How to Find Experts

Today we're continuing our discussion of research, with a focus on a special type of primary source - the expert. First, what do I mean when I say "expert"? As a former scientist and writer of sciencey books, I ... Read More  

Peer reviewed articles are the gold standars

Research for Writers: How to Find Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Last time we compared primary and secondary sources and talked about how to use them when researching writing assignments or creative projects. Today, we're getting a bit more practical, with some tips for finding and accessing peer-reviewed journal articles, ... Read More  

Primary and Secondary Sources

Research for Writers: Comparing Primary and Secondary Sources

We are going to be devoting many Teach Write columns to the intricacies of research for student and professional writers. Today, we are starting with the fundamentals: the difference between primary and secondary sources. Students need to understand this ... Read More  

Ideas for Writing Assignments

Writing Assignments: Four Tips for Approaching Topics You Didn’t Choose

School is starting soon (however strange and remote it may be), which means... writing assignments! Today on Teach Write, we are talking about coming up with ideas for writing on assigned topics. True story: most of my children's books are ... Read More  

Giants in the Canyons: Where Nonfiction Writers Get Their Ideas

The human brain is really good at filtering out extraneous information. It's a survival instinct meant to focus our attention on things essential to life (ripe cherries!) and things that might kill us (bears!). Grappling with these big picture ... Read More  

The Idea Store: Sources of Inspiration for Children’s Writers

When asked where we get our ideas, writers often joke "The idea store." In an age where we can type "writing prompts" into Google and return literally thousands of starting points for our next masterpieces, it's actually not that ... Read More  

Teach Write: Five Tasks to Complete BEFORE You Start Writing

For the last few months, we've been talking about the first two things we must do before we sit down to write: Identify our audience Who are we writing for? Kids, adults, professional peers, our teachers? What does that audience need from ... Read More  

Teach Write: A Common Misunderstanding About the Purpose of Children’s Literature

For the last few months, we've been looking at the purpose of different genres of writing, and the way the purpose of a document affects our approach to the task. Most of those columns focused on academic writing, but ... Read More  

Teach Write: The (REAL) Purpose of Personal Statements and Letters of Intent

Personal statements and letters of intent... with the possible exception of the dissertation, there are no forms of academic writing quite as likely to turn an ordinary student into a quivering ball of overwhelming anxiety. Deep breaths, all. I am ... Read More  

Teach Write: The Purpose of Lit Reviews, Critical Analyses, and Other Forms of Academic Writing

Last time, I talked about the purpose of the most popular form of academic writing - the argumentative essay. You can also read about the distinct (but closely related) purposes of lab reports and scientific papers here. If you're ... Read More  

Teach Write: What Is an Essay For?

Happy New Year, and welcome to January, also known as "the start of a new semester." Which means it's a perfect time to talk about the most common form of writing assigned by university professors - the essay. Students ... Read More  

Teach Write: Lab Reports and Scientific Papers

If you're new to this column, we've spent the last couple months talking about the influence that our intended audience has on the way we approach a piece of writing, and now we're discussing purpose - the goal of ... Read More  

Teach Write: An Introduction to Purpose

As part of our preparation for writing a new piece, we need to think about audience - who we are writing for and how the knowledge and needs of that audience affect the way we approach our work. Figuring ... Read More  


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