Introduction to the Importance of Introductions

Via Tim Bulkeley [Read more…]

Webster’s Dictionary Defines

As a student at university, you should know the base meaning of words and treat that as a given. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, you should definitely look it up. But you should not treat looking a word up as though that were university-level research, rather than you getting caught up [Read More…]

Having Purpose

My students were asked to evaluate the sources they used in their papers this semester. More than one has told me that a particular article or book is reliable because it “has purpose.” What on Earth is that supposed to mean?! I am not sure whether I am more concerned by the fact that students [Read More…]

Passive-Aggressive Voice

Via $%@! Academics Say. There is also version not customized for academics (although it may not make sense if you don’t like donuts): [Read more…]

The Writing Process

I have a sabbatical coming up in the Fall, and so I thought I would share this pie chart, which breaks down what is in store for me each day in the coming months… [Read more…]

Thus Saith The Dictionary

ThisĀ comic from Robot Hugs explores someĀ of the many reasons why students should not start an essay with “Webster’s Dictionary defines X as…” I had been thinking about blogging on this topic even before the cartoon was drawn to my attention, and so I decided to share it and offer some thoughts on the subject. The [Read More…]

Providing Help Where Needed

This cartoon reached me via Jim West. It made me laugh, but also caused me to ponder the tendency many of us have to judge those who do not articulate themselves in as polished or grammatically correct a fashion as one might ideally hope. We don't know how much Jesus had learned of reading and [Read More…]

Re-Examining Spelling and Pronunciation in Coptic

I am grateful to David Mihalyfy for sending me a copy of his recent article, and I want to draw it to the attention of readers who have an interest in the Coptic language. The full title of the article is “RE-EXAMINING SPELLING AND PRONUNCIATION IN COPTIC: A Case For The Intervocalic And Post-Nasal Allophonic [Read More…]

How To Write a Song

Via Daniel Florien, I became aware of the video above, “How To Write a Worship Song” in five minutes or less. I’ve been doing some songwriting lately, and so I appreciated the humor. But the truth is that much human music, secular or sacred, is the same chord progressions with some pinky movements, and lyrics [Read More…]

Redaction Criticism, Star Trek, and the Bible (Director’s Cut)

To err is human. To learn to take the time to revise and improve on first drafts of one’s work may not be divine but it sure is important. In the freshman class I teach, students are required to submit a first draft of most papers, which is then graded and given feedback, after which [Read More…]