Writing

Remember What You Read? Write to Remember

Reading and Memory

(Photo Credit: Blavity)

Although you may think you have the best memory, and maybe you do, after reading so many pieces, you need a strategy to aid your memory about the pieces read. One of the most important strategies for helping you to recall what you read, including remembering some sophisticated analyses and observations made, is to write a summary and/or critical review of each text read. Write the summary or critical review immediately after reading a text. This type of focused writing strategy benefits all readers.

Yes, taking notes about the works one reads is a traditional method that is useful in aiding your recollection. Taking notes, however, does not involve the serious level of focus and engagement that writing summaries and critical reviews necessitates. This greater level of focus and engagement will not only ameliorate your ability to recall what you read but also significantly enhance your comprehension.

You can compose your summaries and critical reviews in a regular notebook or journal, but you might find it more fun to capture your summaries and critical reviews through blogging. By using blogging as your method of penning your summaries and critical reviews, you are able to share your writing with the world and engage and receive feedback from a global audience.

Blogger, Weebly, and WordPress are three excellent blogging platforms that you might consider using to blog your summaries and critical reviews of the pieces you read.

Most of us live busy lives. When you’ve invested your time and energy in reading a work, especially a long book or lengthy essay, do you really want to forget most or everything about the book or essay 6 months or a year after reading the book or essay? Let your summaries and critical reviews of those books and essays support your memory.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison       

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Effective Cover Letter: Win with the First Sentence

Writing Effective Cover Letters

(Photo Credit: Uptown Magazine)

A cover letter presents job seekers with a great opportunity to wow employers with worthwhile content and excellent writing. Elegant writing combined with relevant and substantive content relates significant information about you before the employer has a chance to meet you in person. Who isn’t impressed with beautiful language that captures the true value one can bring to the company/organization? You have a mighty obstacle, though: many others are vying for the same position. The first sentence is one of the most underappreciated parts of a cover letter. Compose a first sentence that doesn’t waste space—understanding that employers don’t want to read another uninspired cover letter.

Communicate Passion in the First Sentence of the Cover Letter

Let employers know you’re excited about the opportunities this position affords you.

Therefore, use the word “enthusiastic” or a similar word early on in the first sentence.

Identify Where You Learned about the Position

Although some employers will explicitly state to indicate where you learned about the position, let them know even if it’s not required.

Also, in your effort to inform where you viewed or heard the position advertised, use a word that will grasp the attention of the employer.

Therefore, use the word “promulgated” instead of “advertised” or “announced.”

Summarize Your Education and Experience in the First Sentence

Inform the employer of your highest degree earned in the relevant area and the relevant number of years of experience you have in the area.

If you don’t a degree or a relevant degree, then simply state your total years of relevant experience. If you don’t have any relevant experience, then just communicate your relevant academic training.

A Sample First Sentence of a Cover Letter

Using the tips given above, you’re now ready to pen a winning first sentence.

Sample Sentence: Enthusiastic about the Store Manager position promulgated at www.walmart.com, I resolved that my Harvard MBA and 12 years of executive retail management experience are markedly apropos for the position.

Need Help Writing Your Cover Letter and Resume?

If you would like assistance with developing your cover letter and resume, please feel free to contact me at antoniomdaniels@gmail.com. The cost of my quality services are quite economical.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

15 Non-Sexist Word or Phrase Substitutes

English teacher helping students

(Photo Credit: Reference)                            

When one writes with his or her reader or audience in mind, the individual employs non-sexist language. An awareness of non-sexist language communicates that you’re a careful, considerate writer. This piece offers 15 non-sexist word or phrase substitutes.

  1. Replace mankind with humanity.
  2. Replace policeman with police officer.
  3. Replace man-hours with work hours.
  4. Replace mailman with police officer.
  5. Replace chairman with chairperson.
  6. Replace a man who with someone who.
  7. Replace anchorman with anchor.
  8. Replace cleaning woman with domestic.
  9. Replace Englishmen with the English.
  10. Replace fireman with firefighter.
  11. Replace foreman with supervisor.
  12. Replace man-made with artificial or manufactured.
  13. Replace postman with mail carrier.
  14. Replace salesman with salesperson.
  15. Replace self-made man with self-made person.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

7 Writing Tips for Communicating with Diverse Cultures

Business Writing

(Photo Credit: Christian Science Monitor)

When sending written communication to business professionals from a culture different than your own, familiarize yourself with their written communication preferences and acclimate your approach, style, and tone to meet their expectations.  The following is a list of 7 highly recommended tips to consider:

1. Use simple, clear language. Use precise words that don’t have the potential to confuse with multiple meanings.

2. Be brief. Use simple sentences and short paragraphs, breaking information into smaller chunks that are easier to capture and translate.

3. Use transitional elements. Using transitions from sentence to sentence and from paragraph to paragraph helps your writing to achieve the cohesion and clarity it needs.

4. Address international correspondences properly.

5. Cite numbers and dates carefully.

6. Avoid slang, idiomatic phrases, and business jargon. Mundane writing is full of slang and idiomatic phrases, phrases that mean more than the sum of all of their literal parts. Your readers may have no idea what you’re saying when you use idiomatic phrases.

7. Avoid humor and other references to popular culture. Jokes and references to popular culture usually rely on subtle cultural issues that might be completely unknown to one’s readers.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Introducing Me and My Blog’s Purpose

Hello, All:

My name is Antonio Maurice Daniels, Ph.D. student and Research Associate in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My primary research interests are African-American male college student-athletes, African-American male students throughout the educational pipeline, and ecological sustainability in higher and postsecondary education.

For my first blog, I wanted to start with explaining the purpose of my blog. The purpose of my blog is to serve as an extension of my purpose in life: to unsettle, unnerve, and unhouse. This blog will be a venue for sharing information and ideas. If you are looking for discussions about serious issues, this will certainly be a place where you will be quite satisfied. I look forward to engaging with you on a constellation of diverse topics.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison