The 5-Paragraph Essay Will Be Your Best Friend in College

There’s a rampant hatred of the five-paragraph essay among academics and writing instructors, and I’ve heard many a teacher express the desire to do away with it completely. The arguments for its destruction usually revolve around students’ stunted writing abilities, especially in terms of writing for a specific audience, but every criticism I’ve found is a criticism of general writing instruction rather than the specific … Continue reading The 5-Paragraph Essay Will Be Your Best Friend in College

You’re Saying More Than You Think You Are

This is not about body language. It has nothing to do with tone of voice or eye contact or facial expressions. This is about the unconscious linguistic associations that people will make while reading your writing, and why ignoring things like etymology and prosody makes you a really bad writer. But first, What is prosody? Prosody, for the purpose of this article1, is the musical … Continue reading You’re Saying More Than You Think You Are

Grammar Exists to Make You a Better Writer

There are two types of people who talk about grammar on the internet: those who pedantically criticize every real and imagined misuse, and those who rant on Tumblr that they’re gonna write however they want cuz that first type can suck it. Both types have entirely missed the point of grammar. Grammar functions as a tool to make your writing readable. That’s it. It’s not … Continue reading Grammar Exists to Make You a Better Writer

The Art of Writing Metaphors

Trends in language are just as real (and often just as cringeworthy) as trends in culture. They fade in and out, they’re remixed and replaced. They’re intensely popular and often very bad ideas. Instead of parachute pants we have superfluous dialogue tags, instead of slap bracelets we have metaphors followed by explanations. It’s a toss up whether explained metaphors started as a misplaced trendy idea … Continue reading The Art of Writing Metaphors

How Not to Write a Love Triangle

Love triangles are one of the most overused tropes out there today. In any kind of writing. Novels, movies, television shows, comics—all of them include characters fighting over who gets to love someone. Like any bit of writing, love triangles can be used well. But they can also ruin an otherwise good story. There’s no good way to write a love triangle, because the minute … Continue reading How Not to Write a Love Triangle