This week, I’m continuing the occasional “How to Write” series with a look at the power of an essay’s conclusion. English teacher friends, here is the three-sentence formula that often turns a B+ essay into an A- in my classroom: Continue reading

New(ish) teacher Kelli was wondering this week how to help her middle schoolers slow down and gather their thoughts before writing. Our email conversation led me to build this free set of tools that’ll hopefully help all English teachers. Continue reading

About eight years ago, I stopped giving out-of-class writing assignments and, instead, decided to have all major papers written in class. I told my students this was because I wanted to prepare them for the high-stakes timed essays of the AP, EAP, and SAT exams. This, however, was only a half-truth. My larger motivation was that I’d grown weary of the stress and lost prep periods dealing with case-after-case of plagiarism. Continue reading

In April, the Modern Language Association folks revamped their suggested citation formatting to be a better fit in our digital age. The release of the 8th edition of the MLA Handbook gives us quite a few changes to help students manage the mound of electronic resources now available and, while these changes are super-helpful, they made my old lesson materials completely obsolete. So what did I do on my first week of summer vacation? I took to the pool with a copy of the new MLA handbook. True, the excitement never ends around here. Continue reading