These OWL resources will help you with the types of writing you may encounter while in college. The OWL resources range from rhetorical approaches for writing, to document organization, to sentence level work, such as clarity. For specific examples of writing assignments, please see our Common Writing Assignments area.
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Then there are those to whom book reviews are simply the continuation of politics by other means. The point here is not to ask that reviewers be “fair” to writers. With all the world’s troubles today, fairness to this minuscule segment of society must surely rank far down the list of priorities. The real issue is not fairness to writers but honesty with readers. Readers are, after all, the ultimate reason for writing, as well as the source of the money that pays to keep alive the magazines and newspapers in which book reviews appear. They are not paying to be lied to.
There is, for example, a whole genre of log-rolling book reviews. A reviews B’s book with lavish praise today and, next year, B reciprocates with lavish praise of A’s new book. With computerized lists being so easy to maintain, one wonders why book review editors don’t keep track of who has reviewed whom before assigning a new book to be reviewed. Revenge book reviews could also be minimized the same way.
But don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe that all editors should be shot at sunrise; Midge Decter is an exception. So is Jim Michaels, who edited Forbes magazine for many years. If I thought about it for another day or so, I might come up with a third example.
Pedestrian uniformity and shriveled brevity are the holy grail of copy-editors, the bureaucrats of the publishing industry. Like other bureaucrats, copy-editors tend to have a dedication to rules and a tin ear for anything beyond the rules. Seldom is there even the pretense that their editorial tinkerings are going to make the writing easier for the reader to follow, more graceful, more enjoyable, or more memorable.
A pseudo-footnote is more than a lapse in good form. It is a betrayal of the reader that casts in doubt everything else that the writer says. Who, after all, can check up on every other statement the writer makes, even when these have legitimate footnotes? The pseudo-footnote, however, can be a valuable clue to the character of the writer. After all, you don’t need to eat a whole egg to know that it is rotten.
A special corruption that has crept into academic writings in recent times is the pseudo-footnote. This is the footnote that seems to direct the reader to the source substantiating some statement, but which in fact does no such thing. For example, one author told her readers that The Bell Curve declares blacks to be racially inferior in intelligence and footnoted this statement. However, the footnote itself listed the authors of The Bell Curve, the city where it was published, the publisher, and the date of publication—but no page. In other words, she could cite nothing whatsoever to back up her claim, but chose to create the illusion that she could with a pseudo-footnote. Sometimes it is legitimate to cite a book without a page, as when one refers to the general history of the Chinese minorities in various southeast Asian countries and then cites The Chinese in Southeast Asia by Victor Purcell. But a pageless cite to a specific claim is a pseudo-footnote.
While my brief stint as an editor made me understand the necessity for such people, it provided no blanket excuse for all their behavior. Pointing out unclear passages, or even suggesting a complete reorganization of a manuscript, are legitimate editorial functions. Becoming an unwanted co-author is not. But by far the worst thing that editors do is to unleash those anonymous vandals known as copy-editors.
If you need a custom essay, research paper, term paper, thesis paper, SAT Essay Intro Paragraph Structure - Magoosh1 Jul 2013 In the New SAT's essay prompt, you will write a response to an as an essay by past political leader), or a recently-written editorial about a modern issue.
If academic writings were difficult because of the deep thoughts involved, that might be understandable, even if frustrating. Seldom is that the case, however. Jaw-breaking words often cover up very sloppy thinking. It is not uncommon in academic writings to read about people “living below subsistence.” The academic writers I edited seemed to have great difficulty accepting my novel and controversial literary doctrine that the whole purpose of writing is so that people can read the stuff later on and know what you are trying to say. These professors seemed to feel that, once they put their priceless contributions to mankind on paper, a sacred obligation fell upon the reader to do his damndest to try to figure out what they could possibly mean.
If, through extra-sensory perception or some other miraculous process, a writer could determine in advance the copy-editor’s stylistic preferences and slavishly followed them in his writing, the manuscript would still come back with changes. Making changes is what copy-editors do. An old song from the musical “Showboat” said, “fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly.” Editors gotta edit.