Monthly Archives: January 2014

International Students Say the Darndest Things #2 (Personal Statement Edition)

A student sent me his “Statement of Interesting” for his university application. It didn’t live up to its name. Still, I’m looking forward to reading his Letter of Intentional. I just hope he doesn’t receive a Notice of Rejectionable. I’m also not sure the selection committee would have been convinced by:  “…the many learning experiences […]

Why You Need an Editor #6 (Zoological Edition)

I can’t say I share this writer’s perspective on empathy: “If I grow extremely close to a person, I may almost feel that she is a parrot of me.” Squawk! Polly wants an editor! Squawk! And in an unappetizing academic gaffe: “The program gave him only two moths to prepare.” They’re delicious with a little […]

Why You Need an Editor #5

This appeared in a student’s journal about his university experiences: “I was first to arrive for class, and only the professor was in the room. We smiled and knotted.” I know, I know, you’re consenting adults and all, but that kind of thing could land your professor in a heap of trouble. Next time you’d […]

International Students Say the Darndest Things

ME: One of the most important strategies for excellent academic writing is to be as specific as possible. Highly specific writing is much more convincing. Let’s do a quick exercise just to make sure we all understand what it means to be specific. I’ll say a phrase and you make it more specific. Ok. “The […]