Category: composition lessons

After decades of giving writing workshops and over 15 years of teaching college I’ve developed hundreds of original lessons and assignments. Now it’s time for me to give back in thanks for the opportunity to teach and have a writing career. These materials are presented at no charge for you to download and use. Please credit: Ⓒ Copyright Michael Jackman. All Rights Reserved. You can help support my ability to present free online writing lessons by donating a suggested amount via the Paypal link. Any amount is welcome and thank you for your support!

How to Succeed in an Online Course

Dear Students and Teachers: With many of us transitioning to teaching and taking courses online, we are learning that we need new ways to approach these courses. This tip sheet is one I present my students at the beginning of the semester, based on issues that come up in my courses. Though some tips specifically refer to Canvas, which is...

Quick Thoughts About Writing Good Introductions

In my second-semester composition course, a student asked a question about how to write introductions to research papers. I jotted down some notes for her, so my musing today is to offer some quick advice on how to get that research paper started by writing good introductions. This isn’t a “lesson” exactly, but I hope the notes are useful. I...

Tricks Research Writers Use to Find Primary Sources

Overview Researching primary sources is time-intensive. As I like to say, “there are no shortcuts.” But there are tricks research writers use to gather information. Here are four of these researching tricks that can help you more quickly and efficiently locate primary sources:

How to Use Sources More Critically

Overview Students using research studies often are unaware of how to apply critical attention to details. Yet some details of even the most complicated sources are within even the beginning research writer’s ability to analyze. How to Use Sources More Critically shows how you can and should question source data with enough depth to note weaknesses, debatable issues, and limitations,...

Making Claims in Research Writing

Overview A research paper, simply stated, is organized to support a claim, an assertion about the truth or falsity of something. So two of the several ways a research write-up can proceed is by stating that major claim, or thesis, of the paper near the beginning , or by first posing a research question the paper will explore, and then, near the end, make its major...

Reducing Repetition in Your Writing Style

Overview Repetitiveness is tedious for the reader, as it is monotonous. It often comes along with being wordy. A few simple corrections will result in reducing repetition in your writing style. They can make your compositions leaner, clearer, and more professional.