📑 Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin | Project Gutenberg

Annotated Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin (gutenberg.org)
About this time I met with an odd volume of the Spectator.[18] It was the third. I had never before seen any of them. I bought it, read it over and over, and was much delighted with it. I thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it. With this view I took some of the papers, and, making short hints of the sentiment in each sentence, laid them by a few days, and then, without looking at the book, try'd to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand. Then I compared my Spectator with the original, discovered some of my faults, and corrected them. But I found I wanted a stock of words, or a readiness in recollecting and using them, which I thought I should have acquired before that time if I had gone on making verses; since the continual occasion for words of the same import, but of different length, to suit the measure, or of different sound for the rhyme, would have laid me under a constant necessity of searching for variety, and also have tended to fix that variety in my mind, and make me master of it. Therefore I took some of the tales and turned them into verse; and, after a time, when I had pretty well forgotten the prose, turned them back again. I also sometimes jumbled my collections of hints into confusion, and after some weeks endeavored to reduce them into the best order, before I began to form the full sentences and compleat the paper. This was to teach me method in the arrangement of thoughts. By comparing my work afterwards with the original, I discovered many faults and amended them; but I sometimes had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method of the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer, of which I was extremely ambitious. My time for these exercises and for reading was at night, after work or before it began in the morning, or on Sundays, when I contrived to be in the printing-house alone, evading as much as I could the common attendance on public worship which my father used to exact of me when I was under his care, and which indeed I still thought a duty, thought I could not, as it seemed to me, afford time to practise it.  

Even the greats copied or loosely plagiarized the “masters” to learn how to write.The key is to continually work at it until you get to the point where it’s yours and it is no longer plagiarism.

This was also the general premise behind the plotline of the movie Finding Forrester.


Annotated as an example during a webinar when a teacher mentioned that students were sometimes plagiarizing work in a composition class. Sometimes starting with someone else’s words can actually help us. The key is getting to the core and eventually using our own words and thoughts.

👓 Webinar: Research on Annotation in English and Composition | Hypothesis

Read Webinar: Research on Annotation in English and Composition by Jeremy Dean (Hypothes.is)

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article entitled “The Fall, and Rise, of Reading” arguing, in part, that digital annotation can restore discipline to college students’ reading habits (annotate it with us at that Hypothesis-enabled link). While we agree, at Hypothesis we are less concerned with whether students have read — reading compliance — than in how they read, with how their reading and annotating practices inform other skills like critical thinking and writing.

Last fall, we shared a research project on the impact of Hypothesis annotation in teaching reading and writing. That group has since conducted their research, presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and is in the process of writing up their findings and conclusions for publication. Since then we’ve learned about or been involved with several other research projects looking at the role of annotation in the teaching of composition and literature. Next Thursday, we will host a webinar bringing together scholars doing this research in conversation.

Join our free webinar, 12–1pm PT/3–4pm ET on Thursday 9 May 2019, focusing on current and future research about how annotation is being used in the English and composition disciplines, and what research shows — or could show — about the impact digital, collaborative annotation can have on student success.

Hosted by Hypothesis Director of Education Jeremy Dean, you will hear from multiple scholars about their research and outcomes:

  • Alan Reid, Assistant Professor, English, Coastal Carolina University
  • Julie Sievers, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship, Southwestern University
  • Michelle Sprouse, English and Education PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
  • Noel Brathwaite, Assistant Professor of English, SUNY Farmingdale

There will also be time for presenters and attendees to discuss questions and future research directions together.

I’m in for this… I was just talking to a composition teacher the other day and wondering exactly how one would use Hypothes.is in such a setting.

👓 Five Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content | Andrea Zoellner

Read Five Newsroom Tips for Better Website Content by Andrea Zoellner (Andrea Zoellner)
This post is adapted from a talk given at WordCamp US 2016 in Philadelphia.
To say journalists have a bad reputation is an understatement. In a recent poll of least trusted professions in Canada, journalists had an 18% trust rating, ranking them somewhere between Financial advisors and lawyers. So w...

Originally bookmarked on April 10, 2019 at 12:27AM

🔖 Hemingway Editor

Bookmarked Hemingway Editor (hemingwayapp.com)

Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear.

The app highlights lengthy, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow sentence, shorten or split it. If you see a red highlight, your sentence is so dense and complicated that your readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red.

You can utilize a shorter word in place of a purple one. Mouse over them for hints.

I could see some serious value in this if I could use it as a web app with Micropub support, which would allow it to almost any CMS or platform. It’s a bit reminiscent of Quill, though that doesn’t have the grammar and writing help.

There’s a $20 desktop version that can publish to WordPress and Medium.

Possibly missing for a full editor experience: the ability to add images.

As a sample, I tried putting in some prior writing. Apparently I overuse adverbs. It said I was writing at grade 13 and I should aim for grade 9! (It was something I had already attempted to “dumb down”.)

👓 Words I wrote in 2018 | Adactio: Journal

Read Words I wrote in 2018 by Jeremy KeithJeremy Keith
I wrote just shy of a hundred blog posts in 2018. That’s an increase from 2017. I’m happy about that. Here are some posts that turned out okay…

I’m thinking I should sift through my 2018 and highlight a few things as well.

👓 I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. | The Atlantic

Read I Used to Write for Sports Illustrated. Now I Deliver Packages for Amazon. (The Atlantic)
There’s a certain novelty, after decades at a legacy media company, in playing for the team that’s winning big.

👓 National Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo: 3 Days In! | Silence and Voice

Read National Poetry Writing Month : 3 Days In! by Jeffrey KeeferJeffrey Keefer (Silence and Voice)
I have been successful with writing poems for the first two days of National Poetry Writing Month, the annual celebration of poetry writing that coincides with National Poetry Month each April. Since I have been writing poetry as one of my 2018 goals (the goal is specifically to publish a poem this year), I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to generate some first drafts of poems in a communal setting as others who are engaging in the same process are sharing their progress via the tag .

I’ve been considering that I ought to write more poetry. Perhaps NaPoWriMo would be the way to go?

👓 An Interview with John O’Brien | Dalkey Archive Press

Read An Interview with John O’Brien (dalkeyarchive.com)
The following interview was conducted in-house at two different times, in 2000 and 2004. The purpose of the interview was to provide a very readable documentation of Dalkey Archive Press’s mission and history. It was amended in 2004, and likely will be amended again in the future, to reflect changes in the culture that have an impact on the work we do.

After reading this interview, how could one not want to devote their life to supporting such an institution?

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

subversive  

maybe also the word uncomfortable?

December 19, 2018 at 05:10PM

uncomfortable  

ha!

December 19, 2018 at 05:11PM

There is no sense that this particular novel has its place among-and should be evaluated against-a whole history of other novels.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:14PM

As with all of the arts, literature was once upon a time entirely made possible through patrons. This goes at least as far back as Shakespeare and Ben Jonson. They were able to write because their patrons provided them financial support. And this was of course true of all of the other arts. Beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, however, literature and commerce got mixed.  

In some sense, there is a link between these areas of art/writing and funding and what we see in social media influencers who in some sense are trying to create an “art” for which they get paid. Sadly, most are not making art and worse, most of them are being paid even worse.

December 19, 2018 at 05:18PM

While many people say that such and such a book changed their lives, you can be sure that they could not tell you who published the book. The identification is with the book and its author, not the publisher.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:25PM

My models were New Directions Press and Grove Press.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:32PM

Michael Orthofer at the Complete Review  

December 19, 2018 at 05:35PM

Academics will probably bristle at this thought but, at least in relation to literature, all you have to do is look at the courses that are offered featuring the literatures of other countries. Not only don’t they teach these literatures, they don’t read them.  

We certainly could use an Anthony Bourdain of literature to help peel back the curtain on other countries and cultures.

December 19, 2018 at 05:38PM

I think only the philistine mind thinks that art needs a social or moral justification.  

Quote of the year.

December 19, 2018 at 05:46PM

A prerequisite for war, as well as bigotry, is that one sees a people or a country as a stereotype, as something sub-human or non-human; this is why politicians spend so much time trying to create stereotypical images for those countries they want to go to war with.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:48PM

Small publishers are oftentimes awful at getting their books out to people, even though of course the marketplace determines many of the limitations.  

December 19, 2018 at 05:51PM

👓 Writing documentation is a good thing | Andy Sylvester

Read Writing documentation is a good thing by Andy Sylvester (andysylvester.com)
Recently, I read a post on the Digital Ocean blog (Documentation As An Open Source Practice) talking about best practices for documenting open source project repos (like Github). The main focus of the post was on providing community-focused documentation (code of conduct, contributors, etc.). I agre...

👓 William Goldman Dies; Oscar Winning Writer Of ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ Was 87 | Deadline

Read William Goldman Dies; Oscar Winning Writer Of ‘Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid’ Was 87 by Mike Fleming Jr. (Deadline)
I have been informed by friends of the family that William Goldman died last night. He was 87. Goldman, who twice won screenwriting Oscars for All The President’s Men and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, passed away last night in his Manhattan home, surrounded by family and friends. His health had been failing for some time, and over the summer his condition deteriorated.

👓 Preparing a conference talk | Adactio

Read Preparing a conference talk by Jeremy Keith (adactio.com)
There are two aspects to preparing a talk: the content and the presentation. I like to keep the preparation of those two parts separate. It’s kind of like writing: instead of writing and editing at the same time, it’s more productive to write any old crap first (to get it out of your head) and then go back and edit—“write drunk and edit sober”. Separating out those two mindsets allows you to concentrate on the task at hand. So, to begin with, I’m not thinking about how I’m going to present the material at all. I’m only concerned with what I want to say.

A good and timely outline here as I begin laying out some ideas for a talk in November!

❤️ JeffreyGoldberg tweet about @jemelehill joining The Atlantic

Liked a tweet by Jeffrey Goldberg on TwitterJeffrey Goldberg on Twitter (Twitter)

👓 Out there. | Matthias Ott

Read Out there. by Matthias OttMatthias Ott (matthiasott.com)
Recently, I read two posts within a few days that both resonated a lot with me. The topic of both pieces was the same: Writing. Or more specifically, writing on your own site. The first piece, “Just write.”, is by Sara Soueidan and if you haven’t read the article, I highly encourage you to do so. Besides the general advice that you should just write, no matter if people read it or not, what stuck in my mind the most were those two short sentences:
Once I got over my own obstacles, I stopped feeling like I was obligated to meet other people’s expectations. I started enjoying writing again.

🔖 Write, Right? Write! – TRU Writer

Bookmarked Tru Writer by Alan Levine (https://splot.ca/writer/write)

Welcome to a new experiment in simple but elegant web publishing. This site let’s you quickly publish full formatted and media rich articles, essays, papers — without requiring any logins or tracking of personal information. Don’t take our word for it, explore one piece published here, chosen at random.

A published work includes a header image which you can upload to the TRU Writer. Choose how you wish to credit yourself as an author, or choose to by anonymous.

You should be able to copy the contents of anything you have written in a Word Processor, or already published on a web page, paste it into the TRU Writer editor. Most standard formatting (headers, bold, italic, underline, lists, blockquotes, hypertext links) will be preserved.

You can then edit/augment your work using a rich text editor, including embedding content from social media sites, and you can upload new images to be included within the text of your writing.

So find an essay or article and see what you can do with it by publishing online with the TRU Writer.

Give it a try now!

This is implemented as a WordPress theme, so it can be created for many different sites. Learn more about TRU Writer and where to find the theme.

👓 Writing Is Hard | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Writing Is Hard by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
And then there are the mornings when I can spend two hours trying to untangle the logic in a single paragraph. I’ll grant that the thing I’m trying to say isn’t, and shouldn’t be, simple. And the paragraph is one of the keys to explaining why this chapter is in the book at all, so it’s important to get it right. But I didn’t expect it to be quite that hard to say. And the difficulty makes me wonder whether I’ve really gotten it straightened out at all.
Leaving this here, in any case, to remind me to be a bit humble in this process. I have found few things quite as difficult as writing with clarity.