Why I’m taking an undergraduate class this semester

Fredonia faculty and staff can take one 3-credit course each semester tuition-free, so next week I’ll start taking Victorian Literature. Why?

Besides for the enjoyment of learning, it’s because I want to be a better writer. The fastest way to become a better writer is, of course, to write, then have someone critique it.

Last fall, Joseph Tellerg, an English professor at College of the Sequoias, said this to the Chronicle of Higher Eductation:

My students can’t write a clear sentence to save their lives, and I’ve had it. In 10 years of teaching writing, I have experimented with different assignments, activities, readings, approaches to commenting on student work — you name it — all to help students write coherent prose that someone would actually want to read. And as anyone who keeps up with trends in higher education knows, such efforts largely fail.

Most of us work for a business when we graduate from college, whether or not we graduated with a business degree. The biggest differentiator in business today is good writing.

Good writers are rarely born with innate talent for it. Like anything, good writers practiced writing a lot.

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