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Help me find two subjects I can write on for a job application.

I am submitting an application for a graphic design position and they are asking for design portfolios and two pieces of writing. I have no writing to give them. What the hell do I write about? I don't want to put a ton of time into researching topics so I can write about them but, seriously, I got nothing. I am a good writer with no outlet. Help!
posted by Foam Pants on Jun 24, 2014 - 8 answers

Fans are Slans?

Who was it that spoke out against works of fiction with characters and plots similar to 'Slan,' in which the sympathetic protagonist is innately, biologically, invisibly superior or special for some reason, and is persecuted or otherwise struggles because of it? [more inside]
posted by Verg on Jun 14, 2014 - 3 answers

Word processing with pictures - how to not go mad?

I've recently started studying again and am now writing essays with many pictures. Attempting this in MS Word and LibreOffice is turning me into a cranky murderous person, are there alternatives that actually work? [more inside]
posted by deadwax on May 24, 2014 - 10 answers

Speech recognition software recs for sprawly writing on a Mac

Typing is killing me and I have to write a bunch of papers over the next couple of weeks. I have a 2012 MBP (not yet on Mavericks) and could spend ~ $100-150 on some kind of voice-to-text software. Looking for something with a minimal learning curve that will let me work fast. And, whatever else is required to quickly & painlessly navigate multiple documents. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by cotton dress sock on Apr 18, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me choose a MBA research paper topic - due in two weeks...

What is the best topic with lots of reference material that deals in International Business Ethics? Something like a review on international bribery or the sale of vaccines or baby formula for profit. I'm looking for the topic that will be the easiest to write because there is so much reference material available. [more inside]
posted by bbqturtle on Apr 6, 2014 - 13 answers

Looking for a website of personal essays

The website was text-based, with lots of hpyerlinked titles that clicked-through to the essays. The author had a biography page that was a big picture of his face that had been heavily filtered and a brief paragraph explaining that he (maybe?) used to live in Ireland, and now resides in America. His essays covered topics from film reviews - The Matrix is one I remember specifically - an addiction to on of the Civilization PC games, an addiction to nasal sprays that was overcome by going cold turkey for three days, internet trolls, and common logical fallacies. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?
posted by Cpt. The Mango on Apr 5, 2014 - 2 answers

expressing myself in a second language

I am a university student who takes french as a minor alongside law. My law essays are well received, and even when I miss the mark on the question my professors say I have expressed myself and written a good essay. In french, the opposite is true. I'm struggling with basic structure and linking of my ideas in this second language. Any help or advice? [more inside]
posted by Braeburn on Feb 24, 2014 - 14 answers

Elevate my whatever.

What blogs are well written and worth following to broaden my mind? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Feb 11, 2014 - 26 answers

Evolution of labor markets?

I'm looking for an essay I read a while ago on the evolution of labor markets in the face of increasing competition. It claimed that as competition for good candidates became more intense, there would be a progression in market structure through several stages: (1) open hiring, with companies differentiating themselves via wages and working conditions and eventually increased acceptance of exploding offers; (2) a system of internships to identify good candidates before they formally entered the job market (e.g., most good law students graduate with an offer in hand); and (3) a formalized match system like the national residency match program where all hospitals and students submit their preferences to be resolved simultaneously. It was a non-academic sort of essay, with no game theory or citations. It sounded like an intelligent amateur putting something up on a personal website. It may predate blogging. Hope me please?
posted by d. z. wang on Jan 30, 2014 - 0 answers

What's that essay about hearing "finger fucking" in Blondie's "Rapture?"

Back in the 1980s, when I was an impressionable lad, I read an essay in which the author remembered a friend of his insisting that Debbie Harry sang a lyric that included "finger-fucking" in the hit song "Rapture." I remembered this as appearing in Stephen King's book Danse Macabre, but I just checked the e-book edition and it's not there — and it doesn't really fit with the mission of Danse Macabre, anyway. Do you know where this essay appeared? [more inside]
posted by Mothlight on Nov 17, 2013 - 6 answers

Essay about colorblindness leading to pink living-room walls?

Can you help me find this half-remembered essay about a color-blind guy who inadvertently painted his living room walls pink? I think I recall him describing it as a Pepto Bismol shade of pink, but I may have invented that detail. [more inside]
posted by lizzicide on Nov 8, 2013 - 2 answers

Examples of essay/articles without a character or main person

Hello, I'm looking for examples of good essays/articles/long form journalism (2000-5000 words) that aren't told through profiling a person or based on the author's experience somewhere. I received advice that you don't pitch an idea or a subject, but a character, and I've stuck to that, but I'd like to try a few shorter articles and essays that don't depend on framing it around a person or a trip somewhere (my essays that hang off a person's story take over a year to get the material because I follow the person's journey). I hope that makes sense.
posted by cimuir on Oct 17, 2013 - 5 answers

Searching for an essay about dust

I'm looking for an essay I read several years ago (circa 2002–2007) that is an appreciation of dust, especially dust gathering in the home/not dusting. Its author is female. It may be part of a book/collection of essays by this author. A detail I remember from the essay: the author writes that it's not necessary to clean your cups very well, except when you have company at your home. [more inside]
posted by Jason and Laszlo on Oct 10, 2013 - 3 answers

How can I improve my writing?

My writing tends to be very brief, and it's difficult for me to write long essays that are good. Also, I would like to start writing literary and cultural critiques and would like MeFites' advice. [more inside]
posted by myitkyina on Sep 28, 2013 - 11 answers

History Filter

Is there a statistical measure that I can rely on in evaluating papers or articles in a historical subject? If you teach history, what measure would you rely on in evaluating student papers and take-home exam essays for plagiarism? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Aug 14, 2013 - 2 answers

personal writings about ADD/ADHD

I'm looking for high-quality, moving, compelling, interesting writing about having ADD; i.e. personal essays, creative nonfiction, that sort of thing. [more inside]
posted by threeants on Aug 4, 2013 - 3 answers

What did I read about the terrible beauty of nuclear weapons?

Sometime around the year 2000, I remember reading something on the Internet about nuclear weapons that was written in a very unique style. The first half focused on the beauty of the bomb components, describing in great detail how accurately they were manufactured, and the incredible precision of the sequence of events during the reaction. I seem to remember something about a perfectly smooth sphere. The second half abruptly switched to an equally detailed and pretty horrific description of the effects of this weapon on its targets. I don't know if this was a standalone essay or some kind of excerpt of a larger work. I remember reading it as a chunk of plain, unstyled text. What was it?
posted by steveminutillo on Jun 20, 2013 - 7 answers

Freelance editing—how to break in?

Freelance editing—does it exist? How can I break in? What are my prospects? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jun 2, 2013 - 9 answers

Essay on fantasy fiction, economics and trade

Many years ago I read an essay that was pretty critical of the way so much fantasy fiction could not build believable societies with plausible economic underpinnings. The author was fairly concise and snarky, arguing that (I'm paraphrasing here) she could suspend disbelief about dragons and magic, but that she couldn't slog her way through a book where not the least bit of thought had been given to how all these characters and their associates could make a living, grow or acquire food, and otherwise acquire money and engage in trade. I think it was an essay by Joanna Russ in Fantasy & Science Fiction in the 70s, when she had a regular book review column there, but I could be conflating like mad.
posted by maudlin on May 7, 2013 - 6 answers

Help keep a wannabe autodidact on track!

So, I really like learning new stuff and spend a fair bit of my spare time reading. If I won the euromillions I'd retire and spend the rest of my life at uni. In the real world, I have to keep paying rent/eating, so have been exploring MIT's open courseware - writing essays will give a focus to my reading and structure my repsonses to it more effectively, but it ends there. The feedback on my thoughts and arguments a lecturer would give me, or points to improve on, are still missing. This is what I need help with! [more inside]
posted by abbagoochie on Apr 2, 2013 - 8 answers

What was this story of the "god-like man?"

What was this dimly-remembered short story about a superhero ignoring big world threats in favor of saving kids from escalators? [more inside]
posted by phearlez on Mar 7, 2013 - 2 answers

Thesis argument about cultural contact zones

Hi Mefites! So I'm wondering if anyone can help me in finding something to argue in a 5-6 page paper regarding 'cultural contact zones' in Orwell's essay ' A Passage to India'. Specifically, "the concept of a “contact zone” emphasizes how subjects are constituted in and by their relations to each other, usually involving conditions of coercion, inequality, and conflict. It treats the relations among colonizers and colonized not in terms of separateness but in terms of interaction and interlocking understandings and practices, often within radically asymmetrical relations of power." ( this is part of the prompt). Any suggestions? I'm usually a fairly competent writer but am having trouble here. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Mar 2, 2013 - 15 answers

Tell me about an essay that flows really well.

Hello! I am teaching a writing class, and am now teaching students about flow. I would like to do an exercise where I take an essay (preferably, somewhat academic) and cut it up and give it to them to rearrange to show how well the author transitions between paragraphs. The problem is, I can't find one that works in particular! If anyone has a good example, I'd be grateful.
posted by caoimhe on Feb 4, 2013 - 4 answers

Name of an essay about Cuba that involves locomotives?

I read a nonfiction piece awhile back that I can't find via my google-fu. It concerns a guy visiting Cuba who meets with locomotive types in memory of (or for) his father, who was a train buff. The piece was nostalgic and colorful, and focused on the concept of Cuban train engineering effectively being frozen in time. Can anyone help?
posted by eggman on Jan 21, 2013 - 2 answers

Philosophy reading reccomendations on "Notion of freedom and humanity"

A friend of mine recently quit his job and has found himself with a lot of free time. As a method to explore his mind and world he has set himself a task to write an essay on : - "The Notion of Freedom and Humanity" I am no philosophy veteran but I am sure that there must be some great texts already dealing with this subject. What research and reading material can I recommend my friend for his essay?
posted by Cogentesque on Jan 15, 2013 - 12 answers

My bazaar doesn't need your cathedral

Help me understand the essence of The Cathedral and the Bazaar in order to apply the understanding to an entirely different scenario where there is a struggle between top down and bottom up design. I have no programming knowledge after BASIC on DOS 1.0 [more inside]
posted by infini on Jan 7, 2013 - 9 answers

help a textbook taught me something relevant and amusing once

I'm looking for an essay I read in a textbook. This would've been in the late 90s and it was a middle school Literature textbook. The essay was about writing. I remember that it included a bit about how you can't ask writers about writing for the same reason you can't ask the sea about itself (it will just gurgle at you). It also had a bit about breaking the rules when writing, talking about how writing guides tell you never to open a story with dialogue but then gave an example of a classic novel that opened with dialogue in French. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Dec 20, 2012 - 2 answers

Clinical lab paper

I need to write a paper for my clinical laboratory sciences class, but being that the teacher was unclear in her instructions, I'm not sure what qualifies as a separate laboratory and what doesn't. Something like " the hematology lab" is very broad. Can I focus on JUST histology, for example? Is there such a thing as a histology laboratory, even if it's under anatomical sciences? Or does that refer to a technique. What to do here? How would you structure this paper? Any advice is appreciated. [more inside]
posted by marsbar77 on Dec 12, 2012 - 17 answers

How tCan I create a "Tap Essay" app (without programming...too much)

How can I create a "tap essay" app (such as Robin Sloan's Fish without learning Objective C? I'm a poet, not a programmer! The idea is pretty simple: an app that shows styled text on a page that you tap to go to the next page with the occasional option to tweet the current line, etc.
posted by fncll on Nov 30, 2012 - 5 answers

Looking for a mid-1990s magazine article about end-of-year celebrations in Scotland

Longshotfilter: Did anyone else in the U.S. see this magazine article about New Years Eve/Hogmanay (or possibly Christmas Eve) in Scotland circa 1996-97? [more inside]
posted by usonian on Nov 13, 2012 - 4 answers

Vague description filter

What was this long essay about World War II that I read on the internet a few years ago? [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Aug 21, 2012 - 2 answers

Find an knowledgeable reader of my essay?

I have a manuscript of a roughly philosophical/literary essay, and I'm trying to figure out where I should try to publish it. How can I find someone objective, with solid knowledge of "high-brow" magazines and related publications, to read my piece and tell me where it might best fit and what my chances are of publishing it in various venues?
posted by shivohum on Jul 23, 2012 - 1 answer

Help me find an essay?

Can you help me find this vaguely-remembered creative essay about dating that was published on The Awl (or similar) maybe a year ago? [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton on Jul 10, 2012 - 5 answers

Essay about ball lightning?

Help me find this essay about lightning! [more inside]
posted by apparently on Jun 3, 2012 - 2 answers

Stories of abuse

Looking for good short stories or essays about abusive relationships [more inside]
posted by princeoftheair on Apr 16, 2012 - 9 answers

Maybe something about curtains? Or fieldstone?

Can you find this essay on what writing is like? [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Apr 13, 2012 - 2 answers

Where can I find long essays?

I'm looking for substantive essays focused on US politics and society, preferably published in periodical form. [more inside]
posted by zamboni on Jan 31, 2012 - 6 answers

Looking for a great essay on art.

In 1971 Artforum magazine published an essay, 'After Modernism', by American composer Morton Feldman, about Modernism's endgame and what it meant for contemporary painting. I have repeatedly looked for it online but have had no success. Just curious to see if it is on the intertubes somewhere, thanks.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) on Nov 23, 2011 - 2 answers

Who nearly crashed himself & his son & wrote about it?

Who wrote about a change in perspective due to a near-miss in a private airplane he was piloting? [more inside]
posted by morganw on Nov 12, 2011 - 6 answers

Stylistic successor to William James

William James was an astounding prose stylist, but seems to have come from a school of rhetoric long since lost. Does anyone today write in an analogously formally beautiful, dense yet lucid, naturally learned, opinionated, and wry style anymore? (see for just one entrancing example his essay on PhDs in academia)
posted by shivohum on Nov 5, 2011 - 8 answers

Oh crap, I forgot how to write essays!

I'm back in school after several years of not thinking about essays. I forgot how to do everything! How do I cite an essay in a textbook in MLA format? [more inside]
posted by cheerwine on Oct 18, 2011 - 11 answers

Reward and Punishment in the US

What are some good (current) examples of reward and punishment in the United States? Please give me any websites, magazines or books I might be able to source for an essay. [more inside]
posted by camylanded on Oct 6, 2011 - 7 answers

sources about Keith Green

I want to find more primary and secondary sources on Christian music artist Keith Green. [more inside]
posted by kingfishers catch fire on Jul 20, 2011 - 5 answers

ScoreItNow! tool v.s. GRE essay portion

I'm studying for the GRE. Is the ScoreItNow! essay tool really accurate? What could I be doing better? [more inside]
posted by 200burritos on Jul 18, 2011 - 5 answers

A mystery mystery

I'm looking for a Dorothy Sayers essay about a real-life murder case, but I can't recall the name of the suspect and my google-fu is failing me. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Jun 5, 2011 - 4 answers

Engineering has failed me.

Help me think of essay topics relating to the national debt! [more inside]
posted by masterscruffy on May 17, 2011 - 9 answers

How do I become an informed citizen of the world?

What's the best neutral, digestible, comprehensive primer to politics in the Middle East? [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on May 3, 2011 - 13 answers

What is the title/author of this essay about caring for an aging dog?

What is the title/author of this essay about caring for an aging dog? More inside. [more inside]
posted by voodoochile on Apr 18, 2011 - 7 answers

Grade This!

What's the best way to approach a teacher about what I feel is an unfair grade? [more inside]
posted by oceanview on Apr 8, 2011 - 38 answers

Recommend journal articles about rape.

Please recommend journal or magazine articles about rape. I'm looking for a select few especially worthwhile articles—insightful, written in plain language. Any aspects welcome, from legal analysis to personal stories. Substantial articles preferred (i.e., longer essays, not opinion columns).
posted by red clover on Mar 28, 2011 - 5 answers

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