My ten-year old son wants to understand everything. He is a voracious reader and doesn't confine himself to kids books. He loves reading the newspaper (NYTimes, Boston Globe), fiction, and non-fiction books. He's old enough to really learn things by reading. Agatha Christie is fun, but he's ready for more than that. He's full of questions about society, politics, science, economics. I'd like to get him some books that will expand his mind, begin answering his questions, and show him how the world fits together. [more inside]
Can you help me find an essay that has a paragraph about hugging someone in a parking lot in the hopes of taking their pain away? [more inside]
I've come up with a series of essays, one a week. Unfortunately, I stopped writing 5 years ago so I'm unsure how I should proceed finding a platform for these essays. [more inside]
Where you come away thinking 'huh, didn't know that things could feel like/could be like that' . [more inside]
I've never been very good at outlining or planning academic papers. My method of attack has consisted of sitting down at my laptop and hammering out prose, then going back and editing draft after draft until I come up with something I like. This method served me just fine in most of my humanities and social science courses in college, but I have a much harder time approaching philosophy essays in this unstructured way. Does anyone have any particular tips or methods that have helped them plan and write academic philosophy essays?
I've written an essay about my relationship with my ex. What are your experiences with publishing personal essays about friends or family members? [more inside]
I just read some essays by New York intellectual and feminist writer Katha Politt. Not only is she a fantastic writer, but reading about her NYC literary and intellectual circles gives me a wonderful feeling of being at home. What are some other books that will do this? What are some ways to get more of this experience in my life? [more inside]
I've read some classic literature explaining the libertarian/right side of our US political divide, but I'd like to read the 'Atlas Shrugged' for the left. What classic thinkers/authors come to mind?
What would you call this style of writing in which terms are introduced in a flurry of comma separated uses, synonyms or phrasal bits, other languages etc. I associate it mostly with continental academic writing but it may have broader uses. Is it ok to write like this in essays for an MA in Continental Philosophy? [more inside]
I'm entering a period in my life that's going to be, shall we say, a little challenging. I'm looking for novels that will get me so engrossed that I'll forget everything outside them for a least a little while. [more inside]
I am teaching a First-Year Composition course and we're heading into a unit in which students will write a "how to" or process essay. I'm looking for recommendations for readings that might go along with this unit. What readings can you recommend -- either essays, articles, or short fiction -- that are "how to"/process essays, or that use this format? [more inside]
How can I get better at organizing my ideas in writing? I want to be able to write essays, long-form blog posts, articles, etc. I want to be able to use in-depth writing as a tool to accomplish things, instead of just enduring it when it comes up. I'm interested in resources (classes? books?), techniques, and advice. [more inside]
All my life, people have complimented me on my abiity to write well. In middle and high school, it was writing good chapter summaries, literary analyses and essays for homework using flowery language. In college, it became about construction and the flow of ideas, and I found myself to be reasonably adept at that as well. I'm currently jobless ( looking for my first job at 25), and when people chime in with suggestions on how to fix that, they can't understand why I poo-poo the idea of writing professionally out of hand. Help me develop my writerly mind and get myself out of the English class for good. [more inside]
I remember discovering a site in, god, 2007 or 2008 I think, possible through Metafilter, that had a theme every month (I very much remember the theme 'Anarchy') and published a number of essays around that theme. Not essays by readers, essays by scholars. I think the essays somehow had to be written in reaction to each other. It was super interesting, but I lost track of it and now I don't know what it was called anymore, or even whether it still exists. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
I'm enjoying following Moby Dick excerpts via Twitter, and Angus MacLise's calendar poem YEAR. Are there any other Twitter accounts like this that the hive would recommend? [more inside]
I'm looking for essays, books, poetry, nonfiction, or whatever else about normal people's everyday lives and pasts, humorous if possible. I'm looking for stuff in the vein of the New York Press's old columns (like the ones Ned Vizzini wrote) or like Books of Adam. Writing that is casual, but well written.
I've had an idea for a long-form essay with some original research and reporting kicking around in my head for a while. I've done some background research, and I haven't found any similar treatments of the topic anywhere else in either academia or in the popular press. I already have three different groups that I could interview and conduct field research with about the topic, and I also have a pretty strong theoretical and historical base to frame the writing. I'm used to academic publishing, but would be interested in writing this as a non-academic long-form essay. At the very least I'd be publishing this on my own webspace, but was curious about what the process would be like to try and sell it to an online venue? Is it better to write the thing first, or are there places which I could propose the article to beforehand? Is it even realistic to think that I could sell an article without being a previously published author in the mainstream press?
I want to read more essays on individual films, along the lines of Tim Kreider's "Introducing Sociology" (on Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut.) [more inside]
What blogs are well written and worth following to broaden my mind? [more inside]
I'm looking to freshen up the assigned readings for an undergraduate writing class that I'm about to start teaching. The theme of the class is art (by which I mean not only visual art, but also music, film, and writing) and social change--that is, whether the former can actually help to achieve the latter. I have some readings on the topic but am looking for more. Help me, hive mind!
I am looking for recommendations on two books. I'm looking for a book that will teach me how to write essays and how to essentially write like a college student. I am also looking for a grammar book that will teach me VERY basic and simple grammar rules. For example, the difference between i.e. and e.g., when to use a comma, et cetera. Help is very much appreciated! [more inside]
I am in the middle of a long, demanding professional school admissions process. Essays are required. But I am so demoralized about my life situation that I am finding it very hard to have the proper upbeat tone. Experienced writers and editors--hell, experienced salesmen--what are some exercises I can do to get into the proper headspace? The more concrete, the better, like "start every writing session with ten bullet points about your accomplishments," or similar. [more inside]
How can I assemble a complete list of Joan Didion's uncollected works? [more inside]
Please direct me to some short to medium-short essays on feminism, specifically in regards to femininity. Bonus points if it makes explicit references to mainstream media. Double bonus points if it's Disney princesses. Double plus bonus point if it's sleeping beauty. [more inside]
Help me find a Stephen Jay Gould (I think) essay. [more inside]
What short things can I watch/read to get in the mood for my upcoming trip to Paris? [more inside]
Looking for examples of basic undergraduate essays [more inside]
Crowdsource my syllabus: I'm looking for the best relatively short music review essays, in a wide variety of writing styles and formats. [more inside]
Looking for a recent article that compared certain books of a few authors with their "more famous siblings"--that is, books by that author that are less well known or less often read. Dickens was one of them; Austen might have been included too. The article might have appeared in Slate, Salon, The Awl or The Hairpin (or somewhere else) but I can't find it!
Help me find some riveting long-form journalism to read! I love thoughtful, explanatory, intelligent, slightly investigative single-topic pieces of writing. Can you help me find more? What are your all-time favorite pieces of long-form journalism? [more inside]
I'm looking for substantive essays focused on US politics and society, preferably published in periodical form. [more inside]
Quality essays or investigative pieces about pyramid schemes? [more inside]
A couple of years ago I found a website that had a bunch of essays about popular culture. There was a group of them by one author that were quite (sarcastically?) critical of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling. I'd like to find and read them again, but I remember so little about where I found them. [more inside]
Inspirational quotes/essays/poems/pictures - Got any good ones? [more inside]
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)
Why can't I read comments on my essays, even in private? [more inside]
What if you're not sexually attracted to the people you fall in love with in a way that's fulfilling?
Where can I find out more about people with opposite sexual and romantic orientations? [more inside]
Looking for thoughtful essays and/or screeds on the evils of "crowd-sourced" design contests, or design by committee in general? [more inside]
Where would be the best place to submit non-fiction essays? [more inside]
A friend is looking for a five-paragraph essay that instructs the reader on how to write a five-paragraph essay. My Google-fu has failed me in this self-referential task. Can you help? [more inside]
I'm writing a paper on (animated) GIFs and am trying to track down some of the most (in)famous. I suppose I am talking memes, but I'm more interested in the GIF as an archaeological reference point. I frequent sites like dump.fm, tumblr etc. so am quite tuned in to the glitchy/kitschy side of GIF culture. How theoretical have people got on these wonders of the web? How does one trace the history of an animated GIF? [more inside]
Help me find cool books of criticism/essays/interviews/etc. [more inside]
[Freelance Writing Filter.] Where to submit this long and suddenly very timely travel essay? [more inside]
I have difficulty articulating my thoughts coherently, when I write on a topic for more than 700-800 words. When I write less than that, I find writing difficult, but not as difficult. While in school, all of my papers were returned with remarks that my paper contained sentence fragments, sentences that didn't fit in with the rest of the paragraph, sentences that were their own paragraphs, and sentence fragments. [more inside]
How did you write your university essays? Real life blow-by-blow accounts please. [more inside]
I'm looking for short Christian/theological readings for a weekly group I'm facilitating this semester. [more inside]
What are some readings/stories/essays/poetry that might ease the shock of returning to "civilization" after 3 months in the wilderness? [more inside]
Can you help point me to some of the best and most interesting Harry Potter related reading? [more inside]
Where can I find some colorful vocabulary words/phrases for my college essays? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend books of essays on poetry that aren't poetry-writing manuals? [more inside]
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