Author Archives: Gary Anderson

How Do We Teach Style in Research Writing?

“And this needs to be in MLA format.” Those of us who teach in the humanities frequently ask our students to use MLA format when writing research documentation. Because a lot of research writing tends to come through English classes, … Continue reading

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My Illinois State Board of Education Adventure

In June, 2014 I made two moves in my professional life almost simultaneously: I retired as a high school teacher, and I renewed my K-12 Illinois teaching license. Although that may seem paradoxical, I was preserving my options in case … Continue reading

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Top Ten Summer Reads for #APLit Students

Advanced Placement Literature students and their teachers know that next May they will address a prompt that asks test-takers to discuss a literary work and how it relates to the prompt. The prompt will be accompanied by a list of … Continue reading

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What a Night!: Fremd High School’s #WriteNite

Kudos to Fremd High School for holding its first Write Nite last night as a fund-raiser for their mighty Writers Week program. (Disclaimer: Although I was an organizer for Fremd’s Writers Week for many years, my only involvement in Write … Continue reading

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The Mariner and Me:  Telling Our Stories to Help Students (and Ourselves) Reflect

Students are usually interested in developing a résumé: leadership positions, extra-curricular activities, service projects, etc. They carefully choose and articulate each crumb of success and arrange them so that they will present the best possible version of themselves. But what … Continue reading

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Doing a Scary Thing

This blog post is going to be a little different. It’s mostly just for me. A revelation that came to me from Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, a book about habits, is that we form, maintain, and break habits in … Continue reading

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A Dozen Cool Ways to Use Periscope in Your Class

Periscope is a fairly new app (and web site) connected to Twitter. The basic idea is that a user can broadcast from anywhere any time with a device as simple as a smart phone. (In fact, I’m broadcasting my writing … Continue reading

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Hello and Goodbye: Introductions and Conclusions

Student question: “Does this paper need an introduction?” My answer: “I think that would be polite. Do you agree?” Quizzical looks follow. What does politeness have to do with writing an introduction? Then I explain that an introduction is really … Continue reading

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Learning with Second-Language English Writers

One of my biggest learning challenges this year has been figuring out how to help writers for whom English is a second language. These are students who have completed English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and classes but who … Continue reading

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Reading Between the Lines with Jo Knowles

Nerdy Book Clubbers can celebrate: Jo Knowles has a new book! And it’s really good! Read Between the Lines, Jo’s sixth novel, gives us a son bullied by his father, a girl suddenly ignored by her friends, the embarrassed children … Continue reading

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