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I am a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.A. and M.Ed. degrees. My husband and I live in Rogers and dote on our two grandchildren. I am so pleased to have found a home at NWACC and enjoy teaching here immensely.
I am a strong proponent of writing an informal outline before beginning to draft a paper. It is essential to first write the outline in order to organize your thoughts and decide how you will develop your paragraphs. Use phrases to list your main ideas in the introduction, body, and conclusion. Then jot down examples and details to support each main idea. Be sure to include your thesis statement in your introduction. An outline is your roadmap directing you to stay on point and help avoid repetition. Writing is a process; don’t forget the important step of outlining at the beginning.
When I'm not teaching Fundamentals of Journalism or English Comp, I'm a freelance writer. I have a master’s degree in journalism, with a focus was creative non-fiction writing. My biggest literary influences are Mary Roach, John McPhee, Dave Barry and Hunter S. Thompson.
Once you've created your outline, write the body of your essay first. Save the introduction and conclusion for last! Often it's easier to sum up the essay after you've written the "meat" of it.
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I received my B.A. from U. of Southern California, where I took a class in poetry writing and happened to be pretty good. My writing led me to the University of Arkansas and a new understanding of the world: I now say grocery store instead of market, grill instead of barbeque, and tag instead of license plate. At the U. of Arkansas, I earned M.F.A. and M.P.A. degrees.
I read whenever I can and don’t have cable, though I did watch all four seasons of Friday Night Lights on nbc.com. in close to one sitting. I really like teaching writing and helping students understand how much power they can gain by learning how to write well.
Essays worth reading don’t always say something new; they do, however, say something in a new way. Finding that new way, that new angle or new perspective, is the writer’s job. Most college instructors want to read informative and interesting essays.
Imagine reading sixty-five essays on one short story. That’s what instructors do; they read a lot of essays about the same topic. Your job is to make your essay different from the other sixty-five. Try to make every assignment important to you in some way. If you can get yourself to want to write about the topic, the essay will convey that enthusiasm to your audience. Then, that enthusiasm and interest will convey itself in the words you choose, the sentences you create, and the point you make.
Good writing recognizes the importance of the writer’s perspective.
My name sounds like a building: Audley Hall. In fact some students have shown up outside my office door perplexed, saying that they were directed to find Audley Hall, but they don’t know where that building is. I am used to this confusion.
I received a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Women's College, and my M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas. In 1991, when I began teaching English at NWACC , the college was known as the “College without Walls.” We taught classes in buildings that the college leased all around northwest Arkansas. I taught in a grocery store, where my midday snacks were healthy, instead of vending machine faire; a day care, where the toilets were only twelve inches high accommodating for the young child, but mighty surprising to the unaware adult; a nightclub, where my room had a disco ball hanging from the ceiling; a church, where an apple tree grew just outside the window; and a jail, where I was NOT an inmate.
In 1995, when Burns Hall was opened (first known as the Central Education Facility, then as the Central Education Center), NWACC became a college with walls. I now am hoping for the dedication of Audley Hall, a beautiful building just for English classes. Then the confusion described above will be cleared up!
My tip is for you to enjoy your writing. If you have the option to choose your own topic, pick something that really interests you. If you like your writing, you will find brainstorming and prewriting interesting, you will find drafting the essay interesting, and you will find revising interesting. You will be proud of your work and thus find it easy to continue improving the writing. Your own interest will be obvious to the reader and s/he will find it pleasurable to read the writing. If your topic is assigned, generate your interest in it by learning about it. When you learn about something you find you can be interested. Shoot, I found when I learned a bit about golf even televised golf tournaments can be interesting—really.
While I'm originally from Dyersburg, Tennessee, I have lived in many different places, from Connecticut to California. But Arkansas is where I chose to get my higher education, first a BFA in Creative Writing at Arkansas Tech in Russellville and then an MFA in
Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. After teaching in the California Community College system and living in the Mohave Desert for nearly a decade, I was delighted to be able to return to the verdant heaven of northwest Arkansas. I have been teaching here at NWACC since 2003. In addition to teaching and writing, I enjoy playing and building banjos, and I moonlight every summer as a tour guide at War
Here is my writing tip, a blank verse sonnet extolling the virtues of the colon.
The Proper Way to Use Your Colon
The colon is a punctuation mark,
A tiny two-rail fence that's seen end-long,
That is used by an independent clause
To introduce examples or a list.
Sometimes an explanation can be used
On the east side of the fence, but always
A complete sentence with subject and verb
Will reside on the lofty western side.
For example, good writers should value
Clarity: strong thesis, development.
We grammarians are much better off
Than our brethren in anatomy:
In English, the colon is elegance;
In science, it's a passageway for gas.
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