Thursday, May 19, 2011

Concise writing is usually clear writing (18) – Rita Kramer

Here’s another good example of clear, concise writing. It’s a passage from the last chapter of Ed School Follies: The Miseducation of America's Teachers, by Rita Kramer (pictured).

The most prestigious of [the ed schools] are largely concerned with academic reputation within the university setting, competing for funds with the professional schools of law and medicine, and cranking out enormous amounts of research, much of it trivial, with much faculty time and energy going into writing grant proposals and designing model projects. Little of this helps the classroom teacher.

The worst of the ed schools are certification mills where the minimally qualified instruct the barely literate in a parody of learning. Prospective teachers leave no more prepared to impart knowledge or inspire learning than when they entered.

In between these extremes there stretches a wide range of programs, most of which have in common a set of required courses on methods of teaching and theories of learning that are deadly dull. (Pages 220-221)

The Takeaway: To improve the clarity of your writing, spend at least 10 minutes a day reading aloud from writers who write clearly. You will see, hear and feel the stark contrast between careful, grown-up diction and the careless, infantile diction that besets us every day. If you would like a list of recommended writers and works, please email me at joeroy(at)joeroy(dot)com. Ask for my “List of Writers to Absorb.” I will respond via email.

See disclaimer.

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