Indiana University provost’s statement declares war on its own professor

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The Indiana University’s business school has a professor named Eric B. Rasmusen. Lauren Robel, the schools’ provost, just issued a statement that he’s a racist, sexist, homophobe but they can’t fire him. This could only happen in academia. Go ahead, read the statement: On the First Amendment This message was sent to the Kelley School … Continued

Why you should read Academia Obscura instead of actually working

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Instead of actually completing his Ph.D., Glen Wright has wasted his time writing a book called Academia Obscura: The hidden silly side of higher education. The result of this effort is to reveal in a funhouse mirror every possible idiotic and ironic aspect of academic life and publishing. I heartily recommend that you waste your money on … Continued

No more than 1000 words

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Teachers should reward brevity, not bullshit. (This is a follow-on to yesterday’s post about teaching writing.) Writing assignments today look like this: Turn in 4- to 6-page paper on themes and symbolism is Raisin in the Sun by Monday morning. Everything is wrong with this. The page length trains students to focus on print rather than online, which … Continued

How we really should teach writing

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Here’s a radical idea. Let’s teach high school and college students to write stuff that they’ll actually need to write in life or in an office: emails, blog posts, social media posts, marketing copy, research reports, and presentations. Take time from analyzing Plato, Great Expectations and Catcher in the Rye and spend it instead analyzing great non-fiction writers like Mary Roach, Malcolm Gladwell, Michael … Continued

Can we save academia from bullshit?

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Based on the 23,000 people who viewed and shared it, you liked my post on writing tips and psychology. But those in academia were displeased. A typical comment: I can only hope that the college students whose papers I have to read do not see this. Academically, this could be titled, “How to Fail a Research Paper”. How … Continued