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Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything

 Discover the secrets to clear and strong writing in 24 accessible and practical lectures that provide engaging literary and everyday examples, inspirational prompts, and unforgettable insights.

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x********m
September 12, 2019
Although this course has some good tips, especially for someone who has not written a lot or written in only one genre, I feel like it is too unfocused and scattershot about the topic to really be useful to the experienced writer. Contrast Brooks Landon's course on constructing great sentences, which is able to really go deep on its subject matter. I would love to take a course just on classical rhetoric from Dr. Armstrong, for example! One thing that I just cannot let go: the lecture on 'grammatical mistakes'. I am driven batty by people who see and explain mistakes in language in terms of 'this is the rule', rather than 'this is how to effectively communicate what you are trying to say'. The meaning and use rules of language are defined by actual use in the community of speakers. In particular, I would like to take serious issue with the characterization of singular 'they' as wrong. This is a seriously outdated idea, and I understand that this course was filmed several years ago, but mainstream opinion is on this is changing, and the academy needs to change with it. Using 'he or she', in addition to being awkward-sounding and unnecessarily wordy, is exclusionary of people with non-binary gender identities. Learn to love singular 'they', because it's here to stay.

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c********m
September 5, 2019

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m********m
August 10, 2019
In Lesson 3 I wrote a poem using one of the exercises. I'll post it here: I am a poet in training so do not be too harsh! Finley By Marcella S. Meeks The air felt damp, the rain was coming; shelter was just out of sight Thunder clashed, lightning lit up the evening sky. Climbing the ladder, barely reaching the platform of the old rickety boat; When I lost my grip, falling backwards, with a moan and a sigh. "Careful," the man yelled from the top, "you're gonna hurt your self." It was Finley, my brother's best friend. "What are you doing here in this kind of weather? Let me help you up. Here, just take my hand." "I was looking for my brother Ed, have you seen him around?" "Not since yesterday," Finley said with his wicked grin. "He called me this morning, said he would be on the boat. He wanted to show me something important and to be here at ten." "He's not here, wrecken I don't know where he is," said the plump little man with the wicked grin. "But I'm sure he's around here somewhere, just don't know where. I've got to be going, I am leaving town. My mother is ill, in the hospital in Chicago, she's waiting for me there." We exchanged awkward looks, as he passed by me. He seemed a little nervous, a little anxious as if he done some wrong. But he was my brother's best friend - they had met in prison years ago. Finley might be a little man, but he was still wicked and strong. I called my brother twice, no one answered. I dialed his cell, thought I heard it ring. He's not down here, I whispered. He's no where to be found. I climbed back up on the top of the boat, and listened for the ring; Saw my brother laying a heap on the floor, there was blood all around. The lightning flashed and the thunder roared. I called the police and told them about my brother - they were there in a flash. From what they could tell, he was dead, been robbed and killed. I told them about Finley - but he was out of sight in a dash!

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