WPA: Writing Can Be Like Playing Dominoes

The Writing Progress Administration is back to encourage writers to set up writing projects in small increments and then knock ’em down—er, write ’em down. Taking baby steps is always easier than trying to tackle a behemoth project all at once. So see how small you can make the dominoes of your particular project, set them up, and write ’em down. If you want to use this WPA graphic as your computer wallpaper, download the image that suits your screen’s proportions: standard screen widescreen If you want to print out an 8.5″ x 11″ poster of this graphic on a white background, save this PDF. Go, writers,...

WPA: First Class All the Way

Good morning! It’s time for another installment in the Writing Progress Administration’s propaganda series, inspired by the New Deal social agency that put millions back to work and kept the United States proud and productive. This time, I offer relief in the form of bolstering the writer’s sense of self. I also pay homage to the postal system, a classic institution facing some trying times these days. You can print a white-backgrounded, 8.5″ x 11″ poster form of this graphic by saving this link. If you want to use this as your computer wallpaper and your screen has standard dimensions, click here. For widescreen displays, go with this version. Keep up the good work,...

WPA: Research and Victory

ATTENTION, CITIZEN WRITERS: The Writing Progress Administration returns with two new posters and computer wallpapers to motivate the diligent writing public. Research, the Best Ammunition updates the classic notion that the pen is mightier than the sword. A well-read writer is one strong enough to take critique, respond to it, and incorporate the best of it into her writing. (Pacifists, excuse the weaponry metaphor; the aim is to upend violent imagery!) Download Research, the Best Ammunition: widescreen computer wallpaper, standard-dimension computer wallpaper, poster (PDF on white background). Write for Victory is a broad call to writers of every stripe. It may seem an isolating and tedious task, but at its best writing is a bold way to engage with society. If writing is your goal, then doing so is a contribution to public victory. Download Write for Victory: widescreen computer wallpaper, standard-dimension computer wallpaper, poster (PDF on white background). Keep strong. Keep writing. See the inaugural Labor Day WPA...

Edit, Submit, Admit: Application Essays

The biggest mistake I made in applying to graduate schools was not having anyone—not a single soul—read over my personal statement. The second-biggest mistake may have been having only one personal statement rather than many, each tailored to a specific university and program. It’s tempting not to share a draft of an application essay with friends, family, and colleagues. The stakes are high, the content can be quite revealing, and we already feel judged by virtue of the competition inherent in the admissions process. But the personal statement exercise is anything but a straightforward, no-helpers-needed job. I think the trickiest part about admissions essays is precisely that you have to be both personal and professional. You need to tie together your life experiences with your occupational aspirations. It’s tempting to be too casual in tone; it’s easy to be overly formal. The appropriate balance is hard to strike. With such a daunting task before you, be sure to take advantage of your network of willing readers, be they parents, best friends, and coworkers. When you want a seasoned set of eyes to look over your baby (that is, your personal statement), consider hiring a professional editor. TWEED edits essays for applications to graduate school, law school, medical school, art school—you name the academic or professional program and I can help you out. With TWEED editing your personal statement, you get substantive direction on top of copyedited polish. I can’t know every target school and program, but I do know the key components of successful admissions statements and how to cover them all in one integrated short essay. Having your...

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