Melania Trump’s speech: why plagiarism is always damaging

Did Melania Trump’s recent speech plagiarise an earlier speech by Michelle Obama? Was it accidental? Was it deliberate? Does anyone remember what else she said? Does it matter?

Melania Trump and speechwriting - plagiarism is always damaging

Did ghosts get into the Trump family’s speech-making machine?

What should we take note of on how to write our own speeches, from that scruffy row? [Read more…]

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

If you have teenage relatives you’ll probably know that they clam up like, er, clams, when you tell them why writing matters. Mainly they regard “proper” writing as a pain in the posterior. What’s wrong with leaving apostrophes out? Using the latest Instagram jargon? Speaking and writing in hip terms everyone who’s anyone in rap, metal and other such contemporary cultures knows and appreciates?

Telling teens why good writing matters: the point that hits home

When you apply for a job, most of the CVs/résumés on the recruiter’s desk will have mistakes in them. If yours doesn’t, it will stay at the top of the pile. Then, guess what?

As you’d expect, with my own son (poor kid) I hammered the need for correct spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax into his head before he could walk. These days I’m a little more gentle with teens, but the metaphorical slap-in-yer-face still works. Read on … [Read more…]

“I’m a business writer and business writing trainer. Questions, kids?”

OK, that’s what I am … but who understands what it means, especially when you’re a teenager?

Recently I have been doing some (voluntary) work here in Milton Keynes, England, helping secondary/high school kids learn more about the realpolitik  of the business world. We’re very lucky to have two organisations running schemes where business people go into these schools and talk to students: one is ProActive Education, and the other is the charity Worktree.

Teaching high school students about business and business writing

Students need to know that no matter how boring it may seem, correct grammar/spelling/punctuation in job applications and CVs/résumés can make the difference between getting a job … and not getting it.

So what exactly does this entail, and how much do these teenagers know – if anything – about the importance that business writing will have in their future careers? [Read more…]

Why some science students have a lot more work to do

Apparently the following delightful quips were actual answers from students to questions in science exams. Would you ask any of them to mail a letter for you? Enjoy…

Why some science students have a lot more work to do

“Benjamin Franklin produced electricity by rubbing cats backwards.”

[Read more…]

Chuckles from the campus…

Some funnies from American university life … enjoy!

Some funnies from American university life

Chuckles from the campus…

No shrink
In my senior year, I reluctantly took a required psychology course. The first day, the professor commented on each student’s major, trying to provoke a response. It was working – some students were becoming defensive. When it was my turn, I told him I was a music major.
“So,” asked my professor, “what does your father think of your wasting your education to study music?” [Read more…]

Jackson shares the Daily Mail news as he helps write it

HTWB Jackson small

Jackson Rawlings in his current job: “we have to create content so invasive and permeating that it is consumed everywhere from the train to the loo.”

A big welcome back to our very own Jackson Rawlings (as in HTWB Students writing fame) who has now ascended to dizzy heights in cyberspace, as a Blogger Outreach Specialist at the Daily Mailno less. Our sincere – and very well deserved – congrats to him … and here’s his fascinating account of the brave new world of news gathering, 21st century style…

Marble. So much marble.

That was my first thought as I entered the palatial surroundings of my new workplace… [Read more…]

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