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I remember my favorite English professor once joked, "Good writing observes the same rules as women's fashion: Each article should be long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to keep things interesting." That was good advice, and my old prof's dry delivery made it funny as heck. But it wasn't very direct or clear. And it would be years before I really understood in a tangible, quantifiable way what his aphorism meant. The problem with many English teachers, professors and tutors is they get caught up in the art of good writing. Yes, every great writer has mastered rhetoric to the point that her sentence structures vary and "flow" in a seemingly effortless way. And she likely uses vivid imagery to put her readers in her stories. But what many don't realize is that writing is as much a science as it is an art. And all those great flourishes writers use to wow us are actually technical skills they spend years practicing. So, getting back to... read more

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