New Book Announcement: Don't Be Stupid

Don't Be StupidToday I’m releasing my e-book Don’t Be Stupid: A Guide to Learning, Studying, and Succeeding at College. A paperback version will be available soon.

Don’t Be Stupid is everything you need to know to succeed at college. Written by a college professor based on years of experience teaching and advising students just like you, Don’t Be Stupid tells you what you need to know [Continue reading]




The Writer's Technology Companion Is Live!

This morning I launched The Writer’s Technology Companion, a new blog covering the tools of the writer’s trade. This is a project I’ve been working on for several months, now — I wanted to make absolutely sure I could keep it up for the long haul with everything else that’s on my plate. So a lot of planning went into the site, with several dozen posts written and “in the can” so I don’t have to worry about running short on content anytime soon.

“Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War” Now Available in the US

book cover smallAnthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Influence of Foundations, McCarthyism and the CIA went on sale a couple of days ago. As far as I can tell, it’s now available worldwide, wherever fine books are sold.

Order your copy today!

Coming Soon: The Writer's Technology Companion

A while back, I mentioned that I was putting together some material on writing and technology and thinking about launching a new site around it.

I decided to go ahead with that project, and am well into getting the site up and running. The site is called The Writer’s Technology Companion and will be launching sometime in March at www.writerstechnology.com. There’s a launch page there now, where you can sign up for email notifications or subscribe to the RSS feed so you’ll be informed when the site officially goes live.

Best Practice for Students: Ideas vs. Formatting in Essays

Every semester, I spend a lot of time explaining the term paper assignments to students. I talk about them when I hand out my syllabus, I spend a good half-hour discussing the assignment about 3 weeks into the course, and I revisit the topic several times up until the last week before the due date.

Every time I bring it up, I ask if students have any questions. The questions I get are always about teh same damn thing: formatting. “Does it have to be typed?” “What size margins should I use?” “What style do you want the references in?”

I can only imagine that other professors and/or high school teachers hammer students over formatting, without paying much attention to their ideas — which are, ostensibly, what we assign papers to help students get at and express.

A Defense of Used Books at the Text and Academic Authors Association

Last August, I wrote about the high price of textbooks and what I feel is an exploitative relationship between authors and publishers on one hand and the students we serve on the other. An officer of the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA), to which I belong, came across the post and asked me to write up my argument for the TAA Newsletter. The piece is coming out in print next month, but is already up on the TAA website. The post itself is in the member’s only section of the site, but I’ll post it to my portfolio once it’s out in hard copy.

Stop Me Before I Blog Again!

I’m mulling the idea of starting a new site devoted to writing and technology. I’ve got a name, a likely domain name, and am building a nice chunk of content to launch with. The idea is to discuss the particular technology needs of writers (of all sorts) using the web to promote their work and develop their audience.

The question is, am I better off starting a new blog devoted solely to that niche or to start integrating that content into this site?

The advantage to posting it here is that I already have a decent amount of traffic, I have a good position in Google, and I wouldn’t be splitting my attention and time off to yet another project.

Affiliate Summit West is Coming to Town

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what direction my career is headed in and whether I’m happy with that. At the moment, I have a kind of split career. In one career, I teach college students about important stuff like race, class, gender, and culture. In the other career, I write for several websites and other outlets, including some commercial writing. Both make me happy while I’m doing them, and both are incredibly rewarding.

Why All the Capitalization Lately?

I read a lot of other people’s writing, in both my role as a teacher, grading papers students hand in, and as an editor at lifehack.org, preparing contributors’ work for publication on the site. Lately, I’ve been noticing a strange phonemenon: the gratuitous Capitalization of random Words.

It’s as if suddenly we’ve returned to the days of Pilgrim’s Progress, where Words are capitalized to show that they represent Important Concepts — except the words That are capitalized are often not All that important. Or it’s like we suddenly adopted German Grammar, where all the Nouns are capitalized — except it’s not Just nouns. In fact, I’ve searched in vain for a pattern, and can’t find one.

Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War Now Available in UK

book cover smallI just heard from my publisher that my book, Anthropology at the Dawn of the Cold War: The Influence of Foundations, McCarthyism and the CIA, has just arrived from the printer and is ready for release! They’re mailing me my copies tomorrow.