[Ken Kifer's Writing Pages]

DIRECTORY: Ken Kifer's Writing Pages

Instructions on effective writing, papers on educational topics, and writing samples from over the years.

Ken Kifer's Writing Pages

These writing pages will include three different kinds of papers: 1) instructions on writing, 2) papers I've written on the subject of education (composition and ESL), and 3) various examples of my writing from over the years.

My purpose in writing these pages is to help others write more effectively. There is a common but untrue belief that writing ability is a talent that a very few people are born with. While some people are born with (or acquire very early) a high verbal ability, that ability does not automatically translate into effective speech and writing; on the other hand, many humble and even uneducated speakers know how to say just the right thing. I know that in spite of my high verbal ability and years of experience, I have to struggle with ideas, follow rules of composition, and make many revisions whenever I want to express myself effectively. There is really nothing magical about writing, except the false impression that it comes automatically. However, the good news is that the more you write, the less difficult it will become, and writing tasks which are now difficult will become easier through practice.

As a teacher, I have had many experiences with "C" and "D" students who learned to become effective writers within a short period of time. The most important requirement for success is not a high verbal ability but patience to take the time that a good paper requires and flexibility to accept criticism and to apply it thoughtfully to the work in progress.

In these web pages, I am planning to supply the kind of instruction that I have given my students. At present, the handbook is in draft and will be added to this site as I find the time to work on it.

Papers I Have Written on Educational Subjects

Hamsters and Gerbils  A humorous look at current composition theories, 1996.
On Using the Nelson-Denny Test for ESL Students   Discussion of the purpose of testing, 1994.
How Computers Should Be Used at X College  Computers can help weak students work, 1994.
A Left-Handed Education  My own difficulties help me understand my students' needs, 1990.

An Eclectic Mixture of My Writings

What Goes on under the Hood  A spoof of a critical movie review, 1992.
The Power of Negative Selling  Article about problems in selling honey from 1986.
Firewood  A simple environmental message during the wood-stove period from 1982.
How to Get into any Cave  Spelunking humor from 1981.
Around Jacksonville  A column published in the school paper, '66-7.
Carbiding  My first college essay, 1963.


Comments | DIRECTORIES: | The New World | Writing | Thoreau | Home | Bike Pages |
PAPERS: | Hamsters | Nelson-Denny | Computers | Lefthand |
WRITINGS: | RedRide | Negative | Firewood | Any Cave | J'ville | Carbiding |
http://www.kenkifer.com/writing/index.htm | copyright © 2000 Ken Kifer | December 04, 2000